September 18, 2021
Potato skins are a classic American appetizer that are loved by almost everyone. But with cheddar, bacon, and sour cream, they're not exactly vegan-friendly. In this recipe, I'm using store-bought vegan cheddar and sour cream along with sun-dried tomatoes so you can enjoy cheesy potato skins right at home.
I love making these potato skins for parties, Super Bowl gatherings, or casual everyday snacks. They're the perfect appetizer for groups of people because they're a finger food that doesn't require utensils. If you need more ideas for vegan appetizers and party snacks, try my spinach and artichoke dip, jalapeño poppers, mozzarella sticks, or cashew queso dip.
After researching the best vegan cheddars, I decided to test out Miyoko's and Violife for this recipe. When I tasted them right out of the bag, the Miyoko's tasted too strong and the Violife tasted just right. However, when I put them on top of these potato skins, the Miyoko's had the perfect amount of flavor and the Violife was barely noticeable. Both cheeses melt and stretch nicely. I actually got the best flavor when I used a 50-50 blend of both cheeses; however if you need to choose just one, I'd go with the Miyoko's.
Neither of the cheeses melt particularly well in the oven, so to overcome that obstacle, I melted the cheese in a small saute pan on the stove over medium heat. You should stir constantly while you're doing this to keep the cheese from burning. It will go from solid to stretchy liquid pretty quickly, and you'll want to drizzle it over the potatoes immediately after that happens.
I also needed to test out vegan sour cream, and I tried both Kite Hill and Forager. While Forager was an acceptable sour cream alternative, it had a bit of a clumpy texture, and the taste wasn't quite right. The Kite Hill sour cream is pretty close to the real thing, so I'd definitely recommend that one if you're able to get it.
What should I do with the potato flesh that I scoop out from the potato skins? You can save it to use in another recipe, like mashed potatoes or potato soup.
What kind of potatoes should I use? You should use potatoes with a thicker skin, like Russet potatoes. Avoid waxy varieties like Yukon gold.
What size potatoes should I use? It's really up to you, depending on the size of the potato skins you want to make. I used 4 half-pound potatoes for this recipe to make 8 medium-sized potato skins. Just keep in mind that if you use larger or smaller potatoes, you may need slightly more or less of the toppings.
What can I use in place of sun-dried tomatoes? If you're looking for something that tastes more like bacon, many bacon bits sold in stores are actually accidentally vegan. You may also prefer to make tempeh bacon bits or coconut bacon bits (I don't have recipes for these, but you can find them online). And of course, you can just leave it out entirely if you prefer!
What other toppings can I use on these potato skins? The possibilities are endless. Try diced green peppers, tomatoes, corn, fresh cilantro, vegan chili, smoked paprika, or guacamole. For more ideas, check out the list of toppings in the post of my loaded vegan baked potato recipe.
What if I can't get vegan butter in my area? If vegan butter is unavailable in your area, or unreasonably priced, try my homemade vegan butter recipe.
Yield8 potato skins
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time75 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Wash potatoes and use a fork to poke holes all over the skins. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and bake in your preheated oven until soft, about 1 hour, turning the potatoes after 30 minutes. You can check to see whether the potatoes are ready by gently pressing on the corners of each potato. Be sure to use a clean oven mitt or kitchen towel to protect your hands. Let the potatoes cool until they can be handled (about 20 minutes). Turn the oven heat up to 425°F (220°C).
Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then scoop out the flesh of the potato, leaving about 1/4” (6 mm) of flesh attached to the skins.
Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and mix in garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
Use a pastry brush to brush the butter on both the outsides and insides of each potato skin. Return the potato skins to the baking tray (cut side up, skin side down) and bake at 425°F (220°C) until the flesh begins to turn slightly golden (about 15 minutes).
In a small saute pan over medium heat, melt your vegan cheddar. Stir continuously while waiting for the cheddar to melt. It will go very quickly from a solid to a stretchy liquid; once this happens, remove it from the heat, then use a spoon to drizzle the cheddar over each potato skin. Top the potato skins with sun-dried tomato pieces.
Place a dollop of vegan sour cream on top of each potato skin, then sprinkle some chopped chives on top. Enjoy!
Save the scooped-out potato flesh for another recipe, like mashed potatoes or potato soup.
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.
Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days. You may wish to leave the sour cream and chives off of any potato skins you won't eat right away, then add them after reheating.
Reheat: Reheat in the oven on a baking tray at 350°F for about 15 minutes.
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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