Perfect Baked Potato

A perfect baked potato has crispy skin and fluffy insides. My method for how to bake a potato works every time, so load up your spuds, and dig in!

Baked Potato

A perfect baked potato is hard to beat. The outside is brown and crisp, coated in a crust of sea salt. Pierce the skin, and your fork gives way to a soft, fluffy interior. It might be hard to resist eating the whole thing straight out of the oven, but if you take the time to top it with a pat of butter or a dollop of (cashew) sour cream, you won’t be able to deny that it was worth the wait.

Reading this, you might be surprised to learn that until recently, I wasn’t a baked potato fan. I thought they were bland on their own. Whenever I had them at restaurants or at home as a kid, the toppings were always the main attraction. The potatoes themselves would be shriveled and soft, meager vessels for sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon.

But this salt-crusted baked potato recipe changed everything for me. In it, the potato becomes the main event. Don’t get me wrong, a little butter or sour cream goes a long way here, but the potatoes come out of the oven with perfectly crispy, flavorful skins and creamy, piping hot interiors that taste delicious as they are. Serve them as a hearty side dish, or load them up and call them dinner. You’ll love them either way!

Baked potato recipe

How to Bake a Potato

I like to use russet potatoes here, as their skin really puffs up and becomes crisp in the oven. Along with the potatoes, you’ll just need olive oil and salt to make this baked potato recipe. Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, follow these easy steps:

First, preheat the oven to 425, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

How to bake a potato

While the oven preheats, prep the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes well and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Then, poke the potatoes with a fork a few times to create small holes across their surfaces.

Next, season the potatoes. Place them on the baking sheet and rub them all over with olive oil. Sprinkle them liberally with sea or kosher salt, and transfer them to the hot oven to bake.

How to bake a potato

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the skins are crisp and puffy and you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Use oven mitts to remove the hot baking sheet from the oven.

Finally, dig in! Allow the potatoes cool for a few minutes before slicing them open, fluffing up their insides, and topping them with your favorite fixings. I like cashew sour cream, tempeh bacon, chives, and salt and pepper!

Oven baked potato recipe

Baked Potato Recipe Tips

  • Skip the foil! The key to making a good baked potato is getting really crispy skin. If you wrap the potatoes in foil, the potato skins will shrivel and soften in the oven. For the best results, leave the potatoes unwrapped.
  • Don’t skimp on the salt. Are you someone who likes to eat potato skins? If you make this baked potato recipe, you will be! Coating the spuds in salt makes the skins extra-crispy and flavorful. Plus, with a bit of the salty skin in each bite, you won’t need to worry about seasoning the potato flesh as you eat.
  • Know that the cooking time will vary. In the recipe below, I say to bake your potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes. This is a wide range, but I list it for a reason. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes. Be ready to take them out of the oven when they’re fork-tender and their skin is crisp. The baking time will be longer for larger potatoes and shorter for small ones.

Bacon bits on a baking sheet

Oven Baked Potato Serving Suggestions

You can’t go wrong by serving this oven baked potato recipe with a pat of butter, salt, and pepper, but a few well-chosen toppings can really take it to the next level. I love mine with cashew sour cream, tempeh bacon, and chives, but regular sour cream, “cheese sauce,” Greek yogurt, or cheddar cheese would also be delicious.

Enjoy this baked potato recipe as a meal on its own, or pair it with your favorite protein. It would also be yummy with a hearty salad like my Caesar salad, broccoli salad, or kale salad, or with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.

Loaded baked potato

More Favorite Potato Recipes

If you loved learning how to bake a potato, try one of these favorite potato recipes next!

Perfect Baked Potato

rate this recipe:
5 from 143 votes
Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves 4
Bake a potato perfectly every time! With the olive oil & sea salt coating, it'll come out of the oven with crispy skin and fluffy insides that are delicious with your favorite toppings.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a fork to poke a few holes into the potatoes. Place on the baking sheet, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with sea salt all over. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until the potato is fork-tender and the skin is crisp.
  • Slice open each potato, fluff the insides, and serve with desired toppings.

 

136 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. 5 stars
    It looks beautiful. Then try it now! Especially good cooking.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.02.2022

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Ruthie
    11.22.2022

    5 stars
    excellent, inside is fluffy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed!

  3. Nicole
    11.01.2022

    Can yellow potatoes be used instead?

    • Phoebe Moore
      11.04.2022

      Yep! The skin might be a tad less crispy, but they should still be delicious.

  4. Jim Jackson
    10.27.2022

    4 stars
    Perfect scrumptious baked potato

    • Phoebe Moore
      10.28.2022

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Kathy G
    10.25.2022

    5 stars
    These came out great! I used the parchment paper and it was neat to see the olive oil turn brown on it. Easy and delicious. Will definitely be making these again!

    • Phoebe Moore
      10.28.2022

      We’re so glad you loved them!

  6. Mollie
    10.14.2022

    3 stars
    The time range was perfect but the parchment paper stuck to the bottom of the potatoes so I had to cut off that part of the potato skin which was a waste. I’m disappointed because this is for my husband’s birthday dinner with all of our family and this is what I have to present now. I have never used parchment paper for baked potatoes before and, having tried it with this recipe, I never will again.

    • Jenn
      10.14.2022

      Crap… here I am first time using it! They are in the oven.. 🤞

      • Mollie
        10.14.2022

        5 stars
        I didn’t cut the paper off, I put them in casserole dish with foil over them to show my MIL and by the time I showed them NO PAPER WAS VISIBLE. So weird. Did it absorb? Did the olive oil dissolve it a little as it sat?? Either way I served them as they were and every single person said they were the best baked potatoes they had had. I’m not sure what to think about the parchment paper but the recipe is very good

        • Elle H.
          10.18.2022

          🤣 I’d like to know the answer to this!

          • Wes
            10.23.2022

            Most likley what you yhought was parchment was disolved salts hardend on the bottom of the spud.

    • Susan
      10.29.2022

      5 stars
      I’ve used this recipe 4 times and never had a problem with the parchment paper. I used Wilton parment paper. I don’t know if it is bc of the brand I used or that I used enough olive oil that there is oil on the paper. The potatoes come out perfectly every time. Best recipe ever for baked potatoes.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        11.01.2022

        I’m so glad you’ve loved the recipe!

  7. Rebekah
    10.13.2022

    I will be doing 16 potatoes….any suggestion on how to adjust the cooking time?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.16.2022

      It’s possible they might take longer with a larger quantity in the oven? But it should be similar.

    • Atlanta, GA
      10.29.2022

      Don’t over crowd the pan. Use more than 1 pan. Cooking time to should remain the same for a recipe.

  8. Stacy
    10.03.2022

    5 stars
    Thank you, undoubtedly this is the best recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and my family loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.08.2022

      I’m so happy to hear!

  9. Mike
    09.25.2022

    This recipe should be required for graduation from high school! Thanks

  10. ML Swanny
    09.12.2022

    5 stars
    I just baked my first batch and they are great! So easy!!! Thank you so much. They are one of my favourite dishes and hard to find a place to buy some here in Bangkok, Thailand 🇹🇭. Now I can enjoy them wherever 🥰🥰

  11. Jim N
    08.31.2022

    I’m a little confused about “line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper” ? And, if you’re going to keep that line in there, it really should be 2 baking sheets. Not sheet.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.02.2022

      Hi Jim, I’m sorry, that’s a typo. It’s one baking sheet.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.