Cheesy, crispy, and dripping with sauce, these BBQ Chicken Potato Skins are the ultimate football party food! Make then ahead of time and bake when ready!
With football season in full swing, I’m always on the lookout for the best appetizers to share at our weekly watch party. Potato skins are just what every good football party needs – gooey cheese, crunchy potatoes, and fresh onions make this recipe a fan-favorite! You also have to try these Loaded Mexican Potato Skins – they’re another twist on this great classic appetizer.
BBQ CHICKEN POTATO SKINS
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I have loved all things potato since I was a little kid. Ask my mom – she swears that french fries were my main food group until I reached the age of 5. Then I “branched out” to roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato chips…. you get the idea. Potatoes are hearty and delicious, they are one of the best things this earth has to offer!
From my love of potatoes grew my love of potato skins. Whether you top them with sour cream, bacon bits, or as this recipe calls for – your favorite BBQ sauce, they’re a great hand-held snack for any occasion. I often order potato skins when restaurants have them on the menu, they’re my guilty pleasure.
However, most restaurants typically deep fry their potato skins which, while making them OH SO yummy, also makes them very greasy. That’s the thing I love the most about making potato skins at home – they’re baked, not fried! They have all the crispiness that a restaurant potato skin has, but without the guilt and greasy fingers.
- Russet potatoes
- Vegetable oil
- Barbecue sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Cooked chicken (diced)
- Purple onion
I’ve found (through trial and error…but really there is no error when potatoes are involved!) that russet potatoes hold up the best when making homemade potato skins. They’re a great size for appetizer-sized bites, their skin crisps up nicely, and they hold up well when loaded with toppings – we all know I’m stuffing these things to the brim with yummy BBQ chicken!
Another variation I’ve tried too is using a sweet potato. They came out amazing! While the flavor changed a bit from a typical white potato, they were still crispy and delicious. It was a great way to get my kids to be a bit more adventurous in their eating!
How to Make Potato Skins
The recipe calls for using diced, cooked chicken. I’ve tried a few different types of cooked chicken for this recipe, each one as yummy as the last. Sometimes if I’ve got chicken breast lying around, I’ll throw it in the slow-cooker overnight and shred it the next morning.
If you’re in more of a time crunch, you can just bake some chicken quickly in the oven. If you’re REALLY in a time crunch, you can use a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store! Just skin it and pull the chicken off the bone!
- Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.
Next, poke small holes using a fork into the skin of the potatoes – this helps to keep pressure from building up inside the potato and making the skin pop open. Leaving your potatoes nearly impossible to use for skins!
Place the potatoes directly onto the oven rack in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour.
Pull out your potatoes and allow them to cool. Yes, it’s hard to wait, but they’ll be much easier to handle and less likely to fall apart if you allow them time to cool.
Next, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the inside of the potato, leaving 1/4 inch attached to the potato skin. Reserve the insides for another recipe (like my Mom’s Mashed Potatoes!)
Brush the inside and outside of the potato with vegetable oil and season with salt. Place face down on a broiling pan or baking sheet with a rack on it – it’s important to keep the potatoes a little bit raised up from the direct heat of the pan. This helps them to crisp, but not burn.
Return to the oven (still set for 400 degrees F) and bake the potato skins for 5 minutes. Flip and bake another 5 minutes.
Now it’s the fun part – filling the potato skins! Remove your crispy skins from the oven and spoon 1 teaspoon of BBQ sauce into the potato skins. Make sure you spread it evenly inside so each bite has some tangy BBQ sauce!
Next, sprinkle a (generous) layer of cheese on top of the sauce. Top the cheese with your cooked chicken and sprinkle some onion on top of that.
Pop them back in the oven and cook for about 10 min (or until the cheese is melted!).
Remove from the oven and put on the finishing touches – drizzle with BBQ sauce and top it all off with some chopped cilantro. I even add a little dollop of sour cream sometimes.
Are Potato Skins Good for You?
While no, I wouldn’t say that this recipe would be considered “health food,” potato skins definitely do have some great nutritional value! Actually, the skin of the potato is where more than half the fiber of the whole potato lies. We all know how fiber helps to keep us…”regular” if you will 🙂
Another great benefit to eating potato skins is that they are full of Vitamin C. That’s right, oranges aren’t the only way you can get that great immune-saving vitamin! These are only two of the great health benefits of eating potato skins, the list goes on and on!
Can you make potato skins ahead of time?
Absolutely! One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s great for making ahead of time. Simply follow all the steps up until #9. Get the skins all crisped up, fill them with your toppings, then cover them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
That’s why these BBQ chicken potato skins are such great football party food – you won’t miss a single play stuck in the kitchen! You can throw the prepped skins in the oven on a commercial break and they’ll be done before the other team takes possession of the ball!
Can you freeze BBQ chicken potato skins?
Another, YES! If you’ve got leftover potato skins (that never happens in our house, but to each his own..), just pop them on a pan and put the pan in the freezer for an hour or so to “flash freeze” them. After they’re slightly frozen, remove them and place them in a freezer-safe bag.
The reason you want to flash freeze the potato skins is so that they don’t stick together in the freezer bags. I would recommend using your frozen potato skins within a month of freezing.
Need more football fan food? Check out these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Meatball Marinara Potato Skins
- Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
- Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
- Spicy Chicken Tortilla Roll Ups
- Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips
- More APPETIZER recipes…
Tools used to make BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
Basting brush: a basting brush is one thing I never knew I actually needed. Once I got one, I never looked back! I use it for SO many recipes!
Broiling pan: this is a staple that every kitchen should have!
*This post originally posted on 10/23/2013.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Poke small holes into the skin of the potatoes using a fork.
- Place potatoes directly onto the oven rack in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour. remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Cut potatoes in half and scoop out most of the inside of the potato, leaving 1/4 inch attached to the potato skin. (You can reserve the insides of the potatoes for another recipe.)
- Brush the inside and outside of the potato with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt. Place face down on a broiling pan or baking sheet with a rack on it.
- Put potato skins back into the 400-degree oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then, flip and bake another 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and spoon 1 teaspoon of BBQ sauce into the potato skins spreading evenly inside.
- Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top of the sauce, then chopped chicken, and red onion on top of that.
- Place potato skins back in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with BBQ sauce and some cilantro. Serve and enjoy hot!