Max out the flavor atop your mini potatoes with this fun party appetizer.
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Giada De Laurentiis on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Dave Kotinsky

When you think of twice-baked potatoes usual position on a menu, chances are, you're imagining a holiday dinner. The line-up might include something like roast turkey or ham, green bean casserole or roasted brussels sprouts, rolls and the classic, just-like-grandma-made cheesy stuffed potatoes.

But ever the entertainer, TV host, cookbook author and mom Giada de Laurentiis has transformed these craveable potatoes into the perfect party snack that's automatically portion-controlled.

Try them yourself and share with pals and, according to one fan who gave them a go in her own kitchen, "you will be the hit! This is probably the best dish to bring to a party."

These timeless Mini Twice Baked Potatoes are from her "Footballs Top Four" episode of Giada at Home that originally aired on in January 2015. Whether it's for a bowl game, New Year's Eve party, New Year's Day brunch or, you know, any ol' Tuesday that you'd like to feel more like a party, this playful potato recipe will come in handy.

"Get some Yukon gold potatoes, little baby ones," de Laurentiis advises, as she kicks off the recipe how-to that was recently shared again on Food Network's YouTube page.

For four servings (feel free to scale accordingly!), place about 12 to 14 of those petite potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet (such as USA Pan Nonstick Half Sheet Pan; buy it: $41.95 for two, Williams Sonoma), toss with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 1 hour, or until a knife slides into the center with little to no resistance. Allow these to cool slightly so you can comfortably handle them.

As the spuds roast, you can get cracking on another element you'll use later: bacon. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, cook 6 ounces of bacon (about 6 to 8 strips) until crispy. Drain well, chop finely and place half of this bacon in a bowl for the topping. Toss that portion with ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs ("to create a nice, crispy crust on top," de Laurentiis says), 2 tablespoons chopped chives and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Toss to combine.

Turning back to the now-warm (rather than scorching) potatoes, "cut off the tops, then scoop out the inside with a little melon baller," de Laurentiis says. (Something like OXO Softworks Melon Baller; buy it: $9.99, Target can handle the job with ease.) You're looking to scoop out a shell that's cup-shaped with a ¼-inch rim so the peel portion can hold the fillings. Don't toss that flesh, of course! Add it to a large bowl, then mix it with ¼ cup sour cream.

"It's the tang of the sour cream that I think does it for me," de Laurentiis says. "I tried to replace it with mascarpone [an Italian cheese that Giada uses often in both savory and sweet recipes], so we're sticking to good old, tried-and-true, sour cream."

Next up: 1 tablespoon of heavy cream "to create a little moisture," 2 tablespoons of melted butter and a dash more of salt. For some salty bite and "Italian flair," de Laurentiis then calls for incorporating ¼ cup freshly-grated Parmesan, and for a pop of color and flavor, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.

"I like the chives in the actual filling, and we're going to add more chives on top. It's a nice…sweet, mild onion flavor, and when I think of twice-baked potatoes, I think of adding some onion to it. Plus the color is fantastic," she explains.

Use a potato masher (buy it: $12.99, Bed, Bath and Beyond) or the back of a fork to mash and mix the filling ingredients, then grab a mini ice cream scoop (buy it: $14.95, Williams Sonoma) to transfer it to each prepared shell. It should be slightly overfilled and mounded on top. Sprinkle with the topping, add a drizzle of olive oil and repeat until all the potatoes are packed with tasty, bacon-laced filling. Bake until the interior is heated through and the tops are golden brown, or for about 10 to 12 minutes.

"Oh my gosh. Creamy! Lots of bacon," de Laurentiis says as she busts out some jazz hands to express her glee after sampling her first bite. "Heaven on earth."

Speaking of that bacon, if you're aiming for a more plant-based pick, this appetizer recipe would also work well with or shiitake mushroom Vegan Bacon instead of pork bacon.

With the roasting time, assembly and final cook-'til-creamy stage, this snack is admittedly a bit of a project recipe. But it's oh-so worth it, fans confirm: "These are amazing! It's worth the time it takes. Everyone will be raving about them and there won't be any leftovers."

Get the recipe for Giada's Mini Twice Baked Potatoes here, and find even more fantastic football noshes in our round-up of 25 game day snacks that are so good, they might not even last until halftime.