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Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes

Shit just got real, yo. Pinocchio style.

Also, I just realized I know how to spell Pinocchio. These are crazy times, my friends.

Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes - She Eats

For the first time in over a decade, I went home this past week. Not only was it the one year anniversary of my Dad’s death but it was time to pay the Grandparents a visit. And not just because I needed more slippers from my Grandma. Though I did manage to stuff 3 pair into my Mom’s purse before we left.

A lot of you know I grew up in small town Alberta. Strathmore, to be exact. When I lived there it had a whopping population of 5000 people. It’s nearly tripled in size since then but in many ways it was still the town I associate with my first Budweiser beer, bumper skiing in the high school parking lot, gettin down on the farm (not to mention in farm trucks) and cows.

After 6 years in the big city of Calgary, another 6 in the small coastal city of Victoria, 2 on the other side of the country in Toronto and another 1 back here on the coast again in Vancouver, I’d long forgotten about wheat fields, jack and coke, belt buckles bigger than your head, “chew”, Wrangler jeans and Stetson hats. 

Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes - She Eats

While my childhood home still stands on the same corner I kissed a boy on every day after school in grade 8 (terrified my Mom would look out the window and see us), the “More Than Ice Cream” store still makes the best ginger beef this side of the Rocky Mountains and the whole place still smells like any one of the 4 feedlots, stockyards or livestock processing plants that surround the town, a lot has changed.

That house I grew up in is no longer in the pristine condition my Dad prided himself on, the restaurants we used to dine at as a family have either bottomed out or been turned into less-than-stellar Chinese food joints, and the once vibrant downtown is a ghost town.

The old adage is true: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Despite these changes though, I still caught myself reluctantly meandering through surreal memories of moments and days and years gone by. While the landscape of the town has changed, the essence is still there. Like I said, wheat fields, jack and coke, belt buckles bigger than your head, “chew”, Wrangler jeans and Stetson hats.

Alberta Field - She Eats  Alberta Highway - She Eats Rocky Mountains - She Eats
Going home reminded me of where I hail from. Where I’ve been. And let me tell ya – I’ve been around. Ow ow!

Seriously though, I realized that for all the movement and growth I’ve done over the years – inside, outside, ass-side – some things are still the same within:

  1. I will always and forever listen to country music. And I’ll probably make you listen to it too if you spend enough time with me. Deal with it.
  2. I firmly believe chewing tobacco is disgusting. So is smoking tobacco. Just stop it.
  3. I love my Grandparents. So much. And my Grandma’s knitted slippers. I’m officially now the proud owner of no less than 12 pair.
  4. I love cows. Both to hug and to eat. Though I’m conscious now of how the animal and agricultural workers are treated prior to the meat arriving on my G Ceramic & Co Stoneware plate.
  5. I think small town manners – saying please, thank you and holding doors open for the person behind you – should be a requirement if you want don’t want to get punched in the teeth.
  6. I’ve never punched anyone in the teeth.
  7. I think small town gossip is for small minds.
  8. I know there’s healing in big open spaces. Literally and figuratively.
  9. I’m a fair weather kinda gal – anything below freezing (with the exception of a raspberry margarita) and I want to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and fuzzy jammie-jams and not come out until the frost melts.
  10. The romantic, the passionate, the emotional, the silly, the spontaneous… Even though I get super busy running my design business and writing my cookbook and trying to be a relatively not-to-crazy human, they’re all a part of me. And always will be.

Lesson learned: We grow. We change. Hopefully we become better people, kinder people and happier people. But our essence stays the same. Essentially, deep down I’m still a meat and potatoes kinda gal.

Hence today’s recipe: Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes.

Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes - She Eats
These are incredibly easy to make, mashed full of deliciousness (like cheese and bacon, hence the title), and while they’re not going to trim your waistline any time soon, they’re gonna taste god damn delicious. Serve em up with a grass fed flank steak slathered in chimichurri sauce, and some sweet roasted carrots with spiced greek yogurt and you have yourself a very simple, very yummy and very satisfying Albertan Kristy friendly meal.

Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes




Yield 4 potatoes


  • 6 russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 Lb thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/4" pieces.
  • 1 C grated cheddar cheese + 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 C chopped green onion or chives
  • 1/3 - 1/2 C milk
  • 1/3 C sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp butter + more for serving
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F and pull out a baking sheet.
  2. Stab each potato a few times with a fork. This will allow the steam to escape so you don't end up with a potato explosion in your oven. Drizzle enough oil over the potatoes to coat. Massage it all over them, ensuring the entire surface is lubed up. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the prepared potatoes on the baking sheet and bake in the hot oven for 60 - 70 minutes or until cooked through. A fork should slide easily into the center of a potato.
  3. When cooked through, remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool just enough so you can handle them.
  4. As the potatoes bake, set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon. Cook through until crispy, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Set aside.
  5. When you can handle the potatoes, slice them lengthwise so you end up with 8 halves. Gently scoop out the cooked potato into a large bowl, careful not to tear the skins. Set the skins back on the baking sheet. Ideally you'll want to end up with 4 - 6 halves still intact.
  6. In the potato bowl, add the cooked bacon, 1 C grated cheese, green onion, 1/3 C milk, sour cream, 3 Tbsp butter and a good helping of salt and pepper.
  7. Mash those babies up good and smooth using a fork, potato masher or a hand mixer, careful not to over mash or you'll end up with a heavy gloopy mess. Taste it half way through; If you need the remaining milk to add moisture or more seasoning, add it now.
  8. Once well mixed, spoon the lot into the reserved potato skins, heap 'em up nice and full. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika and remaining cheese.
  9. Place back in the oven to heat through and melt the cheese, about 20 - 30 minutes. Serve with extra salt, pepper and butter.
  10. Eat.


If any skins break, no worries! We cooked extra potatoes so you get lots of filling. Any torn skins can just be munched on or tossed in a skillet with some bacon for breakfast.


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  • Tara
    November 8, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    These look very similar to the ones my mom makes every year on Christmas…along with prime rib, green bean casserole with cream cheese and caramelized onions(!!) and the Yorkshire pudding that sets off our smoke detector (every year). No, it’s not figure friendly but it’s certainly one of my favorite meals.

    PS- so excited for your cocktail cookbook! I stalk your Instagram all the time for hints of recipes to come. I hope you include a tequila recipe or 5.

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 10, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      Tara that makes me so happy! I think all our Moms make stuffed potatoes. Not always at Christmas (really?? do you get mashed too?? or just stuffed? and by “just” I mean “awesome”) but they definitely make the rounds.

      PS. I’d kill for some yorkshires right now.

      PPS. hahahaha YAY! Thank you so much 🙂 There will be many tequila recipes. Just for you.
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked PotatoesMy Profile

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    November 8, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    So much yumminess! I wish I had one {or two} of these right now! Pinning and sharing.

  • Becky
    November 9, 2015 at 5:24 AM

    There is much healing in those wide open spaces. And I think I need to start knitting some slippers. Think you could get a pattern or tutorial out of your grandmother to pass along?
    Becky recently published…A new vest.My Profile

  • Karly
    November 9, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    I could go for one or two of these for breakfast right now! So much cheesy goodness!
    Karly recently published…The Thanksgiving BurgerMy Profile

  • Coley | ColeyCooks.com
    November 9, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Daaaayum. These are what dreams are made of. Perfect with a big fat steak. Love the addition of smoked paprika too, adds such a nice smokey touch. I love your photos by the way and curious what lighting you use?
    Coley | ColeyCooks.com recently published…Rosemary Maple Roasted Pecans (Video!)My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 10, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      HAHA daaaaayum indeed Coley!

      Aw thanks 🙂 These photos were taken with just diffused natural lighting from my glass sliding door in my tiny condo apartment. But I just invested in a couple artificial lights because it’s so gd dark in Vancouver right now with all the rain. Wish me luck. Oy.
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked PotatoesMy Profile

  • Jacqueline Gum
    November 9, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Ah the nostalgia! I felt the same way visiting my grandfather’s farm this summer. My father was raised there, is buried there, and I spent so much time there as a child. Odd, he raised beef cattle so I have a fondness for cows too:) Both ways – to hug and to eat:) These potatoes sound wow, so I’m going to make them. Not only because they made my mouth water, but it looks easy:)
    Jacqueline Gum recently published…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 10, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      It’s true. They ARE easy. A bit time consuming because of the baking but the actual work/eat ratio is totally legit. Plus you know, bacon. Cheese. Potato. haha..

      PS. We should start a cow hugging club. It’d be awesome.
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked PotatoesMy Profile

  • 100+ Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes - Recipes to Nourish
    November 13, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    […] Super-Stuffed, Cheesy, Bacony Twice Baked Potatoes from She Eats  […]

  • La Cuisine d'Helene
    November 13, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    This would hit the spot in my home, especially with bacon. I like your pics a lot!
    La Cuisine d’Helene recently published…What’s Cooking? – NachosMy Profile

  • Taylor @ The Girls on Bloor
    November 13, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Wow these look sooooo good. I was actually thinking of making chili cheese fries for dinner but may change my mind with how I use my potatoes. I’m inspired!
    Taylor @ The Girls on Bloor recently published…Grilled Cheese with Arugula and BaconMy Profile

  • Julia (@Imagelicious)
    November 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    I love this post! So personal and nostalgic. I agree with you, people change, but they really don’t, it’s weird to explain. I’m glad you got to go home. I, being form another country, will never be able to visit my childhood home.
    Julia (@Imagelicious) recently published…Ricotta and Pumpkin WafflesMy Profile

  • Laureen Fox
    November 13, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    i love twice baked potatoes. Especially when loaded with cheese and bacon!
    Laureen Fox recently published…40 Gluten Free Recipes for ThanksgivingMy Profile

  • Ginni
    November 13, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    Love love love baked potatoes and your version looks absolutely amazing. I love the pictures too – very tempting. Definitely going to be trying them this weekend. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
    Ginni recently published…Toasted Samosa SandwichesMy Profile

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    November 13, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Now we are talking…who doesn’t love stuffed spuds!! Sounds like you had a trip down memory lane….funny how things change over time!!
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy recently published…Gluten Free Muffin SouffléMy Profile

  • Shareba @ In Search Of Yummy-ness
    December 20, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    I think I just figured out what I’m making for dinner tonight… 😀
    Shareba @ In Search Of Yummy-ness recently published…Sparkling Cranberry PunchMy Profile

  • Kristen @ The Endless Meal
    January 24, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Shit did just get real. Those potatoes? OMG. Need!

    And I’m still laughing about the bumper skiing. I remember that kind of redneck fun from when I was a teenager. Almost makes me wish it were snowing here. 🙂
    Kristen @ The Endless Meal recently published…Healthy Pumpkin Alfredo with Wilted Garlic KaleMy Profile