Potatoes are delicious. I am pro-potato all the way and this recipe celebrates the potato by pairing it with the wonderfully oniony-sweet flavor of leeks. Honestly guys, these twice baked potatoes are as simplistic as they are decadent. Fluffy baked potatoes have their insides removed and mixed with sauteed leeks and re-stuffed into the potato skins before being ridged and broiled for a little extra touch of color, flavor and texture. Great as an appetizer or as a side for your main course, these little potato cups can even be “fancified” if you so choose.
Here’s why you should absolutely try these:
- You need just seven pantry-staple ingredients to make it.
- It is incredibly simple to make (especially if you use my shortcut method!).
- It is gluten-free, clean eating and vegetarian friendly.
- It is versatile in that you can enjoy the base recipe as is or add to it if you desire.
- It pairs well with most proteins and other vegetables.
- It is perfectly portioned (which if you love potatoes as much as I do is a very good thing for self-control reasons!)
So without any further ado, let me show you how to make these coveted self-portioned (how convenient!) potatoey pockets of heaven.
To make this recipe you’ll need the following:
- Leek: I’m using a whole large leek
- Potatoes: I highly recommend using a starchy or all purpose potato instead of a waxy one. Great options include Russets (pictured above), Idahos or Yukon Golds.
- Oil: Use a neutral oil that is clean label, I’m using an extra light olive oil.
- Salt: Pink himalayan, or a sea salt works best but you can feel free to use any type of salt you enjoy.
- Pepper: Simple cracked black pepper is best.
- Garlic: A fresh clove of garlic. I advise against using powdered garlic in this recipe.
- Butter: In many ways this is optional but I love a touch of butter melted over and mashed into my warm potatoes.
The first step is to bake our potatoes. To do this we’ll wash and scrub them, dry them off, and then prick them with a fork or lightly stab them with the tip of a knife all over. This is to create vents that will allow any internal steam to escape. Next we’ll lightly brush them in oil and top them with a sprinkle of salt.
Pop your potatoes onto a baking tray and place them into a preheated oven for about an hour until they are done. A simple test is to skewer it with a knife and see if the knife is able to pierce it with no resistance and the potato slides off the knife with gravity alone. The skins at this point in time should be nice and crispy as well.
Here’s a bit of a shortcut method you can take to reduce your cook time:
Now, let’s be real, waiting an hour for a potato to bake isn’t going to jive well with everyone’s schedules or patience. So to significantly reduce your cooking time wash and scrub your potatoes, prick them with a fork or lightly stab them all over with the tip of a knife, and place them onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave them until they’re cooked through. I usually microwave them for 3-minutes, then turn them over and microwave them another 2 to 3-minutes. Note that the time needed to cook your potatoes this way can vary based on the size of your potatoes and the wattage of your microwave. Once your potatoes are cooked through, place them onto a baking tray, brush them with oil, sprinkle salt over them and broil them in the oven for a few minutes to crisp the skins up!
While your potatoes are cooking, chop your leek up. I use the whole leek with the exception of a couple centimeters from the root. Once your leeks are chopped up, place them into a colander and rinse them thoroughly with water to flush any dirt that might be trapped in them.
Once your leeks are washed and drained, saute them in a skillet with some butter and a finely minced clove of garlic until they’re softened. Set them aside.
Now we have our main elements. Perfectly cooked through potatoes with a light and fluffy interior and crispy skin exterior, and a bowl of buttery, mildly sweet, oniony leeks.
Now we’ll need to halve our potatoes, I’ve found that pinching the potato between a pair of tongs makes it easier to hold and control plus the potato is really hot at this stage! With our potatoes halved, we’ll scoop out the insides, leaving just enough to maintain the structural integrity of the potato skin (this is important so try to avoid tearing or splitting the sides of your potato half).
With our skins scooped out, add the potato innards to the leeks along with a touch more butter (optional), and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mash your potatoes and mix everything together to fully incorporate the leeks and potatoes together.
Now you’ll want to evenly divide your mixture between the potato skins and set them back onto the baking tray. Using a fork, shape your potato mixture into a dome and drag the tines along the tops to create a ridged/scalloped surface like in the image above.
Place your potatoes back onto your baking tray and broil them for a few minutes, just until the ridges are browned. This creates incredible flavor and adds a bit of extra texture to your potatoes.
Honestly that’s it for the base recipe. However you can always add or incorporate whatever else you’d enjoy to take this recipe up to the next level! As an example of that….
Cheese! Top your potatoes with your favorite blend of cheeses and bake or broil them until the cheese is melted…it’s so good!
Seriously, just look at that melty, cheesy, potatoey goodness!
Pair your cheesy, leek stuffed potatoes with a perfectly seared skillet steak served on a bed of greens and topped with a compound herbed butter and served with a side of honey-glazed carrots. You can’t tell me that doesn’t look ridiculously indulgent and delicious!
Other pairings can include:
- Pan seared chicken
- Parmesan herb crusted chicken with a lemony sauce
- Caribbean-style stew chicken
- Oven roasted Cornish game hens on a bed of vegetables
- Shrimp with spinach and blistered tomatoes
- Blackened chipotle chicken
- Grilled beef hearts
- Chipotle fried shrimps
- The best ever green beans
What would you pair your twice baked potatoes and leeks with? Do you prefer it with or without the cheese? Do you like to add anything to your potato and leek mixture (maybe some bacon or even some sweet corn or diced bell peppers?). Let us know in the comments below!
Twice Baked Potatoes with Leeks
- Prep and cook your potatoes: You can do this one of two ways, oven or microwave and oven.Oven only method: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Wash, scrub and dry your potatoes, prick them all over using a fork and rub them with oil. Place them onto a baking tray and sprinkle them with salt. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes until the insides are soft (see notes) and the skin is crispy.Microwave and oven method: Wash and scrub your potatoes, prick them all over using a fork and place them onto a microwave safe place (ensure they're not touching each other) and microwave for 3 minutes before turning them over and microwaving for another 2-3 minutes until they are done.* (see note). Once cooked, remove them from the microwave, brush them with oil, sprinkle them with salt, and place them onto a baking tray. Set them under your oven's broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skins.
- Saute your leeks: Chop off 1-2cm off the end of the root end of your leek and discard it. Then, cut the rest of your leek (stem and leaves) into thin rings and strips (see image). Place your leeks into a colander and rinse them under running water to wash away any dirt. Add 1 tbsp of butter to a skillet, once melted add in your leeks and saute them until they have softened and most of the liquid in the skillet is gone. Set your leeks aside.
- Divide and hollow out your potatoes: Cut your potatoes into half lengthwise, and, using a spoon carefully scoop out the insides leaving just enough potato around the edges and bottom to maintain the structural integrity of your potato skins. Try to avoid tearing or ripping your skins. Add the scooped out interior to the pan/bowl containing your sauteed leeks.
- Make your filling: Mash together your leeks, potato innards and the remaining 1 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill and Bake: Evenly divide your potato and leek mixture between the potato skins and after filling each skin, pat your mixture into a dome. Drag the tines of a fork across the dome's top to create ridges and place each filled potato skin back onto the baking tray. Set your filled and ridged potato skins under your oven's broiler for a few minutes until the ridges turn a golden brown color. To make cheesy potatoes: Fill your potato skins with your potato and leek mixture and top with any freshly shredded cheese of your choice. Bake or broil your potatoes until the cheese has melted and begins to bubble.
- Serve and Enjoy.Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- The method you choose to cook your potatoes using will affect how long this recipe will take to make.
- The length of time needed to microwave your potatoes depends on the size of your potatoes, the wattage of your oven and even the closeness of your potatoes to each other on the plate. Test your potatoes after the first three minutes and keep an eye on them for each minute after turning.
- An easy way to test if your potato is cooked is to skewer it all the way through the middle with a sharp knife or even a bamboo skewer. If there is no resistance and the knife slides in easily and the potato slides off the knife unaided by anything but gravity, then your potato is done.
- Feel free to experiment with any add ins you enjoy from cheese to bacon to diced carrots!