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Master how to bake a potato, and dinner will never be side-less again. Learn the simple tricks that make potatoes come out crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside every single time. Easy to make – even in a toaster oven – baked potatoes are tasty plain or topped a zillion different ways.
A russet potato (especially with its skin) is a nutritional heavy hitter. And it contains less starch than other typical side dish carbs like rice or pasta. The average spud offers up significant servings of vitamin C, fiber, and iron! And before toppings, it is very low in fat.
How to bake a potato
- Wash the potatoes well, scrubbing off dirt with a brush or your fingers.
- Dry with a paper towel.
- Use your fingers, a brush, or a paper towel to coat with olive oil and season to taste.
- Prick the skin with a fork in several places.
- Bake until the skin crisps and puffs and the potatoes are easily pierced. This will depend on the potato size.
- When you remove the baked potato from the oven, make sure to let it cool before cutting open.
Tips for baking potatoes
- Thoroughly dry your potato. It might seem unnecessary as your potato is going right in the hot oven, but again, more moisture equals a soggy potato.
- Always prick the potato in several spots. This allows moisture to escape which creates the lovely fluffy texture of a perfect baked potato and prevents the potato from potentially exploding in the oven.
- Forget the foil. Ditch the foil wrapper. It traps moisture making the inside soggy and preventing crisp skin. If you need to keep your spud hot for over 15 minutes, wrap it in foil after it leaves the oven.
- Put the potato directly on your oven’s wire rack, as opposed to setting it on a sheet pan. This allows the maximum amount of hot air to circulate around the potato, cooking it evenly.
Loaded baked potato ideas:
- Sour cream (or low-fat Greek yogurt) and minced chives
- Chili of any sort, like this vegan lentil chili
- Oven-roasted Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, or broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil
- Greens like kale and spinach stir fried with garlic and oil
- Steamed broccoli or spinach
- Broccoli and cheddar cheese
- Scrambled eggs (try it with salsa and cheese)
- Beans, especially black beans, or lentils
- And, always, butter, salt, and pepper
What to pair with baked potatoes
- Garlic Butter Steak Tips
- Sweet Potato Chili
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Tuna Avocado Salad
- Green Goddess Salad
- Easy White Chicken Chili
- Shrimp Avocado Salad
- Grilled Harissa Chicken
- Honey Lemon Salmon
- Beef Stew
- Greek Salad
Frequently asked questions
Russet potatoes, as seen here, are universally acknowledged to make the fluffiest baked potatoes due to their high starch content.
Yes, but it will not have the same texture nor crisp skin. Prepare with olive oil and salt and pepper as above. Remember to prick all over, because microwaved potatoes explode very easily. Start with 5 minutes. Check for doneness. If your potato needs more time, turn and cook for 1 to 3 minutes more.
This is a great time saver. Cook for the usual amount in the microwave and then move to a 425°F oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
Tasty, warming, and nutritious, baked potatoes are unprocessed, home-cooked food at its best. Simple and satisfying.
For more cooking tutorials, check out:
- How to Cook Quinoa
- How to Cook Rice
- How to Cook Pasta Perfectly
- How to Cook Chickpeas
- How to Caramelize Onions
- How to Make Breaded Chicken
- How to Roast Garlic
- How to Make Veggie Stock
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good How to Bake a Potato recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
How to Bake a Potato
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Wash the potatoes well, dry with a paper towel, and rub (or use a brush) with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Prick the skins of the potatoes with a fork.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the skin crisps and puffs and the potatoes are easily pierced.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting open. Serve as desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.