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Quick and easy takes on baked potatoes

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

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Baked potatoes are easy and versatile. Make them nearly any way you want them by adding your own delicious toppings. And if you want your baked potato to look as good as it tastes, keep reading for our tip for the perfect split.

Baked potato with sour cream and chives

Many chefs claim that a baked potato can only be enjoyed fresh out of the oven. The truth is, potatoes can be cooked up in the microwave as well. The choice is yours and depends on your preferences and schedule.

To bake a potato in the oven, place your oven racks at the two center-most spots in your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash your potato thoroughly, then poke it 8 to 10 times with a fork. Coat the potato with olive oil and coarse salt and place it directly on the top rack, with a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any mess. Bake for about an hour, until the potato looks crisp on the outside but feels soft inside.

To make your potato in the microwave, wash your spud and poke it with a fork 8 to 10 times, then microwave it on high for 4 minutes. Turn it over and microwave it for a few more minutes, then wrap it in foil until you're ready to eat.

Simple

For a no-frills baked potato, simply top it with butter and sour cream. This classic combo isn't fancy, but it's delicious. Add chives if you want to make a little more dressed-up.

Loaded

For a loaded baked potato, top your spud with butter and cheese and then place it under a broiler for just a few minutes, until the cheese starts to melt. Pull it out of the oven and add bacon, chives and sour cream.

Spicy

For a spicy twist on a baked potato, top it with your favorite salsa. This healthy combo is sure to please any crowd.

Veggies and cheese

Make a meal out of your baked potato by combining your dairy and veggies with your starch. Top your potato with steamed broccoli or any other veggie you love, followed by a heaping helping of melted cheese. Yum!

Beans

Talk about filling! Top your baked potato with baked beans or pork and beans for a meal that will last you most of the day. Top it with cheese for a special treat.

Coleslaw

Who says these delicious sides need to be served separately? Top your baked potato with your favorite coleslaw for a dish you won't soon forget!

Cream cheese

Top your baked potato with cream cheese and bacon, onions, ham or chives.

Meat

Skip the sandwich! Top your baked potato with chicken salad or tuna salad for a meal you'll definitely enjoy.

Chili

This is a super-delicious combo! Top your baked potato with chili, cheese and sour cream for a warm, gooey and comforting meal you'll love.

Tip

Want to know the secret to splitting open your baked potato? It's super easy and fast. After your potato is baked, simply prick it with a fork from end to end, making a line. Place your fingers on each end and squeeze – the potato should pop right open.

More potato recipes

Frugal potato meals
Meatless Monday: Put some pizzazz in your potatoes
Gourmet mashed potatoes

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