More Ketchup, Please

The Best Weeknight Baked Potatoes, 3 Creative Ways

Hetty McKinnon knows how to get cheers from the table.

August  1, 2019

Welcome to "More Ketchup, Please" our newest series that's spilling the beans on all the different ways we cook for, and with, our kids. We've got some great guests stopping by, to get schooled by their little ones on how to perfect family favorites. The more (cooks) the merrier? We think so.

A baked potato that’s seasoned with salt, pepper, and a generous pat of butter is a jolly side to any meal. But a baked potato stuffed three ways? Now that’s a thing of joy—and as we discovered, sometimes a whole dinner. And as Hetty McKinnon’s kids will tell you: There’s nothing better than a baked potato dinner.

McKinnon, an Australian food writer with a passion for nurturing both bellies and souls, knows a thing or two about feeding people—she is the co-owner of a communal cooking studio in Brooklyn and her new cookbook Family , is full of effortlessly beautiful but uncomplicated food—vegetarian recipes designed to connect people, and nourish the family. That gift for making food more interesting (“sometimes all it takes is adding croutons to salad”) has won her her greatest fans—her sons Dash (11) and Huck (9).

For someone who was a self-taught teenage cook, McKinnon breaks with tradition to involve her kids in the kitchen. “My mom used to say kids shouldn’t be in the kitchen because they mess things up,” says McKinnon. Huck likes to help with chopping and stirring, and Dash really just enjoys eating (No shame, Dash—all the best people do).

Even more important to McKinnon than family cooking rituals, is the shared ritual of eating together. “I find that when you eat family-style, with food in the middle of the table, it’s easier to get kids to try a bit of everything,” she says, “It’s also immediately a much more communal and happy way to eat.” A happiness only compounded with the addition of not one, but three perfectly baked potatoes.

A crowd-pleaser for very good reason Photo by Food52

Baked Potato stuffed three ways, à la Hetty McKinnon

“The versatility of a baked potato lies in being able to stuff it with whatever’s sitting in your pantry or refrigerator. With my baked potatoes, I fill them with lots of veggies and intriguing flavors.”—Hetty McKinnon

Here are three of her favorite fillings:

  • Freshen it up with chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto. (Essentially a Caprese salad in a baked potato!)
  • Spice it up with kimchi and a grated cheese of your choosing.
  • Go Asian with edamame and a classic Chinese ginger and scallion sauce.

How do you like your baked potato—classic or with the extras? Tell us in the comments below!

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Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.