This is the ultimate twice baked potatoes recipe! The crispy potato skins are filled with a flavorful mashed potato filling that is so creamy thanks to the sour cream and cream cheese. Topped with sliced green onions, shredded cheese, bacon and paprika, you can say goodbye to dry, bland potatoes!

Growing up in Idaho, potatoes were an automatic side dish at many dinners. The beautiful thing about this delicious vegetable is the many ways you can transform potatoes into tasty sides! If you love potatoes, be sure to try my buttery parsley potatoes, funeral potatoes, creamy scalloped potatoes, and hasselback potatoes.

Three twice baked potatoes with cream cheese topped with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Moist and flavorful! I’ve never been a fan of twice baked potatoes because they always seemed bland and dry. So, of course my recipe needed to be flavorful and moist! Thanks to the paprika, bacon and green onions, the flavor of these potatoes are SO good. And not only are we adding milk to the potato filling, but sour cream and a bit of cream cheese really give this dish the moistness it needs.
  • Great side dish to make ahead or freeze. Check out my recipe tips below on how to freeze twice baked potatoes! It’s so easy and they hold up really well. This is the perfect recipe to make lots of and store in the freezer for lunches or dinner in a pinch.
  • Cream cheese sets these apart. Typically you don’t have twice baked potatoes with cream cheese. Sour cream, yes, but cream cheese is a bit different. Trust me, you’ll love it! It really gives the potatoes an added flavor and added moisture that sets this recipe apart from the rest.

Ingredient Notes

Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese on a gray background.
  • Potatoes: Use baking potatoes, or russets, since these will hold up better due to their sturdier skins.
  • Cream Cheese: This is just enough cream cheese to add flavor and creaminess to the dish without being overpoweringly tangy.
  • Cheese: I used cheddar cheese, but other delicious options would be pepper jack cheese, Monterey jack cheese, or Colby jack cheese.
  • Paprika: Adding the paprika gives the dish a nice smokey flavor so the potatoes aren’t bland.
  • Milk: We need a bit of adding moisture to the potato filling so it doesn’t dry out when baked.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Scrub the potatoes well and pierce them with a fork in 3 places. 
  2. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake at 400°F for 1 hour or until fork tender (since I used large potatoes mine baked for 1 hour 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle them. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  3. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the insides into a large bowl, doing your best to keep the potato skins intact. Place the potato skins on a foil-lined baking sheet. 
Potato skins on a baking sheet for making Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese.
  1. To the large bowl with the potato pulp, add the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, and milk.
  1. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until smooth. Be careful not to over mix as this can make the potatoes gummy. Alternatively you can use a potato masher. Stir in ¾ cup of cheddar cheese.
  1. Scoop the filling back into the potato shells. Top with remaining ¾ cup of cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for at 375°F for 20 mins or until heated through. 
  1. Remove and garnish with sliced green onions and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese topped with bacon pieces and sliced green onions.

Recipe Tips

Potatoes: Use russet or baking potatoes as they hold up best. This is due to their thicker skin.

Make sure your potatoes are warm when whipping or mashing them, as cold potatoes tend to get gummy. For fluffier potatoes, whip them with a mixer — just be careful not to over mix as this can make them gloppy.

You can use smaller sized potatoes and bake more of them, just have the total weight of the potatoes equal at least 4 pounds.

Turn this side dish into a main dish by added browned ground beef on top of the potato filling, then top with the cheese and bake.

Storing

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Freezing

Can you freeze twice baked potatoes? Sure can! This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze. Once the potatoes are stuffed, let them cool completely. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until solid. Wrap each twice baked potato individually in aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.

If you are planning on baking the potatoes frozen, wrap the potatoes in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil before storing in the freezer. You’ll remove the aluminum foil AND the plastic wrap prior to putting the frozen potatoes on the baking sheet and baking.

Reheating

You can microwave twice baked potatoes for 1 minute or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.

If baking the potatoes from frozen, remove all the wrappings and place on a baking sheet. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from the oven, uncover and add any toppings (such as shredded cheese), then return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

If baking the frozen potatoes after they’ve been thawed, you’ll remove the frozen twice baked potatoes from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to bake, remove the wrapping, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Three Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese topped with bacon and green onions, resting on a white plate.

FAQs

Why are my twice baked potatoes gummy?

The potatoes can get gummy if you’ve allowed the potatoes to get cold while making the twice baked potato filling. To help, you can prep the filling ingredients in the bowl while the potatoes are baking, that way it’s all ready when the potatoes are done. Also, be sure not to over mix the filling. That can cause the filling to seize up, too.

How long do you warm twice baked potatoes in the oven?

Heat up your previously prepared twice baked potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

How do I keep my potato skins from falling apart?

Be sure to use baking potatoes (also known as russet potatoes). Russet potatoes have thicker skin. Also, when scooping out the potato pulp, don’t try to remove everything. Keep a bit of potato still on the skin.

What is a baking potato?

A baking potato is also known as a russet potato. It’s a potato that bakes really well because the filling gets nice and fluffy and the skins get crispy.

A Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese topped with orange cheese and crispy bacon, on a white plate.

More Side Dishes

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Bacon, cheese, and green onion topped Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Bacon and cheese topped Twice Baked Potatoes with Cream Cheese is the perfect side dish for any weeknight or holiday meal!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 4 large baking potatoes - or russets, 1 lb each *see note #1
  • 2 oz cream cheese - softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream - can use lite or regular
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - at room temperature or melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese - freshly grated, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika - for topping
  • 2 green onions - thinly sliced, for topping
  • 1/4 cup bacon - cooked and crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Scrub the potatoes well. Pierce the potatoes with a fork in 3 places. 
  • Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour or until fork tender (since I used large potatoes mine baked for 1 hour 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle them. Reduce oven temp to 375°F.
  • Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the white interior into a large bowl, doing your best to keep the potato skins intact. Place the potato skins on a foil-lined baking sheet. 
  • To the large bowl with the potato pulp, add the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until smooth. Be careful not to over mix as this can make the potatoes gummy. Alternatively you can use a potato masher. Stir in ¾ cup of cheddar cheese.
  • Scoop the filling back into the potato shells. Top with remaining ¾ cup of cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for 20 mins or until heated through. 
  • Remove and garnish with sliced green onions and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. You can use smaller sized potatoes and bake more of them, just have the total weight of the potatoes equal at least 4 pounds.
Potatoes: Use russet or baking potatoes as they hold up best.
Make sure your potatoes are warm when whipping or mashing them, as cold potatoes tend to get gummy.
For fluffier potatoes, whip them with a mixer just be careful not to overmix as this can make them gloppy.
Once the potatoes are stuffed you can freeze or refrigerate them. Freeze them individually on a baking sheet. Once they are solid remove from the freezer and store them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Bake frozen twice baked potatoes as directed but add an additional 15 minutes to the bake time.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 403kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 36g (12%)Protein: 12g (24%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 14g (70%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mg (22%)Sodium: 671mg (28%)Potassium: 878mg (25%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 850IU (17%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 228mg (23%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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