101 Baked Potato Bar Ideas

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15061201353_2eb671a869_zsource: Pedro Fernandes

Baked Potato Bars are a perfect way to feed people. They are relatively inexpensive, offer something for just about everyone’s taste, and are easy to throw together.

In addition, it’s easy to vary the number of folks you prepare for. I’ve made baked potato bars for my immediate family using just butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, imitation bacon bits, broccoli florets and chives. I’ve also made potato bars for company, but these have featured at least a dozen ingredients.

Another convenient feature for me is that you can feed both vegetarians and meat-eaters at the same meal. Just have a separate sections; one for  the vegetarians and one for the carnivores.

I’ve thrown together a quick guide to making your next baked potato bar perfect. Please email me if you have any further questions.


2509961072_b6b2936bf1_zsource: Ryan

Step 1: Choose the perfect potato.

Most people prefer a russet for baking. They are cheap and have a delicious tasting peel.

On a personal note, I actually prefer Yukon Gold potatoes, but alas,  I have been told by the experts that I’m wrong.

Irregardless of the type of potato you choose, check to make sure there are few discolorations and NO foul smell.

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Step 2: Preparation, preparation, preparation

To prepare the potatoes, start by giving them a good cleaning. There are brushes made for this purchase, but unless you are buying directly from the farm, I believe a strong stream or spray of water and your hands are good enough.

When clean, cut any discolorations from the potatoes. If the discolored bits are too large, don’t be afraid to throw the potato out or save it for another use.

4339682644_ef11644389_zsource: Jesse Menn

Step 3: To wrap, or not wrap… that is the question.

When making a single potato for myself, I usually pop it into the microwave for six minutes, turn it, and then do 3 or 4 minutes on the second side. This doesn’t work, however, when you’re preparing for a crowd.

When cooking potatoes for a crowd, you’ll need to use the oven.

According to the official Idaho Potato website, potatoes should be baked for one hour at 400 degrees.

In addition, and I found this strange, they suggest skipping the foil. I was always raised on foil wrapped potatoes, but according to the site, these potatoes will come out steamed instead of baked.

Finally, skip the salt and oil. Just place the potato directly on your oven rack in a single layer.

101 Baked Potato Bar Ideas

source: Mattias Handley

Perfect Baked Potatoes

If you are not serving any other dishes, prepare 1 large or two medium baked potatoes per person. If other foods are available, like salad or a main course, prepare a medium large potato for each guest.


Idaho Potatoes, washed and cleaned


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes directly on the racks of the oven, in a single layer. Cook for 50-60 minutes, depending on size.

4087787233_52e7599ee6_zsource: Nathanael Coyne

101 Potato Bar Ideas

• Meat & Fish Proteins •
taco meat
flaked tuna (water or oil)
smoked salmon
real beef crumbles, sauteed
chopped salami
chopped/shredded chicken
shredded beef
chopped grilled chicken
meat chili
chopped barbecue

• Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins •
canned chili beans
fried egg
vegan beef crumbles, sauteed
lentil soup
leftover vegan chili
imitation bacon bits
black beans

• Dairy Proteins •
grated Parmesan
crumbled blue cheese
shredded cheddar cheese
cottage cheese
feta cheese
shredded Monterey Jack
Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
goat cheese, crumbled
ricotta cheese
mozzarella (chunks/shredded)

• Garnishes •
chopped chives
chopped green olives
sour cream
chopped black olives
chopped onions
toasted bread crumbs
crumbled tortilla chips
chopped scallions

• Oils & Butters •
garlic butter
dill butter
paprika butter
butter or margarine
plain olive oil
garlic olive oil
truffle oil

• Sauces •
pizza sauce
marinara sauce
Alfredo sauce
pesto sauce
cream of celery soup
ranch dressing
mild salsa
blue cheese dressing
beef gravy
mushroom gravy
onion gravy
homemade guacamole
cheese sauce
creme fraiche
garlic dressing
nacho sauce
barbecue sauce
cream of mushroom soup
hot sauce
buffalo sauce

• Vegetables •
roasted red peppers
sauted mushrooms
cooked peas
chopped tomatoes
avocado chunks
steamed broccoli florets
steamed cauliflower florets
diced red pepper
artichoke hearts
chopped green pepper
cooked mixed vegetables
roasted garlic
steamed vegetables
chopped sun dried tomatoes
creamed corn
creamed spinach
sliced jalapenos
steamed green beans
steamed asparagus
grilled corn
grilled onions
caramelized onion
sauteed spinach
mixed grilled vegetables
stir fried vegetables
alfalfa sprouts
cooked mixed vegetables
chopped sun-dried tomatoes
chopped artichokes
grilled eggplant

• Herbs & Spices •
regular salt
seasoned salt
sea salt
black pepper
crushed red pepper
chopped fresh basil
fresh chopped rosemary
fresh fresh cilantro
fresh fresh oregano
chopped fresh parsley
fresh chopped dill
chopped fresh chives
chopped green onion

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