Your favorite potato side dish just got even easier, thanks to the Instant Pot! These Instant Pot Loaded Baked Potatoes are a festive and comforting dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights.
Easy Instant Pot Loaded Baked Potatoes
Can I be the first to say that loaded baked potatoes are everything? I mean, you’ve got the scrumptious baked potato itself, but then all of those mouthwatering toppings! 🤩 No wonder loaded baked potatoes have inspired all kinds of spinoff dishes, from chips to appetizers to Loaded Baked Potato Soup!
And, loaded baked potatoes are so customizable! Everyone can make their own, just the way they like it. That makes these yummy taters one of my favorite meals to serve guests, or just to make for the family! It’s the kind of dinner that we’re all glad to sit down and eat after a long day, but it’s also great if you’re watching football or having a birthday party. Versatile, huh?
Why Use the Instant Pot for Baked Potatoes?
My only issue with making loaded baked potatoes is that, well, it’s not fast. Potatoes can take more than an hour (depending on the potato) to get nice and fork-tender in the oven. That’s okay, but if it’s a busy night and I’m just getting home around 5:30-ish, it’s hard to get dinner on the table by 6, you know what I mean?
Enter the Instant Pot! Pressure cooking the potatoes is so darn easy, you might never go back! Just load them up (see what I did there?), press the button, and let your Instant Pot do the rest. Now this easy and fun dish is on the menu anytime!
What You’ll Need
Okay, let’s get started! When it comes to ingredients, you of course we need potatoes, but from there, you can add or omit whatever you like. I’ve got a few basics listed here, but the sky’s the limit!
For the Instant Pot Potatoes
- Baking Potatoes: This recipe is for six large potatoes.
- Water: For steaming and bringing the Instant Pot to pressure, you’ll need one cup of water.
- Olive Oil & Salt: Optional, for crisping the potato skins.
For the Toppings
- Bacon: In our house, this topping is non-negotiable. 🥓
- Red Bell Pepper & Broccoli: Chop and saute 1 cup of bell pepper and one cup of broccoli in the bacon grease (see recipe instructions).
- Cheese: Have ready 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. 🧀
- Green Onions: Thinly slice a couple of green onions.
- Sour Cream: About a cup of sour cream is perfect for six large potatoes.
- Butter: Optional.
What Kinds of Potatoes to Use
You should use regular baking potatoes for this dish; large russets are my favorite, but large golden potatoes work, too. Smaller white and red potatoes are more suitable for making dishes like potato salad, where the potatoes aren’t mashed or fluffed.
How to Bake a Potato in the Instant Pot
So, how exactly do you make baked potatoes in the Instant Pot? It might seem a little intimidating, but trust me, it’s actually easy! All you have to do is push a couple of buttons, and you’re cooking! Let’s walk through it.
- Prep Potatoes: Gently scrub the outside skin of the potatoes. With a fork, poke the potatoes about 6 times to allow the steam to escape when they’re cooking. Set aside.
- Prep Instant Pot: In the inner pot of your Instant Pot, place 1 cup of water at the bottom. Place the metal trivet in the pot, and arrange the potatoes on top of the trivet. You may overlap the potatoes if needed.
- Cook: Place the cover on the pot and lock. Switch the valve to sealed. Pressure cook on HIGH for 20 minutes for large potatoes, or 15 minutes for medium potatoes.
- Release Pressure: Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then “quick release” the pressure to finish.
- Prep Other Ingredients: While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon slices and set them aside on a plate. In the bacon grease, saute the broccoli florets and chopped red peppers until tender. Set aside.
- Crisp Potatoes (Optional): Remove the potatoes from the instant pot and allow them to cool slightly. For crispier skin, place the cooked potatoes on a baking sheet. Brush the skins lightly with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil in the oven on high for 5 minutes, or until the skin is slightly brown and crispy.
Adding Your Toppings
When it’s time to assemble your loaded baked potatoes, serve one potato to each person. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit across the top of the potatoes, and then gently push in from the sides (careful, they’re hot!) to open the slit a bit.
Load up the potatoes with your favorite toppings! Butter, bacon bits, cooked broccoli, red peppers, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onion can all be piled on top of your crispy potatoes, ready to dig in. Yum!
Tips for Success
This recipe is super simple, but I still have a few little tips to make it really good! Keep on reading for all things baked potato!
- Wash Those Spuds: There’s a reason for the expression “filthy as an unwashed potato!” Potatoes, as you probably know, are root veggies that literally grow underground, so they almost always have a light layer of dirt on them, even if you buy them at the supermarket. Always give your potatoes a good scrub before cooking them. A clean dishcloth, a veggie brush, or even a sturdy paper towel will do the job fine. And just use plenty of water – no need for soap.
- Savory Side: This recipe is also a simple and delicious side dish! No matter what you’re serving, a baked potato is an awesome accompaniment. You can keep the toppings as basic or fancy as you’d like!
- Bake Your Bacon: To make this easy recipe even simpler, try cooking the bacon in the oven! When the bacon is done, remove it carefully and tip the bacon grease into a skillet to cook your veggies. Easy!
So far, we’ve kind of discussed classic loaded baked spuds. But there’s a whole galaxy of ways to spin the dish! Here are a few cool ideas for inspiration:
- Mexican Night: Forget taco Tuesday, what about Potato… Tuesday? Okay, that doesn’t have the same ring to it. But taco meat, salsa, and cheese just belong with potatoes!
- Chicken, Bacon & Ranch: That’s it. That’s the dish. Need I say more?
- Breakfast Bake: Try sausage crumbles, pepper gravy and sauteed onions! It’s a diner-breakfast-potato you won’t be able to resist.
- Potato Cordon Bleu: Chopped ham, broccoli and shredded cheese top the potato, followed by a sprinkling of Panko. Place under the broiler for just a moment, until crispy.
- Barbeque Chicken: A light topping of pulled barbeque chicken, fresh corn, sour cream and chive makes this one a winner.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
Round out your meal with a few savory sides, perfect for adding color and texture to your easy Instant Pot meal!
- Salad: A lovely dish of Avocado Tomato Salad brings vibrant veggie color and freshness to the table, perfectly contrasting the richness of the potatoes.
- Chicken Chili: For a busy night, have some easy Chicken Chili ready to round out your meal. Your family will love how the warmth of the chili goes with the cozy potatoes.
- Baked Caesar Chicken: This dish has the perfect flavor and texture to go with your fluffy loaded baked potatoes, and it’s so easy! Baked Caesar Chicken is a scrumptious dish you’ll make again and again.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftover potatoes in plastic food storage bags or containers in the refrigerator. Make sure to get them into the fridge within an hour of cooking them, to limit spoilage.
- Refrigerate Instant Pot potatoes for up to 5 days.
- Reheat them in the oven at 350°F, until piping hot all the way through.
Instant Pot Loaded Baked Potatoes
For the Potatoes
- 6 russet baking potatoes
- 1 cup water
- extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, optional, for crisping skin
For the Toppings
- 6 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp and chopped
- 1 cup chopped red pepper, cooked
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets, cooked
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- 1 cup sour cream
- butter, optional
- Gently scrub the outside skin of the potatoes. With a fork, poke the potatoes about 6 times to allow steam to escape when cooking. Set aside.
- In the inner pot of your Instant Pot, place 1 cup of water at the bottom. Place the metal trivet in the pot and arrange the potatoes on top. You may overlap the potatoes.
- Place cover on pot and lock. Switch the valve to sealed. Pressure cook on HIGH for 20 minutes (large potatoes) or 15 minutes for medium potatoes. Natural release for 10 minutes and then “quick release” the pressure.
- While potatoes are cooking. Fry the bacon slices and set aside on a plate.
- In the bacon grease, saute the broccoli florets and chopped red peppers until tender. Set aside.
- Remove potatoes from the instant pot and allow to cool slightly.
- For crispier skin: Place cooked potatoes on a baking sheet pan. Brush skin lightly with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil on high for 5 minutes or until skin is slightly brown and crispy.
- With a knife, make a slit lengthwise and one across; slightly push on the end sides to open the potatoes.
- Top each potato with butter, bacon bits, cooked broccoli, red peppers, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onion. Enjoy!
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
I could never get tired of cooking with my Instant Pot. The dishes below are a big reason why! They’re so easy to make and satisfying to eat.