10 Delicious Ways to Serve Baked Potatoes

A baked potato makes a great side dish or a quick, healthy meal. Potatoes are packed with nutrients and can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Whether you choose white, russet, sweet, or yams, potatoes are relatively low in calories and are loaded with fiber. Not only are potatoes good for you, but depending on the toppings, a baked potato can be a nutrient-rich choice for a light meal, side dish, or snack.

There are numerous options for nutritious toppings that can boost your protein intake, essential vitamins and minerals, and even fiber. Some toppings—such as Greek yogurt, broccoli, and chives—add substantial nutrition. Toppings like bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream would increase the amount of sodium and saturated fat but will still provide protein, calcium, and other nutrients.

Here are some ideas to make your baked potatoes more nutritious and delicious by choosing toppings packed with nutrients to help power you through your day.

Plain Baked Potato

Plain Baked Potato
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Before adding any toppings, a baked potato is relatively low in calories at 164.
The nutrition of a medium-sized baked russet potato (about 3 inches in diameter) contains about 164 calories and about 4 grams of fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive tract.

They're also a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, phosphorus, and niacin.

Baked Potato With Butter

Baked potato

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

One full tablespoon of regular butter has about 100 calories, so that brings a medium-size baked potato up to 264 calories. One pat of butter only adds about 35 calories, which would make your baked potato just under 200 calories. If you're following a diet that encourages healthy, high-fat foods, grass-fed butter and ghee are great options.

A tablespoon of butter has 11 grams of fat, 90 milligrams of sodium, and 0 grams of carbohydrates and protein, and contains 8% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A.

Baked Potato With Salsa

Potato with salsa.

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A simple way to add nutrients and flavor to a baked potato is a generous serving of your favorite salsa. A half-cup of salsa has about 48 calories, which brings a medium-baked potato to about 210 calories in total.

A 1/2 cup serving of salsa adds 10 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, 581 milligrams of sodium, and 12 milligrams of vitamin C.

Salsa typically contains healthful ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, onion, and peppers. This provides vitamins A, B, and C, along with potassium and lycopene.

Baked Potato With Sour Cream

Baked potato with sour cream and chives
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Two tablespoons of sour cream add about 60 calories and chives are nearly zero, making the total calorie count for this baked potato around 224 calories.

A 2 tablespoon serving of sour cream has 5 grams of fat and just under 1 gram each of protein, fiber, and sugar. It also contains about 2% of your recommended daily value of calcium.

Twice-Baked Potato

Twice baked potatoes
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The calorie count for twice-baked potatoes varies depending on how you prepare them. For instance, a twice-baked potato made with a splash of milk and a tablespoon of sour cream should have around 230 calories, but adding cheese or bacon into the mix can bring the calorie count up to 370 or more.

A 1-ounce serving (28 grams) of cheddar cheese has 110 calories, 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, 180 milligrams of sodium, and 20% of your daily value of calcium. Two strips of bacon add an additional 100 calories, 6 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, and is 5% of your recommended daily cholesterol requirement.

Baked Potato With Chili

Jacket Potato with Chilli
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A generous portion of chili can turn a baked potato into a full meal. You'd also get extra protein from meat or a plant-based substitute, fiber from beans, and antioxidants such as lycopene from the tomatoes. One medium baked potato with a quarter cup of chili should have around 250 calories.

A 1/4 cup serving of chili contains about 90 calories, 5 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 280 milligrams of sodium. It also contains 15% of your recommended daily value of saturated fats.

Baked Potato With Cheese Sauce and Broccoli

Cheese and Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes
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Broccoli is low in calories and provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A serving of melted cheese can add 100 calories or more to your baked potato along with calcium and protein. A medium-sized baked potato with broccoli and cheese sauce will have around 300 calories.

Broccoli contains around 20 calories per 3/4 cup serving, with 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 50% of your daily calcium needs. A 28-ounce serving of cheddar cheese has 110 calories, 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, 180 milligrams of sodium, and is 10% of your daily cholesterol requirement.

Baked Potato With Baked Beans

Baked Potato with Baked beans
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Baked beans add protein and extra flavor to a baked potato, with the added benefit of extra dietary fiber from the beans. A half cup of beans adds just over 170 calories, making your baked potato around 330 calories. Add a side salad or a green vegetable, and you've got a nutritious, balanced meal.

A 1/2 cup of baked beans has 170 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber and can contain around 14 grams of total sugars or more. The amount of added sugars in some brands accounts for about 24% of your recommended daily value.

Hawaiian Pizza Baked Potato

Baked potato with ham and pineapple.

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This tropical twist adds low-fat cottage cheese, a few slivers of ham, and some pineapple chunks. A quarter cup of chopped ham adds about 50 calories, a half cup of cottage cheese adds almost 80, and a half cup of pineapple adds another 40, totaling around 330 calories.

You'll also add 14 milligrams of calcium, 34 milligrams of vitamin C, and 19 grams of protein, for a total of 23.5 grams in the meal. A filling, balanced, nutritious meal.

A 1/4 cup serving of ham adds 8 grams of protein, about a gram each of fat, carbohydrates, and sugar, and around 670 milligrams of sodium. A 1/2 cup of pineapple adds 13 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, and just under a gram of protein.

Baked Potato With Tuna and Mayo

Jacket potato with tuna, mayonnaise and salad, close up
David Marsden / Getty Images

Another way to turn a baked potato into a meal is to top it off with some canned tuna for a dose of protein and omega-3s. Add a dollop of mayonnaise to your baked potato with tuna for creaminess and flavor. This meal with mayo will contain about 350 calories.

You can also try a reduced-calorie mayonnaise with your tuna baked potato, or mix half your mayo with plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. You could try making your own mayo from scratch, or substitute yogurt for mayo altogether, which would put you at about 300 calories.

Choose tuna packed in water rather than oil if you're monitoring your fat intake. Otherwise, olive oil is an excellent source of healthy fat.

Half a can of tuna packed in water contains 76 calories, 16 grams of protein, less than 1 gram each of fat and carbohydrate, 15 milligrams of calcium, and 19 milligrams of magnesium. A 1/4 cup serving of Greek yogurt contains 67 calories, 8 grams of protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 4.7 grams of sugar, 100 milligrams of calcium, and 160 milligrams of potassium.

A Word From Verywell

A baked potato can serve as a tasty side dish or become a hearty meal depending on the toppings. Choosing nutritious toppings that add flavor as well as vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats to eat this dish as part of a balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are baked potatoes nutritious?

    Baked potatoes are very nutritious. They contain fiber and vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folate.

  • How will potatoes impact weight loss goals?

    Potatoes will not impact your weight loss goal negatively unless you eat them in access of your calorie limit needed to lose weight. In fact, the filling fiber and water content of a potato may help you stay full, increasing chances of weight loss success.

  • Does the nutritional profile of potatoes change when cooked?

    Eating raw potatoes is not recommended. The cooking process of potatoes will reduce the water content and alters the amount of nutrients per gram. Cooking potatoes in boiling water can reduce potassium and vitamin C content since they leach into the cooking water. Vitamin C will also degrade with heat. Potassium decreases 22% when potatoes are boiled and vitamin C decreases by 62%. Baking does not affect potassium concentrations very much because it does not leach with baking. However, there is thermal degradation of vitamin C by 35% with baking. Microwaving affects vitamin C the least, with a 23% reduction since cooking times are fast.

15 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Potato, russet, flesh and skin, baked.

  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Butter.

  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Salsa.

  4. United States Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central. Sauce, salsa, ready-to-serve.

  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Sour cream.

  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Cheddar Cheese.

  7. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Bacon.

  8. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Broccoli.

  9. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Baked Beans.

  10. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cheese, cottage, low-fat, 2% milk fat.

  11. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Pineapple.

  12. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Ham.

  13. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Tuna, canned, water pack.

  14. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Greek yogurt.

  15. Decker EA, Ferruzzi MG. Innovations in food chemistry and processing to enhance the nutrient profile of the white potato in all forms. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(3):345S-350S. doi:10.3945%2Fan.112.003574

Additional Reading

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.