Spice Up Your Baked Potato!

Bored with butter and sour cream on baked potatoes? Baked potato toppings don’t have to be bland. Here are five ways to take baked potatoes from the everyday to the unusual without sacrificing flavor.


Wake up basic baked potatoes with some Mexican flavor. Whether using a store-bought brand or a fresh salsa made at home, salsa can be a spicy change from potatoes topped with butter and sour cream (see below for a tasty fresh salsa recipe).

For spicy Mexican potatoes:

  1. Take two large baked potatoes and split open
  2. Sprinkle a ½ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
  3. Microwave cheese and potatoes for 20 seconds (or just until the cheese has started to melt)
  4. Spread three heaping tablespoons of salsa on top of the cheese.
  5. Garnish with sour cream, if desired.


Pesto isn’t just for pasta anymore! Take a cue from the potato’s starch-based cousin and slather some pesto atop a spud. While most pesto recipes (see below for a great lime-cilantro recipe) contain some type of grated cheese, sprinkle some additional grated Parmesan cheese on top of the pesto for more melted cheese flavor that also adds to the visual presentation of the potatoes (and avoids those “Ewww! Green potatoes!” shouts from the kids).

Curry Dip

Bring some Indian spice to baked potatoes by topping them with an unconventional curry dip. The non-fat curry dip recipe featured at the end of this article uses a yogurt base, but a sour cream base (non-fat, low-fat, or regular) can also be used for a tangier taste and smoother consistency. Mix in some shredded carrots for added flavor.


Chili cheese fries are a popular staple at many fast-food restaurants, so chili and cheese logically make a great topping for a baked spud. Using large or extra-large baking potatoes, a hearty chili, and sharp cheddar or spicier cheese (such as pepper jack), can turn a baked potato from a side dish into a satisfying main meal.


Fresh vegetables can also make for a nice complement to baked potatoes. Cooks can offer an array of vegetable toppings so even the pickiest eaters will find something to put on their spud. A little sautéed broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, or whatever vegetables cooks and diners prefer can not only serve as a creative topping, but can also be a healthy substitute for (or addition to) butter and/or sour cream.

Banish boring baked potatoes from the dinner table and get creative with some out-of-the-ordinary toppings.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!