Mom's Famous Half-Shell Potatoes

"My mother's simple recipe for twice-baked potatoes. I've experimented using sour cream in the filling and cooked crumbled bacon, slivered green onions and even crab or baby shrimp for topping before baking -- but I still like her original recipe best."
photo by Brenda. photo by Brenda.
photo by Brenda.
photo by The Spice Guru photo by The Spice Guru
Ready In:
1hr 50mins




  • PREHEAT oven to 400°F with rack in the center position.
  • WASH the freshest smooth-skinned blemish-free russet potatoes; PIERCE each potato evenly 4 times using a fork; COAT each potato with vegetable oil; SPRINKLE each potato lightly with kosher salt; WRAP each potato with aluminum foil.
  • PLACE potatoes on center rack in oven; BAKE potatoes for 1 hour.
  • REMOVE potatoes from oven; ALLOW to cool just slightly; LOWER oven temperature to 350°F.
  • REMOVE foil from one potato at a time with one oven mitt; CUT potato lengthwise on a cutting board with a serrated knife across the flattest, widest surface; HOLD hot potato in oven mitt; SCOOP put out potato pulp carefully from each half into a large bowl, leaving enough skin and pulp in each shell to support filling; PLACE each shell cut-side up on a cookie sheet; REPEAT same process with remaining potatoes, working quickly and carefully while potatoes are still warm.
  • WHIP potato pulp well using a potato masher or fork; ADD 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons real mayonnaise, 1/3 cup whole milk, kosher salt and finely ground pepper to taste (more milk may be added for potatoes to remain stiff yet fluffy; ADJUST seasoning if needed; STIR in 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese; FOLD in chopped onion last, just until combined.
  • FILL each potato shell on the baking sheet evenly until all of the potato mixture is used; TOP each potato with sharp cheddar cheese, divided evenly between potatoes; SPRINKLE potatoes lightly with paprika (smoked paprika is good); potatoes may be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking.
  • BAKE potatoes on the center rack in oven, for 15 minutes.
  • COOL baked potatoes for 3-5 minutes.
  • SERVE and enjoy!

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  1. My DH says "Thumbs up"! In star ratings I would say this is a 5 LOL. I baked 2 extra potatoes so I could use the pulp to stuff these nice and full. Instead of plain salt I did use Lawry's seasoned salt and finished them off with smoked paprika. Easy?- Yes. Basic? Yes. Delicious? Tell Mom she may be getting a card from my DH on Mother's Day :) Seriously, just because a recipe is fast and easy doesn't mean it lacks, and we thought these were terrific. Thanks for sharing Mom's recipe. *Made for PAC Spring 2010*
  2. I loved these. I like twice baked potatoes with less additions. I mixed everything in the KitchenAd. Used the cheese for topping only. Vadalia onions were in season here (yummy). Made these in advance to be eaten during the week. Reheats wonderfully in the micro ! Thank you Brandess for posting & my thanks to your mother also.


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