3 Variations that Completely Change Baked Potatoes

The baked potato is an irreplaceable dish that transcends nationality. It is believed to have gained popularity in the early 20th century, and in the modern era it has infiltrated multiple cultures. Baked potatoes are implemented differently in cuisine...

The baked potato is an irreplaceable dish that transcends nationality. It is believed to have gained popularity in the early 20th century, and in the modern era it has infiltrated multiple cultures. Baked potatoes are implemented differently in cuisine depending on where you are, or whom you're dining with. In Britain, they're referred to as a jacket potato. In France, they are often served alongside meat. While in Scotland, they sometimes serve as a vessel for haggis.

To many, a baked potato is their go-to side dish, others enjoy it as a meal in itself. Then there's the question of how to dress it. A dab of butter with salt is standard. You may also add a dollop of sour cream, or even cheese, chives, and bacon to make your potato fully loaded. No matter what your preference is, there are many variations of baked potatoes that remain largely unexplored. While there's no doubting the baked potato shines on its own in simplistic, salt-and-butter form, one of these variations just might redefine your definition of a really great spud.

Tex-Mex Spud

Tex-Mex Spud
Baked Potato - Tex-Mex Spud

Ingredients:

  • 1 large russet potato, scrubbed clean
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans (of your choice, black are recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chunky salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • just enough chopped chives to garnish

Fully Loaded Veggie Potato:

  • 1 large potato, washed thoroughly
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced Bella mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Chili-Cheese Baked Potato:

  • 1 very large potato - no kidding, you may need two potatoes just to be safe
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup chili beans
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of bacon bits to garnish

Directions:

For every variation, you should begin by inspecting your potato for any eyes or rough patches. If you spot any, be sure to remove them with a small potato knife. After that, you need only to follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With a fork or knife, stab a few air holes into your potato. You can either wrap your potato in foil or set it directly onto a baking dish or pan. The latter results in a crisp skin, whereas wrapping the potato in foil helps retain moisture for a softer spud.
  2. Bake your potato for 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll want your potato to be nearly done baking before adding any toppings.
  3. Once cooled, cut the potato in half, lengthwise. Add all the toppings in the order listed (except for the sour cream), according to your chosen variation.
  4. Return the potato with toppings to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with sour cream, and garnish. Enjoy.

Remember, these are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. If you like the idea of a Tex-Mex spud but don't like cilantro, simply omit it. If you'd rather have corn in your veggie potato, by all means add some. Experiment to your heart's (and stomach's) content.

In the mood for more recipes? Feel free to explore other blog posts and contact us with any comments or concerns you may have.