Air fryer potato skins are perfectly crispy skins loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon. They are the perfect game day party appetizer!

Air Fryer Potato Skins on a black plate

These air fryer potato skins may be my downfall. I LOVE loaded potato skins but before I was only able to get them at a restaurant. Now I can get that crispy perfection, loaded cheese and bacon anytime I want thanks to my air fryer. I may be in trouble :).

Serve these along with air fryer pizza rolls, Philly cheesesteak sliders or meatball sliders, and some air fryer wings and you’ve got yourself the ultimate spread of football party food…maybe add some Crock Pot buffalo chicken dip too….just to round things out ;). Can you tell I’m ready for football season?

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ingredients to make Air Fryer Potato Skins

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need for these delicious potato skins.

  • Baked potatoes – You can bake the potatoes using our air fryer instructions or Instant Pot instructions. This makes it a lot easier to scoop out the flesh. You can then use the meat of the potatoes to make mashed potatoes later.
  • Olive oil – You can use regular or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Kosher Salt – You can use your preferred salt, but we find kosher works well.
  • Cooked bacon – Pick your favorite bacon flavor, cook it up, and then cut or break it up.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – We typically use a block of cheddar and freshly grate it. It melts better than bagged cheese.
  • Sour cream – You can use your favorite brand and style.
  • Finely chopped chives – You could also use scallions if you can’t find chives.

We used our Cosori 5.8 QT air fryer to make these. If you have a larger model the instructions are the same but you’ll be able to cook more in each batch.

unstuffed Air Fryer Potato Skins

Instructions

Step 1 – Prep the skins. First, cut each baked potato in half and use a spoon or melon baller to gently scoop out the inside of the potatoes. Leave about a ¼ inch thick border of potato around the edges and on the bottom. Do this carefully and make sure to not go all the way through the potato. This will allow you to keep all the fixings inside.

You can save the inside of the potatoes to make mashed potatoes later.

Step 2 – Coat the skins with oil. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat each skin with olive oil and then sprinkle the salt over the outside and inside each skin.

how to make Air Fryer Potato Skins

Step 3 – Air fry the skins. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Once it is heated, place the potato skins in the basket with the skin side down. Make sure to leave a small amount of space between each skin. 

Depending on the size of the basket, you may need to work in batches. Cook each batch for 10 minutes. 

Air Fryer Potato Skins in air fryer basket

Step 4 – Top the skins with bacon and cheese. Carefully remove the basket and add 1 ounce of cheddar cheese and 1 slice of crumbled bacon to each potato skin. Place the basket back in and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 5 – Top and serve. When the timer goes off, remove the basket and top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle chives on each skin. Serve the skins immediately.

The Best Potatoes to Use 

Russet potatoes are the traditional choice. They typically make great potato skins because they have thicker skin that gets very crispy. 

One drawback is it can be difficult to find smaller sized russets. 

Yukon gold is another great choice. The skin is thinner and does not get as crispy, but they are still delicious. We often use these because it is much easier to find medium sized potatoes.

Air Fryer Potato Skins on a platter

How to Prepare Potatoes 

To make potato skins, you have to start with a baked or boiled potato so that the inside is cooked and can be easily scooped out. 

There are four options you can try to cook the potatoes. They include:

  1. You can bake the potatoes using our air fryer instructions or Instant Pot instructions. 
  2. You can microwave the potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes in the microwave. Prior to cooking them, make sure to prick them all over with a fork to allow the steam to release as they cook. They are ready when you can easily insert a fork into the potatoes. 
  3. Bake the potatoes in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork then place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tender in the center.
  4. You can parboil the potatoes. To do this, add the potatoes to boiling water and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until a fork easily goes into the potato.  

Can I Air Fry Frozen Potato Skins? 

Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Carefully remove the basket and place the frozen skins in the basket with a little space between each. 

Cook them for 15 minutes or until potato skins are warmed through. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.

How to Make it Ahead of Time

Follow the instructions for hollowing out potatoes and then fill with the cheese and bacon.

Next, tightly wrap each potato in plastic wrap and place in a gallon freezer bag. You can then freeze the skins for up to 1 month. 

When you are ready to serve them, you can follow the instructions above for cooking the frozen potato skins in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Potato Skins on a black platter

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Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

Air Fryer Potato Skins

Air fryer potato skins are perfectly crispy skins loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon. They are the perfect game day party appetizer!

Ingredients

  • 6 Baked potatoes, medium size (See note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 8 slices Cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 ounces Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces Sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Finely chopped chives

Instructions

  • Cut each baked potato in half and use a spoon or melon baller to gently scoop out the inside of the potatoes. Leave about ¼ inch thick border of potato around the edges and on the bottom. Make sure not to go all the way through the potato.
  • Brush the outside of each potato with olive oil and then sprinkle salt over the outside and inside of each potato.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  • Place potato skins in basket with the skin side down. Leave a small amount of space between potato skins. Depending on the size of the basket you may need to work in batches. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Open basket and add 1/4 ounce of cheddar cheese and 1 slice of chopped bacon to each potato skin. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
  • Remove from basket and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives on each.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Note 1: To make potato skins you have to start with a baked or boiled potato so that the inside is cooked and can be easily scooped out. You have 4 options for cooking the potatoes.
  1. You can bake the potatoes using our air fryer instructions or Instant Pot instructions.
  2. You can microwave the potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes in the microwave. Prior to cooking them, make sure to prick them all over with a fork to allow the steam to release as they cook. They are ready when you can easily insert a fork into the potatoes.
  3. Bake the potatoes in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork then place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tender in the center.
  4. You can parboil the potatoes. To do this, add the potatoes to boiling water and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until a fork easily goes into the potato.

Nutrition

Serving: 1potato skin, Calories: 176kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 540mg, Potassium: 499mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 184IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer potato skins