Cheesy Bacon & Kale Potato Skins Recipe - Skillful Cook
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Cheesy Bacon & Kale Potato Skins

8 reviews / 5 average

Boom! Crispy bacon, vibrant kale, golden-crispy potato skins, and swizzly melted cheese right in your face, as it should be. Me likey mucho.

I have this thing and it's called I like to get really up close and personal right from the start with the food photos. You just need to get yoself right up IN there and take a look at that yummy food. How else are you going to know what these cheese bomb potato skins will look like as they make their three-second journey from the plate up to your mouth? Grab it, gaze upon its cheesy-bacony-and-a-little-bit-of-bright-green-kale beauty, getting closer getting closer getting clo — and down the hatch.

And I pinkie promise that will be the first and last time the phrase DOWN THE HATCH will be publicly typed onto this food blog. Not okay.

Process of making Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins.

These potato skins are a game-changer for me. I mean that literally - when Bjork watches football, my self-appointed “job” <- rough life -> is to make snacks and eat. Now that these cheesy bacon and kale potato skins are a thing that exist in my food life, the making and eating of game day snacks just got all happy-happy-joy-joy gimme all the cheese.

Also, there's kale nestled in there. No, like K-A-L-E. What kind of hipster do I think I am, anyways? I got on a healthy pesto thing this summer and I still haven't gotten off that train. The thick, creamy, garlic-punch kale filling for these potato skins is the perfect way to make them into less of a greasy junk food and more of a filling meal that you can feel semi-food-responsible for eating. Plus, all that bright green in your life. It's hot.

Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins.

Skillful Cook has a special relationship with potato skins. Not me - I mean I love them a really big lot and did I get all the bacon bits off of my face? - but seriously, potato skins have WORKED IT over the life of this little food blog.

I made this recipe for Healthy Sweet Potato Skins in when I was just a Baby Food Blogger back in 2011, which was also around the time when I also bought my first pair of jeggings, which was also around the time when I started talking about things like buying my first pair of jeggings on my FOOD blog, which started the downhill slide into talking about rando life tidbits along with food in almost every post. Which reminds me - thank you for sticking with me and all my wordssss. Oh dearie me you guys are the best.

Those old school sweet potato skins launched Skillful Cook into a new level of blog traffic *NERD ALERT* because the founder of Pinterest's mother pinned them to one of her boards with all those mils of early Pinterest followers, and for whatever reason (uh, I dunno, like cheese and bacon?) people loved them. Okay, maybe it was a tie for how much people loved them and how much people loved to leave educational comments about the recipe's health-o-meter. Lesson: sometimes you gotta stir the pot to get things moving, and that post started a nice big stir for Skillful Cook.

Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins.

Food bloggers will get this: because they were popular, I got sick of them. I got sick of even hearing about them. Yay! More traffic! More links! Healthy Sweet Potato Skins! *bored face* The same old thang forever. Because I was so over it, I took a hiatus from any and all potato skin making over the last two years.


Why-hy-hy-hy? Think of all the bacon-sprinkled cheesy potato skin eating I missed out on. Or don't - it's too devastating. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I was too hungry to function normally for the last two years. I must have forgotten that potato skins are the perfect SnackMeal (!! my fave !!) and that they are inviting you to please eat all of the most delicious foods together in cute little boat form and also please enjoy yourself a blanket of melted cheese on top.

These cheesy bacon and kale potato skins are just the ticket - they are baked to golden brown crispy potato skin perfection (and I mean seriously CRISPAY) and filled with a healthy and vibrant garlic-and-Parm-laced kale pesto, sprinkled with crumbled bacon for the love, and topped with a little pinch of shredded cheese that will melt in the oven to make the whole thing a little boat of bubbling, delicious, halfway healthy game day food.

Making up for the lost potato skin eating years starting in three... two...

Over and out.

Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Bacon and kale potato skins.

Cheesy Bacon & Kale Potato Skins

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 potato skins - serving size is 1 skin 1x


These Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins are loaded with a fresh kale pesto and topped with crumbled bacon and melted cheese.


  • 5 slices bacon
  • 5 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 ounces kale
  • 3/4 cup almonds or pine nuts
  • 1 handful basil leaves or other herbs (optional - see notes)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional - see notes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup any kind of shredded cheese - I used Chihuahua cheese


  1. BACON: Fry the bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. When cool enough to handle, crumble or chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. POTATOES: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes. Rub or brush them with 1 tablespoon oil. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. When they're cool enough, slice the potatoes in half, scoop out most of the flesh (use for another recipe - yay mashed potatoes!), but leave a little bit attached to the skin to help them hold their shape. Melt the butter and combine with the remaining tablespoon oil. Brush the insides and outsides of the skins with the butter/oil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, skin side up, until nice and crispy.
  3. KALE: In a food processor, pulse the kale, nuts, herbs, chickpeas, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, and salt until smooth.
  4. ASSEMBLY: Fill each of the potato skins with the kale mixture. Top with crumbled bacon and cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes until ooey-gooey melty and delish. Sprinkle with extra bacon or herbs before serving to make it look extrafancy.


I like to put the chickpeas in the kale mixture because it helps to bulk it up and add some filling power to the potato skins. This would still work just fine without the chickpeas - it would just be a thinner kale pesto and it wouldn't fill the skins as much.

If you don't have any fresh herbs, don't sweat it. I make versions of this kale pesto sauce stuff all the time and it works beautifully with fresh herbs like basil, but it can also hold its own in the flavor department without the herbs.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked potato skins, bacon and kale potato skins, potato skins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Haha… love the post. And specially love your writing and all the drama 😉 very entertaining as well. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I didn’t read your blog in the healthy sweet potato days, but I am so excited to make this recipe!! Perfect for when I’m watching football with a bunch of couples, the girls can talk food, while the boys talk football!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    These sound amazing! I love adding chickpeas to the pesto mix – it sounds like the best of pesto and hummus combined to make the perfect healthy binder for all that cheesy potato goodness : )

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG I can totally relate to being *over* something just because it becomes so popular…now I know this will alienate me from some…but seeing SO MANY pumpkin recipes in early September makes me want to roll my eyes. But these potato skins? YESSS and YUMMM…I will not be over these for a while, they look incredible!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    These look delish !!! Question though – could I use another type of green ??? Spinach maybe ?

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Bacon, cheese and crispy potato skins are so great together. I don’t like kale though so maybe spinach would work?

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love the idea of kale pesto on bacon loaded potato skins and since I am also the self-appointed snack maker/eater during football season, these will definitely be made often.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Bring on the bacon! I cook healthy things sometimes but most of the time I just cook, eat, and blog whatever fits into my lifestyle at the moment. I love that you put kale pesto in these because if there’s something I love as much as bacon it’s pesto.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yum yummy! I love me some potato skins, and the addition of the kale and chickpeas are almost enough to make me think I’m eating health food! They’ve got to be enough to counteract the bacon and cheese, right? 🙂

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh EM GEEE!!!
    Girl I love you! I’ve purchased your books! I’ve joined you both in your journey! And you are my HERO!
    You’re my biggest inspiration and I can’t thank you enough for how much work you put into your blog…and how much information you’re willing to share to help baby bloggers like me.
    I’m following you all over the place. Not a stalker I promise! Just a mum from Australia who you’ve motivated and inspired to become better!
    Thank you Lindsay!
    Lots of love Xxxx