Turn a baked potato into a meal with these Cheesy Loaded Baked Potatoes topped with Chicken, Bacon, and the most amazing cheddar cheese sauce!
Do you ever just want a baked potato for dinner?
In the 13+ years I’ve been blogging my eats on the internet, stuffed spuds have been in regular rotation in every which way and form. There’s no real reason other than that they make a ridiculously tasty lunch or dinner and so flipping easy to customize with whatever the fridge may hold.
They’re also insanely easy to make!
Of course, you can 100% save on time and make a speedier version of this recipe by microwaving your potatoes and they’ll still be fantastic. But if you like a restaurant-style baked potato with crispy seasoned skin, baking is the way to go.
For the base of today’s creation, I baked russet potatoes until the skin is crispy and golden and the insides were tender and fluffy. You can even do this with sweet potatoes too if you’d like. Both make the perfect vessel for a mountain of tasty toppings!
Loaded Baked Potato Toppings
In the recipe card below I’ll teach you how to make this cheesy chicken and bacon version of a loaded baked potato, but feel free to make it your own by choosing your favorite toppings to add to the mix! I’ll list some tasty options below. Choose your favorites and make a monster spud that’s equal parts fun and filling!
My Cheesy Vegetarian Loaded Baked Potatoes with Spinach and Mushrooms are a must-try!
How to Make Perfect Baked Potatoes
Since baking typically takes 45-60 minutes (and microwaving only takes around 6-9 minutes) I tend to choose whatever option I have time for. I can easily justify the longer bake time by planning ahead and catching up on cleaning/laundry while the potatoes cook.
First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash and scrub desired amount of potatoes and poke each in a few different spots with a fork.
Brush all over with olive oil (or melted butter) and sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt.
Bake on a sheet pan for 45-60 minutes (this varies based on spud size typically) until the interior is fork-tender and isn’t solid when pressed or gently squeezed.
Allow them a few minutes to cool on the pan then slice lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork.
Pile on the toppings and enjoy!
Cheesy Loaded Baked Potatoes with Chicken and Bacon
In the recipe card below I’ve outlined everything you’ll need to make 3 medium-sized stuffed spuds.
Let the recipe be your guide and feel free to make as many or as few as you need! It’s crazy customizable and you can easily add and subtract ingredients to suit your tastes.
I made and photographed these bad boys for lunch and the leftover baked potatoes were easily saved for later to serve with dinner. Woot! Also, because these can be made with any toppings you choose, they’re a great way to clear your fridge of leftovers. Just stick ’em in a spud!
Using jumbo baking potatoes? Simply add more of your favorite toppings/extras and get ready to faceplant!
Cheesy Loaded Baked Potatoes with Chicken and Bacon
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- olive oil for drizzling
- kosher salt or sea salt for sprinkling
- black pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups shredded/chopped rotisserie chicken
- shredded/grated cheese (to taste) or try it with the cheese sauce below!
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 3 TBSP cooked and chopped bacon (approx 2-3 slices)
- 3 TBSP sour cream for topping
- 2-3 TBSP sliced green onion or scallions or chives
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- 2 TBSP all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper plus extra for a kick!
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder plus extra to taste
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 5.5 ounces freshly grated medium cheddar cheese (not bagged)
First Bake the Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Wash and scrub potatoes and poke each in a few different spots with a fork. Brush all over with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt.
- Bake on a sheet pan for 45-60 minutes (cook time varies based on spud size) until the interior is fork-tender and gives a little when pressed or gently squeezed.
Prep the Toppings
- While the potatoes bake, chop chicken, tomatoes, and green onion. Cook bacon until crispy and chop into tiny pieces.
- Now let's get cheesy! You can use shredded/grated cheese to save on time but if you have a few minutes, the homemade cheese sauce is AMAZING with these loaded potatoes!
DIY Cheese Sauce
- Make your cheese sauce when there are about 5 minutes left on your oven timer for the potatoes. To make the sauce, first prep and measure out all your ingredients. It's much easier when they're all ready to go as this sauce comes together fast!
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted add flour and whisk non-stop with a metal whisk as the mixture bubbles and darkens slightly in color.
- Next slowly add the milk while whisking.
- Add spices (I heavy hand my cayenne – yum!) and continue to cook over medium until the sauce begins to thicken and simmer.
- Reduce heat to lowest setting and slowly add cheese one handful at at time, whisking fully between each handful. Do this for each portion of cheese until your sauce is perfectly smooth and melty.
Stuff Those Spuds!
- Once the potatoes are ready, allow them a few minutes to cool on the pan then slice lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork. Season to taste with black pepper.
- Next add your toppings and dig in while they're hot! Enjoy!
More Tasty Topping Combinations to Try
Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes – top baked potatoes with steamed broccoli and melty cheddar.
Mediterranean Baked Potatoes – top with olives, feta, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.
Buffalo Chicken Potatoes – combine shredded chicken with tangy buffalo sauce and crumbled blue cheese.
Taco Baked Potatoes – add seasoned taco meat, salsa, shredded lettuce, and a dollop of sour cream for a Tex-Mex style spud.
Jason’s Deli Copycat Stuffed Potato – stuff each spud with grilled chicken, avocado slices, diced tomatoes, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese topped with a drizzle of chipotle sauce.
Steakhouse-Inspired Baked Potatoes – take inspiration from Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s Steakhouse and fill your baked potatoes with tender and juicy slices of steak, sautéed mushrooms, and a dollop of creamy horseradish sauce.
Soups and Salads to Pair with Stuffed Potatoes
If you get a chance to try this cheesy loaded baked potato recipe, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your stuffed spud creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!