Air Fryer Potato Skins are a tasty appetizer and great for game day. These crispy air-fried potato skins with butter, bacon, cheese, and green onions are served with a homemade sour cream ranch sauce for dipping or topping.
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Why Air Fryer Potato Skins Are the Perfect Snack for Game Day
Watching sports at home is an excellent excuse for (over)indulging in your favorite snacks. And perhaps the ultimate game day snack is loaded potato skins.
Potato skins are hot, crispy, and much more satisfying than potato chips or pretzels. Make a double batch to ensure you won't run out before halftime.
Why This Recipe for Loaded Potato Skins in Your Air Fryer Will Please Everyone
Making loaded potato skins from start to finish in the air fryer is a time saver. Besides the convenience factor, the potato skins reach an almost french fry level of crispiness that is impossible to achieve in most regular ovens.
Stuff these crunchy skins with your favorite fillings for fun finger food that is easy to make and incredibly satisfying to eat.
Ingredients To Make Potato Skins in Air Fryer
For loaded potato skins air fryer style, you'll need:
- Russet potatoes
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Bacon, cooked
- Green onions
- Seasoned salt
To save time and avoid making a mess, you can use packaged bacon bits instead of cooking the bacon yourself. Seasoned salt is a blend of table salt, spices, herbs, and other seasonings. Use your favorite brand, or try Lawry's Seasoned Salt. For the dipping sauce, you'll need:
- Sour cream
- Dry ranch salad dressing mix
Reduced fat sour cream will work in the recipe.
How To Make Air Fryer Potato Skins
To cook loaded potatoes air fryer style:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Wash the potatoes well and give them a good scrub. You can use a clean kitchen towel to do this, but it's worth investing a few dollars for a proper potato brush.
- Put the potatoes in the air fryer until cooked. See the section below for more information on cooking times. While the potatoes are cooking, you'll have plenty of time to prepare the other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, stir the dry ranch salad dressing mix into the sour cream. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for later.
- Cook the bacon, allow it to cool, and chop it into small pieces.
- Thinly slice the green onions.
- Place the cooked potatoes onto a wire rack to cool for about five minutes.
- While the potatoes are still warm, slice them in half the long way and use a spoon or a scoop to remove the flesh. Leave at least a quarter-inch thickness around the sides. You can save the potato you scooped out to use in another recipe.
- Put the butter and seasoned salt in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds on high.
- Drizzle the seasoned butter on the inside of the potato skins.
- Fill the potato skins with cheese and bacon bits.
- Cook them in the air fryer until the cheese melts.
- Garnish the skins with green onions and serve.
How Long To Cook Potato Skins in the Air Fryer
The initial cooking time for the potatoes depends on your air fryer and the size of your potatoes. A rough estimate is between 30 and 45 minutes, but it is best to test the potatoes to ensure they are cooked by sticking a fork in them. A properly cooked potato will offer little resistance.
If you are a perfectionist, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check if the internal temp has reached at least 210°F.
After filling the potato skins, you want to air fry them just long enough for the cheese to melt, about two to three minutes.
Possible Recipe Substitutions
Loaded potato skins are all about versatility, and endless possible filling options exist. Here are just a few options for you to try, but you can come up with your own combination of ingredients:
- Skinny Vegan Potato Skins - Replace the cheddar cheese and bacon with plant-based options. If you want to include the sauce, you must use a dairy-free sour cream.
- Tex-Mex Loaded Potato Skins - Stuff the potato skins with leftover barbecued meat, top with queso fresco and a little of your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Taco Night Loaded Potato Skins - Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning. Drain the meat well. Stuff the skins with the ground beef and top with cheese. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings like guacamole and sour cream.
If preparing appetizers for a large group, consider making mini loaded potato skins using new potatoes.
Equipment You Will Need
To make the crispiest potato skins, you'll need an air fryer. If you don't already have an air fryer, you can find many models for under a hundred bucks.
If you really love loaded potato skins, you may want to pick up a potato scooper to make hollowing out the potato skins easier.
What Goes With Air Fryer Loaded Potato Skins
Just about anything goes well with potato skins. If you are not serving the skins as appetizers with the dipping sauce, potato skins make an ideal side for steak or BBQ chicken.
A loaded potato skin or two can turn a bowl of soup into a complete meal.
What's the Best Way to Reheat Potato Skins in the Air Fryer
If you are wondering how long to cook frozen potato skins in air fryer, the quick answer is about 7 to 8 minutes. But things can get a little more complicated depending on several factors, such as the size of the potatoes, the toppings you use, and your air fryer.
To avoid burning the toppings, check the skins after five minutes to see if they are hot enough for you.
To reheat frozen potato skins in an air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Place the potato skins in the air fryer, leaving plenty of space between them.
- Cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
Make Ahead Version of Air Fryer Potato Skins
Are you planning a party or just want to have a quick and delicious snack ready to go? You can freeze potato skins and reheat them later. Here are a few suggestions to get the best results:
- Fill the cooked potato skins with your choice of filling, but return the skins to the air fryer to finish heating.
- Keep the potato filling as dry as possible. Wet fillings won't freeze well.
- Pre-freeze the loaded skins on a baking tray until they are frozen solid. Then transfer the skins to a plastic bag and store them flat in the freezer for up to two months.
Air Fryer Potato Skins
- 4 russet potatoes each about 4 inches long
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons dry ranch salad dressing
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 or 3 strips cooked bacon
- 1 tablespoon sliced green onions
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Wash the potatoes well, and place them in the air fryer for about 45 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, combine the sour cream with two teaspoons of dry ranch salad dressing mix to make a dipping sauce. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
- When the potatoes have finished cooking, let them rest for 5 to 7 minutes before slicing them in half. Use a small scoop or spoon to scoop out the white flesh of the potato, be sure to leave about ¼ inch around all sides. (You can save the potato flesh to make potato pancakes or hash browns).
- Brush the melted butter onto the potatoes.
- Sprinkle seasoned salt onto the potatoes.
- Top with the cheese and bacon.
- Place the potato skins back into the air fryer until the cheese melts and gets bubbly.
- Remove from the air fryer and sprinkle with the green onions.
- Spoon the sour cream sauce over the potatoes or serve alongside for dipping.