Perfect Baked Potato Recipe

Everyone’s favorite classic baked potato! With crispy, seasoned skin, a tender inside, and all the best toppings – baked potatoes are a reliable dinner choice, and great for feeding a crowd!

Potatoes are a family favorite, and when we are looking for an easy side or even dinner idea, baked potatoes are the GO-TO! This recipe has the potatoes baked in the oven but we also have a slow cooker baked potato recipe that is simple too!

How to Bake a Potato - close up pic of baked potato

best baked potato recipe

Who doesn’t LOVE a baked potato? It’s one of our favorite side dishes and a recipe we often make for our main meal too!

When it’s cooked to tender perfection, and loaded up with all kinds of yummy toppings, there’s nothing better. I’m pretty sure bacon bits and sour cream were made just for the sake of loaded baked potatoes (match made in heaven, am I right??). It’s one of my go-to meals to feed my family or a crowd, because it’s so easy to cook, and it has a taste you can rely on.

In fact, potato “bars” are one of the best ways to feed baked potatoes to a crowd. Bake a bunch of steamy potatoes, season them, and lay them out with everyone’s favorite toppings! Each person takes a turn going down the line and topping their potato with all the fix-ins. Easiest dinner ever, and almost no work for you!

This recipe is NO-FAIL!! And it’s the best because the potatoes always come out perfect.

Baked Potato in the Oven - brushed in olive oil and salt

How to Bake a Potato

Get your potatoes ready by washing them thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water.

After drying them, use a fork to poke 8-12 deep holes all over the surface of the potato. This helps the moisture escape during cooking. Place your potato in a bowl and lightly coat with oil, and salt (For even more flavor on the skins, you can use the same steps found in our Parmesan Potato Skins). Put your potato in the oven directly on the rack in the middle.

Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees. The skin should be crisp but the flesh should feel soft. Let the potato cool a bit until you can handle it.

Create a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the potato open by squeezing the ends towards each other. Watch out for the steam when it pops right open! Add all the toppings you want and enjoy!!

Is it better to cook potatoes in foil? Wrapping potatoes in foil will give you a soft skin, but we prefer covering it in oil and salt to make it nice and crispy. Putting a potato straight in the oven without anything covering the skin will make it dry and papery.

What kind of potatoes are best for baked potatoes?

You should definitely know your potato before cooking baked potatoes. The best potatoes are ones that are all purpose – good for mashing, baking, and roasting.

For baked potatoes, use Russet, Yukon Gold, blue, or purple potatoes. Make sure to season the outside of your potatoes before baking them! I always use olive oil, pepper, and kosher salt.

Baked potato pierced with fork

Best Toppings for Baked Potatoes

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to loaded baked potatoes! I have too many favorite toppings to count! Here are some of the best toppings to try:

All the different toppings and variations are why baked potatoes are so popular. They are so easy to customize and change up, making them a great go-to dinner recipe.

How to Store/Reheat Baked Potatoes?

We like to place any leftover baked potatoes in an air-tight container or re-wrap in foil and store in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can reheat them in the microwave or by throwing them back in the oven until heated through.

Best Baked Potato on plate

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! It’s a classic and perfect if you want to feed a ton of people. Just put together a baked potato bar with all the toppings and even with some meat. Everyone loves it!

For more potato recipes, check out:

Baked Potato Recipe

5 from 6 votes
With crispy, seasoned skin, a tender inside, and all the best toppings - baked potatoes are a reliable dinner choice, and great for feeding a crowd!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 potatoes
Calories 230 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash potatoes with a stiff brush and cold water, then pat dry. Use a fork to poke 8–12 deep holes all over the surface of each potato to let the moisture escape during cooking.
  • In a large bowl, coat potatoes lightly coat with oil and salt. Then place potatoes in the oven directly on the middle rack (or on a foil-lined baking sheet).
  • Bake for 1 hour, until the skin is crisp and the flesh feels soft.
  • Let potatoes cool a bit until you can handle them. Create a dotted line from end to end of each potato with your fork, then crack potatoes open by squeezing the ends toward each other. Serve with any desired toppings (see Recipe Tip).



Topping Ideas: The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to loaded baked potatoes! Here are some of the best toppings to try: pulled pork, leftover chili, chopped bacon, salsa, chives, chopped broccoli, cheddar cheese, gorgonzola cheese, blue cheese, scallions and chives.


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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We have to have some kind of potato with a lot of our meals & these are great, because my kids can add what they want. They are perfectly tender!

  2. 5 stars
    Baked potatoes are perfect for large or small families. We make them quite often and everyone loves them.

  3. 5 stars
    I usually just use the potato button on my Microwave, but this recipe was perfect to follow to get a more flavorful skin and a better bake. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    MY husband loves baked potatoes! I like making them simple or hearty. Plus, they can be made so fast. What a great meal.