22 easy jacket potato fillings and toppings

Our collection of easy jacket potato fillings and toppings is sure to inspire...

A collage of easy jacket potato fillings including sloppy joe, air fryer potatoes and cheese baked potato too
(Image credit: Future / various)

Wondering what to eat with your jacket potato? We’ve rounded up the best-baked potato fillings and toppings including chicken, tuna, bacon, and vegetarian options – and some more unusual, but brilliant, ideas.

First things first, the most important thing is the potato itself – a perfect jacket is soft and fluffy on the inside – perfect for mashing with butter, salt, and pepper with a fork – and crispy on the outside. Once you've perfected how to cook a baked potato, it’s all about choosing the right toppings – go for a protein-rich option like chicken, tuna, or salmon, and add salad on the side, for a well-balanced meal. 

"Despite the recent love of low-carb diets, the humble spud can be a healthy – and affordable – choice for many of us. It’s been a staple food for generations, it’s cheap and easy to grow, and it’s not processed or refined, so it can form part of a healthy diet," says nutritional therapist Alex Allan. "Jacket potatoes are a great way to prepare potatoes – it’s a simple method and all the family loves them."

She continues; "They are also high in fiber, which is great for our digestive health and can help us feel fuller for longer, as well as a good source of choline, an essential nutrient that most of us don’t have enough of and is vital for a healthy brain, nerves, and muscles. In fact, one jacket potato can provide 10% of an adult’s daily requirement." 

Potatoes are actually more nutritious all around than we often give them credit for. "They can also provide us with potassium, calcium, vitamin C and B6, and magnesium. And on a cold day, who would turn down a piping hot jacket potato with their favourite filling?" says Alex.

Easy jacket potato fillings and toppings

The ultimate comfort food – just don't forget the veggies to make a balanced meal!

1. Minced beef and cheddar

Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 2 hrs 30 mins

This hits the spot for a properly comforting dinner, perfect on cold, rainy days or when you're feeling tired. Topped with minced beef and finished with a golden, crunchy Cheddar cheese layer, we serve these up with a healthy antidote of steamed greens – broccoli, green beans, and wilted spinach are all winning sidekicks.

Add a kick of flavour with a drizzle or two of Worcestershire sauce before toasting the cheese.

Get the recipe: Minced beef and Cheddar

Demi-veggie chilli

Perfect if you love meat, but want to cut down your intake
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

2. Demi-veggie chilli

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hrs 30 mins

Perfect if you're cutting down on meat, but can't quite give it up, this chilli uses half the amount of meat we would usually use in regular chilli, bulked out with plenty of fresh veggies and beans, to make it lower in fat and higher in your daily vitamins.

This jacket potato filling has a smoky, rich flavour and a cool sour cream topping. "A good quality protein option like this will help slow the release of sugars from the potato to balance your blood sugar levels," says Alex Allen.

Get the recipe: Demi-veggie chilli

Give your humble tuna spud some zing with lime and coriander
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

3. Tuna, lime and coriander jacket

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

If you're keen to jazz up a humble tin of tuna, but don't want to slather it in the usual high-fat mayo, try adding some with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprig of coriander with this jacket potato filling idea. This recipe makes a light and delicious lunch recipe in just five minutes.

"Livening up a tuna jacket spud with some lime and coriander gives you an extra dose of vitamins C, K, and A, whilst also being a lighter, brighter topping than usual," says Alex Allen.

Get the recipe: Tuna, lime and coriander jackets

Tomato and Chilli Topped Potatoes

Tasty and spicy AND low calorie. A winner all round
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

4. Tomato and chilli topped potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

A step away from the usual toppings, this works surprisingly well with the rich tomato topping spiced with green chillies and infused with onion, ginger, garlic, and cider vinegar. It packs a serious flavour punch and, in other great news, this vegetarian option is just 282 calories per serving.

If you need a protein hit, try serving it alongside some grilled halloumi cheese, or, for carnivores, it pairs well with a tasty seared tuna steak or some strips of stir-fried steak.

Get the recipe: Tomato and chilli jacket potato

Get your fix of Omega 3 fatty acids, this spud is super tasty too

5. Smoked mackerel jacket

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

This smoked mackerel filling packs your lunch or dinner with plenty of protein and essential omega-3s. The tangy spring onions pair perfectly with the smoked mackerel.

"Smoked mackerel can be an excellent protein-rich choice, as it is full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for our heart and brain health," says Alex Allen. Serve with a side of peppery watercress or some rocket, and some sliced cucumber.

Get the recipe: Smoked mackerel jackets

A great twist on a classic from the well-known chef

6. Antony Worrall Thompson’s cottage pies in baked potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins

Did you ever think a jacket potato could be an acute, novelty dinner? Well, it can be with these mini cottage pies served in a potato skin. A recipe concocted by celebrity chef and restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson is really simple to rustle up in just four easy steps.

We'd recommend serving them with a selection of steamed veggies like carrots and broccoli for a seriously comforting dinner after a long, hard day at work. Because you're worth it. 

Get the recipe: Anthony Worrall Thompson's cottage pies in baked potatoes

A great, tasty low-fat recipe if you're watching the calories

7. Chicken and tomato jacket

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins

This is a seriously lean dinner – ideal for those following diets like Slimming World or on a fasting day on the 5:2 diet, or just if you fancy a meal on the lighter side. The jacket potato filling uses 0% fat Greek yogurt to keep the fat content low, but there's still plenty of flavour from the added herbs.

The tender chicken breast chunks provide a protein hit, and pair well with the fluffy potato and crispy skin. If you're less bothered about the calorie content, stir a spoonful of pesto through the sauce. Tear up and add some basil leaves as a garnish and you're good to go.

Get the recipe: Chicken and tomato jackets

Spice up your beans with a dash of paprika and some Worcestershire sauce

8. Bacon and spicy bean baked potato

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 hours

This recipe puts us in mind of Bonfire Night, perfect for feasting on a chilly November night, but also at any other time of year because there are no rules.

A more exciting twist on the classic baked beans filling,  the streaky bacon adds a slight saltiness to the potato and the dusting of smoked paprika and drizzle of Worcestershire sauce gives it a kick of spice and flavour. 

Get the recipe: Bacon and spicy bean baked potato

jacket potato fillings

Add a bit of kick to your spud with mustard, chilli and mixed spices

9. Cajun stuffed baked potato

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 45 mins

We are big fans of this punchy option that enlivens our spuds and our taste buds, to no end. It's really simple to make by combining spices with English mustard and green chilli to make the filling extra fiery.

Excellent on their own with a generous helping of green salad, or make them a side dish to a steak or some simple grilled fish. Finish them off with a generous helping of Cheddar and they're ready to serve. Seriously delicious.

Get the recipe: Cajun stuffed jacket potatoes

Pimp up this classic lunch with some spring onion and a pinch of cayenne pepper

10. Cheese and tuna jackets

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 50 mins

It's an oldie but a goodie. Some things are never broken, and therefore don't need fixing. Cheese and tuna are a classic combination. With crispy skin and a light and fluffy center, these jacket potatoes are baked in the oven for about two hours so they're extra flavoursome.

And while there's no need to mess with a classic, we do recommend adding a pinch of cayenne pepper and some finely chopped spring onion to give your lunch an extra sparkle.

Get the recipe: Cheese and tuna jackets

A super quick chilli con carne, topped with creme fraiche

11. Baked potato with mince and beans

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 25 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 50 mins

A crispy spud piled high with chilli con carne is a simple delight, but not one we can knock up in a flash, what with it being slow-cooking labor of love. Alas, we have a speedy solution, with this super mince recipe, using passata and chopped fresh red chillies.

The mince is tender and meaty and the beans are nice and soft. Add some spices to the mix and a dollop of soured cream. You may want to treat yourself to a side of guacamole, as well, to make it extra tasty and ramp up the nutrient quota.

Get the recipe: Mince and beans jacket

jacket potato fillings

This smoked trout is a refreshing change from tuna on your jacket potato
(Image credit: Chris Alack)

12. Smoked trout and cheese baked potato

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 2 hours

This filling makes a welcome change from the usual tuna or salmon and uses Gruyere cheese instead of Cheddar to make these potatoes a nice little luxury. Smoked trout is packed with anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids too, so it's virtuous at the same time, and the horseradish sauce and a sprinkling of paprika give another flavour boost.

Serve with a watercress salad for a fancier-than-usual lunch option that takes very little time to whip up (so long as you get that potato in the oven well before the hunger pangs strike). 

Get the recipe: Smoked trout and cheese baked potato

The simple ideas are sometimes the best, like this recipe, with extra protein from the chicken

13. Cheese and tomato jackets with grilled chicken

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins

Sometimes you just want to keep things simple, low-key, and tasty. And things don't come more balanced in this dinner. Serve your crispy potato alongside tender chicken pieces and a freshly prepared salad.

We like to make the salad a little jazzier than usual with this one, so try adding olives, grated carrots, peppers, and anything else you fancy, with a nice balsamic and olive oil dressing and a dollop of mustard. 

Get the recipe: Cheese and tomato jackets with grilled chicken

A tasty, balanced and very low-fat recipe

14. Tuna and onion jacket

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

A great one if you're counting the calories or watching your intake of saturated fats, this is a classic low-fat lunch for your most virtuous days. Make sure your potato is super crispy and fluffy on the inside for maximum lunch satisfaction. The tuna is mixed with cucumber, red onion, and cottage cheese, with the onion adding a big flavour punch.

Grind over plenty of black pepper and serve with fresh salad leaves drizzled in balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, as a filling lunch that is balanced, low fat, and filling.

Get the recipe: Tuna and onion jacket

This delicious blue cheese gives a quick lunch a sophisticated twist

15. Jacket potatoes with Dolcelatte and sun-blushed tomatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins (if microwaved)

"If you’re a cheese fiend, why not move away from the traditional grated cheddar and opt for a blue cheese, such as Dolcelatte, instead, and get some good bacteria into your gut as well as a tasty meal," says Alex Allen.

A break from the cheddar cheese and tomato norm, a handful of super flavoursome sun-blushed tomatoes, some chopped parsley, and Dolcelatte cheese will transform your baked potato. Season with salt and pepper with a pile of salad leaves.

Get the recipe: Jacket potatoes with dolcelatte and sun-blushed tomatoes

Chicken Caesar jacket potato

A Caesar salad in a potato. What's not to love?

16. Chicken Caesar jacket potato

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins (if microwaved)

Ready in just three simple steps, these delicious chicken Caesar jacket potatoes are a great way of using up leftover chicken, and they're an excellent way of adding carbs to a much-loved salad choice, for a more filling meal. Flavoured with lemon, mayo, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley, they're a super tasty choice.

Try adding some tomatoes or grilled peppers as a side – because, as salads go, as much as we adore a traditional Caesar, it's not the highest in vitamins.

Get the recipe: Chicken Caesar jacket potatoes

Add olives, pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella for a delicious Italian-inspired spud

17. Pizza jacket potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 hours 15 mins

A marvelous twist on our favourite pizza, and excellent for anyone with a gluten or wheat intolerance who tries to avoid bread, this recipe transforms simple baked potatoes into a mouthwatering meal topped with peppers, black olives, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes.

The pepperoni and pesto infuse the potatoes with plenty of flavour too. Good enough for a Friday night treat dinner for the whole family (with a side order of red wine, should the grown-ups fancy...).

Get the recipe: Pizza jacket potatoes

Pork chilli baked potato

Switch up the usual beef chilli for one made with pork mince

(Image credit: Getty Images)

18. Pork chilli baked potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ring the changes from the usual beef chilli with a subtly different flavour from using pork mince. Perfect for a cosy Autumn evening (why not make a batch for Bonfire Night or a Halloween gathering?), we suggest topping with a dollop of sour cream, and a side of guacamole. Batch cook and freeze the rest for another day, when it can also be eaten alongside Mexican rice or with a crusty baguette or toasted pitta bread for lunch. Adapting the recipe to be meat-free by using Quorn mince is also an option.

Get the recipe: Pork chilli baked potatoes

Air fryer baked potatoes

The air fryer triumphs again with perfect baked potatoes

(Image credit: America's Test Kitchen: Air Fryer Perfection; Photography by: Julie Bozzo Cote, Meredith Mulcahy, Daniel J.Van Ackere, Steve Klise, Kevin White, Keller + Keller and Carl Tremblay)

19. Air fryer baked potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

The air fryer makes perfect crispy baked potatoes using less time and energy than a conventional oven – they'll be on the table in less than an hour, ideal for those frantic midweek dinner times. This recipe also includes some wonderfully inventive ideas to pimp up your usual plain butter – there's a lemon and thyme butter, or a blue cheese and pepper butter, both stunning if you're eating your jacket as a side with steak or grilled chicken, though we'd be happy to eat them just as they are, frankly.

Get the recipe: Air fryer baked potatoes

jacket potato with salsa

A dollop of sour cream or cream cheese finishes off this filling perfectly

(Image credit: Alamy)

20. Salsa baked potatoes

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hrs 30 mins

This salsa is a super lively, health-giving mix of tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, red onion, and parsley – making light work of steps towards your five a day. Perfect with a chilli con-carne topped potato, or to add to a simple topping of grated cheddar or cream cheese, the leftovers can be scooped up with tortilla chips or crudités, or added to fajitas, tacos, or quesadillas. 

Get the recipe: Salsa baked potatoes

Coronation chicken

A classic coronation chicken goes perfectly with a crispy baked spud

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

21. Coronation chicken

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

A more leftfield topping choice, this creamy classic – more typically found in a bread-based environment – is actually perfect on a baked potato. The flavoursome, mayo-based sauce works every bit as well as tuna mayo, if not even better. Pop a mixed salad on the side for a perfect lunch, any day – not just coronation day. 

 Get the recipe: Coronation chicken

Sloppy Joe jacket potato

An American classic that works brilliantly with a baked potato

(Image credit: Alamy)

22. Sloppy Joe

Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 21 mins

For the uninitiated, a sloppy Joe is a classic American sandwich filling, sort of like an unformed burger – it's mince fried with zingy ingredients like barbecue sauce, ginger, and soy sauce, so it's super juicy and doesn't need all the usual mayo and ketchup condiments to add flavour and texture. A sloppy Joe is more traditional served in a burger bap, but we think it's perfect mashed into a soft jacket potato and paired with a lovely big salad or a side of corn on the cob.

Get the recipe: Sloppy Joe

Can you cook jacket potatoes in advance?

Yes, you can – but they lose their crispness fairly quickly so, for the perfect potato, we would always advise serving immediately. But, if you're forward planning or have guests and are batch cooking, it is okay to bake in advance – just use one of the methods below to reheat them. Don't be tempted by the microwave or they'll just be soggy and extremely disappointing.

Can you reheat jacket potatoes and how?

Yes. Without a shadow of a doubt, the perfect way to reheat a jacket potato is in the oven. Take them out of the fridge to reach room temperature and place the potato directly on the oven shelf for 15-20 minutes. If you're in a rush though – and to save on energy, of course – the air fryer is your best bet. You'll have delicious, crispy reheated potatoes in, at most, 4 minutes. 

Can you serve jacket potatoes cold?

Yes, technically, though they're never going to be as tasty or comforting as a hot buttered potato straight from the oven. You do also need to pay heed to some food safety issues – don't let your cooked potato sit for a long time at room temperature, it should be put in the fridge once cooled. Also, don't store it wrapped in foil (which isn't the best way to cook the potato in the first place) – this prevents the potato from being exposed to air and can cause bacteria to grow.

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Lara Kilner
Food Writer

Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.