Loaded Baked Potato

Loaded Baked Potato


One of my favorite vegetables (and I have never made any secret about this) is the humble potato.  I cannot get enough of them.  I enjoy them in any way shape or form.

Boiled, steamed, fried, baked, roasted, mashed, you name it. If there is a potato involved I am all in! 

Loaded Baked Potato 

I think the potato has to be one of the most versatile vegetables out there.   They can form a basis, or a canvas as it were, for many other textures and flavors.  

They are often used to make alcohol. (Vodka, Potcheen or Akvavit).  You can use them to make candy. The starch is used in the food industry as a thickener or binder, and in the textile industry as an adhesive  or the manufacture of paper and boards.

Loaded Baked Potato 

Of course I love eating potatoes, in pretty much any way shape or form, but one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is baked.  With their crisp jackets and fluffy interiors a well baked potato is truly a thing of beauty to me.

It is also a magnificent canvas upon which to write other flavors and when done right can serve as a full meal. Indeed the U.K. has no end of shops in which you can buy only baked potatoes (or jacket potatoes are they are lovingly referred to) with any number of toppings.

One of my first meals ever eaten in the U.K. was a jacket potato topped with cheese in the food court at Euston Station.  You could get them topped with tuna mayonnaise, baked beans, cheese, etc.

Loaded Baked Potato 

This Loaded Baked Potato recipe I am sharing with you today is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them, and it is really a meal in and of itself. Of course the heartier eater might enjoy it as a side.

This all depends on the size of your potato of course and whilst the ingredients I have given are for one baked potato, you can certainly multiply them to feed more people.

In fact, while the oven is on, why not bake a half dozen or so baked potatoes. You will find that baked and cooled they will come in very handy to do all sorts such as make salads, soups or even home fries!

Loaded Baked Potato 


Of course you can bake any kind or size of potato but for the ultimate baked potato experience you want a potato that is a bit larger in size and that will bake up with a light and fluffy interior. 

Russet potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture, which makes them nice and fluffy after baking. Their thick skin crisps up well, too. 

When  baking you want to choose medium-sized potatoes, each around the same size (about one-half pound) so they all finish baking at the same time. 

If you live in the U.K. I recommend using a Maris Piper or a King Edward potato. 

Loaded Baked Potato 


You want to begin with really clean potatoes.  I scrub mine really well under running cold water with a vegetable brush.  I love to eat the skins, its one of my favorite parts, so a clean skin is really important to me.

Once you have cleaned your potato you need to prick it all over with a fork, about six times should do it.  Anyone who has had to clean up potato baked into their oven from an exploding potato knows full well the value of pricking them before baking!

It might not happen, but if it does, it creates a huge mess. Pricking them alleviates the problem!

Loaded Baked Potato

Some people like to use the air fryer to bake their potatoes and I highly recommend this method, especially in the summer months when you don't want to turn on the oven.  40 minutes (washed, dried and pricked) at 400*F/200*C does the trick quite nicely.

Some people like to rub the skins with oil and salt before baking and this certainly ensures a nice crisp skin.

You can also bake them in the microwave. I don't recommend baking really large potatoes in the microwave however as the ends will get chewy and over cooked before the centers are baked.  Wash and prick as above.  Wrap in paper toweling and then bake on high for about 3 to 4 minutes. I don't recommend doing any more than two at a time.

Loaded Baked Potato 

Aside from the air fryer, my favorite method is to bake them in the oven. I wash, dry, prick and rub them with a bit of oil and salt and then place them into a hot oven (400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6) placing them directly onto the rack of the oven. 

This helps the hot air of the oven to circulate around them completely, and gives you a really nice crisp skin.

Another favorite way to enjoy a baked potato is when you are camping.  Wrap in foil and then toss them into the coals to bake.  Or even the coals in your fireplace or wood stove will do.  Delicious!

Loaded Baked Potato 


Baked potatoes are a fabulous canvas for most flavors. I have enjoyed many a baked potato topped with hot chili and cheese.  Bake beans and cheese are another favorite.

Sour cream, chives and crisp bacon bits are another favorite.

Some people love them topped with tuna mayonnaise.  (Personally that has never really appealed to me.)  

Today I have loaded my baked potato up with broccoli and cheese and bacon!!  This is a delicious combination, but you could use any vegetable you want.  Broccoli goes especially well with cheese and bacon and potatoes for that matter!!

Loaded Baked Potato 

Today I used a nice strong white cheddar for my potato. I adore cheddar on a baked potato. You can use whatever cheese you wish. Comte is especially nice if you can get it.

I also chose to use blanched/steamed broccoli.  Broccoli is really nice on a baked potato.

Note - don't skim on the cheese, especially if this is going to be your whole meal.  You want to taste the cheese, which is also why you don't want to use a really bland and almost flavorless cheese.

Loaded Baked Potato 

If you make sure your vegetables are crispy tender and not cooked to death this can be a real taste treat. I like my broccoli crispy tender and bright green.

Cauliflower would also be nice or a combination of both. 

Loaded Baked Potato 

I always have cooked bacon in the freezer. I tend to cook my bacon a pound at a time and then I freeze it so that I always have cooked bacon ready to drag out and use whenever I need a bit of bacon.

This was lovely on top of the broccoli and the cheese.  It added a nice hint of smoky salty moreish meaty yumminess.

Loaded Baked Potato

Garnished with a dollop of lactose free (Gay Lea) sour cream and some minced scallions/spring onions, this made for a fabulously hearty and filling meal for myself.   In fact I couldn't finish the whole thing.

I think its true that  your appetite wanes as you get older. There was a day when I could have easily finished this and a steak besides!  Having said that, this was just right!  

Loaded Baked Potato

Loaded Baked Potato

Yield: 1
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 1 H & 10 MTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
These are simply delicious and I find them to be a meal in and of itself. You can multiply the amounts to bake and feed as many people as you wish.


  • 1 medium to large russet potato, well scrubbed
  • 1 strip of streaky bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 pound fresh broccoli, broken into florets and blanched
  • 1/3 cup (1/5 oz/42g) grated strong cheddar cheese
To serve:
  • sour cream
  • finely chopped spring onion, or fresh chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C.
  2. Prick your potato about six times with a fork, rub with oil and then rub with coarse salt. Place into the oven right on the center oven rack. Bake for about 1 hour, until the potato yields slightly to the touch.
  3. Leave the oven on. Let the potato cool slightly so that you can comfortably touch it.
  4. Cut the potato down the center, taking care not to cut all the way through. Make two perpendicular cuts near each end of the potato. This helps you to be able to open it up easier.
  5. Place the potato into a small baking dish and open it up. Top with half the cheese. Place the blanched broccoli on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top of the broccoli and then crumble the bacon and sprinkle it over top of the top layer of cheese.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes so that the cheese is well melted and everything is heated through.
  7. Serve with sour cream for spooning on top and chopped onion/chives to sprinkle on top.
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Loaded Baked Potato 
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