Making a baked potato bar is a great way to get a quick meal on the table when you have friends or family over to the house.
You can provide your guests with a variety of toppings, or just a few simple ones.
Below we’ll share 17 of our most popular baked potato bar toppings for your next potluck or get-together.
When I think of beans, the first thing I think of is chili, but don’t stop there.
Black beans and refried beans are also excellent choices for baked potatoes.
You can even add spices like cumin and chili powder to your mashed potatoes for a little extra flavor!
If you’re using black beans, sauté some onions, garlic and tomatoes with them in olive oil before putting them on top of your potato.
This will give them more flavor and make it easier to eat without making a mess!
The only thing better than loading up your baked potato with toppings is eating them all together as one delicious meal!
You can use any kind of beans you want: kidney, pinto, black-eyed peas…whatever sounds good to you.
Start by mashing the bean mixture in a bowl (don’t worry if it’s not completely smooth), then add some salt and pepper or other spices if desired – I like adding cilantro too because it makes everything taste fresh!
If you like cilantro on top of your baked potato bar (and who doesn’t?), add some chopped up avocado as well.
It’ll be delicious when mixed together with all those other toppings.
So now that we’ve got our meaty protein base down pat – time to talk about cheese options!
- It’s not a baked potato bar without some delicious shredded cheese! It is a great base for all your favorite toppings.
- Good choices for cheese include cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and blue cheese. Keep in mind that guests may have dietary restrictions. Some cheeses are made from milk, while others use fats or oils instead. Clarify by labeling each tub of cheese to help your guests decide what they want to put on their baked potatoes.
- Provide a variety of cheeses so that your guests can choose the ones they like best. You can find interesting flavors at most specialty grocery stores, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your options!
This is a classic topping for baked potatoes.
It’s also a great base for other toppings like chives.
Sour cream adds creaminess and flavor, so it is always a fan favorite.
You can use sour cream on lots of things besides potatoes too!
Fried eggs are a classic topping for a baked potato.
You can use an over-easy egg, an over-medium egg, or even sunny-side up eggs.
The key to a good fried egg is keeping the whites as firm as possible while still having a runny yolk.
To fry your egg, grab a nonstick pan, add cooking oil or butter to the pan and turn it onto medium heat, then crack your egg into the pan and let it cook for about 30 seconds.
Once you see some of the whites starting to get firm, use a spatula to flip the egg then let it cook for another 30 seconds.
To help it cook faster you can cover it with a lid but be careful because there will be some splatter!
It may seem obvious that butter is a necessary part of any baked potato bar, but if you’re concerned about your guests’ health or waistlines, you may be tempted to leave it off the guest list.
After all, butter is high in fat and has a high caloric density.
However, since it is such a common component in baked potato dishes, we recommend including some on your buffet table.
Most people use only a small amount of butter when topping their potatoes.
As another plus, its flavor enhances the flavor of other toppings like cheese and chives without overpowering them.
Instead of offering an entire stick of butter at once (which can get messy), we recommend putting small pats on each plate as it comes out of the oven before sending them to your guests.
Chili is a popular topping for baked potatoes.
If you would like to make your own chili, choose a favorite recipe, or modify one by adding extra beans and onions to make it vegetarian.
For meat lovers, use ground beef and dark red kidney beans.
Make sure that you have enough chili to go around.
And warn everyone if you make it extra spicy!
The avocado’s status as a superfood is well-deserved.
It’s high in fat (the good kind), which makes it a tasty addition to any meal.
A whole avocado contains around 240 calories, 25% more than an egg, but the fruit is also packed with protein and fiber.
Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins E and B6.
Adding sliced avocados to your baked potato bar has several advantages.
The fruit is already popular with many diners, so adding it to your spread will please picky eaters.
It can also be prepared ahead of time or served directly from its skin for easy serving at informal gatherings like graduation celebrations or family reunions.
Broccoli florets are a great way to add some extra nutrition to your baked potato.
Not only will you gain more nutrients, but you’ll also up the crunch factor of your meal.
Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber, as well as potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K.
It’s also a good source of several B vitamins and vitamin A.
And on top of all that, it’s low in calories!
Cooked Bacon (or bacon bits)
How do you make a baked potato bar recipe easier?
One way is to save time by using bacon.
Cooked bacon is an excellent topping for baked potatoes (especially for a crowd).
You can also use it in recipes that call for bacon bits, like apple or turkey sausage.
In fact, it even works well in dishes where the recipe calls for ham and pork belly.
With so many ways to use bacon, there’s no limit to the ways you can add flavor to your meals!
Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions
To make sautéed mushrooms and onions, slice one onion and a few types of mushrooms.
Add to frying pan with oil or butter and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
These classic toppings are perfect for baked potatoes.
You can use any type of mushroom you want, such as white button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms.
And serving them warm on the potato is tasty!
Jalapeños add heat but can be made milder by removing the seeds and inside ribs.
Fresh jalapeños are often spicier than canned or pickled ones, which have been softened by the brine.
Sautéed Bell Peppers
You may be familiar with bell peppers as the colorful accent in a fajita or part of an antipasto platter, but when you sauté them, they take on a whole new life.
I love sautéed bell peppers because they’re easy to prepare, versatile and tasty.
Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C and can be eaten raw or cooked.
In fact, some nutritionists recommend eating bell peppers raw because cooking destroys some of the nutrients found in fresh foods.
But if you’re open to cooking your veggies just this once, you’ll find that sautéing gives them a sweet flavor that works well with baked potatoes!
Bell peppers come in different colors—red, yellow, green and orange—and each color has its own unique taste.
For example: red bell peppers have the sweetest taste while green bell peppers are the most bitter.
So go ahead and try out different combinations of colors when making your own batch!
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a member of the onion family and an often-overlooked topping for baked potatoes.
They offer up a savory flavor with a subtle sweetness that makes them great on their own or mixed with Sour Cream.
Not only do they have a delightful taste, but they are also chock full of Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting and bone health.
Chives are excellent when added to soup, salads, eggs, stews or sauces.
Chives can be grown at home in pots in most climates, so you can also enjoy it fresh from the garden year-round!
Salsa is a Mexican condiment that you can make from scratch or buy at a grocery store.
It is typically made from tomatoes, onions and chilies.
Salsa pairs well with a baked potato because the acidity of the tomatoes contrasts nicely with the richness of the potato.
For this, you want to make sure the potato is cooked all the way through and has a soft, fluffy inside.
You’re going to be putting a lot of meat on top of it, so you want your base to be sturdy.
You’ll also want to put some BBQ sauce on your potato.
For this topping, I use KC Masterpiece (Which goes great with both barbecue and potatoes).
You can use whatever BBQ sauce you like best.
Shredded BBQ is one of my favorite toppings for a baked potato bar!
I took my slow cooker ribs recipe from last week and shredded them up into little pieces before putting them onto the baked potatoes.
The only thing that I did differently was add just a little bit of barbecue sauce so that people could have more if they wanted it.
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until done.
- Drain the fat, then add taco seasoning and water.
- Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, which will be about five minutes or so.
- Let it cool before adding to potato bar so that you don’t burn anyone’s mouth! (Unless they want their meat hot, of course.)
Garlic has so many health benefits and tastes great, so it is a no-brainer to include it in your next baked potato topping bar.
You can roast the garlic yourself with little effort and have it ready for your party or family dinner.
To roast garlic, simply preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, break apart a whole bulb of garlic into individual cloves, remove the peel from each clove, place them on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over them.
Wrap up the foil so that all of the cloves are covered and bake for 30 minutes.
Once they cool down completely, you can store roasted garlic in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks or freeze them until you need them again!
Roasted garlic also makes a tasty addition to recipes that call for finely chopped onions.
Baked potatoes are also one of the healthiest ways to serve potatoes, because you don’t have to use much topping (like butter and sour cream) if you don’t want to.
You can add lots of healthy toppings like broccoli and cauliflower or top them with salsa for extra flavor and fiber.