Chicken Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes: Stuffed full of shredded taco chicken, cheese, sour cream, and crushed Fritos, these loaded baked potatoes are an awesome weekend lunch or light dinner! Set out bowls of taco toppings and let everyone make their own creations!
I’m not one to brag, but I make a mean baked potato.
And if we’re being honest (we are, aren’t we?), that’s kind of a weird thing to be braggy about, isn’t it? I mean, they’re potatoes, right?
But ever since I figured out how to make the best baked potato I’ve been on a kick to jazz them up every which way. Like with these twice baked potatoes with bacon and caramelized onions. Woah baby!
I didn’t grow up with jazzed up baked potatoes though. My mom served them only as a side dish to a protein and some veggies.
And truthfully, I was totally fine with that! I’m purely happy with butter, salt, pepper, and sour cream in a baked potato.
However, it was a few years ago when I realized that they could be made into a meal by themselves. I made these roasted vegetable loaded baked potatoes with some leftover roasted veggies I had in the fridge and topped them with some shredded gouda cheese.
Then I made these chorizo and broccoli loaded baked potatoes that I smothered with a sharp cheddar cheese sauce. I love these easy types of meals for a weekend lunch or light dinner!
The key to these outrageous loaded baked potato recipes though?
The baked potato of course! Let me quickly walk you through how to make the best and fluffiest baked potatoes ever before we go any further with this loaded version.
How to Bake a Potato
So, you’ve been making baked potatoes since the dawn of time right? Maybe you start them in the microwave to pre-cook them as a way to cut down on the oven time. Maybe you don’t.
No matter how you’ve baked them in the past, I urge you to try this new-ish way. I came across this method a few years ago and haven’t looked back since.
Essentially, my baked potato recipe creates the absolutely perfect baked potato for stuffing. It creates crispy, sturdy potato skins and creamy, fluffy potato insides. Just the way you want your potatoes to be for a loaded potato recipe, yeah?
To make these easy baked potatoes, you’ll quickly rinse Idaho or Russet potatoes in a salt water brine before baking them on a rack over a baking sheet.
The brine adds some flavor to the skin and helps the skins dry out a little in the ovens so they’ll crisp up nicely. The rack allow for air flow underneath the potatoes, which helps to bake them evenly all the way around.
After the potatoes are almost fully baked, you’ll pull them from the oven, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle them with a little coarse sea salt, and bake them for 10 more minutes. The olive oil helps to create those crispy potato skins we all love and this easy step is the key to making the best baked potato!
Stuffing Loaded Baked Potatoes
These chicken taco loaded baked potatoes are jam packed with all the chicken taco goodness you love, except without the mess of eating them from a taco shell or soft tortilla.
To make this loaded version, you’ll bake your potatoes and pull out some of the potato from the skin. You want to make some room for the chicken taco filling and all of the toppings here!
But don’t throw the leftover potato away either! You can make a small loaded mashed potatoes portion or a small batch of gnocchi if you have enough potato leftover.
You’ll add a little butter to the potato to keep it from drying out. And then you’ll stuff the potato full of chicken taco filling and all of your favorite taco toppings. I went pretty basic here with some shredded cheddar, sour cream, chives, and crushed Fritos. The Fritos aren’t a normal taco topping for me but I loved the crunch factor here!
If you wanted add some salsa, onions (pickled or raw), jalapeños, or beans, go right ahead! Just like with tacos, the topping possibilities are nearly endless.
The Chicken Taco Filling
It’s a quick recipe to throw together and I make it with my homemade taco seasoning, some sautéed onions and garlic, and diced tomatoes. And it’s the juiciest shredded chicken I’ve ever made so I thought it would be exactly the right filling to stuff into some baked potatoes.
What We Love About these Chicken Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes
Right off the bat, I’m going to say that I love how versatile this loaded baked potato recipe is. As I mentioned, you can fill them with whatever taco toppings you like.
And if you’re thinking about making them for a crowd, say for your next football party or maybe a pumpkin carving party this fall? Well how about a loaded baked potato taco bar! How fun would that be?!
Just bake a whole bunch of potatoes and fill up bowls with toppings for guests to choose from to customize their own potatoes. Your friends, and especially the kids in the group, will love this idea for a warm, hearty meal.
Warm and hearty, indeed! This was such a great meal for the chilly night we ate them on. Just like this loaded baked potato soup, these potatoes, along with a small salad, filled us up like not many other meals have recently.
These loaded potatoes are flat out delicious. They’re incredibly easy to make and they’re also a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge.
I loved the concept of these potatoes so much that I also recently made a different taco loaded baked potato version that I’ll share with you next week!
- 4 baked potatoes (see note below)
- 2 tbsp salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (from 2 thighs) shredded taco chicken *see note below*
- ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Sour cream
- A few chives or ½ scallion, sliced
- Small handful Fritos chips, roughly crushed up (optional)
- Slice the baked potatoes open on the top lengthwise with a long cut and horizontally with a short cut. Push the ends together to open up the potatoes. Sccop out a few tablespoons of each potato into a bowl. Use the extra potato to make a small portion of loaded mashed potatoes with some of the filling ingredients.
- Add a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the inside of each potato. Divide the shredded chicken between the potatoes (about ¼ cup for each) and then top with some shredded cheddar, sour cream, chives or scallions, and some crushed Fritos. Serve while the potatoes are still hot.
- Feel free to bake your potatoes using your preferred method. However, if you're tired of your plain ol' baked potatoes and want crispy skins and fluffy insides every single time you make them, or you need to know how to make baked potatoes, you must try my tried and true oven baked potato recipe.
- If you don't have an Instant Pot to make my shredded taco chicken recipe, you can mix plain shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken or your own leftover chicken with 1 tbsp store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
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