Twice-Baked Potatoes  Recipe
Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are a crowd pleaser, and an easy side dish to adapt and modify.

You can use almost any ingredient you have on hand, be it a few leftover steamed vegetables or the odd leftover sausage link. Make the recipe vegetarian by cutting out the meat, or even vegan by cutting the cheese and using vegetable broth instead of sour cream.

This recipe for twice baked potatoes packs a lot of the things we love: creamy mashed potatoes, tender veggies and gooey cheese -- all served up in a crispy little potato boat.

Plus, it's just as easy to make a whole batch as it is to make one or two, so it's simple to have dinner set for the week!

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Makes 4-8 servings, depending on appetite

4 baking potatoes

2 sausage links, diced

1 onion, diced

1 red, green, or yellow pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, oregano, thyme, or other herb

8 ounces (1 cup) cheese, shredded or crumbled -- feta, goat cheese, cheddar or other

Optional additions or substitutions: 1 cup ground beef, 4 strips crumbled bacon, 1 cup shredded chicken, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, steamed broccoli, frozen peas, spinach, chili peppers, cooked beans, leftover chili

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

Prick the skin of the potatoes all over, tent them loosely in aluminum foil, and roast them until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, saute the sausage (or other meat) until all the pieces are golden and have released most of their fat. Transfer the sausage to a plate with a paper towel. Drain off all but a few teaspoons of the oil.

Saute the onions until translucent and just beginning to turn brown. Add the peppers (and any other vegetables) and cook until tender. Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic. Cook the garlic until fragrant and then mix it in with the rest of the vegetables. Remove the pan from heat.

When the potatoes are cool, slice them in half length-wise and use a spoon to scrape out the interior. Leave behind a quarter inch of potato and the skin. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl along with the sour cream or yogurt until the potatoes are creamy. Fold in the cooked sausage, vegetables, herbs, and most of the cheese.

Divide the filling evenly among the potato skins and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake any potatoes that you will eat immediately for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the filling is warmed through, the cheese is bubbly, and the top is slightly crispy. Any unbaked potatoes can be refrigerated and baked off during the week for quick meals.

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