If you’re in need of a new side dish to ramp up your dinner routine, look no further than these Bacon Cheddar Ranch Twice Baked Potatoes. The always crowd-pleasing flavor combo of bacon and cheddar cheese team up to make what is essentially incredible mashed potatoes stuffed into crispy potato skins. Sign me up!
It should be absolutely no surprise to you that I’m sharing yet another baked potato recipe.
In fairness, it’s been almost 2 years since the last one appeared here on the site. But that’s not to say they haven’t been regularly consumed by us in those 2 years.
This Bacon Cheddar Ranch Twice Baked Potato recipe is my newest and greatest potato invention, and it’s one I KNOW you’re going to loooove!
I mean, what’s not to love about crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and a punchy ranch seasoning all mixed up in a stuffed potato? They made the perfect lunch for a dreary and chilly day back in late April but I imagine they would be just as delicious with burgers, steak, or roast chicken.
Let’s dig a little into what’s going on with this twice baked potato recipe…
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
If you’re not familiar with what twice baked potatoes are or how to make them, let me quickly break them down for you.
Twice baked potatoes are baked potatoes that are split, scooped, mixed, stuffed, and baked for a second time. They’re like loaded mashed potatoes stuffed into a crispy potato skin and baked with cheese on top. Holy delicious, right?!
To make them, first you’ll take a hot baked potato and slice it in half. Then scoop out the potato from the skin and mix it with your potato mix-ins. Stuff the potato mixture back into the skins and bake them for another 15 minutes or so.
It’s just that easy!
Potatoes by themselves are just so…bland! This is the time to get crazy with your flavors to boost a boring baked potato into a fantastic side dish!
What’s most awesome for me and my family is how completely customizable twice baked potatoes can be!
Ranch Dressing or Ranch Seasoning?
For this recipe, I mixed Trader Joe’s ranch seasoning with sour cream to make a ranch dip for the potatoes. Any dry ranch seasoning mix will work just fine here.
If you don’t have dry ranch seasoning, you could certainly dump a bit of your favorite ranch dressing into the potato mixture instead. Use just enough dressing so it moistens the potatoes and gives them a ranchy-flavor.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
If sweet potatoes are more your thing, use those instead. The savory and sweet contrast of flavors will be an excellent combination!
A big fall favorite are these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Pecan Streusel and they’re perfect for your Thanksgiving table as well!
Tips for Making the Best Twice Baked Potatoes
- Make them moist. I get the cringe-factor with the word “moist” for many people, but it’s really important here to make sure your potato mixture has enough moisture to prevent it from drying out in the oven. No one wants a dry potato! I used sour cream. You can also use buttermilk, heavy cream, half-and-half, plain milk, plain yogurt (Greek or other), or ranch dressing.
- Bake the potatoes until they are fork tender and the skins are crispy. This will make scooping the fluffy potato out of the skin much easier!
- Leave a rim of potato around the skin when you scoop it out. About 1/4-inch (no more than this!) of potato left in the skin will give the skin the strength and structure it needs to not collapse when you stuff the potato mixture back in.
- Use bold flavors. Potatoes are like a blank slate so go big with the mix-ins you choose to ramp up your meal!
More Phemon Baked Potato Recipes!
I have a whole slew of loaded and twice baked potatoes tucked away in the site archives. Here are a few of them so you can keep them handy:
- chicken taco loaded baked potatoes
- roasted vegetable loaded baked potatoes
- gouda twice baked potatoes
- crock pot loaded baked potato soup
- pulled pork loaded baked potatoes
- beef taco loaded baked potatoes
- chorizo, roasted broccoli, and cheddar loaded baked potatoes
- 2 baked potatoes, sliced in half horizontally (see note below)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 3/4 cup sour cream (plain yogurt works too)
- 2 tbsp dry ranch seasoning blend (like Trader Joe's, Hidden Valley Ranch, Knorr, etc.)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz)
- 3 strips of cooked bacon (or 2 strips of cooked thick cut bacon), roughly chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives, for serving (optional)
- Scoop out enough flesh from the baked potatoes into a medium bowl, so that there is a sturdy ¼-inch wall of potato left attached to the skin around the whole circumference of each potato half.
- Mix the butter, sour cream, ranch seasoning, ¾ cup of the cheese, ¾ of the chopped bacon, into the hot potatoes in the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Scoop ¼ of the potato mixture into each of the potato skins and top them with the remaining cheese and bacon. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet.
- Bake at 425° F for about 15 minutes, just until the potatoes are heated through and the cheese on top is melted. Garnish with the extra chopped bacon and some chopped chives, if using. Serve while still hot. These potatoes are best served the day you make them but I wouldn't (and didn't) turn down the leftovers either.
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.