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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baked potato bar

We recently invited six friends over for dinner, and instead of juggling recipes (we aren't fancy cooks), we did a baked potato bar! Alex baked the potatoes in the oven for an hour, and we put out bowls with tons of toppings. Our list of toppings: butter, black pepper, goat cheese, sautéed spinach, avocados, chicken, brie and cranberry sauce, chili, grated cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions and garlic. (I also wanted to do sour cream with caviar--how fabulous would that be? Next time!) It was super easy and delicious. What toppings do you like on baked potatoes? Any weird ones?

P.S. And a staring contest:)

(Graphic design by Jennifer Hagler for Cup of Jo)

147 comments:

stephanie said...

What a great idea! Definitely trying that out :)

Erika Peterson said...

Great idea! I'll have to add this to my party idea list :)

Sage Crown Parker said...

what a baked potato party! how fun!!!

SARAH said...

Genius! A blank baked potato canvas with a whole palette of toppings.

Elizabeth said...

Yum! That's a fab idea.

My favourite topping is tuna mayonnaise. It's simple but also nice with a sprinkle of curry powder, paprika or chilli powder too.

Joanna Goddard said...

it was like a personality test to see whatever chose, some people did the simple/chic potato with butter and pepper, some did veggies, some were experimental, and some did EVERYTHING!

Joanna Goddard said...

wow, elizabeth, that sounds delicious! i would never think of tuna!!

anglopologie said...

Awesome idea! Trying this for the superbowl!

Anne said...

Sounds delish! We did that the other day with crepes. Costco did the fancy part of the cooking - the crepes - and I sauteed separate dishes of spinach, mushrooms, and chicken along with a gruyere bechamel sauce. Folks made their own combinations, and that plus a green salad was all we needed! Super, super easy and the toppings were all cooked separately in one pot, so clean up was a cinch, too.

Kirsteen said...

Love this! What a fab idea x

Caroline Royce said...

Fab idea! Seems like such an easy and hassle-free solution. More parties need to have that same attitude.

Panda Head said...

chic potato - so funny. so MINIMALIST.
definitely adding this to the DINNER PARTY folder; also, we've been using potatoes (or sweet potatoes) at our house to stretch out small amounts of leftover winter stews.

Jennifer said...

Great Idea! Currently inviting the in-law family over to make this happen. This makes cooking for a crowd definitely more do-able:)
~Jennifer

horaceandmae.etsy.com

Quindome said...

This sounds so fun. As long as there were no chives... They are the worst, no? Your parties seem like such fun!

Champagne Cocktails, Cashmere Dreams said...

What a great idea!!! For healthy toppings-I love non-fat greek yogurt and for not so healthy topping- cambozola or gorganzola cheese (but a little goes a long way the flavor is so yum)

definitely will be using this idea! Thanks for the post!
http://champagnecocktailscashmeredreams.blogspot.com/

jaime said...

we're having a chili dinner party this weekend and this will be the perfect added comfort food! l o v e! and my mom and I love cottage cheese and cracked pepper on our baked potatoes! delish. :)

Kate Keenan said...

This is such a cute idea! When I was visiting Berlin there was this awesome baked potato restaurant called Bixel that was always PACKED with people. Simple, delicious and surprisingly trendy.

http://www.danielbixel.com/

Great party idea Joanna!

Annie said...

Love this idea! I enjoy any meal that's customizable. (Ice cream bar? Swoon!) I'd add salsa to that list, or something similarly spicy.

Kendra said...

What a creative idea! Nice job, I think I'll have to try this out! Baked potatoes are so yummy :)

PIECE OF CAKE. PEACE OF MIND.

Annie G said...

This is brilliant. I am bored with trying to think of interesting things to cook when people come round but I'd love to do this. Can't really think of anybody who'd object. And I'd give the staring contest a go too. After 25 years + of cooking to entertain, I was beginning to despair. Cheers!

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

Baked potato bard are my favorite ar parties!

xo.Britt
The Magnolia Pair

:)

Tragic Sandwich said...

What a great idea!

The deli downstairs from my office does baked potatoes, and sometimes I'll get one for lunch. I usually go for either the turkey chili with cheese and a dollop of sour cream, or broccoli and cheese.

Kelsey said...

Love this idea. I like Worcestershire sauce on my baked potato!

Erika said...

Thats a great idea! Simple, but fun. I will definitely have to try it one of these days. It also works GREAT for accommodating allergies, vegans, and gluten free eaters - who are all within my immediate family!

leigh said...

i was once at an event that had a mashed potato bar - and you put your mash into large martini glasses... it was amazing.... i kept going back for blue cheese and chives... delish...

Michelle * Viva Revival said...

Love this idea! I always kill myself when we have dinner guests. This sounds so much more relaxing.

We had a mashed potato martini bar at our wedding, it was awesome!

Barchbo said...

My parents host a dinner for 30 for their volunteer groups every 1-2 months and they are BIG fans of the potato bar AND the pasta bar. My husband & I have 14 people for dinner once a month, and we became big fans, too. They invite people to bring their favorite items, and have had some unusual thing (my mom said someone brought cottage cheese, which was kind of gross.)

They have introduced us to sauteed peppers and onions, grilled sausage, sesame seeds, and vegetable stew for our potato bars. We haven't tried the veggie stew, but we plan to!

A Sunday Kind Of Love said...

this is such a good idea! my mom's family is irish*, so whenever we have potatoes we only have them with butter. when I was little I hated mashed/baked potatoes b/c my mom made them EVERY night for dinner!

I am totally doing this with my friends...but would you believe I have no idea how long to roast a potato b/c I've never wanted to before?

(* this also means that pepper is "spicy"...so food isn't very flavorful around here!)

Fallon said...

Great idea! I would probably add sauteed mushrooms, marinara sauce, and meatballs to the bar.

fashionicons said...

I love your blog!!! Kiss from Spain!!

http://iconosdemoda.blogspot.com/

M Hood said...

maybe next try some homemade salsa too? :)

esp. during summer time, fresh salsa is so good on baked potato, sprinkle some pepper on it. Hmm..

Paislea Elyse said...

ooh! i love potatoes!!

allister bee blog

be sure enter my giveaway to win your very own shabby apple dress!

Lilya said...

This is such a great idea. This is a popular fast food stand in Russia, you get a baked potato and select the toppings! Simple and delicious.
http://www.kartoshka.com/

Aimee said...

Yum! My favorite topping is spinach cashew pesto from Joy the Baker's food blog - it is AMAZING. And another favorite is cottage cheese - it may sound kind of gross but it's sooo good.

Anonymous said...

Cottage cheese and honey. Sounds sick but is quite tasty.

Belle on Heels said...

Yummy!! What a fabulous idea :)

HiLLjO said...

YUM! How fun and easy is that? Not to mention deliciuos! Can you imagine a yam bar for dessert with marshmallows and brown sugar?!

aislin said...

What a flippin' cute idea!! That'd be fun with homemade pizzas too!

Caitlin said...

I love this idea! Such a fun and creative approach to a dinner party. Now I'm hungry...

Beth said...

we do broccoli and bacon...not bacon bits but real bacon...yummers! We do this for football games snacks..well I guess meals!

meet emily said...

i'm totally stealing this! yum.

Mary Nevin said...

This makes so much sense for a dinner party!! I've seen it done at a few weddings and while delicious it was always a bit of a misplaced item, this on the other hand is perfect!!

Marcouiller Trimble said...

baked beans

Elizabeth said...

What a great idea! My personal favorite topping is chili and cheese. Moscow has a chain of potato kiosks that lets you mix and match your toppings...

Alaina Buzas said...

Back in college, my roommate and I used to have our own little baked potato parties at least once a week. Such a cheap and filling dinner.

I did just attend a wedding with a MASHED potato bar though and everyone was so excited about it!

Anonymous said...

I totally LOVE baked potatoes! This sounds like so much fun. Did you make a salad or anything or just the potatoes? YUM.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great idea for the superbowl!

anniematic said...

I strongly believe that baked potatoes are an under-appreciated meal. But what about freshly chopped chives? They are an essential component of a baked potato bar!

Jessica Wray said...

what a good, easy idea!

a displaced floridian said...

I always thought this would be such a fun idea at a wedding.

erica lorraine scheidt said...

yum. have you tried the roe and the faux roe (it's made of seaweed) at ikea? i want to.

Much to My Delight said...

I did a baked potato bar at my ugly sweater christmas party this year and it is such a great meal to serve! No stress for the hostess and people can grab when they want it. You can even keep baked potatoes warm in a big crock-pot until people are ready to eat. I made four different infused butters to serve with mine as well. Love your idea for sweet toppings too! So fun and easy!

Kat Elliott said...

We used to do this growing up and my roommate and I lived off these in college! Our family friend introduced them to our family as Spud-weisers.
Since they're great for using up the leftovers in the fridge, we'd often include sauteed mushrooms (my favorite), corn, and black beans (since I was vegetarian).
You're toppings look great! Can't wait to try them!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

This is one of my favorite company dinners. Sometimes I ask friends to bring different toppings. I love corn on a baked potato.

Fondly,
Glenda

Anonymous said...

I love how the butter is melting in the top photo. Melted butter and pepper is the best.

Lauren Knight said...

Mmmm... great idea! I would choose chili and cheese. It's a chill and cheese kind of day around here. Thanks for sharing!

anhesty said...

what a great idea! now im craving for a baked potato. great post!

Ana Degenaar said...

Sounds just like what I need to make tonight.

Lauren said...

I absolutely agree that this is a wicked idea. I'm sure everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing Jo!

Fancy Pants said...

Salsa and corn:) Love it. Also, I once went to a Baked Potato restaurant in Montreal. It was pretty amazing...

Anonymous said...

The ultimate comfort topping for me is cheddar cheese and baked beans (add the cheese first so it melts better with the beans on top). Yum! Salmon and cream cheese with black pepper is also amazing.

What a great idea!!

Lashley said...

I/we love crunchy quinoa! You cook it on the stove (the conventional way) for a bit, then spread it out on a pan in the oven so it has a nice crunch. It shakes up the baked potato and regular topping texture and is good for you!

Sydney said...

What an incredible idea! Such a great idea for students (aka moi) who are tight on funds but high on leftovers/random ingredients!

Zoë said...

Problem: you missed bacon! Nueske's bacon, to be exact, straight from my home state. :)

Alyssa said...

We did this for our new years party when we had 5 families over to celebrate (it's great for kids too). We had a lot of the same toppings plus crispy pancetta, carmelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, cilantro, and vegetarian chili in the crockpot. Easy and delicious.

mary said...

oh i love baked potato bars! they seem ordinary, but i you do what you guys did, it's such sweet meal! i mean who really gets all those toppings ready for an ordinary night at home? great idea.

Posh Pearl said...

Jacket potatoes! Oh my gosh...I absolutely love love love!! This is a fabulous idea!!

xx

RuBee said...

Great idea! I had one with cheese and coleslaw for lunch today but I also love tuna Mayo with sweetcorn. Xx

paige said...

carmelized onions! what a fun idea! xo

Kimber said...

LOVE potato bars! surprisingly, salsa on potatoes is absolutely incredible!

and lately we've been wrapping the potatoes in tin foil, popping them in the crock-pot for 6-8 hours on low, and it's the best! there's SO moist that way and always done perfectly, takes all the guess work out of it for us!

Sarah said...

I like BBQ sauce on my baked potatoes!

The Egg said...

my girlfriend did this at their wedding. it was a hit!

Kelly R said...

I make a saucy chick pea topping and have it on a baked sweet potato. It's so yummy! Saute onion, garlic, green pepper; add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup Worcestershire and a can of crushed tomatoes; add chick peas and additional 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and heat through. It sounds a bit weird, but it's yummy and good for you!

Jillian said...

I've found some really yummy baked potato recipes on some of my favorite blogs (and then blogged about them... the link is below) but some spicy arugala with dressing and a fried egg over top is shockingly good!!

http://gettinglifestyled.blogspot.com/2011/09/eat-baked-potato-with-caramelized.html

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I recently used leftover bacon jam (recipe here: http://preppypinkcrocodile.blogspot.com/2011/12/bacon-jam.html) on a baked potato with sour cream. OMG to die for!!! Crazy crazy good!

I also regularly have salsa on a baked potato (and sometimes a baked sweet potato) when I am too tired to cook (only takes a few mins in the microwave).

melissa said...

My favorite baked potato topping is actually A-1 sauce! You should try it; it's SUPER yummy and a little bit healthier than sour cream (although I have been known to add both at the same time!). What a fun idea for a party!

esther said...

I LOVE baked potatoes! Ranch dressing on top is also really good. What a great idea!

Patty [PRETTYGROUNDED] said...

They used to have these at the "max and erma" restaurants in the midwest. Love me some potato bar.


Im sure I would like any options with cheese. I bet brie is too good on a potato

xo
Patty

Lisa Fyfe said...

that is a great idea. thanks, i am join going to use it!

love+cupcakes blog said...

LOVE this idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

saltgrain said...

Shrimp, Crab and lobster are good.. especially with cheddar cheese:)

Taco Bars are good.. and you can make them so different.. have mango salsa and tilapia for fish tacos. You can make it healthier by offering nonfried foods and baked chicken etc.. so that the calories don't get too out of wack

*** KITSCH *** said...

Love the idea!
Next time i will try, maybe this friday!
mmmmmmmmm

www.mykitschworld.blogspot.com

Kiley Kate said...

Caviar is amazing on potatoes! My mouth is watering!

Ali said...

What a good idea! So delicious and a fun way to take the stress out of a dinner party. I'm hungry just thinking about it!


Ali
http://editorialistyle.blogspot.com/

amber {daisy chain} said...

I actually get anxiety when I invite a big group of friends over - spending nights dog-earring recipes in magazines and hoping it all somehow comes together. THANK YOU for this, can't wait to use it on the next bunch!!!

celia said...

That is an Awesome Idea !!! Have fun, i'm sure you will :)

Aya said...

GREAT idea!!

Lost in Provence said...

Am homesick for the States right now so this post is killing me! Although I must say that my grandmother once made twice baked potatoes every night for a WEEK when she was watching us and that almost killed me on taters. From a Frenchy point of view? Shaved truffles and baratte butter. Voila.

Melissa Blake said...

This sounds like fun! The perfect thing to do with a bunch of friends. I usually go with just butter and pepper, but sometimes I'll take a walk on the wild side and add some sour cream! Such a dangerous life I lead... :)

Caitlin said...

YUM! And so clever. I bet everybody loved it. I love baked potatos but rarely make them for myself!

I don't eat meat, but my husband's mom makes these (apparently) delicious crab twice-baked potatos... she gets crab meat and mixes it with grated parm and puts it into the potato!

C said...

Would you think broccoli is weird? I love my baked potatoes topped with broccoli and melted cheese. Although, smoked salmon is a favourite as well.

Molliee said...

ooh love this idea! Must do asap!

Susan said...

Love this! Now I know what I'm serving at our Super Bowl party. Thanks - You are a genius!

Cheryl G. said...

Now, that's MY kind of dinner party!
Brilliant (as I coyly call myself brilliant too).

Allison Young said...

looking at these pictures makes me hungry!

www.absurdlypeculiar.blogspot.com

Marc said...

Nothing fancy. Salmon. Cream Cheese. But then again, I'm Bavarian. Everything without dumplings and beer borders 'wild cuisine' ;-)

Eleni said...

Try yogurt with mustard and lemon. It's deliciously fresh and a perfect match to baked potatoes!

Heather said...

A potato bar! What a brilliant idea! (I'm a vegetarian, for the most part, but I can't resist a little bacon every now and then-especially on a baked potato!)

seashoreknits said...

Salsa is fantastic on a bp!!

Ashleigh said...

Oh snap, this sounds awesome!

Unpublished Life said...

I saw this on an episode of Four Weddings US a few months back and have been wanting to do a dinner party like this ever since! Great idea and so simple!

My favourite baked potato topping is - wait for it - prawn cocktail! AMAZING!:)

http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.com/

Meric said...

This is actually called "Kumpir" in Turkish, and it's a really famous fast food in Istanbul. We usually put butter, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, sweetcorn, olives, sausage slices and Russian salad in the baked potato! Delicious!

It's a great idea for dinner parties :)

Tania said...

YUM. that sounds amazing!

Grace Lynne Fleming said...

love this idea, and SO FUN


grace
http://herumbrella.com

Christina Marie said...

Such a great idea. Easy and delish! Before I stick the potatoes in the oven, I like to rub olive oil on them and sprinkle kosher salt. Makes the potato skin nice and crispy!

Just made some crispy tacos, come see! http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/

xo,
Christina

Char said...

What a great idea! So yummy and easy so you can concentrate on enjoying your guests and not too much on clean up and prep! Awesome!
Char xo
www.itsacharmlife.blogspot.com

Lindsey said...

I love this idea! So going to plan a baked potato party! So many different sides you could use!
http://lindseyyoung.net

Mersey said...

I was already planning to make baked potatoes for dinner tonight! Now I have a yummy list of new ingredients to try! Thanks Joanna!!

Ashley said...

sounds fun!! great combinations as well! last week i made baked potatoes and we put black beans green chilies, onions, and salsa on top. Yum! =)

Eliza Jane said...

I used to live in Scotland, and my favourite baked potato topping was tuna and sweet corn.

Anonymous said...

English classic- tuna with mayonaise! That's where/how I tried these "jacket potatoes" first and I'm sticking to it. It's delicious!
and your post just made me hungry...and it's 1a.m. here! Shame on you for that, Joanna! :)

Iriska

Kristen said...

Love dinners like these for guests! We usually do a burrito bowl bar, much like chipotle for guests with tons of toppings.

Anonymous said...

Next time try a macaroni and cheese bar. Delightful when served in martini glasses.

melanie said...

OBSESSED WITH BAKED POTATOES, especially sweet ones!

Gloss Boudoir said...

I love the idea! Definetely gonna do that when we have our friends home.
www.gloss-boudoir.com

Anonymous said...

I must have a potato - NOW!

grace said...

i LOVE baked potatoes. they're literally my favorite!

becca ann said...

that sounds incredible

Journeyin' Lady... said...

I love everything you had on your baked potato bar - great idea and so simple!

the actor's diet said...

great idea! (and i love the pix too)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea. My bf and I always want to entertain, but we live on shoestring budget -- this might just be the way to have a few friends over for dinner. (minus the caviar) :)

Annabelle said...

Wow, I would kill for a baked potato with sour cream and caviar, that's brilliant!

Marissa said...

Love this idea!!!

Gabrielle said...

What a fantastic idea! Although I find it difficult to eat a baked potato because I love sweet potatoes so much- I'm envisioning a baked sweet potato bar with scallions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro.

elisa said...

I'm definitely a brocoli and cheese gal with some sour cream and bacon. Definitely bacon! Such a good idea for a party, easy and fun.

This Confetti Life said...

LOVE THIS! My husband recently decided we should buy a bag of potatoes at Costco. A few friends over for a potato bar would be a great way to use them.

Emily Nelson said...

I love my baked potato with:
bacon, avocado dip (garlic, avocado, lemon juice, salt pepper), whole egg mayonaise and gerkins (little sliced pickles). YUM!

When I travelled in Turkey a lot of street vendors in Istanbul had baked potato bars. Every time I make this baked potato combination it reminds me of the ones I ate in Turkey haha.

anita said...

Yummy... LOVE POTATOES!

kisses from Ecuador

visit me:
http://lanannablog.blogspot.com/

Thanks

Albert Lam said...

where's the bacon?

laco said...

in the dirty South, we do potato bars too! we put them in martini glasses to "dress it up". it adds an air of glamour.

Anonymous said...

Mmm. I used to work for a catering hall that offered something similar for cocktail hour, only it was mashed potatoes (served in big martini glasses) with lots of toppings. Totally mentally bookmarked it for a wedding, but never thought to have it at a party! Genius. Somehow, so much more satisfying than an ice cream bar!

2Anchor said...

This is a GREAT idea! I'm definitely keeping it in mind for my next get together. My husband and I do this for us..never thought of doing it for a dinner party.

xoKylee
http://2anchor.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

My camp would have a potato bar night and it was everyone's favourite meal of the session.

My favourite is baked sweet potato with cheddar cheese, red onion and salsa.

Sammi said...

yum!! my current favourite is bacon and sour cream- yum!!

Mallory said...

I love roast beef, cheddar, and lots of brown gravy. EVERYTHING is better with gravy!

Abbey said...

This is a genius idea!!!!! I love baked potatoes more than just about anything ...

Leah Stone said...

cottage cheese and salsa, or just ketchup.

Sarah @ Designs Good said...

I love baked potato bars! Every once and a while my mom would do this for dinner and we all loved it.

marta said...

An egg sunny side up with cottage cheese :)

roysie said...

Yes! I am so doing this for my next party. Also, I want to try roasted grapes and goat cheese as a topping.

Maria said...

This is the awesomest of ideas! We had baked potatoes just the other day and topped them off with tuna mayo and sweetcorn. YUM! I also love chilli con carne and cheese.

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

Jodie said...

This is a great idea! Am really looking forward to trying something like this at home xx

The Adventuresome Pearl said...

Mmmm, this is an awesome idea!
We will do this for our next party for sure:-)

jaime said...

i took this idea and did it! we bean sprouts and feta which was so yummy - thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

nice idea.. thanks for posting..

Lauren said...

I've done a mashed potato bar before. I had chili for the potatos, and it turned into a little bit of a chili bar, but that was okay too. I had about twenty-five different toppings. It was craziness. If I do it again, I'll scale down the toppings. Your list sounds perfect.

Joan said...

Baked Potato with toppings is my go-to-meal. Love alfredo sauce, shredded chicken and roasted broccoli. Alltogether of course. :)

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