These Air Fryer Potato Skins are even better than restaurant skins. Start in the microwave and brush with bacon fat – then the air fryer makes them perfect!
I admit to buying frozen TGI Fridays potato skins. But I won’t now that I came up with this air fryer potato skins recipe. These homemade potato skins are truly perfect. The air fryer is a star when it comes to easy appetizers. Check out some more of my air fryer recipes…
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More air fryer appetizer recipes
- Air Fryer Apples
- Southwest Egg Rolls
- Air Fryer Chex Mix
- Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
- Air Fryer Crab Cakes
Why this recipe works
Some recipes make the skins start to finish in the air fryer. I think that makes the outsides of the potato halves too tough. Starting raw potatoes in the microwave is the quickest way to make the best potato skins. Tender in the middle with crispy skins. Once the cooked potato flesh is scooped out, then the air fryer can finish them. And my other secret to really flavorful potato skins is brushing the insides with a little bacon fat. Oh my gosh, you have got to try these for yourself!
Ingredients for crispy air fryer potato skins
- Potatoes – I like the waxy texture, thinner skin and beautiful yellow hue of Yukon Gold Potatoes for this recipe the best. But you can choose to use red potatoes or russet potatoes instead. Just make sure you are choosing smaller potatoes.
- Bacon – You need to use real bacon, not bacon bits for this recipe as you need the bacon fat for flavoring the crispy skins. You can use olive oil or avocado oil as a substitute if you are a vegetarian.
- Cheddar Cheese – Choose your favorite variety of cheddar, but I strongly recommend grating it yourself for the best melty cheese filling experience in your potato skins.
- Green Onions – I love the pop of green color the sliced green onion (scallions) add, plus the flavor.
- Sour Cream – Personally I like extra sour cream on my crispy potato skins. But you could use your favorite Ranch dressing instead as a topping.
- Salt and Pepper
- Variations – I’ve pictured my potatoes with personal favorite (and traditional) fillings of cheddar, bacon and sour cream. However, feel free to use your own favorite toppings – like pulled pork, Buffalo chicken or chili.
Instructions for making air-fried potato skins
Wash the potatoes and microwave until tender. For detailed instructions, keep scrolling to the bottom of this article to find my printable recipe card. After the potatoes have cooled a bit, slice them in half and scoop out the insides. I like to save the cooked potato insides for mashed potatoes. Brush the insides of the potato skins with bacon fat. Air fry them empty and skin side down. Then fill them with cheese and air fry again to melt the cheese. Then add bacon, scallions and sour cream. These crispy skins are a perfect appetizer for football season. But honestly they’ve become one of my favorite foods for any time of year.
Use a spoon or melon baller to help remove the potato flesh from the skins. You want the potatoes to be cool to the touch when you are handling them.
You can double or triple this recipe for a game day crowd. Just air fryer the skins in several batches.
Store the air-fried potato skins in airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat them in the air fryer at 350 degrees F until warm, about 5 – 7 minutes. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Serve these potato skins with a big salad for a main meal. Or serve them as part of an easy appetizer spread at a party, with my Pizza Dip, Buffalo Chicken Nachos and Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.
- I use a Philips XXL Air Fryer to test all my recipes for Foodtastic Mom
- Use a silicone pastry brush for coating the skins with bacon fat
- Melon baller for helping to prepare the potato skins
More potato recipes
Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Air Fryer
- 6 Yukon Gold potatoes
- 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled, fat reserved
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions finely sliced
- 1 cup sour cream
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Wash the potatoes and pierce each one with a pairing knife. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a large, microwave-safe plate.
- Cover the potatoes with a wet paper towel. Heat on high for 5 minutes. Flip the potatoes. Microwave the potatoes again, for 5 - 7 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Place the potatoes in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool. Slice the potatoes in half. Scoop out the insides, reserving the cooked potato for mashed potatoes later. Leave about a 1/4-inch border of potato inside in the skins.
- Brush the inside of the potato skins with the reserved bacon fat.
- Place six of the skins inside the air fryer basket in a single layer, skin side down.
- Cook for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Open the basket and fill the insides of the skins with the shredded cheddar cheese. Heat again at 400 degrees F for 3 - 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Repeat the process with the remaining potato skins.
- Top the cooked potato skins with bacon crumbles, sliced green onions and sour cream to serve. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Originally published 6/13/2020 and updated for content 11/13/2023
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