Crispy potato skins that are fully loaded with all of your favorite pizza toppings; clean comfort food combining the best of both worlds!
Who is ready for football this weekend?! Not me. Not really. But also, give me all the football food. Except I’m on a whole30 and that means your typical idea of football food is out…or is it?
So for a really long time, I’d eat clean and whole, and do a whole30 or eat paleo and then life would get crazy busy and I’d stop planning our meals and that means I wasn’t taking good care of myself and we’d eat out a lot – and not like, “Hey, hey! It’s Friday, let’s get a cocktail and some fries.” But more like, “It’s Thursday and I’ve run out of fresh food for the week and it’s almost the weekend and it’s been a long week, so let’s eat whatever we want!” Not the best strategy for weight loss or my mental health + mood.
This year I’ve had my, “AHA!” moment and know that fully embracing “clean”, unprocessed, whole meals is the way our life needs to be at Casa de Crews. And that doesn’t mean I need to compromise flavor or food I love, and I’ve actually had a lot of fun this month playing around with recipes and cleaning up comfort foods [looking at you buffalo chicken tendies + dairy free ranch].
Pizza is for sure one of my faves. So are potatoanythingthankyouverymuch and I started lusting over the idea of Pizza Potato Skins – similar to these bites, but on a larger scale. And I don’t hate it.
What can I have in these potato skins?
Anything you want, for the most part! So if you’re on a whole30, you know that you have to check the ingredients in everything. And you also need to omit dairy, but truth be told as much as I love cheese, I did not miss it in these pizza potato skins. There were too many other flavors going on to care.
Now here’s the thing: It is very hard to find compliant whole30 pepperoni, and if you can’t find it either, omit it. If you don’t like mushrooms, omit those too. Use what you like, boo. It’s up to you.
I made my own Italian sausage with a pound of ground sausage and my own seasonings. I added mushrooms, black olives and pepperoni – all of my favorite toppings in a hollowed out, crispy potato. It’s seriously amazing.
The recipe below is for six halves, so if you’re going somewhere or having friends over this weekend, these whole30 potato skins are perfect for the masses! There will be a little leftover Italian sausage mix if you follow my recipe, and you could easily make another whole potato and get eight servings out of this recipe!
Or, you could have half and enjoy other party offerings or football grub like: chicken wings with ranch dressing. Obvi.
I like to make the ground sausage mixture, add in the other ingredients, a little fresh basil and pizza sauce, before stuffing pizza skins. The potatoes can be made in advance, and you can refrigerate for 1-2 days before halving, scooping, filling and broiling.
Then, I like to drizzle dairy free, whole30 ranch and top with red pepper flakes and fresh green onions. It’s the ultimate PARTY food!
whole30 pizza potato skins
- 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground pork sausage
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning spice
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes - optional
- 1 handful fresh basil, torn - optional
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce - plus more for dipping
- 10-15 slices pepperoni, quartered
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup sliced baby bellas
- 1 tablespoon ghee - or butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- green onions, chopped, for garnish - optional
- ranch dressing, to garnish - optional
- Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Wash potatoes well and pierce all over with fork. Bake until skins are crisp and a knife or fork pierces the potatoes easily in the middle, about 45-50 minutes. Remove and let cool 10-15 minutes before handling (can also be baked 1-2 days in advance).
- In a medium skillet, add olive oil. Once hot, add sausage, Italian spice blend, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, if using, and basil, if using. Using a spatula, break up sausage into smaller pieces and continue to cook until done, about 7-8 minutes. Drain any excess fat from pan.
- To skillet, add pizza sauce, pepperoni and other toppings you are using for potato skins. Mix well to combine.
- Set oven to broil. Slice each potato in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼" of the flesh as a border. Reserve the potato filling for another use. Using a pastry brush, brush the outsides of the potatoes with the ghee and season liberally with salt and pepper. Turn the potatoes over and brush the insides with ghee, and season with salt and pepper. Place potato halves skin-side down on baking sheet and broil until the skin begin to brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from broiler and stuff each skin with saucy sausage mixture.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350F. Remove and garnish with green onions and ranch, if using.
Other recipes perfect for The Big Game:
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