Potato skins are a total throwback for me! 

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

I mean, who doesn’t love these little crispy, cheesy bites of love? If you’re going to make them, do it this week.

Let’s go ALL OUT.

scooped out russet potatoes

Before this, it had been ages since I’ve made potato skins. I have a sweet potato skins recipe here on the blog – it’s a million years old.

My grandma LOVED potato skins when I was growing up. If we ever went out to eat, she ordered them. I loved them a lot too, but then again my favorite food growing up was… potatoes. So in any form, I was in. 

It was probably a quintessential 90s or early 2000s app, right? 

potato skins with caramelized onions and cheese

These potato skins are a dream! Perfect for your New Year’s Eve night at home when you want to enjoy all the snacks with champagne.

The recipe takes a bit of time, but the potatoes already have to bake for an hour. So while that happens, I like to crisp up some bacon and caramelize an onion. Get it good and caramely and golden and sweet. Ideal to mix with savory cheese!

homemade ranch

After the potatoes are baked, sliced and scooped, the secret is throwing them in a hot oven so they get crunchy on the bottom. And the edges! This makes for the perfect boat – or, um, vehicle – for all of our toppings.

Smoked cheddar! The best, smokiest, savory cheddar cheese. Oh how I love this.

The caramelized onions! Sweet perfection that melts into the cheese and bacon seamlessly. 

Bacon for crunch. And just because… it’s bacon. Of course.

Green onions too – for crunch and a little bite. They add great flavor.

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins


Then after you think we’re done making these wildly flavorful potato boats, we’re going to drizzle them all with ranch.

Oh my word.

I am so hooked on this ranch. Remember earlier this year when I grilled sweet potatoes and drizzled the ranch all over those?

I’ve basically been waiting to make these since then. The ranch is INCREDIBLE. It’s so good for drizzling or dipping.

The ranch recipe will make extra and it stays great in the fridge. You will find yourself dipping all the things in it. 

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins

I realize these may not look like much but I can’t even explain how much the caramelized onions and smoked cheddar take these over the top. They make them 500% better. Like, I will never make them another way now!

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

Give me all the dip!

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

Smoked Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Potato Skins

Smoked Cheddar and Caramelized Onion Potato Skins

These potato skins are incredible! Topped with caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, bacon, scallions and homemade ranch.
5 from 12 votes
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  • 6 russet potatoes
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil for spraying/brushing
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

homemade ranch


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Poke a few holes in the potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake the potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are baking, heat the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until crispy and all the fat is rendered, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat - if there isn’t enough bacon grease left, you can add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Cook the onions, stirring often, until the become caramely and golden - about 30 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them and keep stirring! Lower the heat as needed so they don’t burn.
  • Once the potatoes are done, increase the heat in the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out most of the center, leaving a bit around the edges to stuff. You can discard this or save it to use in soup, salads, etc - whatever you want!
  • Brush or spray the insides of the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to 10 minutes - this really helps them get crispy and delicious!
  • Remove the potatoes and top with the smoked cheddar and caramelized onions. Place the sheet back in the oven for 5 minutes, just so the cheese melts.
  • Top with the scallions, bacon and a drizzle of homemade ranch. Enjoy!

homemade ranch

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed and combined. This will make more than you need. Store in the fridge in a sealed container and use for salads or dipping. This lasts for about a week!

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bite out of smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch