Loaded Potato Skins
These crispy loaded potato skins are overflowing with black beans, vegan sour cream, cheese, and veggies, making them a delicious appetizer that doubles as a dinner! Not only is this version much healthier than the original, it’s also completely plant-based.
Ah, potato skins. They’re a bar food classic—a go-to guilty pleasure, especially when you’re splitting an order with a bunch of friends.
Unfortunately, they’re not exactly healthy, and they’re definitely not vegan with all that cheese, sour cream, and bacon on top. And if you ask for all the non-vegan toppings to be left off, you end up with a plate of potato skins and green onions—womp womp.
So I set out to reinvent loaded potato skins, making them vegan-friendly and healthy too. First, we swap all the dairy ingredients with vegan versions—easy! I add black beans for protein and veggies for nutrition and flavor, and the potato skins are air fried or baked instead of fried for the perfect crispy exterior. These are similar to my Loaded Sweet Potato Skins, but made with regular potatoes instead of sweet!
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Loaded Potato Skins Recipe
Here’s what makes this recipe for loaded potato skins a winner:
- Vegan. The loaded potato skins on the menu at your favorite bar might be off-limits, but this vegan-friendly version can be enjoyed by all.
- Flavourful. No need to sacrifice flavour for health with these potato skins! They’re overflowing with tasty toppings, so you can still enjoy that classic pub snack without the guilt.
- Versatile. Because these loaded potato skins are packed with veggies and black beans, they’re not just an appetizer or even a side dish—you can make them into a full meal!
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Russet potatoes – Because you’re going to be eating the skin, be sure to scrub the potatoes well.
- Oil – Any cooking oil you have on hand.
- Bell peppers – Whatever color you prefer.
- Diced tomatoes
- Black beans – Either canned or cooked dry black beans.
- Vegan sour cream or Greek yogurt – Here’s how to make your own vegan yogurt.
- Vegan mozzarella shreds
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Jalapeño pepper – Use more or less, according to your heat preferences.
- Lime – A squeeze of lime juice brightens up the flavour!
Is the Potato Skin the Healthiest Part of the Potato?
The potato skin is definitely the most fibre-rich part of the potato, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the healthiest part. The insides of the potatoes contain most of the nutrients. This recipe for loaded potato skins doesn’t discard the insides like so many other recipes do, which means you get the nutritional benefits of the skin and the fluffy insides!
How to Make Healthy Loaded Potato Skins
Loaded potato skins are great for starting in advance. You can bake the potatoes ahead of time and finish the rest of the recipe just before you’re ready to eat.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 375ºF (if you’re using an oven instead of an air fryer). Prick the potatoes with a fork, then rub them with salt and oil.
Bake the potatoes. In the oven, bake the potatoes for an hour; in an air fryer, bake them for 30 minutes at 400ºF. Cut the potatoes in half and let them cool slightly.
Cook the vegetables. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Cook the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes until they’re slightly softened, about 8 minutes.
Scoop the potatoes. Use a spoon to scoop the insides out of the potato halves, leaving about 1/4-inch of flesh inside the skins. Add the insides of the potatoes to a large bowl.
Finish the filling mixture. To the bowl with the potato insides, add the cooked vegetables, along with the black beans, sour cream, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, and jalapeño. Stir everything together.
Crisp the potato skins. Rub the bottoms of the potato skins with the remaining oil and place them bottom up in the air fryer basket or on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or air fry at 400ºF for 7 minutes.
Fill the skins. Divide the filling mixture into the potato skins, then top each with cheese.
Bake. Return the potato skins to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top melts. (You can also use the air fryer at 375ºF, but the oven is better for melting the cheese.)
Finish. Top with vegan bacon, chives, extra sour cream or yogurt, and lime juice.
Tips for Success
These hints and tips will help you make perfect loaded potato skins.
- Use starchy potatoes. Russet potatoes are perfect for potato skins because the interior is fluffy and the exterior gets extra crispy when it’s rubbed with oil and baked.
- Thoroughly oil the exteriors. This is key to getting them crispy in the oven! Make sure every bit of potato skin is well-coated with the oil.
- Use a cheese that melts well. Most vegan shreds are formulated to melt smoothly, as opposed to blocks of cheese, which are sometimes developed for slicing and snacking.
- Pack the filling in. Your potato skins will be overflowing with filling, and that’s okay! You can use the back of a spoon to press it into the potato skin shells.
My version of loaded potato skins has a Tex-Mex twist, but you can customize them however you like! Here are some ideas for other flavor combinations:
- Classic – Omit the black beans and veggies and go with a simple vegan cheddar and sour cream filling. Once they’re done baking, top them with coconut bacon or tempeh bacon, extra sour cream, and sliced green onions or chives.
- Greek – Use vegan feta cheese, oregano, and Greek yogurt in the filling, but skip the black beans and jalapeño. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- BBQ – Mix vegan chicken or chickpeas with barbecue sauce into the filling, top with crispy onions, and serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate leftover loaded potato skins in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, bake them in the oven at 375ºF until heated through. Alternatively, you can also pop them back in your air fryer for about 5 minutes. The microwave works too, but the exterior won’t be as crispy.
Can I Freeze this Recipe?
Yes, you can freeze these healthy loaded potato skins. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
More Vegan Potato Recipes
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
- Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Enjoy friends! If you make this loaded potato skins recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Healthy Loaded Potato Skins
- 6 russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon oil + 1 teaspoon for brushing potato skins
- 2 tablespoons chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup bell peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream or vegan Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds + ½ cup or more for topping
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ jalapeño, finely chopped
- ½ lime for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F or use an air fryer basket.
- Prick potatoes with a fork, oil and salt and bake for 1 hour in the oven, or until fork tender. If using air fryer like I did, bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
- Slice potatoes in half and allow to cool slightly.
- While cooling, in a pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and cook down onions, garlic, bell peppers and tomatoes until slightly tender, about 8 minutes.
- Scoop out the flesh out of the potatoes, leaving a thin but sturdy enough layer of potato inside. Add the filling to a bowl with the onions, garlic, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, black beans, sour cream, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and jalapeño. Stir together and set aside.
- Rub the bottoms of the potato skins with the rest of the oil, place bottom up, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until crispy OR in air fryer at 400F for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with the potato mixture.
- Top evenly with the cheese and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes in the oven at 375F until cheese is melted. If using air fryer, I recommend using the oven for this step to ensure your vegan cheese actually melts, but you can do 370F in the air fryer for 10 minutes either way.
- Remove from oven and top with coconut bacon or other veggie bacon option and chives. Serve with vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt and the lime half to squeeze over. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.