Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]

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Featured in the September 2012 issue of Southern Living Magazine 
Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests] – Potato skins are always a favorite appetizer to serve at parties and events.   However,  I wanted to develop a more updated and elegant version to serve at a luncheon, brunch or tea.  So, I began to experiment with different options and  I put together these potato nests.  They continue to be a favorite in my home and on my blog.
Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]

Even with the update, these nested skins are still requested by my family for our game day munchies, too.  They’re a terrific choice on any day when serving superb appetizers is in order. These little potato nests earned a Blue Ribbon from the Kitchen Crew at Just a Pinch Recipe Club and to my sheer delight, they were featured in the September 2012 issue of Southern Living Magazine!

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Ingredients you’ll need:
3 cups freshly shredded russet potatoes or frozen shredded hash browns or 20 oz pkg refrigerated shredded hash browns
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 beaten egg whites
Seasonings:
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4-1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
Toppings:
1 1/2 cups colby-jack cheese
16 oz sour cream
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
chopped parsley or chives for garnishing

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.

If using fresh potatoes:  Shred the unpeeled potatoes into a medium size mixing bowl using a box grater or food processor.  Blot gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.  Don’t rinse.  [tip: The starch will help the nests hold together.]
If using frozen shredded hash browns:  Thaw completely before adding to the mixing bowl.
If using refrigerated hash browns: To truly simplify, a 20 ounce package of refrigerated hash browns found in the Dairy section of the grocery store, will also work beautifully for these potato nests.

Mix the shredded potatoes, beaten egg whites, shredded Parmesan cheese and seasonings together.

Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]


Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into each muffin cup.  Depending on how you divide the shredded potatoes, you may be able to yield more than 12, so, have another pan handy just in case.  Using your hands, or a small glass, press the potato mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of each cup.   Spritz each nest with butter flavored cooking spray or, you can drizzle them with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter, if you like. [Tip: I prefer the cooking spray, so the nests won’t become too wet, and will hold together]

Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]

Place the potato nests into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and gently run a knife  or an off set spatula around each nest to loosen the edges.  Don’t attempt to remove them immediately, allow them to  rest in the pan for around 2 minutes.  If you want your cheese to melt completely sprinkle the nests with the shredded cheese during the last 2 minutes of baking.  Otherwise, sprinkle the shredded cheese into the warm nests on the counter.

Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]

To assemble, top with a tablespoon of  grated colby-jack cheese.   Dollop sour cream into the center of each nest.   Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top, and garnish with finely chopped parsley or chives.  Serve warm.  Yield: 12-14 medium or 24 minis

Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]

 

Cook’s note:
If you’d like to make these bite-size, use mini-muffin pans. They make the perfect bite sized version.  Bake at 450°F for around 15-16 minutes until golden.

Optional serving ideas:
Serve as a side dish with steaks, chicken or pork.
Fill with eggs and crumbled bacon or sausage topped with a drizzle of hollandaise for breakfast.
Fill with pulled pork barbecue and cheddar cheese.
Fill with taco meat and top with your favorite South of the Border toppings.


Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]
 
Author:
Serves: 12-14 medium or 24 minis
Ingredients
  • 3 cups freshly shredded russet potatoes or frozen shredded hash browns or 20 oz pkg refrigerated shredded hash browns
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 beaten egg whites
  • Seasonings:
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾-1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • Toppings:
  • 1½ cups colby-jack cheese
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • chopped parsley or chives for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. If using fresh potatoes: Shred the unpeeled potatoes into a medium size mixing bowl using a box grater or food processor. Blot gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Don't rinse.
  3. If using frozen shredded hash browns: Thaw completely before adding to the mixing bowl.
  4. If using refrigerated hash browns: To truly simplify, a 20 ounce package of refrigerated hash browns found in the Dairy section of the grocery store, will also work beautifully for these potato nests.
  5. Mix the shredded potatoes, beaten egg whites, shredded Parmesan cheese and seasonings together.
  6. Scoop approximately ¼ cup of the potato mixture into each muffin cup.
  7. Using your hands, or a small glass, press the potato mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of each cup.
  8. Spritz each nest with butter flavored cooking spray or, you can drizzle them with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter.
  9. Place the potato nests into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and gently run a knife or an off set spatula around each nest to loosen the edges. Don't attempt to remove them immediately, allow them to rest in the pan for around 2 minutes.
  10. To melt the cheese completely sprinkle the nests with the shredded cheese during the last 2 minutes of baking. Otherwise, sprinkle the shredded cheese into the warm nests on the counter.
  11. To assemble, Top with a tablespoon of grated colby-jack cheese.
  12. Dollop sour cream into the center of each nest.
  13. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top, and garnish with finely chopped parsley or chives.
  14. Serve warm.
Notes
If you'd like to make these bite-size, use mini-muffin pans. They make the perfect bite sized version. Bake at 450°F for around 15-16 minutes until golden.

Optional serving ideas:
Serve as a side dish with steaks, chicken or pork.
Fill with eggs and crumbled bacon or sausage topped with a drizzle of hollandaise for breakfast.
Fill with pulled pork barbecue and cheddar cheese.
Fill with taco meat and top with your favorite South of the Border toppings.

 

 
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Comments

  1. Wendy Rusch says

    OMGosh Melissa…these would be a bite of heaven!!! I can’t wait to have the opportunity to try them!!! Thank You!!! :o)

  2. says

    Catherine, my brother is a vegetarian, and it’s easy to make these for him using vegetarian friendly ingredients! I hope you enjoy them!

  3. Natalie says

    I have company coming in a couple of weeks & plan to try these then. Thank you so much for sharing it. You make it looks so easy.

  4. says

    Thank you! I’ve never used the silicone molds for these…if you are able to firmly press the shredded potatoes onto the sides, it should work fine, though. Let me know! :)

  5. says

    Thank you so much! Yes, these little nests are very versatile. I use them for breakfast cups also, filling them with eggs, sauteed veggies, bacon or ham and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Thank for your visit ☺

  6. Anonymous says

    I twisted this into a breakfast dish by putting a poached egg on top after the cheese step & garnishing with the bacon, sour cream, & a mixture of sauted finely diced peppers & onions for a brunch. People went crazy for it!

  7. says

    Wow and double wow Melissa! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make these at my next party! Always looking for fun and different appetizers. Great!
    Denise from Denver

  8. says

    Sue, sorry your comment didn’t publish. You asked about how to make these for breakfast….I usually cook the egg and add it to the baked potato nests. I have a recipe for “Baked French Eggs” that I bake right alongside these, and then add them to the nests. You can then top with a sprinkle of crumbled bacon, cubed ham, or veggies and a drizzle of hollandaise. Fabulous breakfast nests, and never any left over. You can also scramble eggs on the stove top and fill the nests after baking. Here’s the link to my Baked French Eggs:

    http://melissassouthernstylekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/08/french-eggs.html

  9. Ann Thomson says

    I made these for our Chapel’s Ladies Night and they were devoured immediately, and everyone wanted the recipe. They were so very good! (The only thing I did differently was pick fresh garlic greens from my garden and chop them finely, and use them instead of the chives.)

  10. Anonymous says

    I made the potatoe nest in the mini muffin pans, they went so fast i was glad i had other apps to serve .I will always have a spare from now on, they were great.

  11. cathy says

    My 9 yr old would love these! Id love to be able to make the shells ahead of time & freezing them so I could pull a few out at a time for her afternoon snack. Think its possible? Any tips or suggestions to ensure a good result?

  12. says

    Hi Cathy, That’s a terrific question. I’ve never frozen these, but I like the idea. My thought would be that they would probably do best, if cooked, then frozen. Perhaps spritzing a muffin tin then re-crisping in a hot oven before serving. They’re a bit more delicate than the average hashbrown, so, that would be my only caution. I can’t personally attest to the results, of course. If you try it, stop by and let me know how it worked.

  13. says

    Melissa,
    I an pinning this and already printed this recipe to try later today! I love potatoes and so do my kids and these potato skins look amazing! Thanks for sharing :)
    xoxo,
    Michelle

  14. says

    I don’t think you did anything wrong at all. Sometimes potatoes can discolor a bit just from air exposure during the grating process. You might be happier with the look of the refrigerated or frozen shredded hash browns when making in the future.

  15. Anonymous says

    I’ve enjoyed your recipes every day. Thank you for doing such a good job.

    I do have a question. Could you put a print button on your site. Often I want to print and make the recipe and I cannot do that easily. I sure would appreciate it. Thanks Sandy

  16. says

    Hi Sandy, I’m delighted you’re enjoying my recipes. I have a print button and have for years. It’s bright green and at the end of each post with the share buttons. When you open it, look at the top of the page, you can choose to print with or without the images. Hope that helps!

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