Baked potatoes are such a simple way to add a healthy starch to your meal, and they require just three key ingredients – potatoes, of course, olive oil and kosher salt.
While the baked potato itself makes for a great side dish for a nice piece of roasted salmon, I like to serve it as the main course with a hearty topping. In this case, a Broccoli Cheddar Sauce, cooked to a thicker-than-soup consistency, spoons right onto the potato to make a gooey weeknight dinner that’s fun for all ages.
This recipe has enough sauce to serve 4, but I generally make only 2 or 3 potatoes and go heavy on the cheese sauce. It’s a bit indulgent, but it’s also not an everyday meal around my house.
To make the perfect baked potatoes, follow this method:
4 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash potatoes and let sit to dry for a few minutes. Poke the potatoes with a fork about 6 or 7 times on each side.
Drizzle olive oil on potatoes, and sprinkle with salt. Rub the salt and oil to completely and evenly coat the potato skin.
Place potatoes directly on an oven rack (positioned in the center), and have a sheet pan sitting on a rack below. Roast the potatoes for 50 to 65 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily pierce completely through with a fork.
- 2 cups rough-chopped broccoli (frozen will work)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ medium onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan on the stove. Once boiling, drop in broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Return the saucepan to the stove and melt butter over medium heat. Add in diced onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
Add in flour and stir constantly until well combined. Continue stirring to cook flour for 5 more minutes, careful not to burn.
Whisk in 1 cup of milk, working to smooth out the mixture. Add the other 2 cups of milk and continue stirring to combine.
Bring the heat up until the mixture just starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low and stir in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
Return cooked broccoli to the pan. Bring the heat back up and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Continue stirring until sauce reaches the desired thickness.
Slice open potatoes and use a fork to pull potato bits into the center of the skin. Spoon sauce over potatoes and serve.