Not only is this a hearty and comforting dish, it's conveniently easy to make ahead of time. To freeze big items like cooked potatoes and meatballs, arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan, and freeze 1 to 2 hours; transfer to a zip-top bag. You'll avoid one frozen mass, plus single servings thaw faster.
Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways
4 (10- to 12-oz.) russet potatoes
1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cubed and softened
1/2 cup milk
Desired Potato Filling (recipes below): Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Potato Filling
BBQ Pork and Pepper Jack Potato Filling
Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Potato Filling
See more: 21 Freezer-Friendly Recipes
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork, and bake directly on oven rack 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. (Baking directly on the rack keeps skins crisp and firm to hold the filling.) Cool 10 minutes.
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; carefully scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact. Mash together potato pulp, cream cheese, and milk; stir in desired Potato Filling. Spoon mixture into potato shells, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
3. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
To Freeze: Prepare through Step 2. Freeze potatoes on a baking sheet 1 hour or until firm. Wrap each potato in plastic wrap, place in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. To serve, unwrap potatoes, and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until hot. Or microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until hot, checking at 1-minute intervals.
Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 small onion, diced, and 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together broccoli mixture, 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 3/4 tsp. table salt, and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Total time 20 min.
BBQ Pork and Pepper Jack: Stir together 2 cups (about 1/2 lb.) chopped barbecued pork (without sauce), 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese, 1/3 cup minced green onions, and 4 tsp. Ranch dressing mix. Serve potatoes with barbecue sauce. Total time 10 min.
Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 cups chopped red onion and 2 tsp. sugar, and sauté 10 to 12 minutes or until caramelized. Stir in 2 Tbsp. dry sherry, and cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Stir together onion mixture; 1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened; 8 cooked and crumbled bacon slices; 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme; 3/4 tsp. salt; and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper. Total time 20 min.