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Mix and match baked potato toppings for the best easy dinner: a Loaded Baked Potato! It’s customizable to any diet and eater.

Loaded baked potato
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It can be hard to find a dinner idea that works for everyone, and here’s one we fall back on time and time again: the Loaded Baked Potato! Mix and match any variety of baked potato toppings and you’ve got a delicious dinner that works for almost any diet. We recently did this when we were feeding a crowd (my family in town for a visit) and everyone loved it! There are endless ideas for customizing the meal and it lets every eater get creative. Here’s how to make a loaded baked potato bar and some great topping ideas.

The type of potatoes to use

The best potatoes for a baked potato? Russet potatoes or sweet potatoes. Russet potatoes are the type you’ll generally find for a baked potato. They’re called starchy potatoes and come out with a fluffy texture when baked. Contrast that with waxy potatoes like Yukon gold, red potatoes, or fingerling potatoes: these are best for roasting and mashing.

Sweet potatoes are also a great choice! They have slightly more fiber and different vitamins, as well as a beautifully sweet flavor. Interestingly, they’re very similar in nutrition to the russet potato. (Read more about the nutritional differences at Sweet Potato vs White Potato.)

Baked potato
Use russet potatoes and place them right on the oven grates: no foil required!

Loaded baked potato cooking methods

There are several ways to make a baked potato! Cook the potato, then load it up with the toppings. Here are our top methods for baking a potato, with a few alternative ideas:

  • Classic: Make a classic whole baked potato! Rub the skin with olive oil and prick it with a fork. Place it right on the oven grates (no foil) and bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then flip and bake 25 minutes more until fork tender (keep baking up to 15 minutes more until tender, depending on the size).
  • Quick baked method: Make a quick baked potato! Cut the potatoes in half and rub with olive oil prick with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, until tender. Mash the tops lightly with a fork before serving.
  • Grilled: Go to grilled baked potato for instructions.
  • Sweet potato: Make a baked sweet potato instead! Go to stuffed sweet potato for stuffing ideas.
Baked potato toppings

Baked potato toppings

Got your baked potato cooked? Let’s load it up! Here’s where it gets fun and creative. There are two methods for making loaded baked potatoes: you can lay out all the toppings and let the eaters choose, or make up just the ingredients for one of the flavor combinations below. Here are some of our favorite baked potato toppings:

Options for every diet!

The best part about a loaded baked potato bar? There are options for many diets! A loaded baked potato is naturally gluten free. Depending on the toppings, it also works for vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian and omnivore diets.

Of the toppings above, we highly recommend the Vegan Queso as a cheesy vegan topping. The Walnut Taco Meat is also a stellar meat substitute.

Loaded baked potato

How to serve a loaded baked potato

Ready to eat? Here’s how to serve a loaded baked potato: make a baked potato bar!

  • Set out the toppings in bowls as a baked potato bar. It’s fun to lay them out in small bowls and allow the eaters to top the potatoes at the table (or at an island or table if you’re serving a crowd).
  • Accessorize with a green salad. Cut the starchiness with a fresh green salad, like this Arugula Salad, Simple Spring Mix Salad, Kale Salad, Tossed Salad, or Mexican Salad.

More healthy dinner ideas

Looking for more easy healthy dinner ideas? Here are some of our top choices:

This loaded baked potato toppings recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Baked potato toppings

Loaded Baked Potato & Toppings!

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
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Mix and match baked potato toppings for the best easy dinner: a Loaded Baked Potato! It’s customizable to any diet and eater.


  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups purchased pico de gallo
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned corn (or thawed frozen)
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream (or cashew cream)
  • Other topping ideas:


  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. (Alternatively, you can use our Quick Baked Potato or Baked Sweet Potato methods.)
  2. Bake the potatoes: Scrub the potatoes and pierce them all over with a fork. Rub each potato with olive oil. Place the potatoes directly on oven rack (with a tray on rack below to catch any dripping oil). Bake 20 minutes and flip with tongs. Bake additional 25 minutes and check for tenderness with a fork. The fork should easily pierce the potato to the center. If not tender, continue baking, up to 15 minutes more depending on size of the potato.
  3. Prep the toppings: Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans and mix them with the kosher salt. Drain or thaw the corn. Chop the cilantro. Or follow the notes above for other topping ideas!
  4. Serve: When the potatoes are done, open the tops with a fork and top with the pico de gallo, seasoned black beans, corn, guacamole, cheddar cheese, cilantro and sour cream. Or follow the notes above of your choosing. Enjoy!
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Anabelle Santiago says:

    I baked some potatoes cause me and my mom were very hungry so I made the fajita baked potato’s omg it was the! very nice for occasions or just for lunch! loved the idea.

  2. Thomas Tamburro says:

    Thank You. I’m inspired now to work toppings nearing those of a classic potato salad. What do you think? T.

  3. Janet says:

    We made the fajita veggie baked potato for dinner. What a fabulous easy idea. Subbed black beans for pinto as that’s what we had in the pantry. Looking forward to trying some of the other variations.