Make Your Own Texas Roadhouse Tater Skins, and Bon Apetit Y’all!

You’ve probably all discovered the clever site, Copycat Recipe Guide ( It’s loaded with ingenious methods and recipes for creating, at home, your restaurant or store-bought favorites.

Take for instance the Tater Skins you can get as an appetizer at the Texas Roadhouse®. We were there last night for my birthday dinner. Appetizers aren’t usually part of our order, but what the heck, this time. We were celebrating. And what a great surprise—we’d never had this appetizer and boy were we glad we did. They were awesome!

These hot potatoes are crafted from baked potato halves that are topped with a mixture of creamy melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream. Making this appetizer at home doesn’t take much time or any special supplies—a nice bonus.

The secret to the Roadhouse tater skins is a delicate balance between a slightly crisp outside, and a soft and fluffy potato inside. That was one of the first things we noticed—the texture was amazing. And another terrific thing about this appetizer is that it’s so hearty it could actually be used as a main dish.

Also, these tater skins can easily be altered to include your favorite types of cheese. A Mexican blend would be delicious if these spuds were served alongside tacos, for instance. Or if you’re really into an extra spicy kick, consider drizzling your favorite hot sauce or adding a dash of cayenne pepper atop the potato.

I think sautéed onions and mushrooms and lightly steamed and finely chopped broccoli, would be other great toppings. This appetizer is similar to a twice-baked and loaded potato, so following that lead would probably work well.

And if you think of these skins as little edible bowls, perhaps, then why not fill them with chili, or baked or black beans as well? In fact, I bet even a thick potato chowder would work in these tater skins! Oh, and by the way, instead of sour cream, I dunked mine in the Roadhouse’s ranch dressing. Amazing touch.

But back to the original topic—copying the Texas Roadhouse Tater Skins at home. The Copycat Recipe Guide folks recommend that for best flavor you want to opt for freshly prepared bacon bits rather than the pre-packaged varieties. And their advice leads me to my own: Consider always keeping bacon bits in your freezer. When we fry up bacon, we do it a pound at a time. This way we have enough for those BLTs we hanker for, as well as enough to add to a pot of beans, and enough to crumble into bits. Cooked bacon always on hand—that’s our motto!

Leftovers (like there would be any) can be refrigerated for up to a week. The thing to know here, though, is that they don’t reheat well in the microwave. You’d want to use the oven to do this. And of course, it goes without saying that they’re absolutely best when served immediately out of the oven, hot and with the cheese still gooey.

So all this said, now here’s what you’ve been waiting for—the prized recipe for making those scrumptious Texas Roadhouse Tater Skins at home. Bon apetit, y’all!


6 medium Idaho baking potatoes

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

¼ cup bacon bits

2 cups sour cream

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for rubbing outside of each potato)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub each potato to remove dirt. Since eating the skins is part of the dish’s charm, it is critical to get all parts of the skin squeaky clean. Rub the outside of each potato with vegetable oil. Bake potatoes in the oven for an hour. Remove potatoes from oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, oregano and thyme. Stir the spice mixture until well combined. Slice each potato in half. Scoop out part of the inside of the potato to allow room for toppings. Leave at least a ¼-inch border to prevent the potatoes becoming too crispy.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Place potatoes skin-side down and sprinkle inside of potatoes with spice mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes, season again, then bake for another 10 minutes. Flip potatoes so the skin side is down again. Fill each half with cheese and top with bacon bits. Broil for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove potatoes once the cheese is bubbly, then plate immediately. Top with sour cream, or serve it on the side.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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