There’s a way to make fully loaded twice-baked potatoes that are tasty and satisfying without adding a lot of cheese or bacon (these are vegetarian). The potato is scooped from these Russets, mixed with herbs & veggies, then mashed up with just enough cheese and creme fraiche (sub sour cream or labneh) to add flavor and tang. These are veg-forward potatoes that make a nourishing meal.


plate of two halves of veggie loaded twice baked potatoes.

Potatoes are typically served as a side dish, and the lightness of these veggie-loaded twice-baked potatoes makes them well-suited, so I’ve labeled the recipe to serve 4 as such. However, plated with two halves, they make a hearty and delicious lunch or light dinner. I wanted to bring specific veggies and herbs to these stuffed potatoes and only wanted the dairy to add flavor, not dominate. Based on the amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (see nutritional info in the recipe card below), they are a nutritious choice, regardless!

close up of veggie loaded twice baked potatoes.

Above: the humble potato can be elevated like this to become a delicious and healthy meal or side dish. Garnished with a spoonful of creme fraiche, sour cream, labneh or yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and grated citrus rind (even a squirt of lemon!) and these potatoes are dinner party worthy!

Why this recipe works

The key to this recipe’s success is the ratio of vegetables to potatoes, which leans in favor of vegetables, and the fact that dairy is an accent, not a dominant part of the dish. This creates a stuffed potato that tastes like a serving of vegetables, not a gooey cheesy indulgence, and yet, it’s really satisfying!

Ingredient Notes

  • Ramps- also known as wild leeks, are part of the allium family and look like other green onions or scallions but have a more garlicky flavor. Ramps are foraged for in springtime and can be hard to find, depending on your location. Our local food coops carry them, but you can substitute scallions (green onions) or a small leek if needed.
  • Fresh herbs- I’ve chosen parsley, dill, and basil to chop and mix into the potatoes. If you prefer other herb flavors, feel free to adjust.
  • Summer squash & zucchini- unlike the herbs and ramps, these are sauteed before mixing into the potato to eliminate water and develop their wonderful flavor.
  • Creme fraiche- this thick cultured cream has a wonderful tang and richness without being too much. Sour cream, labneh (richer than Greek yogurt, but similar, and Cocojune even makes a coconut/vegan version- not an affiliate link) or whole milk yogurt all work as well.
  • Cheddar/Parmesan- barely noticeable in the amounts used, but add flavor. I always recommend freshly grated to avoid the caking agents used in store bought pre-grated cheeses.

Step-by-step instructions

First you must bake the potatoes on their own (baking ahead can save time).You can certainly microwave them, but I will say that I find the texture of microwaved potatoes to be gummier, whereas oven-baked potato flesh has a drier, flakier texture.

While the potatoes bake, you can chop the fresh herbs and ramps, chop the summer squash and zucchini, saute in a tablespoon of oil for 10 minutes, and set aside.

While the squash sautees, you can grate the cheeses (cheddar and parmesan).

Once the potatoes are cooked and cooled, cut them in half and use a spoon to scoop the potato flesh from each half. See photo below for reference. I suggest leaving as little potato behind as possible, but take care not to break apart the potato skins.

In a bowl, mix the fresh and sauteed veggies/herbs with the potato flesh and thoroughly mash together so the potato breaks down into small bits. Then add in the creme fraiche and cheddar cheese, reserving the parmesan for the top of the stuffed potatoes.

Finally, fill each potato half with the potato/veggie/cheese mixture. Press the mixture into the skins well, and mound the tops as much as you can for full and overflowing stuffed potatoes. Place in any vessel to bake, and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top before baking for about 30 minutes.

In my experience, I always have enough filling left to fill another half of a potato, so I keep it and serve it another time, with an egg for breakfast, or heated as a side dish the next day. I don’t see any way around this unless you can mound it all into the shells for very overstuffed potatoes (which is an option). This is due to the amount of vegetables used in the recipe.

close up of plated and garnished veggie loaded twice baked potatoes.

Tips for making this recipe

  • If you like things to be crispy, I recommend turning the heat to broil for the last 5 minutes of baking so the tops and parmesan can get a bit charred and crispy.
  • For the reasons mentioned above, I recommend baking the potatoes over microwaving them. Also, if you bake them on a Sunday, you can store them in the fridge until the day you want to stuff them. At that point, the recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes before baking the stuffed potatoes.
  • If you like things a bit “extra” or just want this dish to be extra delicious, I recommend whisking together my Creme Fraiche Dressing (stay tuned 5/8th) and drizzling it over the top of the potatoes before serving!
  • Double the recipe if needed and use these potatoes as a great meal prep for the week.
twice baked potato topped with an egg.

Above: Top the veggie loaded twice baked potato with an easy over egg for a delicious high-protein meal.

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plate of two halves of veggie loaded twice baked potatoes.

Veggie Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes (Light & Herby)

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Bake potatoes first time (or microwave 5 minutes): 45 minutes
Servings4 side dish
Calories262
The flesh of Russet potatoes is scooped, mixed with fresh and sautéed herbs & veggies, then mashed up with just enough cheese and creme fraiche (sub sour cream or labneh) to add flavor and tang. These are veg-forward potatoes that make a nourishing meal.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 medium to large Russet Potatoes (baked and cooled)
  • 1 summer squash (medium)
  • 1 zucchini (medium)
  • 6 ramps(wild garlic) (sub scallions(4-6))
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (to cook squash)
  • 2 oz mild cheddar (grated or chopped)
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche (sub sour cream/labneh)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:  

  • Wash potatoes, and bake for 45 min at 350, until fork can poke to center without resistance. Cool.
  • While potatoes are baking, chop fresh herbs and ramps pretty fine and put aside.
  • While potatoes are baking, chop squash into small pieces, and saute for 10 minutes in olive oil, until water has evaporated, and squash has softened and is developing color. Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Cut cooled potatoes in half lengthwise, and use spoon to scoop out majority of potato, leaving skin in tack for fillling (see photo). Put potato flesh in bowl.
  • Add fresh herbs, ramps and cooked squash to bowl with potato and use fork to mash and mix thoroughly.
  • Add garlic powder, creme fraiche and cheddar and mix thoroughly. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Scoop filling and add to the 4 potato. halves. Fill well, and mound up, using as much as you can. (You will likely have 1/2 cup or so left over to use another way, depending on the size of the potatoes and your filling skills :).
  • Place in casserole dish or on small sheet pan, sprinkle the grated parmesan on top and bake for about 30 minutes, until you can see browning, with melted cheese and potatoes are clearly well heated.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 54mg | Net Carbohydrates: 25g
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