Stuffed baked potatoes

    1 hour 35 min

    A steaming-hot baked potato makes perfect comfort food, and doesn't need lashings of butter and cheese to be delicious. This tasty vegetarian filling combines marinated mushrooms and courgettes, and there are 2 more satisfying fillings to choose from – tuna and sweetcorn, and roasted garlic and tomato.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 4 baking potatoes, about 300 g (10 1/2 oz) each
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 200 g (7 oz) small open-cup mushrooms, about 5 cm (2 in) in diameter
    • 1 large courgette, about 170 g (6 oz), sliced
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Ready in:1hr35min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Push a metal skewer through each potato or push the potatoes onto a potato roasting rack. (Pushing a metal skewer into the potatoes helps to conduct heat through to their centres so that they cook more quickly.) Place the potatoes directly on the shelf in the oven and bake for 1 1/4 hours or until they are tender.
    2. Make the courgette and mushroom filling when you first put the potatoes in the oven so that it has time to marinate. Alternatively, it can be made just before the potatoes are cooked, and served hot. Heat a large ridged griddle or frying pan. Drizzle half the oil over the pan and cook the mushrooms and courgette slices for 10–15 minutes or until they are well browned in places and softened and have released their juices.
    3. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl with all their juice and add the remaining oil, the vinegar and mustard. Season to taste, mix well and leave to marinate until the potatoes are cooked.
    4. Split open the baked potatoes, then press gently to part the halves, keeping them joined at the base. Stir the parsley into the marinated vegetables, then pile them into the potatoes. Serve immediately.

    Some more ideas

    *To make a tuna and sweetcorn filling, put 225 g (8 oz) frozen sweetcorn in a small saucepan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, then drain. Drain and flake 1 can tuna in water, about 200 g, and add to the sweetcorn. Stir in 2 tbsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp reduced-fat crème fraîche. Mix in 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives or finely chopped spring onions and 2 tbsp chopped parsley, then pile the mixture into the baked potatoes. *Roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes make a delicious filling. Trim the tough stalk off a whole bulb of garlic and wrap it in foil. Bake in the oven with the potatoes for 45 minutes. Cool the garlic slightly, then squeeze the pulp from each clove into a bowl. Add 1 large bunch of fresh basil, tough stalks discarded and leaves torn or shredded; 55 g (2 oz) stoned black olives, chopped; 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and seasoning to taste. Stir in 450 g (1 lb) cherry tomatoes, quartered. Preheat the grill to a moderate setting. Scoop some flesh out of the potatoes, leaving a thick layer in the shells, and break the flesh up coarsely with a fork. Stir into the tomato mixture, then spoon the filling back into the potato shells and sprinkle with 55 g (2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Brown under the grill and serve.

    Plus points

    Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, especially when cooked in their jackets as the vitamin is stored just beneath the skin. A freshly dug potato may contain as much as ten times more vitamin C than one that has been stored.

    Each serving provides

    C, B1, B6, folate, potassium, A, E, niacin, copper, iron

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