Making baked potatoes in the oven takes only a few ingredients and steps but gives you a cooked potato that's fluffy and soft within a crisp skin. A perfect side dish or meal option.
I'm not one for patience and have used the microwave method for cooking baked potatoes more times than I can count, but the oven method will always be my favorite.
Once you know how to make baked potatoes, you're going to want to include them as a side dish in many meals because they're easy, frugal, filling, and very versatile.
Save the leftover baked potatoes for learning How to Make Frozen Hashbrowns, and now you have a tasty dinner and breakfast side dish too!
Why This Recipe Works
- The time spent waiting is worth it. Unlike the microwave, you do have to wait a bit (1 hour vs 15-20 minutes,) but the wait time is worth it because the texture and results speak for themselves.
- The results are perfect. Every baked potato is fluffy and soft on the inside but crisp and golden on the outside. Nicely salted and ready to eat, just make sure to grab your favorite baked potato toppings to serve on top.
- They're versatile. Serve up your potatoes as a side dish or load them with toppings and call it a main course. There are so many tasty possibilities.
Russet potatoes- Russets are very starchy potatoes which means that when they are cooked, they become nice and fluffy.
Olive oil- Coat the potatoes in oil to help the skin crisp up nicely as the potatoes bake.
Salt and pepper- Added to taste.
For specific quantities, see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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- Baking Sheet
Check out how to make oven baked potatoes with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Wash and scrub your potatoes well to remove the dirt.
Pierce the potatoes several times each using the prongs of a fork. I usually do about 10-15 times as I rotate the potato in my hand, but even just 4 times is fine.
Rub the potatoes with olive oil to fully coat and then sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the potato is fork-tender.
This time will be determined by the size of the potato as smaller ones will cook more quickly.
🥔 Baked potato toppings
There are numerous ways that you can serve up a tasty baked potato. You can serve it up with just a little added salt and pepper or add butter and sour cream. Sometimes I like to top ours with some canned chili and shredded cheddar cheese to make it a more filling meal option.
Some other great ideas include:
- Diced onions
- chopped green onions or chives
- Shredded cheese
- Cheese sauce and broccoli (I sometimes use leftover cheddar soup)
- Salsa and cooked taco meat
- Crumbled bacon pieces
- Black beans
- Plain Greek yogurt (for a healthier sour cream alternative)
🥗 What to serve with baked potatoes
The simplest answer is a basic green salad or soup, make the dish feel like a complete meal by serving it up with a nice oven-baked potato.
You can also serve the potatoes with just about anything from Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers to Poor Man's Beef Stew. A fully loaded baked potato (one with several toppings on it) can be served up as a meal in itself if it's large enough.
🍴 Recipe Tips
⏲️ How long do baked potatoes take in the oven?
If you're wondering how long to cook a baked potato, you want the internal temperature of your potato to be about 200-210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. The outside skin should be crisp or maybe even wrinkly. When you poke the potato with a fork the fork should enter without resistance. This will take about an hour for a medium or large-sized russet potato.
What to do with leftover baked potatoes
Leftover baked potatoes shouldn't be thrown out because they still hold a lot of uses to be turned into something yummy. For example, you can make twice-baked potatoes the following day or remove the fluffy potato insides and have mashed potatoes or baked potato skins.
My favorite use for leftover potatoes though is turning them into shredded hashbrowns. Simply take your potatoes and chill in the fridge overnight to become firm. Then grate on a cheese grater until shredded. Lay flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for several hours. Then break apart and store in a zipper topped bag for up to 3 months. Use as you would any frozen hashbrowns.
Yes, unfortunately, you can. When a potato is overcooked, it will have a different color, odor, and taste. The soft potato insides may be a shade of brown, and there may be spots of discoloration on the skin of the potato as well. The texture will also be dry or goopy.
Leftover baked potatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, giving you plenty of time to repurpose them or enjoy them at your convenience.
Yes. While uncooked potatoes do not hold up well in the freezer, cooked ones do quite well. You can keep baked potatoes in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container, and wrap well in foil or plastic wrap first. Then reheat in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the inside of the potato reaches 165 degrees F.
More great side dish recipes to check out soon
- Instant Pot Zucchini
- Cast Iron Green Beans
- Instant Pot Asparagus
- One Pot Wild Rice Pilaf
- Creamy Orange Fluff Salad
- Browned Butter Garlic and Thyme Purple Mashed Potatoes
How to Make Oven Baked Potatoes
- 8 medium sized russet potatoes ($6.08)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil ($0.52)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt ($0.10)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper ($0.05)
- Wash and scrub your potatoes well to remove the dirt.
- Pierce the potatoes several times each using the prongs of a fork. I usually do about 10-15 times as I rotate the potato in my hand, but even just 4 times is fine.
- Rub the potatoes with olive oil to fully coat and then sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the potato is fork-tender. This time will be determined by the size of the potato as smaller ones will cook more quickly.
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