I was never a fan of baked potatoes. But last year, I suddenly developed a taste for them. Perhaps it was just that until last year I had never had a baked potato with toppings or fillings. Growing up, it was always bake, squeeze, pop on plate. Sometimes there would be a pat of butter thrown on top and perhaps some salt, but never any exciting toppings like cheese or bacon.
These days, baked potatoes are a staple in our home. They are filling and help us eat smaller portions of protein — definitely a good thing. Potatoes are also inexpensive. But, be sure to eat the skin too – that’s where all the nutrients are.
I made these with delicious, golden-fleshed Yukon Gold potatoes, which are fantastic for mashing (and that is kind of what you do with the filling).
This is another toddler approved meal component. Will loved “finding” the hidden bits of bacon and cheese and ate nearly his whole (small) potato. And they aren’t that bad for you — all in all, they are about 380 calories or so (this is an estimate based on my calculation on SparkRecipes.com). So, if you serve them with a bit of veggies and a small hunk of lean protein, this can still be a pretty fit meal.
Cheddar Bacon Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/3 cup milk (I use 1%)
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese, plus 1 tbsp
- 4 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick each potato a couple of times with a fork. Place on the rack in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before handling.
- Cook the bacon and discard any fat drippings.
- Slice a thin strip off the top of each potato. Scoop out insides into a medium bowl. Add milk, salt and pepper to the bowl. Using a potato masher, mash well.
- Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheddar and bacon. Scoop the potato mixture back into the potato shells. Divide the remaining tablespoon of cheddar among the potatoes. Return to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
Â© Sarah W. Caron and Sarah's Cucina Bella, 2005-2012.
Category: potatoes, side dishes
Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.