The potato – oft described as ‘the humble potato.’ Nothing humble about them for us. We love and appreciate them to the full. And this twice baked potato recipe is right up there amongst our favourites.
When I was growing up, baked potatoes (or jacket potatoes) were a much-looked-forward to, but rare, treat in our house.
When you’ve got two parents who both worked full time, guess the last thing either of them wanted to do was put some potatoes in the oven and wait such a long time for them to bake.
Simple Jacket Potatoes With Butter
So, baked potatoes – most often just simply and perfectly served with salt and oodles of butter – were a constant on the annual Bonfire Night menu. And then they were the occasional weekend treat, too.
Whichever kids were around (our street was full of kids), we’d all get a hot, buttery jacket potato. Well, if you’re using the oven for one potato, guess you might as well throw a few in there!
The Twice Baked Revelation
And then, one day, my mum served up a twice baked potato with cheese.
She was neither a keen nor an adventurous cook. So where on earth she got this recipe, I have no idea.
But it was a revelation!
I’ve been making them ever since with a few (but not too many) little extras. Twice baked potatoes are a real weekend treat.
Our Twice Baked Potatoes With Cheese
It’s fair to say, these twice baked potatoes do take a bit of time. Hence the weekend reservation for them.
And they take time because our baked potatoes are exactly that – baked.
In an oven. Not a microwave in sight.
We don’t own a microwave. But even if we did, our twice baked potatoes wouldn’t be even getting a sniff of it. Sacrilege.
So, our potatoes are going to get a good scrub. And a few piercings here and there with a sharp knife. This allows the water inside to be released and makes for a fluffy centre and thick, crisp skin.
Your potatoes will take around 1 hour 40 minutes to bake, depending on size.
During this time, you can grate some cheese. Chop some onion and peppers. And add them all to a mixing bowl with plenty salt and pepper.
Once they’re cooked, you can remove them and start your filling process. Leave the oven on, turned to the highest setting.
Cut each of your potatoes in half, lengthways. Then use a fork to scrape the fluffy potato into your cheese mixture so that you have empty potato skins to act as a boat for your filling.
Mix all the potato and cheese together, well.
And now you can start to spoon the mixture back into all of your potato skins.
Don’t worry if the mixture is piled slightly higher than the potato skin. Squash it down as much as you can.
We like to fork over the top of the filling to rough it up a little as you can see in the photo below. The dark crispy bits after cooking are the best!
And now all you need to do is put your potatoes back onto the oven rack and place them back into your very hot oven on the top shelf.
Wait a few minutes until your topping is sizzling and crispy. Then remove your twice baked potatoes, ready to eat.
Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe
Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe
- Mixing bowl
- Cheese grater
- sharp knife
- 4 medium potatoes scrubbed, skin on
- 200 grams Izmir tulum or kaşar cheese grated
- 1 large onion peeled & finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper deseeded & finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard optional
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes optional
- salt & pepper to season
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Meanwhile, scrub your potatoes and prick each one a few times all over with a sharp knife.
- Place your potatoes directly onto an oven rack and add to the centre of the oven.
- After 45 minutes, turn your potatoes over.
- Meanwhile, you can add the rest of your ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- After around 90 minutes, check your potatoes. It's important that the skin is crisp so that it is sturdy enough to carry your filling.
- If the skin isn't so crisp, place them back in the oven on the top shelf and increase the temperature.
- When you are happy with your potatoes, remove them from the oven but leave the oven on.
- Take a sharp knife and cut each potato in half, lengthways. Obviously, they will be very hot so use a cloth or oven glove to cover your hand.
- Now take each half in your covered hand and use a fork to scrape all the fluffy potato into your cheese mixture.
- Once you've emptied all the potato skins, give the cheese and potato a good mix.
- Now you can refill the potato skins with your cheesy mixture.
- Rough up the top of your potato mixture with a fork and place the potatoes back onto your oven rack.
- Turn your oven to the highest setting and place the rack on the top shelf of your oven.
- Bake for around 10 minutes until the filling is hot and the top is crisp and golden.
- Serve immediately as buffet food, a side dish or as a main meal.
- Twice baked potatoes are really versatile and you can play around with different fillings. Cheese is the staple ingredient, however.
- In our twice baked potatoes recipe, we use kaşar cheese or Izmir tulum. These are hard, full fat cheeses which melt easily. If you’re not in Turkey, any tasty hard cheese which melts easily will be perfect.
- If you want extra oozy potato toppings, feel free to add some butter or more cheese to your mixture. You might need to add an oven tray under your rack if you do this so you can avoid dripping cheese landing on the bottom of your oven.
- We add a bit of Turkish mustard (a mild mustard like Dijon) to our mixture but you can leave it out if you like.
- Cooking time for your potatoes will depend on the size and type of your oven and, obviously, the size of your potatoes. We have suggested medium potatoes – about 350 grams per potato – but it is up to you.
- Buy potatoes that are not waxy and have a good skin on them. In Turkey, sarı patates (yellow potatoes) make perfect twice baked potatoes.
Serve Up Your Twice Baked Potatoes
And that’s our twice baked potatoes recipe.
Perfect to eat as a weekend main meal in front of the TV, as a side to grilled köfte, şiş kebabs or other grills. Or just as an addition to a buffet.
Mmmm, who doesn’t love the crispy bits on top of the twice baked potato?
The twice baked potato is a double-winner for us. With a jacket potato, we love to eat the potato first, saving the skin – the best bit – til last.
With the twice baked potato, we’ve got the winning crispy topping treat first. And then we can work our way through the rest of the cheesy filling until we get to the skin again.
Oh, and don’t worry if you’re too full to eat the skin. Leave that for the day after. A splash of olive oil over it and whack it under the grill for a few minutes until sizzling.
Eat it as it is with a bit of salt. Or put some yoghurt or sour cream in the there. Seriously tasty!
Twice Baked Potatoes – Afternotes
- The jacket potato is also a much loved Turkish street food. Look out for Ortaköy kumpir for a potato with lots of weird and wonderful fillings.
- You can find our twice baked potato recipe in the international recipes section of our blog. This section contains lots of dishes we like to make when we’re not too busy following our Turkish recipes.