Baked Potato Bar
with broccoli / bacon / beans / cheese / olives / tomatoes
Baked potatoes make for a fun dinner and take under an hour to make! While the potatoes are cooking, prep your toppings bar so everyone can customize their fluffy potatoes to their liking.
Smarts: We’ve included options to "bake" the potatoes in the slow cooker, microwave, and oven so you can use whichever method you prefer.
- Potatoes, medium russet - 4
- Foil - for cooking (if cooking in oven or slow cooker)
- Cheese, cheddar - 4 oz, grated
- Onions, medium and red - 1/2, diced
- Broccoli - 8 oz, chopped
- Chives - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Tomatoes, Roma - 4, diced
- Olives, black and sliced (2.25 oz / 63 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Beans, pinto (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Bacon - 8 strips
- Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
- Cumin - 1/2 tsp
- Sour cream - 1/2 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
- Salsa - 1/4 cup
- Butter (opt) - for serving
- Potatoes - Wash and scrub potatoes. Pierce several times with a fork. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- If cooking potatoes in the slow cooker: Rub potatoes on all sides with some oil and season on the outside with some salt. Wrap each potato individually in foil. Place the potatoes in the bowl of a slow cooker, cover and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 4 to 5 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cheese / Onions / Broccoli - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Broccoli (if not roasted ahead for Tuesday night) - Place broccoli into a microwave-safe container, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave until tender, ~2 minutes. If using frozen, defrost in the microwave. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Chives / Tomatoes - Prep as directed. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Olives - Drain and rinse.
- Beans - Drain and rinse.
- If cooking potatoes in the oven: Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Rub potatoes on all sides with some oil and season on the outside with some salt. Wrap each potato individually in foil. Bake in the oven until very tender, 45 to 60 minutes.
- If cooking potatoes in the microwave (video): Place in a baking dish and pour 2 Tbsp / 30 mL of water in the dish. Cover with a damp paper towel and cook in microwave until tender, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once in the middle.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry on both sides until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes total.
- Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain off all but 1 Tbsp / 15 mL (for 4 servings; adjust if customizing) of bacon grease. Return pan to heat.
- Add beans to heated pan. Saute beans until warmed through. Add chili powder and cumin and saute for 1 minute more. Season with a pinch of salt if needed.
- Crumble bacon.
- Set out toppings - bacon, cheese, onions, broccoli, chives, tomatoes, olives, beans, sour cream, and salsa.
- Slice potatoes in half and add butter to each half if you’d like. Have everyone top their potatoes and enjoy!
Enjoyed this, especially making the potatoes in the crock pot! But I'm a simple toppings kind of person, so I'd prefer this to stay as a side to a roast or something similar and stick with only a few toppings. Fun to try.0 Helpful
Baked potato bar is my favorite!0 Helpful
This was a huge hit! My kids loved it! The beans were super flavorful. I used some extra bacon grease to broil the small chopped broccoli in it to make them crispy like kale chips. I did the potatoes in the instant pot with 1 cup of water, on the trivet and 15 minutes on high with a natural release of about 20 minutes. They were medium sized. I know this will be requested again for sure! The next time I may try sweet potatoes!0 Helpful
Didn't get all the toppings prepped, but had some leftovers from earlier in the week and just used those in addition to the toppings I did prepare. So good! Even put some leftover mac and cheese on.0 Helpful
I need to remember to start this early in the slow cooker, had to clean the oven (will use sheet pan under potatoes next time to catch drips). Family loved this, seems not super healthy to me so made a mix of russet and sweet potatoes.0 Helpful
This is a fun idea, and I like the results, but it takes so much time to prep all the ingredients!0 Helpful