A Kid-Friendly Baked Potato Bar with Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Weeknight meals can be such a circus, especially in families with little kids. When I find a meal that my picky eaters love while also being nourishing, affordable and easy to pull together while still juggling evening activities and homework, it’s a game changer. This easy Baked Potato Bar checks all those boxes and more. Did I mention it’s a great way to transform random leftovers AND you can bake the potatoes in your slow cooker? Yeah, you need to try this.

The secret to this meal’s simplicity is to bake your potatoes in your slow cooker. I didn’t even realize that was a thing until a couple of years ago, but man has it been a lifesaver. Baking potatoes in the oven can take more than an hour and using a microwave can result in rubbery, sad potatoes. Ew. The slow cooker changes everything. Start the slow cooked baked potatoes in the morning and let them cook for up to 10 hours. When dinnertime arrives, your potatoes will be soft, fluffy and delicious.

Like your baked potatoes with crispy skin? No problem. Simply unwrap your potatoes and toss them in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving. The skins crisp up beautifully while keeping that same gorgeous fluffy texture inside.

While the potatoes are getting crisp, it’s time to think about toppings. Let your imagination, your family’s preferences, and the contents of your refrigerator be your guide when creating your baked potato bar. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the traditional broccoli and bacon, but don’t let your creativity stop there.

Have some leftover chili and half a jar of salsa in the fridge? Great news! Even pulled pork or shredded rotisserie chicken can make tasty baked potato bar toppings. Now check your crisper for veggie options. Green onions, roasted kale, even a stray ear of corn or a random jalapeño can be amazing on a baked potato. Of course, we can’t forget the cheese and sour cream. Put everything in little bowls or on a big platter so that each diner can help themselves and create their own perfect potato. Picky eaters absolutely love having this kind of control over dinner. Plus… everybody loves baked potatoes.

Perfect Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Servings 1


1 to 8 russet potatoes

Olive oil


Your choice of toppings


  1. Prick each potato all over with a fork and rub with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle with salt. Wrap each potato in a square of aluminum foil.
  2. Arrange the potatoes in the slow cooker so that they fit snugly next to each other. If you are baking 1 to 2 potatoes, set them in the middle of the slow cooker; for 5 or more potatoes, stack them in 2 layers.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and bake for 8 to 10 hours on low. The potatoes will be ready after 8 hours, but can be cooked for up to 10 hours. Do not leave them on the WARM setting for more than an hour due to food safety risks.
  4. For crispy outer skins, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove potatoes from foil and transfer to a baking sheet. Place potatoes in the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until potato skins are crisp.
  5. To eat, remove potatoes from oven, split in half and top with toppings as desired.