A comforting baked potato, with crisp skin and a fluffy middle, is one of our favourite things to eat for lunch – or any time, really. Our experts – including recipe writers and our cookery school tutors – share tips for getting the crunchiest skin, and reveal their favourite fillings. Plus 30 instant baked potato topping ideas.

There are different ways to bake a potato: oil or no oil? Wrap in foil or not? And each method has its ardent fans. Food writer Silvana Franco is a huge jacket potato fan: “I love them so much – they’re my absolute favourite working-from-home lunch.” And she reckons her pared-back approach works every time.



If you’ve forgotten to switch your oven on in time, or you’re so hungry you just can’t wait an hour for potato pleasure, don’t despair. You can start your jackets off in the microwave, then finish in the oven for that essential crunchy skin.



Katie Bishop, recipe writer, likes to keep it simple. “I top with baked beans (they have to be Heinz), simmered gently for 10 minutes until they’re reduced and thickened. Then a shake of Worcestershire sauce, and a grating of something tangy and crumbly, such as a Cheshire. The beans have to be hot enough to make the cheese melty – perfection!”

Omar Abourgebah, chef tutor at the Waitrose Cookery School, likes something a little more meaty with his baked potato. “My top filling is beef chilli, cheese and jalapeños.”

Fellow Cookery School chef tutor Helen Carey is a potato purist. “I love a baked potato with salty butter and nothing else! Top tip is to bake on a bed of rock salt to absorb some of the moisture from the potato and make it extra fluffy.”

Food writer Silvana likes her jackets equally simple. “It has to be cheesy: extra mature Cheddar with a sprinkling of chopped red onion. Or if I’m really in need of comfort, baked beans and a dash of chilli sauce.”


1.  Seafood & prawn cocktail

2.  Coronation chicken

3.  Tuna & sweetcorn

4.  Shredded oak smoked ham and grated Emmental cheese

5.  Cottage cheese

6.  Fat-free cottage cheese with grilled vegetables & thyme

7.  Tarka dal and a dollop of yogurt 

8.  Vegan two-bean chilli

9.  Vine ripened tomato salsa and sliced avocado

10.  Roasted beetroot & mint houmous and crumbled feta 

11.  Chargrilled peppersjalapeños and soured cream

12.  Crumbled crispy bacon rashers and Stilton

13.  Mixed bean salad and chilli pesto

14.  Baked beans and chipotle chilli sauce

15.  Shredded barbecue chicken and grated mature Cheddar


16.  Smoked salmon pieces and soft cheese

17.  Chargrilled vegetables and pesto

18.  Bolognese sauce

19.  Butter and Marmite

20.  Cheese coleslaw

21.  Flaked tuna, chopped red onion and soured cream

22.  Hot smoked mackerel and horseradish

23.  Sun drenched tomatoes and Dolcelatte

24.  Barbecue pulled pork and soured cream

25.  Tunamayo, chopped cherry tomatoes and salad onions

26.  Smoked troutmascarpone and horseradish

27.  Caramelised red onion chutney and crumbled crispy bacon rashers

28.  Chickenpesto  and chopped cherry tomatoes

29.  Soured cream and chopped chives

30.  Christmas leftovers: shredded cooked sprouts and Stilton