Upgrade Your Spuds: Easy Pizza Potatoes

When I think about pizza, one thing comes to mind for me – movie night.

As a kid, I wanted movie night to be every single night, just so I could have an excuse to eat pizza.

Vertical image of a baked potato stuffed with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on a small blue and white plate with a fork to the left, with more stuffed spuds and a small glass dish of grated cheese on a white serving board, and two stemware glasses of white wine in soft focus in the background, against a brown striped backdrop with a dark brown wood surface, printed with orange and white text.

My mom and I would alternate between choosing the movies and choosing the type of pizza every single week. I always got so excited when it was my turn to pick the toppings, because that meant I would get double cheese, which I loved.

Hey, as a kid I had some simpler (okay, let’s just call them pickier…) tastes.

We would spread a blanket on the floor of the living room in front of the TV to have a picnic. Even though we had to push away a sniffing dog from time to time, it was the best ever way to eat pizza.

Overhead shot of four baked potatoes stuffed with marinara sauce and melted cheese, on a wooden board with a handle, with a small square dish of grated Parmesan to the left and an identical dish of red pepper flakes to the right, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth with a stack of blue and white plates to the left, on a dark brown wood surface.

Now, pizza has evolved into something more than just a treat for movie night. It’s what my husband and I order on busy weeknights. It’s what I order when we are having people over to watch the big game, and I don’t feel like cooking.

Pizza always reminds me of gathering people together to enjoy a meal that’s filled with classic flavors. And there are so many different ways to eat it.

There’s the calzone, and thin crust. You can choose deep dish or New York style. Or even cute little mini bites.

A baked potato stuffed with melted mozzarella and marinara sauce on a blue and white plate in the foreground with a crossed knife and fork to the left, with a glass of white wine in the background next to a serving board topped with smalls glass dishes of grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes, and more baked and filled spuds, on a dark brown wood table.

The options are endless with all the different toppings available, and it’s a meal that is so much easier to customize than most others out there.

Instead of choosing between the classics, it’s time to upgrade your pizza game and go homemade with an ingredient that you may have overlooked in the past:

The humble spud.

Vertical image of four baked potatoes with pizza topping fillings, on a wooden serving board with a small glass dish of grated Parmesan, and a stack of plates and two tall glasses of white wine in the background, with a wood backdrop and a dark brown wood surface.

Potatoes are one of those ingredients that I love to work with. They go with everything, and they can even step in to be a vehicle for an entree, if you wish. Plus, they’re gluten free!

That exactly what this recipe is all about. Instead of choosing between crust types, use a baked potato to make your pizza dreams come true.

Overhead shot of a baked potato with pizza fillings on a blue and white plate, with a crossed knife and fork to the left, a glass of white wine, and a serving board topped with more spuds, and a small, square, glass dish of grated Parmesan, on a dark brown wood surface.

You don’t have to order delivery, wait in line for takeout, or worry about making a crust at home when you get that craving.

Instead, you simply bake up some potatoes, open them up, and stuff them with your favorite toppings.

Four baked potatoes stuffed with marinara sauce and melted cheese, o a wooden serving board with a small square glass dish of grated Parmesan, on a light and dark blue cloth with a repeating triangular pattern, on a dark brown wood surface.

Since potatoes go with everything, you can use any of toppings you love on a traditional pizza, or even go for topping combinations that you’ve never tried before.

Here, you can see that I’ve gone with some classics.

Overhead shot of two baked potatoes with pizza fillings, on broken open on a plate with a fork and another still intact on a wooden serving platter beside a small glass dish of grated Parmesan, with a glass of white wine, on a dark brown wood surface.

First, there’s pepperoni and jalapeno, which is my all-time favorite. Then you have pineapple and Canadian ham, which is my husband’s absolute favorite.

I also did a sausage and peppers version, as well as an all-vegetable option with onions and bell peppers.

The sausage and peppers was a huge hit with my husband, and I loved the option of having all vegetables for a healthier take.

A baked potato stuffed with vegetables, tomato sauce, and melted cheese has been broken open on a white plate with a fork, with more of the food on a wood serving platter in the background in soft focus, to the right of a small, square glass dish of grated Parmesan, on a dark brown wood surface.

You will love making these for yourself on a random weeknight, or even for friends when they come over for movie night. It’s the ideal way to bring the baked potato back into rotation, in a whole new way.

Print
Four baked potatoes on a wooden board, filled with tomato sauce and melted cheese, with grated Parmesan sprinkled on top and in a small, square glass bowl to the left, with a stack of blue and white plate in the background, on a dark brown wood surface.

Easy Pizza Potatoes


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Give the humble baked spud a makeover with this easy pizza potatoes recipe. They are simple to make and take barely any active time to cook.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Additional Pizza Topping Suggestions:

  • All-natural chicken sausage links
  • Pepperoni
  • Canadian ham
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Pineapple
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh herbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place one baking rack in the center of oven, with the other rack just below it.
  2. Pierce the potatoes a few times, using a sharp knife. Rub the potatoes evenly with olive oil. Season the outside with salt. Place potatoes directly on the middle rack. Place a baking sheet underneath the potatoes on the second rack.
  3. Bake for about 1 hour, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. The exact baking time will depend on the size of your potatoes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, until they can be handled safely. Leave the oven on.
  5. While potatoes cool, if using sausage, roughly chop links into 1-inch pieces. Heat the sausage according to package directions. I prefer to warm mine in a skillet over medium-high heat, but you can also warm in the microwave.
  6. Slice each potato down the center and gently push inward from each end to open. Place potatoes cut side up in a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of chopped warm sausage to each potato, if using, as well as whatever other toppings you would like to use, for a max 1/2 cup filling each.
  8. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over each potato, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Place pan in the oven and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Notes

Nutritional information below does not include optional toppings.

  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: pizza, baked potatoes, cheese, easy weeknight meals

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Clean Potatoes, Grate Cheese, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Scrub the outside of the potatoes well. Pat dry with paper towels. Starting with potatoes that are of roughly equal size means they’ll all be done at the same time, so I try to look for Russets that are about 8 ounces in weight each.

Shred the mozzarella cheese with a box grater until you have 1 cup total.

Overhead shot of ten glass bowls of three different sizes and two square glass bowls filled with shredded mozzarella, marinara sauce, grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno, green bell pepper, pineapple, pepperoni, ham, and sausage, with four baking potatoes to the right, on a dark brown wood table.

Measure out all remaining ingredients as they are listed on the ingredients list. Prepare all other toppings as desired. Be sure to chop all ingredients into bite-sized pieces.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place a baking rack in the center of the oven, with the second rack just below it.

Step 2 – Bake Potatoes

Using a sharp knife, pierce the potatoes at least twice each. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place potatoes directly on the middle rack of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack beneath the potatoes, or a piece of foil. This will help to keep your oven clean.

Four russet potatoes on a wooden cutting board, on a dark brown wood surface.

Bake for 1 hour, turning halfway through cooking, until each can be pierced easily with a fork.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.

Don’t turn the oven off, but remove the baking sheet.

Step 3 – Prepare Toppings

While the potatoes bake and cool, if you are using sausage, chop the links into bite-sized pieces. Heat the sausage according to the directions on the package.

I like to warm and brown mine in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

If any of your other toppings require additional prep, you can do that now. Otherwise, take this time to read a few chapters of a book, do the dishes, or enjoy a tasty snack!

Step 4 – Finish and Serve

Slice each potato down the center lengthwise, then gently push in from both ends to open.

Three baked potatoes that have been cut open on top, arranged in a white rectangular ceramic baking dish, on a dark brown wood surface.

Arrange them in a 9-by-9-inch metal, ceramic, or glass baking dish, cut side up.

Overhead shot of four baked Russet potatoes sliced open and stuffed with a variety of vegetables and meats, in a white ceramic baking dish, on a brown wood surface.

Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup total of toppings to each potato. Spoon over 1/4 cup of sauce, and then sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated cheese.

Overhead shot of four baked potatoes arranged in a row in a white, rectangular, ceramic baking dish, filled with vegetables and topped with marinara sauce, on a dark brown wood surface.

To cut down on dishes, you could even using the baking sheet that you put in the oven while baking the potatoes, but I prefer a baking dish with higher walls, since it’s easier to keep the potatoes filled and to serve from.

Overhead shot of four baked potatoes sliced open and stuffed with tomato sauce, meat, and vegetables, and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, in a white ceramic baking dish, on a dark brown wood surface.

Place the baking dish in oven and bake for another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and toppings are warmed through. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately.

Want to Prepare These Ahead of Time? No Problem!

If you want to save some time in the evening, you can easily make the potatoes in advance. It’s so easy to bake a batch of potatoes on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and keep them on hand until you’re ready to use them.

Just bake the potatoes the night before, let them cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container or zip-top bag. You can store baked potatoes in the fridge for 3-5 days, but freezing isn’t recommended since defrosted spuds tend to be watery.

When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat them in the oven.

Four baked potatoes on a wooden board, filled with tomato sauce and melted cheese, with grated Parmesan sprinkled on top and in a small, square glass bowl to the left, with a stack of blue and white plate in the background, on a dark brown wood surface.

To avoid drying out the potatoes when you reheat, allow them to return to room temperature, then heat them up for about 10-12 minutes or until heated through, at 450˚F directly on the rack. Then you can proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Whatever you do, just avoid cooking the potatoes entirely in the microwave. You won’t get the same results as the oven will provide, and that crispy skin is one of my favorite parts of a baked potato. Most of the nutrients are in there, too!

Craving even more delicious pizza recipes? Check out some of the best homemade crusts and flavor combos right here:

What toppings will you put on your pizza potatoes? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe once you try it for yourself.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 5, 2011. Last updated: March 15, 2019 at 12:43 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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