Stuffed Baked Potatoes

For an easy lunch the other day, I threw together these stuffed baked potatoes using up several leftover ingredients.  This is another recipe that would be easily adapted to whatever leftovers you may have…broccoli, turkey or chicken breasts, swiss cheese, etc.,  the list is endless…

Also, you may be thinking that potatoes alone usually aren’t a meal.  But these are!  They were huge!  And of course they have meat and veggies inside them too.

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Ingredients

2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and dry

4 oz. {half of a block} cream cheese, softened

2 or 3 tablespoons ranch dressing

1/2 cup shredded cheddar, divided

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup thick deli ham, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped red or white onion

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bake (or microwave) the potatoes until tender.  In the microwave this takes about 8-10 minutes.  Allow the potatoes to cool down so they are easy to handle.  Don’t get in a hurry here because they will fall apart if you handle them too soon.

Meanwhile, saute the ham, onion, bell pepper, and celery in the oil until veggies are tender and ham is lightly browned.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375*

Once you are able to handle the potatoes, make a thin slice across the top (longways) of each potato removing some of the skin to expose the flesh.  Scoop out the “meat” leaving a shell or boat.  Place the flesh that you scoop out into a large bowl.  {Sidebar:  It is driving me nuts that I keep calling it meat and flesh.  Sorry!}  Once you have two empty boats, mash the potato meat in the bowl with the cream cheese, salt and pepper, and ranch.  Then add the ham, veggies and most of the shredded cheddar.  Stir to combine.  If it is too thick, add a few tablespoons of milk.

Place the boats on a baking sheet and load with the filling.  They will be  overflowing.  Top with a little more shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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