The ultimate side dish, these greek yogurt & almond loaded baked potatoes take traditional baked potatoes to a whole new level. Complete with crispy bacon and melty cheddar cheese, these are the epitome of side dish comfort food.
It’s almost August and, for the first time in years, while all my teacher friends are saying their bittersweet goodbyes to summer vacation, I’m…not. Something about going back to school has always signified the end of summer to me, but this year, as I just continue living my now-somewhat-normal 8-5 office job life, I realize that we’re only a month into summer and, in Phoenix especially, the end of summer is nowhere in sight.
It’s a love/hate kinda thing because while I’m pretty over waking up at 4am to run in 85-90 degree weather (this constitutes “beating the heat” in these parts), I love pool days, margaritas, and grilling almost every night of the week. Steve is the grill master which leads to endless BYOM (bring your own meat) get togethers with friends and family.
It’s our summer tradition, and after 2 weeks in Europe, it’s about as adventurous as we’re getting this summer. But there can be fun and adventure without leaving the house. All you need are your favorite people, a good bottle of wine and, of course, great food.
Summer grilling seasons means I’m in charge of sides. It’s the time of year I get to relax from doing the majority of cooking and just create some simple, delicious side dishes. And because I’m not in charge of the main event, I like to take advantage of the break and take things easy, creating recipes that are simple, hands off, and leave me plenty of time to drink wine with our guests stress-free.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The secret to the perfect baked potato–regular or sweet potato. Brush the outside of the potato with olive oil (or melted butter if that’s more your style) and generously sprinkle with coarse sea salt. If you’re not a lover of the skins, this flavor and texture boosting trick will change your mind, and if you already love the skins (like me), this will just make you love them more.
I’m normally not a white potato fan, and they’re still not my potato of choice, but with the right toppings, they can be something worth writing home about. The white potato doesn’t have much flavor on it’s own, so you have to pair it with amazing flavors. Normally this includes loads of butter and sour cream, but I changed things up and ditched the butter, swapped out the sour cream for plenty of Greek yogurt, swapped out regular bacon for healthier center cut bacon, kept the melty cheddar cheese (because…cheese) and added tons of flavor and crunch with some Blue Diamond roasted salted almonds. That little extra addition goes a long way and adds so much to your potatoes. All together the flavors and textures complement each other perfectly, creating a potato that is absolutely something to write home about.
- 2 small russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Heaping ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- ⅓ cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2-4 tablespoons Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Almonds, crushed
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a small-medium baking dish with tin foil. Set aside. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Brush or rub potatoes with olive oil then generously coat with coarse sea salt. Bake potatoes until fork tender, about 40-60 minutes depending on size.*
- Cut about ¾ of the way through the potato to create a pocket. Stuff with a generous scoop of Greek yogurt, a hefty pinch of cheese, and a generous pinch each of crumbled bacon and crushed almonds. Serve immediately.
**Measurements are approximate and do not need to be well measured. Eyeball it and use the amount that fits your tastes. I like a lot of Greek yogurt to take place of the butter and sour cream traditionally used, but to each their own.
This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.