How to Turn a Simple Baked Potato into a Healthy & Delicious Dinner
Follow this easy formula for transforming a plain old potato into a exciting and unique dinner.
Whether you make it a DIY buffet or top them all before serving, stuffed potatoes are an easy dinner the whole family will adore. Our easy formula will help you make a meal out of a simple spud, complete with a healthy protein source, extra veggies, a flavorful sauce and fun garnishes to top it all off. Mix and match your favorite toppings or choose from one of our tasty combos below.
1. Bake Your Potatoes
Start with 4 medium russet potatoes or sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each). Pierce them all over with a fork. Microwave on Medium, turning once or twice, until soft, about 20 minutes. (Alternatively, bake potatoes at 425°F until tender, about 45 minutes.) Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Holding them with a kitchen towel to protect your hands, make a lengthwise cut to open the potato, but don't cut all the way through. Pinch the ends to expose the flesh.
2. Stuff It!
Top each potato with a Sauce, Vegetables, Protein and Garnish and serve while still warm.
- Use 1/2 cup per 4 potatoes
- Fresh salsa
- Barbecue sauce
- Simmer sauce
- Sour cream
- Marinara sauce
- Cheese sauce
- Add 1-2 cups per 4 potatoes
- Sautéed greens or mushrooms
- Sliced avocado or onion
- Chopped cooked broccoli or cauliflower
- Diced tomatoes or bell peppers
- Shredded lettuce
- 4 large eggs, cooked as desired
- one 15-ounce can beans, rinsed
- 8 ounces cooked pork or chicken
- 8 ounces cooked ground beef
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 4 ounces sliced cooked sausage
- Add 4 teaspoons per 4 potatoes
- Crumbled cooked bacon
- Chopped pickled jalapeños
- Shredded cheese
- Chopped fresh herbs
- Chopped olives
Related: Healthy Baked Potato Recipes
You could top a potato with just about anything and it'll be delicious. Here are some of our favorite go-to combinations for easy and delicious meals.
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Salsa & Beans
Fresh salsa + avocado + pinto beans + pickled jalapeños
Taco night meets baked potato night with these loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with russet potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Related: How to Cook Sweet Potatoes Perfectly
Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Pesto & Eggs
Pesto + spinach + fried egg + bacon
Top baked potatoes with fried eggs, pesto, spinach and bacon for a loaded baked potato that's perfect for an easy dinner or hearty brunch. Omit the bacon for a vegetarian version that's just as delicious.
Chicken Curry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Madras curry sauce + cauliflower + chicken + cilantro
Use convenience ingredients, like cooked chicken (leftover or from the deli section of your grocery store) and store-bought curry sauce to whip up these easy loaded baked potatoes. We call for cauliflower in this recipe, but feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have on hand for a quick and easy dinner. You can also swap the sweet potatoes for russets.
Smoked Salmon Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Sour cream + tomato + onion + smoked salmon + chives
Step aside, bacon—these loaded baked potatoes are stuffed with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives for a fresh take on this comfort-food staple, and an easy healthy dinner. This combo would also make for a fun twist on your weekend brunch.
Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Mayonnaise + lettuce + tomato + onion + ground beef + Colby Jack cheese
Skip the bun and serve all of your favorite cheeseburger ingredients—beef, cheese, tomatoes, red onions and lettuce—with baked potatoes for a hearty and easy dinner recipe that kids and adults will love. Feel free to swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or tofu crumbles.
BBQ Baked Potatoes with Pork & Broccoli
Barbecue sauce + broccoli + shredded pork + Cheddar cheese
Use leftover cooked pork, chicken or turkey to whip together these easy BBQ baked potatoes. Add steamed broccoli and Cheddar cheese to round out this easy healthy dinner.