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Smoked Salmon + Chive Potato Skins

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Gluten Free
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

You might think of these as an appetizer, but there’s no reason you can’t have them for a fun dinner. This elegant version uses smoked salmon instead of bacon which is easy and lighter. Be sure to save your scooped out potato for mashed potatoes or adding to soups later; see Culinary Skills for more.


  • 4 Russet Potatos (about 2 to 2 ½ pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • Black Pepper (freshly ground; to taste)
  • 12 cup Sour Cream (divided)
  • 1 bunch Fresh Chives (divided)
  • 6 ounces Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • 6 ounces Smoked Salmon
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds (or use white)
  • 4 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 3 Tablespoons Salad Dressing (vinaigrette style)

Cooking Instructions


    OVEN - Scrub the potato skins clean, poke a few times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Rub with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and generously season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Bake for about an hour, rotating a couple of times, or until they’re tender inside when poked with a thin knife.

    MICROWAVE - Pierce the potato a few times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork. Microwave on high in 2 minute intervals, until it’s tender. Then rub all over with 1 teaspoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, and transfer to the oven to crisp up the skins. Roast at 400 for about 10 minutes.

  • 3. SCOOP

    Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

    Let the potatoes cool enough to handle. Cut in ½ horizontally. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides, leaving about a ¼” of potato on the skin. Add about ½ of the potato insides to a bowl and set aside.

    Reserve the remaining scooped potatoes for another use (See Culinary Skills below).

    Brush another Tablespoon of olive oil all over the potato skins, outside and in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking rack in a heavy pan (don't use a cookie sheet, it will warp, use a roasting pan or broiler pan that can take the heat). Cook for 5 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

  • 4. FILL

    Mash the reserved potato insides with 2 Tablespoons of the sour cream and a pinch of salt. Chop the chives and add about 2/3 of them to the mash.

    Dollop evenly back into the shells; it looks pretty to make one big scoop off to one side.

    Add the cheese and bake again for 2 - 4 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven.

    Garnish with dollops of the remaining sour cream, swirls of smoked salmon, the remaining chives, and sesame seeds.

  • 5. SERVING

    Toss lettuce with salad dressing and serve on the side.

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    use your favorite DF yogurt or sour cream sub - cashew cream and cashew based nacho cheez are both great also
    we highly recommend sticking with russets because it’s all about that skin. Garnet yams do make an excellent orange version. And other potatoes, like yellow or yukon gold will taste delicious but the skin doesn’t get as crispy and they’re fragile to scoop
    green onions are wonderful too
    use sunflower seeds or pepitas, fried onions - anything crunchy is a nice add on
    make our 3 Bean Chili and serve it in a potato skin. So delicious!
  • PIZZA:
    pizza skins? Yes please, fill like you’re topping a pizza

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • You can slice them into smaller wedges. Omit chives if green flecks are a problem
  • Stuff their potatoes with whatever fillings they like - chopped veggies or different beans. Or serve deconstructed
  • It’s lots of fun for them to stuff their own too

For Toddlers

  • Use the extra filling, mashed with yogurt instead of lots of butter or sour cream and serve mashed potatoes. You could even roast some cauliflower alongside and mash that into the potato
  • Serve with some cheese, beans and fruit to round out the meat

For Choosy Eaters

  • Make quite plain skins, or just make regular diced and roasted potatoes for them and consider serving with an egg
  • Serve yogurt or cheese and fruit
  • Steam a green vegetable or serve cucumbers to round out the plate

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Do the first bake of the potatoes, you can either scoop them out now or wait until later

Culinary Skills

If you microwave the potato you do save time but ultimately you still need to use the oven.

Save the scooped out potato that you don’t put back in the skins. You can either make mashed or smashed potatoes (add butter or olive oil, or sour cream, herbs and maybe lemon.) Or freeze the potato. You can use it later in pureed or minestrone style soups – it will thicken it and create a velvety texture. Also, look up baking recipes for potato bread. My grandmother’s family dinner rolls have potatoes in them!

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