Posted by Jen T on October 25, 2022
Maybe you love football. Maybe you’re just in it for the food.
Either way, we’ve got your next game day covered! Whether you want to spend a fun afternoon with a few friends or score big with your neighbors, a baked potato bar is always a great way to go.
Why You’ll Love It
- Easy to Customize: Everyone can load up their spuds with their own preferred toppings. That includes kiddos and the pickiest eaters.
- Self-Serve Station: Likewise, everybody can help themselves, so you don’t have to miss a single minute of the game.
- Inexpensive: Even if you splurge on a few toppings, it’s a terrific way to feed a full house – without breaking your budget.
- Crowd Favorite: Best of all, it’s really simple, delicious and fun!
7 Tips to Kick off Your Baked Potato Bar
Here’s how to set the bar, step by step:
1. Prep your potatoes. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Scrub and dry a bunch of russet potatoes, planning for 2 potatoes per guest. Prick the potatoes with a fork, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the outsides with canola or Avocado Oil, and sprinkle with salt.
Bake 60 minutes or until soft in the center, depending on the size of your potatoes. They’ll be perfectly fluffy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
Tip: While you can technically use any kind of potato, russet and Idaho potatoes are best for baking, since they are high in starch and low in moisture. Red and Yukon gold potatoes tend to be a bit waxier and won’t have the same fluffy texture!
2. Tackle those traditional toppings. Set out small dishes, tongs and spoons for serving classic baked potato toppings, such as:
– Sour cream
– Chopped chives
– Shredded cheese (cheddar and Colby Jack go with virtually everything!)
– Crumbled bacon
– Sliced black olives
3. Make ‘em meaty. Make & Freeze Chicken and Creating Magic Pulled Pork make unbelievably delicious toppers for baked potatoes. Plus, a little goes a long way – making them a great way to stretch your budget on game day. It’s easy to keep them warm in your slow cooker for serving, too!
My personal favorite:
Super tender, juicy and slightly spicy, it’s ready in only 45 minutes with your pressure cooker. Even better, it’s delicious with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and other toppings.
At our house, we also love to top those taters with pulled pork, shredded cheese and a drizzle of Classic Ranch Mix dressing. So messy – but so worth it!
4. Step up your sour cream. Looking for something with a little more zip? Instead of plain sour cream, serve your baked potatoes with fresh Spinach & Herb Dip, bursting with garden herbs and bright dill.
Or, if you prefer Southwestern-style seasoned topper, mix 1-2 tablespoons Simply Salsa™ Mix with 1 cup sour cream.
5. Offer some lighter options. To balance out some of those hearty toppings, include some fresh and healthy alternatives like:
– Diced tomatoes
– Low-fat cottage cheese
– Chopped avocado
Light sour cream or Greek yogurt can be a smart way to cut those calories, too.
6. Create perfect pairings. Think about different flavor combinations. When you’re arranging your potato bar, place complementary toppings next to each other.
For example, you may want to offer combos like:
– Steamed broccoli and cheese
– Chili and sliced jalapeños
– Salsa, black beans and sour cream
7. Go sweet and savory. Bake a handful of sweet potatoes to give your guests a sweeter option. While they pair beautifully with shredded chicken or pork, you can also offer a few dessert-style toppings, such as:
– Brown sugar or honey
– Chopped pecans
– Toasted coconut
And above all, relax and have fun! Feel free to customize your baked potato bar with everything from your team colors to your family’s favorite toppings.
Because no matter who wins the game, don’t worry – you’ll score plenty of points with your own home team!