Cooking 101 With TMP: How To Bake a Potato
Today, we’re sharing a recipe that’s as classic as classic can be: how to bake a potato! Baked potatoes are healthy, easy, yummy, and sooo budget-friendly. Plus, potatoes keep for ages, so you can buy a bunch and have them handy for whenever the mood strikes. Adorned with just a little butter and salt, they’re a filling and crowd-pleasing side dish. Topping with more goodies—maybe some cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream—they become almost a meal of their very own. If you know how to make a baked potato, you’ve always got an easy, quick meal—or at least a good part of it—right at your fingertips.
All Of Your Baked Potato Questions, Answered:
You’ve got questions about making baked potatoes, and we’ve got answers!
- Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil? Nope! No need for foil. The potato skin naturally does the job just fine.
- What temperature should a baked potato be cooked at? We’re opting for a lower temperature than some, but the upside is that you don’t risk burning, and the inside of the potato gets really lovely and steamy.
- How long do you bake potatoes? At 350°F, a normal russet potato will take about an hour. You can check for doneness simply by poking the potato with a sharp paring knife. If it slides in easily, your baked potato is done!
Ingredients for Making The Best Baked Potato Ever
Unsurprisingly, the list of ingredients for a baked potato is not super long! However you do need *slightly* more than just a potato and an oven. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Russet potatoes.
- Olive oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black pepper
How To Bake A Perfect Baked Potato
Grab your sharpest fork and a bag of potatoes and let’s get baking!
- Clean your potatoes! Use a scrubber brush to really scrub any dirt off the skin before baking.
- Poke your potatoes! Use a fork to stab them all over so that steam can escape as they bake.
- Oil your potatoes! Brush the clean skin with a bit of oil. It’ll help the skin get nicely crispy.
- Bake your potatoes! For about 60 minutes at 350°F.
- Slice your potatoes! Split the skin right down the middle and squeeze the insides out just a bit to make them look all inviting and fluffy.
Let’s Talk Baked Potato Toppings:
Most of the time, we’re baked potato purists—just a slab of butter (or even good-quality vegan butter) and a sprinkle of salt is all we want. We’re big fans of potatoes, so we like to taste the potato itself! However, once in a while, we like to get a little crazy and dress up a baked potato with some fun toppings—and our kids definitely get more excited about baked potatoes when there are topping options. The baked potato toppings options are nearly endless, but here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Regular pesto is delicious on a baked potato, but you could also try topping a potato with our rich and healthy walnut-kale vegan pesto.
- Load your baked potato with cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole to take it easily into main dish territory.
- For a fun spin on a classic steakhouse dinner, whip up this creamy mushroom sauce and use it to top both your steaks AND the baked potatoes that you serve with them.
- For more out-of-the-box vegan baked potato topping ideas, try making a creamy, lemony tahini-garlic sauce or this vegan cashew cheese sauce to drizzle generously over the top of the potato. Not only will they add some protein to the mix, they’re both bursting with big, savory flavors, and will easily transform a simple baked potato into a yummy and memorable meal.