Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 4 oz cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese room temp
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or dairy-free cheese plus more for topping
- ¼ cup milk or dairy-free milk of choice we've used 1% and 2% , though any milk will work
- ¾ teaspoon salt plus extra for seasoning broccoli
- ½ teaspoon pepper plus extra for seasoning broccoli
- 1 cup small broccoli florets I tend to chop them into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chives for topping, more or less to taste
- 4 slices bacon optional for non-vegetarian version
Bake the potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the potatoes by rinsing and drying them, then using the prongs of a fork, pierce the potatoes in a few places - this will allow some of the steam to escape while baking and prevent the potato from splitting open or exploding in the oven.
- Optional, for a crispy outside, lightly oil the potatoes with olive oil or oil of choice.
- Then place on a baking sheet and bake 50 minutes, or until the potato is cooked -- it will be crisp on the outside, tender to the touch and starting to bubble through. Time may vary depending on potato size (up to 60 mins)
- Let stand until cool enough to handle.
Saute Broccoli and Make Bacon if using.
- While the potatoes cool, saute broccoli. In a medium saute pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil, then add broccoli and cover 1-2 minutes until broccoli bright green. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I just do a sprinkle or two of each) and cook a few more minutes. The objective is make the broccoli just tender, not overly cooked. Set aside. **
- ** OPTION: If using bacon, make bacon at this time too. You can make bacon any way you prefer, but if you cook it in a skillet, saute the broccoli in the bacon oil for extra flavor. Set aside. Break into small pieces before adding to potato mixture.
Make the filling
- Raise oven temperature to broil.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in halve lengthwise and scoop out the inside of the potato into a large mixing bowl. Place the skins on a baking sheet or in baking dish.
- Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl with potatoes. Beat with a hand mixer or stand up mixer until smooth.
- Stir in sauteed broccoli, and bacon if using.
- Spoon the potato mix into each potato skin. Top with additional cheese and broil for 5-7 minutes or until cheese melted and golden in spots. ***
- *** If you opt to prepare the potatoes ahead of serving and need to reheat, top the stuffed potatoes with cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes to warm, then raise temperature to broil and bake an additional 5 minutes to make the tops golden.
- Top with chives or additional bacon bits as desired, serve and enjoy!
- Fully baked stuffed potatoes store well in the refrigerator in a sealed container for several days and reheat well in the microwave or oven.
- You could bake the potatoes and stuff them with the cheddar broccoli potato mix, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with cheddar cheese and bake.
- You could make them entirely including baking with the cheddar cheese then just reheat in the microwave.