In my opinion, Appetizer-Size Loaded Potato Skins are among the easiest and most satisfying party foods you could make. And there’s no reason you need to wait for a party to make them either….
Because they are so filling, you can make an entire meal serving several loaded potato skins per person along with a large side salad and maybe a vegetable soup too (tomato soup seems to be a perfect match.) In addition to being super satisfying, they are incredibly easy to make too. And they are most definitely healthy. If you are wondering if potatoes are a “fattening” or pro-inflammatory white food, be sure to read about the incredible health benefits of potatoes and the resistant starch they contain HERE.
Of course there are plenty of recipes for loaded potato skins that are not healthful and call for the usual suspects (cheese, bacon, sour cream, etc.) but this clean dairy-free version is still a party (and family!) pleaser.
Organic vs. Conventional Potatoes
Just a few words about the ingredients in the recipe before you get cooking…
You should definitely be using organic potatoes. Conventionally grown potatoes have one of the highest pesticide contents among fruit and vegetables, and are a part of EWG’s Dirty Dozen List. In 2006 the USDA discovered a whopping 81 percent of potatoes tested contained pesticides even after being washed and peeled.
Sourcing Crab Meat
My suggestion is to buy top quality crab meat. One thing is for sure, if you don’t buy top-notch crab meat, your loaded potato skins won’t be all that good. There is actually a huge difference in canned crab meat quality. Hands down, my favorite canned crab meat is the sweet Pontchartrain Blue Crab brand. Recipe ready with no added salt or liquid, Pontchartrain Blue Crab is the leading supplier of Louisiana premium blue crab meat (Callinectes Sapidus). This brand also meets our criteria for “clean seafood” and is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Making your own pesto, and Skip the Parmesan! Although it is a staple ingredient in just about every conventional pesto recipe, believe it or not, you really do not need Parmesan cheese (or any dairy, for that matter) to make a killer pesto. In fact, you’ll get a much brighter flavor going dairy free.
Although the brands are still few and far between, this Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto is an incredible store-bought version if you can find it near you. If not, you can whip up your own pesto in not much longer than 5 minutes!
I have an Avocado Pesto recipe in my superfood digital cookbook and an Indian Pesto (made with ginger, basil, mint, Garam Marsala, etc.) in my Clean Cuisine book, which are both dairy-free and would both work well in the loaded potato skins recipe. But if you don’t have either book, check out this delicious dairy-free pesto recipe from The Holistic Ingredient blog.
We are firm believers that healthy food starts with healthy cookware. There are two brands in particular that are our go-to’s that we fully trust to ensure our food is free of toxins!
Xtrema is my go-to for any stovetop cooking, and was perfect for frying up the filling of this recipe! Xtrema’s all natural ceramic will never leach unsafe chemicals into your food, even when you’re making reactive tomato-based sauces! Naturally non-scratch, ceramic cleans easily and can be used safely everywhere from the freezer to the dishwasher. Xtrema crafts their 100% ceramic cookware with the environment in mind, too, because they want to minimize the impact of their eco-conscious manufacturing practices.
The market is flooded with so many non-stick (but toxic!) baking pans. In some ways it is easier to locate a healthy cookie recipe than it is to find a healthy pan to bake them in.
These Loaded Potato Skins make the perfect, easy appetizer, and are something everyone will enjoy! Let’s get into the recipe!
Clean Appetizer Size Loaded Potato Skins (with Crab and Pesto)
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Total Time: 90 minutes
- Yield: 14 1x
- 14 small organic white potatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus more for brushing potato skins)
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- 5 shallots (finely chopped)
- 1 can (8 ounces wild-caught cooked premium blue crab claw meat (I suggest Pontchartrain Blue Crab brand))
- 1/2 cup dairy-free homemade or store-bought pesto (**see pesto notes above)
- Finely chopped parsley (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub each potato and then lightly oil and salt each one. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the potatoes and then transfer them to a large baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for 40 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside for about 15 minutes to cool. Turn the oven heat up to 450 degrees.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add the shallots and saute for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until shallots are soft. Season shallots lightly with salt to taste.
- Transfer the shallots to a large mixing bowl and add in the crab and pesto; mix ingredients well. Set pesto-crab mixture aside.
- Cut each cooled, cooked potato in half lengthwise and use a teaspoon to gently scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/8-inch potato on the skin walls. Transfer half of the baked potato insides to the bowl with the crab and pesto mixture and mix well and transfer the other half to a bowl for later use (I like to make mashed potatoes with the remaining other half.) Brush the potatoes all over with olive oil, inside and out, and season the insides with salt.
- Place the potato skins face down on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the potatoes over on the skin side and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Load the inside of the potatoes with the crab-pesto-potato mixture. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Transfer the potato skins to a serving platter and garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
P.S. Is Your Baking Sheet Toxin-Free?
Click HERE to learn more about choosing a toxin-free cookie pan.