When you need a quick, wholesome side dish or light lunch that’s ready in minutes, make a Microwave Baked Potato! Whether served plain with butter and salt, or loaded down with toppings, a classic baked potato can’t be beat.
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The Easiest Potato Side Dish Ever – Super Quick!
Baked potatoes are a classic, and you can enjoy them in so many ways. Topped with sour cream, chives, cheese, chili, jalapenos, taco toppings, ham… basically, anything you can think of! You can use baked potatoes as a side dish, or make them a main course. They’re amazing for a quick, hot lunch when you’re tired of making sandwiches.
The only drawback to baked potatoes is that they kind of… take a while. Especially if you’re using larger potatoes. Sure, if you’re home in the afternoon and have time to scrub them and toss them in the oven well in advance, it’s no issue. But if you are getting home right at dinner or making things on the fly before soccer practice, you can’t really hang around hoping the potatoes get done in time!
Enter the humble, yet delicious, microwave baked potato. Since microwaves cook from the inside out, they’re perfect for steaming the inside of a potato to fluffy perfection in no time at all! Microwave baked potatoes make it easy to serve up a hot, buttery baked potato with all of your favorite toppings, without playing the waiting game.
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a look at what you will need to make a microwave baked potato. Oven recipes often call for wrapping in foil, but that isn’t necessary – or a good idea – when microwaving. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Potato: For one serving, choose a large, unblemished russet potato, and make sure it’s scrubbed clean.
- Olive Oil: You can use any kind of olive oil. Extra-virgin has the most noticeable flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Kosher salt is my favorite, but you could substitute sea salt, table salt, etc. Freshly cracked or ground black pepper is best.
Can You Bake Any Type of Potato?
Well, you can bake any type of potato, but if you are going for that homestyle baked potato, you will want to choose a starchy variety, rather than a waxy variety. What’s the difference? Idaho or russet potatoes have a softer interior when cooked, one that stays “fluffy.” They are great for mashing or baking.
Red potatoes and fingerling potatoes are more on the waxy side – good for cutting into cubes and making potato salad. Yukon Gold are sort of in the middle. For this recipe, I like using russet potatoes.
How to Make a Microwave Baked Potato
Never microwaved a potato before? Get ready, because your life is about to get so much easier. Here’s how to do it:
- Prep the Potato. First, take your freshly-scrubbed potato and poke holes into it in several places, using a fork. Place it on a microwave-safe plate, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Rub the seasonings and oil evenly all over the potato.
- Cook! Microwave on HIGH for around seven minutes, or until a knife slides in easily when poked into the center of the potato.
- Cool and Serve. Let the potato cool for five or ten minutes before slicing it open and fluffing the middle with a fork. Serve with a pat of butter and salt and pepper.
How Long Does It Take to Bake a Potato in the Microwave?
The exact cooking time will depend on your microwave and your potato, so I recommend starting with about six minutes on high, and then checking for doneness. If it’s not very tender, keep cooking for a minute at a time and check again. It probably won’t take more than eight or nine minutes total.
Got questions? I’ve got answers! Here are some helpful tips I’ve picked up while developing this quick and easy recipe.
- Poking Holes in the Potato: It is important to pierce your potato a few times with a fork or knife to make sure it doesn’t explode in the microwave. That would not be fun.
- Can I Microwave More Than One Potato? Yes, you can! Add 2 extra minutes to the cooking time for each potato you add. I would not microwave more than four or five medium to large potatoes at one time.
- Make them Crispy: If you like a crispy outside, you can microwave the potato first, and then place it into the air fryer for 2 to 3 minutes at 400°F. This will crisp the outside, making it more like a true baked potato while still saving time.
From beefy chili to your favorite veggie main course, there’s nothing you can’t serve with a baked potato. Try these out – they’re perfect and easy to make!
- Chili Colorado: Oh my goodness, just thinking about this recipe makes my mouth water! Chili Colorado is a spicy beef stew made with dried peppers, and it would be amazing ladled over a hot baked potato.
- Mississippi Chicken: If you like Mississippi pot roast, you will love this flavorful chicken version. I often serve Mississippi Chicken on buns (like these Brioche Buns) for sandwiches, but you could definitely serve it with buttery baked potatoes instead.
- Bacon: When I think about baked potato toppings, my first thought is honestly sour cream. But let’s not forget the bacon! Crisp, genuine bacon bits are so mouthwatering on a fluffy spud. This easy tutorial for How to Cook Bacon in the Oven makes cooking up a batch of crisp bacon slices easy and mess free!
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
Wondering what to do with leftover baked potatoes, and if you should make extras for later? Here’s the scoop on storing, freezing, and reheating a microwave baked potato.
- Storing: Cool the baked potatoes down, and then wrap them tightly (foil works well for this, or you could use plastic wrap if the potatoes are fully cooled). Store in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
- Freezing: It’s not recommended to freeze a leftover baked potato – the freezing and thawing process may turn your tasty spud into a watery mush. However, if you do freeze baked potatoes, be sure to cool them down and wrap them tightly. Reheat them directly from frozen within 3 months or so.
- Reheating: I like to reheat baked potatoes in the microwave – it’s fast and easy! Be sure to remove any foil wrapping if you do this. Otherwise, reheat in the oven at 350°F until piping hot all the way through.
Microwave Baked Potato
- 1 large russet potato, scrubbed clean
- 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Poke the potato multiple times with a fork then place it on a microwave safe plate.
- Drizzle on the olive oil then sprinkle the salt and pepper on top and rub it around to distribute evenly.
- Microwave for 6-8 minutes on high or until a knife slides in easily when pierced in the center of the potato.
- Let it cool for 5-10 minutes then slice it open and fluff the middle with a fork and serve with a pat of butter and salt and pepper.
More Tasty Potato Dishes
- Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Creamy Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Crockpot Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
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