How do you make potato skins from scratch? Making this delicious appetizer is easy with air frying! These air fryer potato skins are loaded with melty cheese, crisp bacon, creamy Greek yogurt, and scallions. You'll love serving this recipe on game day, at potluck meals, or anytime you want a crispy snack! Save room in the oven for other foods by making stuffed potato skins in the air fryer.
If you want the flavors of a loaded baked potato but with fewer carbs, these air fryer stuffed potato skins are for you! This recipe for loaded potato skins is so tasty as an appetizer or snack. I know you're going to love it.
This recipe for loaded potato skins in the air fryer is the ultimate comfort food. If you've ever made twice baked potato skins in the oven, the process here is very similar.
Air fry the potatoes, scoop them out, and air fry them again to get the skins super crispy-licious. Then fill your lovely potato boats with bacon and cheddar cheese and air fry a little more. Your potatoes have now become vessels to hold a sea of melting cheese flecked with crispy, salty bits of bacon.
But that's not all, no it isn't. Throw a little plain yogurt or sour cream on there for something cool and creamy. And don't forget the scallion slices for a pop of color and onion-y bite. YUM.
This post came about because I received a request for a potato skin recipe. In case you could not tell, I don't regret accepting the challenge! This was so much fun to make and to eat.
- What are the benefits of making air fryer potato skins?
- Air Fryer Potato Skins Ingredients
- How to Make Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Choosing and Cooking Bacon for Your Potato Skins
- Air Fryer Potato Skins Temperature
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- What are some other recipes for the air fryer?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Recipes Using Potatoes That You May Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
What are the benefits of making air fryer potato skins?
- (Obvious) Air fryer loaded potato skins are DELICIOUS. Ok, so everyone knows the main reason to eat cheesy loaded potato skins is that they taste awesome. I could indeed sit here and tell you about some of the nutrient-rich foods included in this recipe. Let's get honest here, though; this one's all about the yum factor.
- Rich in protein and calcium from the dairy group. To make potato skins, you have to scoop out most of the potato, decreasing the amount of veggies in your snack. All is not lost, though, since we're filling those potato cavities with cheese and yogurt. If you've been falling short on dairy group foods, here's a really delicious way to help boost your intake!
- Easy to customize for special diets. These potato skins are naturally gluten free, and I have some tips for making them vegetarian or vegan below. Even though potatoes are involved, the carbs are low enough here to fit some low carb diets as well.
- Stuffed baked potato skins tend to be a win with picky eaters. Picky eaters are notorious for turning their noses up at veggies. However, potatoes tend to be a food that is loved by even fussy eaters. When you throw cheese and bacon into the mix, they become irresistible!
Air Fryer Potato Skins Ingredients
You only need a few basic ingredients for air fryer potato skins. What are they? Let me give you the rundown:
- Russet potatoes (yes, you can use other types of potatoes, but russets have nice sturdy skins that work perfectly in this recipe)
- Olive oil (or avocado oil)
- Salt and black pepper
- Grated cheddar cheese (pepper jack or jalapeno cheddar would also be great here)
- Cooked bacon strips (no added sugar bacon is my personal preference)
- Plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt (sour cream or guacamole may also be used)
- Sliced green onions
In addition, you'll need a knife to cut the potatoes and scallions, a spoon to scoop the potatoes, and an air fryer. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. If you're using an air fryer with a basket, you may need to make slight adjustments to the recipe's cooking times.
How to Make Air Fryer Potato Skins
I think that part of the charm of this recipe is its simplicity. You're going to start with two potatoes. Scrub them well under cool water to remove any dirt, but do not peel them!
Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Brush the potato halves generously on all sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Put your potato halves on one air fryer rack (you should be able to fit them all on one rack). You're going to air fry them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the top rack position for 30 minutes. Flip them over halfway through cooking time.
When they come out of the air fryer, the cut edges should be crisp and golden. Oh yes.
Now take a spoon and carefully scrape the potato flesh from the skins. The potato skins should have a ¼-½ inch thickness.
(P.S. Save that cooked potato flesh for other recipes! I have some suggestions on how you might use it in the FAQs below.)
Place your potato boats scooped side up back on an air fryer rack. Air fry them for an additional 5 minutes at 400F in the top rack position. While they are air frying, you can cook the bacon, grate the cheese, and slice the scallions.
Choosing and Cooking Bacon for Your Potato Skins
There's actually a lot of misinformation out there about bacon, so let's set the record straight. I think it's a good thing to be an educated consumer, especially on topics as important as bacon. Haha
First, there really isn't a difference health-wise between "uncured" and cured bacon. (By the way, the linked article quotes the relative risk of the bacon-cancer link, not the absolute risk, which is a much smaller and less scary number.) True uncured bacon is fresh pork belly, a meat Americans tend to think of as a distinct product from bacon.
Next, the USDA provides helpful information on cooking bacon in a way that minimizes the formation of harmful nitrosamines. In short, burned or well-done bacon tends to have greater nitrosamine formation than less well-done bacon. Also, fried bacon tends to have higher nitrosamine formation than microwaved bacon.
One of the reasons I am a big fan of no sugar added bacon is that it burns far less easily. I used North Country Smoke House sugar free bacon for this recipe.
There are many other brands of no added sugar bacon available. I'd just use whatever brand of no sugar added bacon you can find locally.
I cooked the bacon in a skillet on the stovetop until crisp (not burnt) for this recipe. It only took a few minutes per side. When cooled, you should break the bacon into small crumbles.
Air Fryer Potato Skins Temperature
We've reached the home stretch in this air fryer potato skins recipe. Our potatoes have now been air fried at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes total. Fill each potato skin with an equal amount of shredded cheese and bacon.
To melt the cheese, pop the potato skins back in the air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 minutes. You'll want to use the top rack position of the air fryer once again.
To finish this amazing appetizer, top each potato skin with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of sliced scallions. Serve these beauties warm and savor every delicious bite. (Honestly, if you are feeding a family, leftovers are NEVER an issue with this recipe!)
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Plain baked potatoes have one of the highest scores on the Satiety Index. However, all bets are off when we replace most of the baked potato with luscious cheese and bacon. This dish is like those chip advertisements taunting that "no one can eat just one."
There are some ways to make this a lower calorie snack. Just eating less is rather unpleasant, but luckily there are a few ways to cut calories without cutting volume. For instance, use non-fat yogurt and light cheese rather than full fat versions.
You could also use turkey "bacon" rather than fattier pork bacon. (This substitution is at your own risk since many agree that turkey bacon isn't as tasty as the real deal. Just sayin')
I made the serving size for this recipe two potato skins. If I didn't have a family to share with, I could easily polish off this recipe by myself. If you live alone, cutting this recipe in half may be a smart strategy for you.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a high energy snack with a mix of protein, fat, and carbs, this might be perfect for you. Even though this appetizer feels quite decadent, it actually provides an assortment of the essential nutrients we need for good health.
What are some other recipes for the air fryer?
If you're a beginner to air frying, I think you're going to be amazed at everything you can make! Just about anything you want can be cooked in an air fryer! Here are some additional air fryer recipes so you can start exploring the possibilities:
- Air Fryer Popcorn
- Air Fryer Jerky | Vegan Oyster Mushroom Jerky
- Gulab Jamun Cheesecake with Air Fryer Gulab Jamun
- Air Fryer Frozen Pizza
- Air Fryer Radish – Loaded! (Low Carb, Keto)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are potato skins good for? Are potato skins healthy?
Potato skins make a terrific vehicle for stuffing with delicious fillings, but that is not all they are good for. The potatoes' skins also offer up some vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and non-heme iron.
Potato skins are a rich source of certain essential nutrients and potentially beneficial (but non-essential) phytonutrients. That sounds pretty healthy to me!
What can you do with potato skins inside?
Please don't throw away the potato that you've scooped out of your potato skins! There are so many things that you can do with that air fried potato with yummy crispy bits. For example, how about whipping it up with some milk and butter for mashed potatoes?
You can use your mashed potatoes as a side dish or to top a shepherd's pie. The potatoes can also be used to thicken casseroles, soups, or stews. Another idea is to use it to help bind meatloaf or fish cakes.
How can I make vegetarian potato skins?
For potato skins that are vegetarian, simply skip the bacon. For dairy free and vegan potato skins, try using guacamole as a filling instead of cheese and yogurt. You could also add fresh chopped tomatoes and some jalapeno for heat.
Can you air fry frozen potato skins?
Cooking frozen potato skins takes far less time than cooking potato skins from scratch. To make air fryer frozen potato skins (TGIF or your favorite brand), air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-6 minutes. Add an additional 1-2 minutes of cook time if they are not done to your liking.
Will baked potato skin hurt my dog?
It likely won't be problematic if a large dog eats a potato skin. However, potatoes and legumes should not make up a large portion of a dog's diet. Dogs consuming legume or potato-based dog food appear to be more likely to develop canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
More Recipes Using Potatoes That You May Enjoy
Are you looking for potato recipes? Potatoes are one of the least expensive vegetables around, and lucky for us, they are terrific in a variety of dishes! Here are some other healthy recipes with potatoes to try:
- Air Fryer Home Fries
- Grape Leaves with Rice and Meat
- Kielbasa Salad Meal Prep with Potatoes and Mustard Vinaigrette
- Gluten Free Toast Made with Sweet Potatoes
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Potato Skins Recipe
- 2 russet potatoes (about 8 ounces/227 grams per potato)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese (57 grams)
- 2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (choose one with no added sugar)
- ¼ cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt)
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Scrub your potatoes under cool water to remove dirt. Do not peel the potatoes.
- Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Brush the potato halves generously on all sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
- Put your potato halves on one air fryer rack. You're going to air fry them at 400°F (200°C) in the top rack position for 30 minutes. Flip them over halfway through cooking time.
- Using a spoon, carefully scrape the potato flesh from the skins. The potato skins should have a ¼-½ inch (0.64-1.27 cm) thickness.
- Place your potato boats scooped side up back on an air fryer rack. Air fry them for an additional 5 minutes at 400°F (200°C) in the top rack position.
- While the potato shells are air frying, you can cook the bacon, grate the cheese, and slice the scallions.
- Fill each potato skin with an equal amount of shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. Air fry them for 1-2 minutes at 350°F (175°C) (top rack position) to melt the cheese.
- Top each potato skin with a tablespoon of yogurt and a sprinkle of sliced scallions. Serve them warm and savor every delicious bite!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Plain baked potatoes have one of the highest scores on the Satiety Index. However, all bets are off when we replace most of the baked potato with luscious cheese and bacon. This dish is like those chip advertisements taunting that "no one can eat just one." There are some ways to make this a lower calorie snack. Just eating less is rather unpleasant, but luckily there are a few ways to cut calories without cutting volume. For instance, use non-fat yogurt and light cheese rather than full fat versions. You could also use turkey "bacon" rather than fattier pork bacon. (This substitution is at your own risk since many agree that turkey bacon isn't as tasty as the real deal. Just sayin') I made the serving size for this recipe two potato skins. If I didn't have a family to share with, I could easily polish off this recipe by myself. If you live alone, cutting this recipe in half may be a smart strategy for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for a high energy snack with a mix of protein, fat, and carbs, this might be perfect for you. Even though this appetizer feels quite decadent, it actually provides an assortment of the essential nutrients we need for good health. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.