Baked potatoes are a weeknight staple and so easy to make. Give yours an upgrade with these flavorful topping ideas

The humble potato becomes a weeknight meal or the base for a dinner party potato bar when it’s baked and stuffed with yummy toppings. We’ve given the old-school dish three new twists with these distinctly flavored variations. Choose one to serve for a family dinner, or make all three for a party assembled as a self-serve bar and guests can choose the toppings they want. No matter which flavor direction you choose, the potato baking method remains the same. Start by pricking potatoes all over with a fork. Rub olive oil all over each potato’s skin and drizzle with salt and pepper. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and set on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about an hour, until a fork slides in with no resistance. Don’t turn that oven off—you’ll see why later. Once the potatoes are out of the oven and unwrapped, score an oval into the top of each potato. Remove some of the filling (which you can save for another use) and fluff up the insides with a fork to make room for the delicious toppings! Our first variation is Reuben sandwich-inspired. Fill your potatoes with corned beef (homemade or store-bought), sauerkraut, a drizzle of thousand island dressing, and shredded Gruyère cheese. For variation number two, we went in an Italian direction with a Caprese salad-inspired version. Fill the potatoes with pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, and slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. And last but not least, our third variation is Mexican-inspired. Fill the potatoes with cooked chorizo sausage and queso fresco. Once your potatoes have been stuffed, place them back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven for a few minutes to heat the toppings and (the best part!) melt the cheese. Then for a final round of toppings, scatter green onions atop Reuben potatoes, sprinkle chopped fresh basil on Italian potatoes, and add a dollop of sour cream and a bit of fresh chopped cilantro on top of Mexican potatoes for the full, seriously tasty effect.

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