How to Bake Russet Potatoes the Easy Way

How to Bake Russet Potatoes the Easy Way

Baked potato on orange plate with fork

How to Bake Russet Potatoes the Easy Way

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This recipe is how I make baked potatoes the easy way. I almost always use russets for that classic baked potato taste. These potatoes are crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, so they are tasty plain. Baked potatoes also keep really well in the fridge, so I can have this wonderful side even on a weeknight.

Baked Potatoes are Awesome

I get potato cravings from time to time, and I doubt I’m alone. One of the nice things about Noom is that I can eat potatoes and not feel bad about it later.

Baking is one of the healthiest ways to make potatoes. Potato’s bad health wrap has a lot to do with how Americans cook them (deep-fried), and the toppings people put on them (chili-cheese). But I think baked potatoes are a fairly healthy food.

What and When I Eat Them

Mostly, they are a healthy side for meat or fish. I love having shredded chicken on top of a hot baked potato. It’s so filling and not much fuss. Other ways I enjoy:

  • Classic butter: I try to limit my butter intake
  • Lemon Juice or Malt Vinegar: low calorie and very flavorful
  • Dry: Don’t feel like you have to put toppings on your potatoes. I certainly don’t.

Obviously, baked potatoes are good fresh. But I can keep these for 6-7 days in my fridge and they are still delicious out of the microwave. They are one of the few foods I trust to keep that long, which makes them a good meal prep food. The only trick is to put them in the fridge after they have cooled to room temperature.

Also, I like them when I’m sick and have to take a lot of pills. They are easy to reheat and agree with my meds.

Detailed Directions

Please remember to wash your hands and wipe down your counters before you start cooking. After that, I preheat my oven to 450°F. If your oven can’t handle such a high temperature, you can bake these at 425°F and get the same taste with longer cooking times. But I wouldn’t recommend anything much cooler.

Oven reading 450F

Next, get your potatoes out and really scrub them. Potatoes grow in dirt, and you probably don’t want to eat that. Even if you don’t like eating potato skins, you don’t dirt on your plate.

Clean potato on cutting board

Then take a fork or a sharp knife and stab up and down the sides of your potato 12-18 times, more if your potato is over 1 pound. You don’t have to stab very deep, just through the skin should be good.

Sliced apple and rolling pin

Then put them in the oven. I usually put mine directly on the oven rack. But they will still cook nicely on a cookie sheet. If you are using a cookie sheet, I recommend putting a little foil down, but you can skip the nonstick spray. Water will leave the potato and can make a small mess.

Potatoes cooking in oven

Bake until soft when you stab the center of the widest part of the potato. Most potatoes cook in about 45 minutes. For a potato 4 oz or less, I check at 30 minutes. Giant potatoes can take longer to cook. Also, you need to watch for cold spots in your oven, which are inconveniently potato-sized in my experience.

Baked potato on orange plate with fork

Recipe Notes

It’s difficult to overcook a baked potato, but very easy to undercook one. And no one wants an undercooked potato.  If you are unsure, give it another 15 minutes. In my experience, an extra 30 min probably won’t hurt its taste. Anything past that and it might start drying out, maybe.

Seriously though, don’t undercook your potatoes.

Plain Baked Potato

Easy Baked Potato

These potatoes are crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, so they are tasty plain. They also keep well in the fridge for up to a week.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 179 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Fork
  • Cookie Sheet Optional

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Russet Potato About 8 ounces

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
    Oven reading 450F
  • Scrub potatoes.
    Clean potato on cutting board
  • Stab skin of potatoes all over with a fork.
  • Put in the oven either directly on the rack or a cookie sheet.
    Potatoes cooking in oven
  • Bake until soft in the center of the widest part of the potato. About 45 min for an 8-ounce potato.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Plain Baked Potato
Keyword Dinner, Potato, Side
Zoodles with the Perfect Texture

Zoodles with the Perfect Texture

Zoodles with the Perfect Texture

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

Zoodles are a delicious way of transforming my favorite pasta dishes into salad. My brain might know that they are zucchini, and my eyes will see the green on my plate, but my mouth doesn’t care. My method makes them with the perfect al dente texture. They also hold on to sauce a lot like spaghetti, which enhances everything about the taste. I make this every week , and every week it is worth the time.

Notes on Equipment

There are two pieces of specialized equipment you need to make these zoodles. Both are equally important.

Spiralizer

There are two main types of spiralizers. First are the hand variety, where you use some sort of device and your own muscles make the zoodles. You can probably put other veggies and such into your spiralizer, but as of today, I have not. When I was first starting out, before I had my KitchenAid, I got this spiralizer. It worked well and if you are just wanting to try out this sort of kitchen tool it’s a great place to start. I personally found it time-consuming and only used it every month or so.

This brings us to the second type of spiralizer. The type that you attach to an electric stand mixer. If you already own one, then all you need to buy is the spiralizing attachment. I got both my KitchenAid mixer and spiralizer attachment as wedding gifts (thank you!). Now I use them every single week.

Cheesecloth

You can find it in most grocery stores, but I always have to ask where it is. There are a lot of really fancy types of cheesecloth out on the internet for people who are making cheese, for this application all you need is basic cheesecloth. I cut what I need for one meal and throw it out afterward. One pack lasts me several weeks, so don’t be worried about the size.

Instructions

I always start my cooking by washing my hands and wiping down my counters. I strongly recommend you do too. Now wash and cut your zucchini in half, as shown in the photo below. The cutting helps it fit into the spiralizer.

Sliced apple and rolling pin

Then put your cheesecloth in your bowl. Cut enough to cover the inside of the bowl. If your cheesecloth is very flimsy, you might want to double-layer it.

Spiralize your zucchini into your bowl directly onto the cheesecloth. After you have spiralized all of your zucchini thoroughly sprinkle it with salt. The salt will draw the water out of the zucchini. I normally let mine sit for about 5 minutes.

Sliced apple and rolling pin

It will be done when it looks slimy. You might even have a puddle in the bottom of your bowl. If after 5 minutes your zoodles are not slimy, add more salt and wait for 5 more minutes. It takes a generous amount of salt to get the water out. I don’t think it tastes too salty at the end, because a lot of the salt leaves with the water. So don’t worry about over salting.

Sliced apple and rolling pin

After your zoodles are slimy, twist up the cheesecloth and squeeze as much of the water out as you can. Zucchini contains a lot of water, so the total zoodle volume will decrease by about half-ish. Once all the water is out, put zoodles in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on how powerful your microwave is. I usually go for 1.5 minutes. Then immediately serve and eat!

Sliced apple and rolling pin

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for a single serving of zoodles. You can double it easily without much fuss. But you will have problems if you try to make too much at once. Too much can be easily defined as more than one pasta bowl can contain, even when you make a small mountain in the bowl.

If you are making more than two people’s worth of zoodles, I recommend making it in batches. If you try to make too much at once, you won’t be able to squeeze out enough of the water and there is no telling how well the microwave is going to heat it.

Plated Zoodles

Zoodles with the Perfect Texture

My recipe is the best way to cook zoodles for that al dente texture. They also hold on to sauce like spaghetti, which enhances the taste.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 33 kcal

Equipment

  • Spiralizer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Microwave Safe Bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 Zucchini
  • Salt Kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash zucchini.
  • Cut zucchini in half.
  • Put cheesecloth in a bowl.
  • Spiralize zucchini onto cheesecloth.
  • Thoroughly sprinkle with salt.
  • Let sit until slimy looking (about 5 minutes).
  • Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of zucchini.
  • Microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve and eat!

Notes

This recipe is for a single serving of zoodles. You can double it easily without much fuss. But you will have problems if you try to make too much at once. Too much can be easily defined as more than one pasta bowl can contain, even when you make a small mountain in the bowl.
If you are making more than two people’s worth of zoodles, I recommend making it in batches. If you try to make too much at once, you won’t be able to squeeze out enough of the water and there is no telling how well the microwave is going to heat it.
Keyword Dinner, Side, Weeknight
Simple Yellow Potatoes

Simple Yellow Potatoes

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Simple Yellow Potatoes

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

My husband and I absolutely love yellow potatoes. This recipe is the extremely simple way we make them every week.

Where to Start

First you need to wash. Starting with your hands and the counter if you haven’t done so already. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Then scrub the potatoes with a clean sponge. I like to eat the skins, both because I like the taste and I think that’s where most of the nutrients are. But potatoes grow in dirt, so they need to be scrubbed. You will most likely seem them change color from before and after scrubbing as you get that final layer of dirt off.

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Next is cutting the potatoes. You can cut you’re in the more traditional chunk shape. We cut ours in the way you see above, because it’s simple and thin enough to cook quickly. With potatoes, it’s important to have some size uniformity. The slices don’t have to be perfect, but when they are similar enough in size they will be cooked through at the same time. Note that thinner pieces cook faster.

Cut pototaoes

Next cover a pan, the size doesn’t really matter, with aluminum foil. I’m a fan of the nonstick. But I always spray with food release, just in case. Then I coat the potatoes in olive oil. If you are going to cook them on a cookie sheet, you might want to toss them in a separate bowl before putting them on the foil. Otherwise, you can just coat them in the pan you will cook them in.

Try to spread them out evenly for even cooking. Once they are spread out, sprinkle on any seasonings you want, but they don’t need much. Salt and pepper are delicious. For something a little spicy, we like to use a combination of black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne.

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Once the oven comes to temperature, put the potatoes in the oven on a middle rack for 15 minutes. Turn the pan 180° and bake for another 15 minutes. The potatoes are fully cooked when they feel soft as you stab them with a fork. Make sure you try a larger and thicker piece. Once soft, they are ready to eat.

 

Simple Oven Roasted Potatoes

This recipe is the extremely simple way my husband and I make roasted potatoes every week.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 Cookie Sheet or other pan
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 Yellow Potatoes
  • 0.25 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Food Release

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Wash and cut potatoes
    Cut pototaoes
  • Coat in olive oil
  • Cover pan in foil
  • Spray food release
  • Put potatoes on to foil
  • Season to taste
  • Once oven is at temperature, bake on middle rack for 15min
  • Rotate pan and bake for 15 more minutes
  • Eat!
    Simple Roasted Potatoes
Keyword Dinner, Side, Weeknight
Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

I absolutely love asparagus. It’s one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love when it’s so roasted it starts to get soft and brown and almost melts in your mouth. If you like your asparagus more on the raw side, this recipe will still work for you, but you will need to shorten the cooking time.

All the Details

As usual, start with washing your hands and wiping down the counter. Then preheat your oven to 425°F. Next thoroughly wash your asparagus. The big trick to deliciously soft asparagus is how you cut it. But before you start cutting, take a close look at the pictures below.

You can see different smaller cuts along the stalk tried from right to left (I’m right handed) to try to find the right place to cut.

Basically, all you need to do is tap your knife along the stalk and feel the texture change. When the knife sinks in with little to know resistance, you have found the spot.

Everything higher on the stalk with turn tender in the oven. Everything lower will retain a lot more of its fibrous woody texture. I don’t like eating sticks.

After you are done cutting, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with rood release. Place all the asparagus on the foil.

Then drizzle the olive oil and seasoning on top. Seasoning wise, I generally stick to salt a pepper. Maybe lemon or garlic powder if I’m feeling a little fancy. I shake enough to see sprinkles on every stalk, but not a layer. Mix the stalks around each other to make sure each one is coated. Once the oven reaches temperature, put the asparagus in for 20-30 minutes for desired doneness. Mine were done closer to the 30 minute mark.

Plate and serve with dinner! We like to eat this with everything from chicken to salmon to steak.

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

This asparagus is so roasted it starts to get soft and brown and almost melts in your mouth.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 Cookie Sheet
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients
  

  • 2.25 lbs Asparagus
  • 0.25 cup Olive Oil
  • Season to taste (salt, pepper, lemon)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Wash asparagus thoroughly.
  • Cut off the hard bottom part of the stalk.
  • Cover cookie sheet in aluminum foil.
  • Coat asparagus in olive oil and seasoning on aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 20-30 min, depending on desired doneness.
  • Serve and eat!
Keyword Dinner, Side, Weeknight