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Lightened Up Twice Baked Potatoes

Even though they’re a fairly ordinary vegetable, potatoes have pretty rich tastes: they adore things like butter and look fantastic adorned in cream. The good thing about potatoes is that they taste just as amazing when flavored with healthier things like onion, garlic, and olive oil.

Garlic and onion give these potatoes great flavor, but as we all know, we eat with our eyes first. I use a little trick for making these potatoes look like they’re full of shredded cheddar (because who can resist a cheddar-stuffed twice baked potato?!): grated carrot! It saves the calories and fat that would be found in a ton of cheese, plus, it’s a fun way to sneak in another veggie for the people who normally wouldn’t reach for another.

Serve these at your next game day party and I guarantee no one be the wiser.

Lightened Up Twice Baked Potatoes 2

Lightened Up Twice Baked Potatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 servings
  • 8 small (about 4 oz/115 each, or 2 lb/910 grams total) potatoes, washed and dried (I used red potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced
  • 2 medium-large carrots, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • 2 oz (60 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Toppings of your choice, such as Greek yogurt, sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh chopped herbs, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Use a sharp paring knife to poke each potato a few times (don’t skip this step – this is so the potatoes don’t explode in the oven!). Bake the potatoes directly on oven rack for 1 hour, then remove the potatoes and turn oven up to 450F. Let the potatoes cool slightly so you can handle them, then cut them in half lengthwise, scoop out the insides into a large bowl, and reserve the skins.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the onion and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrot, garlic, salt, and black pepper; turn heat down to medium-low and cook until carrot is softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onion mixture to the bowl with potatoes. Mash the potatoes (lumps are fine), gradually adding a splash of milk as needed (you might not need the full ½ cup of milk); stir in the cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Scoop the potato mixture into the reserved potato skins, slightly mounding the filling up.
  4. Arrange the potato skins on a baking sheet, drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil on top, and bake 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm topped with any toppings you like.
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Shredded carrots! Now that’s a genius way to bring colour into the dish and make it a lot healthier. These look scrumptious!

  2. i thought you were rocking sweet potatoes, but i’m excited to see that it’s simply carrots that are supplying that awesome color. lovely!

  3. Very clever, Faith–those carrots give the potatoes a boost of flavor, and that seductive color that makes you think they are loaded with cheddar. Yum!

  4. I think twice baked potatoes are VERY difficult to make look nice, much less perfect! Soooo yummy…I want to take a bite out of my computer screen! Mmm!!

  5. These potatoes look truly comforting even if they are not as indulgent as they look! Love that they can be made healthier but still taste delicious.

  6. Genius with the carrots! I love this idea, Faith, and now the hubby will be eating an extra veg without coaxing. Love it!

  7. These- like everything else on your brilliant site- look gorgeous. We’ve got bonfire night in November- we have a small party to watch the fireworks- I think these would be perfect. Thank you!

  8. Yummy!!! I will try these asap.
    Happy early birthday, by the way!

  9. OK< that is brilliant!! It's really amazing how much the carrots resemble cheese-it even seems kinda melty! Wow! I've used carrots to sweeten spaghetti sauce, but never would have thought of this! They look great.

  10. Cooking is an art. I love your trick…works really well!

  11. Faith, your baked potatoes look great, love the idea of carrot and cheese…so colorful as well.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  12. We’ve never made twice baked potatoes but I think we’ll have to try these!

  13. The presentation is an eye catcher, great of you using grated carrot, for sure we do eat with our eyes first :) love the photos. Would try your recipe :)

  14. Seriously, Faith, you should invite my husband for dinner :)…he loves all foods that I see on your blog!! Love these twice baked, stuffed potatoes.

  15. Delectable ~ thanks for sharing this lighter version Faith, can’t wait to try it. I know my hubs will go crazy for this :)

  16. I have never made twice baked potatoes & that needs to change…my kids would love these Faith!

  17. FitnessSurfer says:

    i could eat these, and not totally mess up my fitness goals. Because they are a nice portion size. As always they look delicious.

  18. I love baked potatoes and that lighter version looks just amazing!



  19. Thanks for sharing—I love twice baked potatoes, but tend to not have them b/c of the heaviness, so this is a great idea!

  20. What a great idea! I’ve never done my baked potatoes like this before, but I’ll definitely try it out next time!

  21. I love the way you have done it ..I do in a very different way

  22. What a great idea (on the carrots)! I agree-potatoes are amazing! You can do so much with them!!

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