September 18, 2021
Loaded baked potatoes are one of those foods that I really miss when I go out to eat. They typically contain so many animal products, like butter, bacon, cheese, and sour cream. However, this version is completely vegan and tastes absolutely amazing! I've tested out vegan cheddars and sour creams to find the best brands, and I used sun-dried tomatoes to add a ton of flavor.
This recipe is pretty quick and easy to make; most of the preparation time is just waiting for the potatoes to bake in the oven. So while it's a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it's also an easy comfort food to pull off any time of year.
I tested this baked potato recipe with both Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds and Miyoko's Farmhouse Cheddar. The Violife tastes pretty good on its own, but when it gets mixed in with the baked potato, its flavor gets a little lost. The Miyoko's had quite a strong flavor which was a little bit too much to eat on its own, but was delicious when it was in the baked potato. Both of them melted well, but they melted best on the stove, not in the oven. So for that reason, I recommend melting whichever cheese you use in a pan first, then drizzling it over the potato. I got the best-tasting baked potato when I used a 50-50 mix of the Violife and Miyoko's. However, if I had to choose just one, I'd choose the Miyoko's for this particular baked potato.
While I recommend melting the vegan cheese on the stove, if you like the look of cheddar shreds in your potatoes, you can melt 1/2 cup of cheese, and leave the other 1/4 cup unmelted. Then add the unmelted cheese in and around the melted cheese before placing the potatoes back in the oven.
As far as the sour cream, I've tried both Kite Hill and Forager. Forager's sour cream is alright if it's the only thing you can get, but the texture is a little strange, and the flavor's not quite there. Kite Hill is pretty spot-on as far as both the taste and texture, so I'd recommend using that one if you can get it.
I've kept the toppings in this recipe pretty similar to a classic loaded baked potato:
vegan cheddar cheese
sun-dried tomatoes (in place of bacon)
vegan sour cream
chives or green onions
But you can also modify this baked potato to include your favorite toppings. Here are some other ideas for vegan toppings (these work for potato skins, too):
vegan bacon bits (many of the regular bacon bits in grocery stores are actually vegan as they are)
avocado or guacamole
vegan cheese sauce
chopped bell pepper
chopped red onion
smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
If you're looking for a Tex-Mex-style loaded baked potato, I have another recipe with black beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, vegan cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
Which type of potatoes should I use for this recipe? The best potatoes for baked potatoes are starchy varieties with thicker skins. In the US, we typically use Russet potatoes for baked potatoes. I don't recommend waxy varieties such as Yukon gold.
What size potatoes should I use? This recipe is made for four half-pound Russet potatoes. I've found that's a pretty good size, as smaller potatoes may be harder to scoop and refill, but larger potatoes may be too much for one person to eat.
Do I need to wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil before baking them? I tested baking the potatoes with and without aluminum foil; there was no noticeable difference between the potatoes, so I personally think the best way is the way that creates the least waste!
Yield4 baked potatoes
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time75 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Wash your potatoes, then use a fork to poke holes all over the skin. Spray potatoes with olive oil spray (or use a pastry brush to brush olive oil on the skin). Then, sprinkle with salt.
Place potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour (or until soft), turning the potatoes after 30 minutes. You can test the potatoes to see if they’re done by applying pressure to the corners of each potato (protecting your hands with a clean oven mitt or kitchen towel). Remove potatoes from the oven and let them cool until they can be handled (about 15-20 minutes).
Slice off the tops of each potato (about 1/4 of the potato). (Don’t throw them away! They’re a delicious snack.) Use a spoon to scoop out the potato flesh into a small mixing bowl, leaving about a 1/4-inch (6-mm) border in place to hold the skin together. Add your vegan butter and 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream to the potato flesh, and use a large fork or potato masher to mash everything together well. You can keep mashing until everything is completely smooth, or leave some chunks of potato intact, depending on your preference. Then, stir in 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) of vegan cheddar, 1 tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Use a large spoon to fill your potato shells with equal amounts of potato filling.
In a small skillet or saute pan, heat 3/4 cup of vegan cheddar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it melts into a stretchy liquid. Quickly spoon the cheese on top of each potato, then top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
Return the potatoes to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until warmed all the way through.
Top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and some chopped chives (or green onions), and enjoy!
I found that a blend of Violife and Miyoko's vegan cheddar shreds tasted best in this recipe; however if I were to recommend just one, it would definitely be Miyoko's.
If you're using two types of vegan cheddar, you may find that one melts before the other. Just keep whisking until all the cheese is melted and combined.
I recommend Kite Hill vegan sour cream for its spot-on taste and texture.
Feel free to use any toppings you'd like; see the post above for a list of suggested toppings.
If you like the look of cheddar shreds in your potatoes, you can melt 1/2 cup of cheese, and leave the other 1/4 cup unmelted. Then add the unmelted cheese around the melted cheese before placing the potatoes back in the oven.
Leftovers: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You may wish to leave the sour cream topping off of any potatoes that you won't eat right away and add it after reheating.
Reheat: Heat on a baking tray at 350°F for 14-17 minutes, until heated all the way through.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
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