Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes – like a meal in itself!

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes are perfectly baked potatoes that are filled with homemade cheese sauce and broccoli, topped with even more cheese! Eat this as a meal or as a side dish.

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

BROCCOLI CHEESE TWICE BAKED POTATOES
You definitely didn’t have to tell me twice to eat this twice-baked potato. I was going to just take a bite, but before I knew it, I ate the entire potato! It really was that good. Most people associate Idaho with the potato, but potatoes were grown as many as 13,000 years ago! They are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Did you know that the potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space? Lucky for us, we don’t have to go to space to get potatoes for twice baked potatoes. The homemade cheese sauce pairs perfectly with the bright green broccoli for these satisfying Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes.

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

BROCCOLI CHEESE TWICE BAKED POTATO RECIPE
This recipe starts with a perfectly cooked potato. I will give you some tips on how to bake a potato next. After all, how many times have you baked a potato and it comes out rock solid? Then, it’s about that homemade cheddar cheese sauce.

Potatoes Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Potatoes
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt

Filling Ingredients

  • Whole milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Chives

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

HOW TO BAKE A PERFECTLY BAKED POTATO
As I mentioned, it starts with the baked potato for this and all other baked potato recipes.

  • First of all, choose a starchy potato like a Russet potato or Idaho potato. Clean it well to get off all the dirt.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Prick holes all around the potato (carefully), using a knife or fork. This allows the steam to escape from inside the potato. If you do not prick holes in the potato, it may actually burst inside your oven.
  • Rub the potatoes with oil and season them with Kosher salt. Be generous with the salt.
  • Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and let them cook at 350°F for about an hour, or until they are fork-tender. A fork will easily pierce the baked potato when it’s done. If it is hard, bake it for a little longer. Be careful to not overbake, though! If you want to be exact, the temperature of a fully cooked potato is around 210°F.
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool before you begin to handle them.

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE
With a saucepan and ingredients that you probably have on hand, you can have some ooey-gooey cheese sauce ready to go onto the Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potato. To make the sauce:

Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and flour in a saucepan. Stir it with a whisk, and then add the rest of the milk and salt.
Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring a few times. Reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring.
Remove from the heat to stir in the cheese and pepper until the cheese melts. Yes, you do need to remove the saucepan from the heat when stirring in the cheese. If you leave the sauce over the heat, the cheese will curdle and you will not get that creaminess that you would expect.
Make sure you reserve half a cup to a cup of the cheese sauce to go on top of the potatoes.

HOW TO BLANCH BROCCOLI
Blanching is a method to cook vegetables so they end up being crisp and bright in color. All it takes to blanch broccoli is a pot of salted boiling water and a bowl of ice water nearby. When the water gets to a boil, put in the broccoli florets and let them cook for 2-3 minutes. They should be bright green after a couple of minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli into the ice water immediately. This ‘shocking’ will stop the broccoli from cooking any longer. When the broccoli has cooled completely, drain it from the ice water and pat it down with a paper towel.

HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEESE TWICE BAKED POTATOES
Once the potatoes have been perfectly cooked, the cheese sauce ready to go, and the broccoli blanched, it’s time to put all those parts together for the final, tasty result. To prepare the filling for the twice-baked potatoes, you need to carefully form the ‘potato bowl’ that will hold all the broccoli and cheese. To do this, cut off one top of each potato (horizontally speaking). Using a spoon, remove the center of the potato and place into a large mixing bowl. Be very careful not to tear the potato skin. Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a baking sheet. (On a side note, the salted skin of the potato that you just cut off the top is a salty delight, but you won’t need those again for this recipe.)

In the large mixing bowl holding the scooped out potatoes, add most of the cheese sauce (remembering to reserve 1/2 cup to a cup for the topping) and mix it well with the potatoes. Then, add and combine the broccoli. Fill each hollowed-out potato with the broccoli cheese filling, making a little well to hold more cheese sauce. Fold in the cheese sauce and use the rest of the cheese to pour over the tops of the potatoes. Adding the layers of cheese adds to the deliciousness of this potato! Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350°F, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are warmed through. Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

CAN YOU BAKE TWICE BAKED POTATOES IN THE MICROWAVE?
Not everyone has an hour or two to get dinner on the table. One solution would be to use the microwave for the initial baking of the potato. Most of the prepping of the potatoes are the same as baking them in the oven. First, scrub and wash the potatoes. Then, poke holes in the potatoes using a fork or knife. Rub the canola oil over each potato and sprinkle on the salt. Finally, wrap the potatoes in a paper towel that has been moistened with a little more canola oil. Cook two potatoes at a time in the microwave, checking if they are fork-tender after 8 minutes. If not, cook a minute more at a time until they are ready. Then, simply follow the ‘how to make broccoli cheese twice-baked potatoes’ to finish them up. I would recommend baking them in the oven the second time, which only takes 15-20 minutes. Another shortcut I have used it to bake the potatoes the night before, refrigerate them overnight, and use them the next day for the second part of baking.

Ingredients

POTATOES

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

FILLING

  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli, blanched
  • chives, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prick a few holes in both sides of the potatoes with a fork or knife.

Coat each potato with canola oil and salt.

Bake the potatoes for one hour, or until they are fork-tender.

Using a sharp knife, slice the top (horizontally) off of each potato.

Using a spoon, remove the center of the potatoes and place into a large mixing bowl. Be careful not to tear the potato skin. Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a baking sheet.

FILLING

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup of milk and the flour.

Pour in the remaining milk and salt, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken.

Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese and pepper until the cheese melts. Reserve 1/2 cup to 1 cup for the topping.

To the bowl of potatoes, add the cheese sauce from the saucepan, mashing and mixing well.

Add the broccoli and stir until everything is mixed together.

Fill the hollowed-out potato skins with the filling, and make a well in the filling.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the cheese sauce into each well and fold the filling over the cheese sauce.

Top each potato using the remaining cheese sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are warmed through.

Garnish with chives.

Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - like a meal in itself!

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