September 18, 2021
Twice-baked potatoes have been a must at my family's Thanksgiving dinner table since as far back as I can remember. They're melty and cheesy and flavorful and everyone loves them! But being vegan doesn't mean I have to give up this essential holiday comfort food.
Twice-baked potatoes have many different variations, but in this recipe, I'm going for a classic flavor with vegan butter, almond milk, and a homemade cheesy sauce. And of course, they're topped with paprika and chives. If you're looking for a baked potato with more toppings, you can try my loaded baked potato recipe or Tex-Mex baked potato recipe.
The cheesy sauce in this recipe gets its creamy texture from cashews, flavor from butternut squash, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and seasonings, and its stretch from tapioca starch. It's actually a stretchier variation on my cashew queso dip. This cheese is perfect for this recipe because the flavor pairs well with the potatoes, and it also turns a lovely golden color in the oven.
If you're looking for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes, I have plenty of them for you! You can try my lentil and veggie loaf, or cranberry-apple stuffing in acorn squash bowls as a main dish for holiday dinners. I also have a butternut squash stuffing recipe, if you're not into cranberries. For sides, try mashed butternut squash, roasted carrots, or butternut squash casserole. And of course, I have an apple galette recipe and chewy brownie recipe for desserts. For even more ideas, I have my entire collection of Thanksgiving recipes on one page.
Do I need to wrap these potatoes in foil before baking them? I tried baking potatoes with and without foil, and there was no noticeable difference between the two. So I'd say bake them without the foil for less waste!
What kind of potatoes should I use for this recipe? Starchy varieties of potatoes with a thicker skin are best for baked potatoes. In the US, the most common potato used for baked potatoes is the Russet potato. I don't recommend waxy varieties such as Yukon gold.
What size potatoes should I use? I used half-pound potatoes in this recipe (4 total potatoes), but you can use slightly larger or smaller potatoes, as long as the total is around 2 pounds (900 grams).
Yield8 potato halves
Prep Time60 minutes
Cook Time80 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Wash potatoes and use a fork to poke holes all over the skins. Spray the potatoes with olive oil spray (or brush with olive oil), then sprinkle salt on the skins.
Bake your potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven until soft inside (about 1 hour), turning the potatoes after about 30 minutes. The exact baking time required will depend on the size of your potatoes. You can check whether the potatoes are done by gently pressing on the corners of each potato. Be sure to use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to protect your hands. Set aside until cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes).
Boil your butternut squash in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes, until tender. Then add your soaked cashews, water, and butternut squash to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy (2-4 minutes, depending on your blender).
Add the remaining vegan cheese ingredients to the cashew cream in the blender: nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, tomato paste, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then, blend until everything is evenly mixed. Transfer the vegan cheese to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Keep stirring until the cheese starts to come together and develops a stretchy texture. Remove from heat immediately.
Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the potato flesh into a medium mixing bowl, leaving about 1/4” (6 mm) border on the potato skins. Add vegan butter, almond milk, and salt to the potato flesh, and use a large fork or potato masher to mash until smooth and creamy. Then, add the vegan cheese and stir until well incorporated.
Scoop a generous amount of potato filling back into the potato shells, then sprinkle with paprika and chives. Return the potatoes back to the baking tray and bake in the oven a second time, for 20 minutes, until heated all the way through and golden on top.
Soak your cashews in water for 2 hours, or boil for 10 minutes before using. Soaking is not necessary if you have a high-powered blender. Measure your cashews before soaking.
Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Reheat: Place on a baking tray in the oven 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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