Appetizer Recipes, Intermediate

Hot Pimento Cheese Stuffed Potato Skins

Stuffed potato skins get a Southern makeover when they are stuffed with creamy pimento cheese laced with smoky chilies in Adobo.

stuffed potato skins fresh from the oven on a baking sheet

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In mid-December, as I sat down to have a good, hardcore planning session for the upcoming year on the blog, I sent out a poll on my personal Facebook page for some feedback. I wanted to hear other’s stories on their favorite Southern comfort food. I got a lot of great feedback, including an idea from a former co-worker:

What’s more southern than taking pimento & cheese and using it to elevate another dish! #morePandC

She’s right! Southerners love some “pimentacheese.” Layer it on thick between two pieces of white bread – the softer the better. If it sticks to your teeth like peanut butter, you’ve arrived.

But how to use it to elevate another dish? I’ve already branched out and used pimento cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. Mac and cheese has been done. Then I spotted a photo of stuffed potato skins and inspiration hit.

Store Bought or Homemade Pimento Cheese?

This is a trick question, right? Let’s put it this way – it’s like asking if you should use bottled lemon juice or freshly squeezed for making homemade lemonade. I’m sure there are some great packaged pimento cheese brands out there, I just personally have not found one that I like. To me, this is a no brainer. Make your own!

This recipe for Smoky Homemade Pimento Cheese has been a personal favorite of mine for several years.  You only need half the recipe for the stuffed potato skins. But if you are serving a crowd and need something yummy to spread on crackers or crudité, feel free to make the full recipe. It won’t go to waste because your guests will love it.

Choosing the Right Potato

You can totally use pimento cheese to stuff a full-sized baked potato. However, I wanted to keep things in finger foods category, making it ideal as an appetizer, snack or for tailgating. Yukon Gold or red potatoes are perfect for this recipe.

whole red potatoes on a marble background with green onions an bacon in the background

I chose red potatoes because I like nice contrasting pop of color from the red skin against the yellow cheese. Red potatoes have a firm, waxy texture which allows them to hold up well during baking and keep their shape when it’s time to hollow them out.

Prepping the Potatoes

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet (personally, I prefer a cookie sheet with sides, sometimes called a jelly roll pan, so the potatoes don’t accidentally go rolling off the sides while you’re trying to put them in the oven) with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.

Arrange eight red potatoes evenly on the cookie sheet. Brush the outsides with olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Don’t forget to turn them over and get the bottom!

blue brush coating a red potato with olive oil

Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes until you can easily pierce them with a fork. They should  still be a little firm. Overbaking the potatoes will make it harder to scoop out the insides later. Set the potatoes aside until they are cool enough to touch.

Gently slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the middle of each potato. I recommend hollowing out the potatoes while they are still soft and warm.  Some people like to use a melon baller for this. I like to use just a plain old teaspoon.

baking sheet with a few hollowed out potatoes, filled potatoes and a bowl of pimento cheese to the side

We’re not going to be mixing the scooped-out potato with the pimento cheese. No, no, I don’t want anything diluting that cheesy goodness. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw the scooped-out potatoes away. Find another use for them – like this cheesy mashed potato casserole.

Making the Pimento Cheese

While the potatoes are baking, whip together your pimento cheese ingredients. Make sure to set out four ounces of cream cheese (which is half a bar if you’re only making enough to fill the potatoes) about 30 minutes beforehand so it will be good and soft when you’re ready to go.

Before anyone leaves a comment, yes I am aware there are not technically pimentos in this spread. We’ve substituted the pimentos for chipotle peppers in adobo. You can read more about what exactly that is here. Can I still call it pimento cheese if there are no pimentos? Yes, I can if I want to. Trust me, it gives the spread a nice smoky, spicy kick. You won’t miss the pimentos.

glass bowl of pimento cheese and a silver spoon on a marble backgroun

There is no special technique when it comes to making the pimento cheese. Combine 1/2 pound of grated smoked cheddar, 1/2 pound of cooked and crumbled bacon, two cups mayonnaise, two chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, and one chopped green onion into a medium mixing bowl the softened cream cheese. Give it a good stir until everything is uniformly combined.

You can make the pimento cheese up to three days in advance and store in the fridge until ready to use. That is, if you think you can muster enough will power not to eat the entire bowl before then. I don’t.

Assembling the Stuffed Potato Skins

Once the potatoes are hollowed out, scoop 1-2 heaping tablespoons of pimento cheese into the center of each one. Doesn’t have to be exact. Just remember the cheese will melt a little, so don’t overstuff.

a hand placing shredded cheese on top of a stuffed potato skin

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Top each potato with a little shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve hot garnished with additional sliced green onions.

Prepping Ahead and How to Store Stuffed Potato Skins

Pimento cheese stuffed potato skins can be made up to a day in advance. Go ahead and fill the potatoes with the pimento cheese, but don’t put the shredded cheese on top yet. Wait and do that right before baking. Cover the potatoes loosely with plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge. Let the potatoes come to room temperature first before putting them in the oven.

Cooked stuffed potato skins can be frozen for up to six months. Let them cool, then I put the entire baking sheet in the freezer. Once the potatoes are hard, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then store them in a plastic freezer bag. Allow the potatoes to thaw before baking.

Hot pimento cheese stuffed potato skins are great on their own as an appetizer, but the night I made these, The Husband and I served them alongside a nice juicy grilled steak. The options are endless!

three stuffed potato skins on a white plate with a fork and a tray of potato skins in the background

 

Serve Pimento Cheese Stuffed Potato Skins as a Side With:

 

Stuffed Potato Skins
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5 from 5 votes

Hot Pimento Cheese Stuffed Potato Skins

Stuffed potato skins get a Southern makeover when they are stuffed with creamy pimento cheese laced with smoky chilies in Adobo.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 82kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

For the pimento cheese:

  • 1/2 pound smoked cheddar grated
  • 1/2 pound bacon cooked, crumbled
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • Approximately 2 chipotle peppers in adobo chopped
  • 1 green onion white and green parts chopped

For the potatoes:

  • 8 small red potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • Additional green onions for garnish, optional

Instructions

For the pimento cheese:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

For the potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Brush the outside of the potatoes with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool until you can handle them.
  • Slice the potatoes in half length wise. Gently scoop out the center of each half. Leave about a 1/4-inch border around the skin so the potatoes hold up. Save the inside of the potatoes for another use.
  • Gently spoon 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the pimento cheese into the center of each potato.
  • Top each with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Return the potatoes to the oven. Bake until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve hot. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Notes

Potatoes can be cooked and hollowed out up to a day in advance. Allow them to come to room temperature before filling with pimento cheese and baking. Pimento cheese can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use (if you think you can go that long without eating it!) Cooked stuffed potato skins can be frozen for up to six months. Freeze each potato individually on a baking sheet until hard. Then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a plastic freezer bag. Allow potatoes to come to room temperature before proceeding with step 8.

Nutrition

Serving: 1potatoes | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love pimento cheese but never thought to make it myself! I bet these stuffed potatoes are absolutely fabulous! They look scrumptious!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve grown up on pimento cheese! Didn’t like it as much as a kid, but now I can’t get enough. What a great idea to stuff them into potato skins. This is football snacking food!

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It’s so easy, flavorful and crowd pleasing! I’ll be making this one for the big game.

  4. 5 stars
    What a perfect recipe for the Super Bowl! I seriously would love this right now… and it’s breakfast time at my house.

  5. 5 stars
    This is such a good recipe for entertaining! I adore potato skins and cheese so it’s like a match made in heaven!

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