A baked potato bar is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t know what to serve for dinner. Its flexibility is also great for families with picky eaters or food allergies.
Here’s a simple dinner idea for when you don’t know what to make: baked potato bar night!
Choose Russet potatoes, organic if possible. You will need 1 Russet potato per person on average–you may need extra for athletes and/or growing tweens and teens!
Prep potatoes. Wash and scrub potatoes with a brush (so you can eat the skin!). Dry and then pierce all over with a fork.
Bake potatoes in the oven. Rub the potatoes with a little avocado or olive oil, sprinkle Kosher salt, and place on the oven racks with a sheet pan below for any drippings. Bake for about 60 minutes at 350 degrees F or until soft when pierced.
Short on time? Omit the oil and salt. Cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then turn over and cook another 5 minutes or until soft.
Prep the sides! While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the sides. Scour your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry for a variety of colorful toppings such as broccoli, red cabbage, beans, lentils, mushrooms, leftover chicken, pork tenderloin, or steak, smoked salmon, bacon, veggie chili, bolognese sauce, baby greens, and, of course, traditional toppings such as butter, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
Set the table & dinner is ready. We generally put all the toppings on the dinner table, but you could also leave it set up on the kitchen counter for a true potato bar. Cut an x into each potato and use hands to push open just before serving. Top away!
Picky eaters rejoice. Just like taco night, this meal is perfect for families with varying preferences. Let everyone top their own potato (or put the toppings on the side if they prefer!).
Do you ever have a baked potato bar night in your house? What are the preferred toppings? Share your creations on Instagram and be sure to tag @halsanutrition.
Baked Potato Bar
- 1 Russet potato per person
- 1 teaspoon avocado, grapeseed or olive oil per potato
- 1 dash Kosher salt per potato
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wash and scrub the potatoes. Dry and then pierce all over with a fork to let steam escape when baking.
- Rub potatoes with a little oil and then sprinkle with a touch of salt. Place on oven racks with a sheet pan below for any dripping.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until soft when pierced.
- While the potato is baking, prep the sides. See list of side suggestions.
- When ready to eat, cut a cross in the potato, push open, and top with desired toppings.
- Butter, vegan butter, or sour cream.
- Shredded cheese, feta cheese, or cottage cheese.
- Steamed broccoli.
- Beans or lentils.
- Leftover grilled/roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or steak.
- Sliced or crumbled bacon.
- Smoked salmon.
- Turkey bolognese.
- Veggie chili.
- Mixed greens, microgreens, arugula, or baby spinach.
- Sliced red cabbage.
- Sauteed mushrooms.
- Anything else you can think of!
Like this recipe? You may also like these Smoked Salmon Stuffed Hasselback Potatoes.