Stuffed Air Fryer Potato Skins with Buffalo Sauce
You don’t have to choose between potato skins and buffalo dip – you can them have both! These loaded air fryer potato skins are a mashup of two beloved appetizers. Crispy potato skins are brushed with buffalo sauce and stuffed with a rich, zesty filling to make an appetizer that’s sure to spice up your next game day or tailgate party.
Reasons to love these loaded potato skins
I’m just gonna come out and say it – most of the potato skins I’ve eaten are sad. Limp, greasy, too salty, lacking in toppings… we can do better.
These potato skins are cooked in the air fryer, making them extra crispy and convenient to prepare. They’re also packed with fiery flavor from buffalo sauce and jalapenos and stuffed with a cheddar cream cheese filling.
Think of this appetizer as a mix mix between two game day favorites – buffalo chicken dip + potato skins (but without the chicken). Whether you’re hanging out at a game day party, tailgate, or with your family on the couch, just one batch of these is sure to satisfy a crowd.
Nutrition fun facts
Potatoes get a bad rap, but they’re super nutritious! These starchy veggies are a good source of energizing carbs and heart-healthy potassium. You can also find a bit of fiber in the skin, which is what we’re eating here. Go, you!
Ingredients you’ll need
Potatoes, multiple types of dairy, and hot sauce? We might be in appetizer heaven here. All you need are these simple ingredients to make the best game day appetizer around.
- Small russet potatoes – Try to find small, unblemished, evenly-sized potatoes so they cook evenly and have edible skin.
- Oil – I use avocado oil spray, but you can use canola, olive, or coconut oil.
- Buffalo sauce – You’ll need it for the first bake and to brush onto the skins later. (Oh yeah… and drizzling. We can’t forget the sauce drizzle.)
- Cornstarch – This is my secret weapon for any recipe that needs to be crispy.
- Light cream cheese – You can also use regular cream cheese here.
- Jalapenos – You’ll dice two for the filling and slice one for a garnish. (Make sure you remove the seeds! Unless you like spicy things.)
- Shredded cheddar cheese – This is necessary for melty, cheesy filling.
- Green onions – An optional garnish, but very cute.
- Sour cream – Another optional, but delicious garnish.
Tips for success
Potato skins aren’t a difficult recipe, per se, but they are a bit time-consuming. Here are some tips to ensure that the time you spend waiting for these taters to cook is worth it.
- Fully bake your potatoes – Don’t get impatient here – you’ll know your potatoes are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork. Believe me, soft potatoes are way easier to scoop.
- Line your air fryer with foil – Buffalo sauce can get a bit drippy, so save yourself from a mess by lining your air fryer basket.
- Use cornstarch to make your sauce stick – Mix together oil, buffalo sauce, and a bit of cornstarch to brush onto the potatoes. The cornstarch thickens the sauce mixture so it doesn’t run off of the potatoes as it cooks.
- Don’t rush the baking process – Waiting is the worst, I know, but cook the potato skins for 10 minutes on each side and they’ll be nice and crispy. Worth it.
- A little bit of the filling goes a long way – Cream cheese and shredded cheese are a pretty rich combo, so you only need a spoonful in each skin.
- Modify the spice level as needed – This recipe is medium-hot as written, and very hot if you leave in jalapeno seeds. See the recipe modifications section for tips on making this recipe more or less spicy.
Be patient! Bake your potatoes well so you can easily scoop out the flesh. If you undercook the potato, the potato centers be difficult to work with. Try to leave an even ¼ inch layer of potato connected to the skin. Bake the skins for a full 10 minutes on each side for maximum crispiness.
The air fryer is a great way to cook small to medium-sized batches quickly! The added air circulation also makes your food extra crispy by dehydrating it a bit.
Cornstarch! Whisk together buffalo sauce, oil, and a bit of cornstarch to make a saucy paste, then brush it on the potatoes. Since cornstarch thickens things, it helps give the sauce more sticking power.
You can, but it won’t be as crispy. I recommend making these and eating them immediately. If you want to cut down on your prep time, you can bake, cut, and scoop the potatoes in advance, then store in an airtight container until you’re ready to bake. Then, resume the recipe in step 3.
- Different flavors – Instead of buffalo sauce, try sriracha, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, or your favorite wing sauce.
- Vegan/dairy-free – Use vegan buffalo sauce, dairy-free shredded cheese, and dairy-free cream cheese.
- Gluten-free version – Make sure your buffalo sauce is gluten-free (many are) and you’ll be good to go!
- Less spicy version – Make sure to remove the jalapeno seeds if you’re using them! Another option is to swap in green bell peppers or green onions for the jalapeno. You can also use a mild buffalo sauce.
- Spicy version – Leave in your jalapeno seeds and drizzle a bit of extra hot sauce on top.
- Lighter version – Opt for less cream cheese or swap in Greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese and/or sour cream.
Stuffed Air Fryer Potato Skins with Buffalo Sauce
- 1 air fryer (I use a Breville Smart Oven® Air Fryer Pro)
- 1 small bowl
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 pastry brush (optional but helpful)
- aluminum foil
- 5 small russet potatoes thoroughly scrubbed
- 2 tbsp avocado oil divided
- ⅓ cup buffalo sauce divided
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 8 oz light cream cheese softened
- 3 medium jalapenos one thinly sliced, two diced
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
- sour cream for topping
- Air fry the potatoes. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Poke each potato several times with a fork, then add 1 tbs of the oil to coat. Air fry the potatoes until fork-tender (30-40 minutes) and remove to cool.
- Scoop out the potatoes. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼ inch intact. (You can set the unused potato aside and use it to make mashed potatoes or potato pancakes!)
- Brush with buffalo sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbs oil, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, and 1 tbs cornstarch. (Try to get rid of as many lumps as you can, but it doesn't have to be perfect.) Using a pastry brush, brush the buffalo sauce mixture onto the insides of the potatoes.
- Air fry again. Preheat the air fryer to 450°F. (If your air fryer doesn't get this hot, turn it to the highest temperature and increase the cook time as needed.) Line your air fryer basket with aluminum foil. Arrange the potato skins in a single layer, and air fry for 10 minutes.
- Repeat! Flip the potato skins over, brush the other side with the buffalo sauce mixture, and air fry for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile… make the filling. In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, 2-3 tablespoons of buffalo sauce, 2 diced jalapenos, and shredded cheddar cheese until combined.
- Air fry one last time. Add a spoonful of the filling to each potato skin and gently spread it. Bake until the cheese starts to bubble (about 7 minutes).
- Top with sour cream, sliced jalapeno, and green onions, then enjoy!
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- I used a Breville Smart Oven® Air Fryer Pro, which is an air fryer/toaster oven combo. This gives me enough surface area to make medium-large batches like this one. If you have a smaller air fryer with a basket, only use as many potatoes as you can fit in a single layer.
- FYI – This recipe is medium-hot as written! See the ‘recipe modifications’ section for tips on changing the spice level as needed.
Looking for more game day recipes?
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chili
- Dill Pickle Ranch Dressing
- Spicy Tofu Nuggets
- Air-Fried Eggplant Bites
- Crispy Kale Chips
- Cucumber Bites with Salmon
Oh MY, it looks great! Can’t wait to cook em this Sunday!