Stuffed Baked Potatoes

There are a number of reasons that I like making stuffed baked potatoes. One, you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want with what you decided to put in them. Two, you can put anything you want in them. Three, they are inexpensive. Four, you can allow each person to customize with their own toppings if you want. 

This is a pretty simple recipe and more like an idea. The items that I am putting in the potato are suggestions but feel free to do whatever you want. I feel like this is a better cold and gloomy whether meal, but really they can be eaten all year round. 

Grocery Stores: Shoppers

Items on Sale: Russet potatoes, chicken, bacon, ranch dressing

Cost: Around $17 depending on where you shop.

Coupon: Save $1 on two bottles of Kraft BBQ sauce.

Quick Tip:  To save more money substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs or legs. Dark meat is slightly higher in calories though, about 100 calories per 3 ounces of meat. You can always combat this by using slightly less chicken per potato or using light ranch dressing.

Ingredients

4 Baking potatoes
2 large chicken breasts chopped
2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I like cheddar for this because it is more bold)
8 slices of Bacon cooked and crumbled
1 large Onion chopped
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1 cup Grape tomatoes chopped
1 1/2  cups Ranch dressing
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Cumin (optional. It gives the chicken a nice smoky flavor.)
1 Tbls. Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

 Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Make sure potatoes are thoroughly washed and bake for 45 mins. Check to see how done they are. Depending on the size of the potato it make take up to an hour. 

While the potatoes are cooking place olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion to the pan and cook for about 2 mins. Add garlic and chicken. Salt and pepper and let cook for about 5 mins. Add the chili powder and cumin to the pan, and allow to cook for another 10 to 15 min. If the pan gets too dry you can add a tablespoon or a little more to loosen things up. Mix the ranch dressing and bbq sauce together in a bowl. 

When potatoes are done cooking make a slice down the center. I like to loosen up the insides very carfully with a spoon before I place the rest of the ingrediants on. It makes it easier to eat. Another option is to pull the insides out of all the potatoes when they are about 15 min from being done. Put them in a bowl with cheese and mix. Then stuff them back in the potatoes and let them finish cooking. If you do not want to do that, then just place each cut potato on a plate and top each with 1/4 of the chicken, cheese, bacon and tomates. Then top with the bbq ranch dressing. The potatoes may be overflowing with filling, but that just makes them even more delicious.