I Tried Ina Garten’s New Favorite Way to Make Baked Potatoes And Now I’m Hooked

published Nov 9, 2023
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Crusty baked potatoes with whipped feta on serving platter.
Credit: Choya Johnson

There aren’t many varieties of a potato that I’ll turn down. While cheesy potato pancakes and super-crispy roasted potatoes are some of my new favorite ways to have the starchy spud, there’s really nothing that beats having a baked potato in my book. But not just any baked potato — I specifically enjoy the ones with all the fixings like sour cream, butter, cheese, chives, and, most importantly, bacon. 

In my mind, there has been no other way to enjoy them. But when I recently came across Ina Garten’s recipe for Crusty Baked Potato with Whipped Feta Cheese from her cookbook Make It Ahead, I realized I might need to expand my baked potato horizons. The recipe includes freshly chopped herbs and spices, olive oil, feta cheese, and cream cheese — all of which complement the potato and promise to take it a step above the rest. So there was only one thing left for me to do: Head to the store to pick up the ingredients needed to give it a try.

Credit: Choya Johnson

How to Make Ina Garten’s Crusty Baked Potatoes with Whipped Feta Cheese

This recipe is pretty simple and straight to the point. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. While that’s heating up, finely chop both the rosemary and thyme and add to a bowl with lemon zest and salt. Mix together until blended evenly and set aside.

Grab 4 large Idaho potatoes and wash them. Once they are clean, pat them dry with a paper towel and pierce them all over with a fork. Pour the lemon zest and herb mixture evenly across your lined sheet pan before adding your potatoes and covering them in olive oil. Then, roll each potato in the mixture, covering evenly. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until tender. Slit the top of each potato and squeeze ends together to open the potato. Set aside.

Place feta cheese and cream cheese at room temperature in a bowl and mix together. Then, add in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add to the top of your baked potato and serve.

Credit: Choya Johnson

My Honest Review of Ina’s Crusty Baked Potatoes with Whipped Feta Cheese

I loved this recipe so much that it may replace my formerly favorite version of the loaded baked potato. It has completely opened my eyes to the range of creating and experimenting with baked potatoes, and I now see myself making this more often than I expected! 

Each potato came out perfectly and, although only boasting a few ingredients, packed a lot of flavor. The addition of the feta and cream cheese mixtures made the potato so creamy and delicious. So what would I rate it? On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this one a solid 9. But because Ina can pretty much do no wrong, I don’t know why I expected anything less. 

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: I Tried Ina Garten’s New Favorite Way to Make Baked Potatoes And I’m Hooked