How many calories are in a fully loaded baked potato?

A baked potato can be a nutritious and delicious side dish or meal on its own. However, once you start loading it up with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits and other toppings, the calories can quickly add up. So just how many calories are in a fully loaded baked potato? Let’s take a closer look.

Calories in a Plain Baked Potato

A medium, 6-ounce russet potato with nothing added contains around 160 calories. The exact number of calories in a plain baked potato depends on the size:

4 oz potato 110 calories
6 oz potato 160 calories
8 oz potato 210 calories
10 oz potato 260 calories

As you can see, calories increase as potato size increases. The majority of calories in a plain baked potato come from carbohydrates. A medium potato provides around 36 grams of carbs.

Calories from Common Baked Potato Toppings

While a plain baked potato is relatively low in calories, toppings can significantly increase the calorie count. Some common toppings and their calorie amounts include:

2 tbsp sour cream 60 calories
2 tbsp butter 200 calories
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 110 calories
3 slices bacon, cooked 90 calories
1/4 cup green onions 10 calories
1/4 cup broccoli florets 15 calories

As you can see, calorie-dense additions like butter, cheese and sour cream can quickly drive up the calorie content of a baked potato. On the other hand, you can add lots of nutrition without many calories by topping your potato with vegetables.

Calories in a Fully Loaded Baked Potato

When you add up all the potential toppings, a fully loaded baked potato can end up with well over 500 calories. Here’s an estimate:

6 oz Russet Potato 160 calories
2 tbsp Sour Cream 60 calories
2 tbsp Butter 200 calories
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar 110 calories
3 slices Bacon 90 calories
1/4 cup Green Onions 10 calories
Total Calories: 630 calories

As you can see, the toppings alone add nearly 500 calories to the potato. And that’s a moderate amount of toppings. Some fully loaded baked potatoes can contain over 1,000 calories!

Ways to Lighten Up Your Loaded Baked Potato

If you want to enjoy a loaded baked potato but avoid going overboard on calories, here are some tips:

– Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. A 2 tablespoon serving of Greek yogurt has around 35 calories compared to 60 calories in regular sour cream.

– Limit butter to 1 tablespoon (100 calories) or skip it completely.

– Choose a cheese with a strong flavor like blue cheese so you can use less.

– Use turkey bacon or a vegetable-based bacon alternative instead of regular bacon.

– Load up on veggies like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, green onions and black beans for extra fiber and nutrients without many calories.

– Skip the cheese and bacon and top your potato with chili or leftover taco meat and salsa.

– Go for a small or medium potato instead of a large russet.

With smart topping choices, you can keep a loaded baked potato meal under 400 calories while still getting a satisfying potato experience.

The Best Low Calorie Toppings for Baked Potatoes

Here are some of the best low calorie toppings to load up your baked potato:

Greek Yogurt

As mentioned above, 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt has about 1/3 the calories of regular sour cream. Greek yogurt also provides extra protein.

Chopped Vegetables

Load your potato up with as many veggies as possible. Some great options include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and peppers. You’ll add nutrients and satisfaction without calories.


Salsa provides fresh flavor for very few calories. A 1/4 cup serving only has around 20 calories. Opt for homemade salsa over store bought to avoid added sugars.

Bean-Based Chili

Warm up a potato by topping it with fiber- and protein-rich chili made with beans. Make it yourself or look for a brand without too much added sodium.

Herbs and Spices

Boost flavor without calories by sprinkling on oregano, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and other herbs and spices. Go easy on higher-calorie options like ranch seasoning.

Caramelized Onions

For sweetness, cook sliced onions over low heat until they’re super soft and jammy. Add richness for about 50 calories per 1/4 cup.


Creamy, fresh avocado provides heart-healthy fats. A 2 tablespoon serving has 50 calories.

Healthiest Ways to Prepare Baked Potatoes

How you prepare your potato also impacts its nutrition profile:

– Bake instead of frying your potatoes to avoid unnecessary fat and calories.

– Leave the skin on for more fiber, vitamins and minerals.

– Fluff your potato with a fork after baking so toppings adhere better.

– Opt for olive oil or avocado oil for baking instead of oils high in saturated fat.

– Season with garlic powder, paprika and other herbs and spices instead of butter.

– Make sure your potato is fully cooked through until soft in the middle.

– Let your cooked potato cool slightly before adding toppings so they don’t melt or get soggy.

– Add a splash of low-sodium vegetable broth to keep your potato from drying out.

Health Benefits of Baked Potatoes

Despite their potential high calorie load, baked potatoes do have some health benefits when prepared with nutritious toppings and moderate portion sizes. Some benefits include:

– High in fiber, especially when eating the skin

– Contain antioxidants like carotenoids and phenolic compounds

– Packed with vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese

– Provide a canvas for getting creative with healthy toppings

– Naturally gluten-free

– More filling than refined carbs like white bread or rice

When topped thoughtfully, baked potatoes can be a nutritious part of a balanced diet. The high fiber and water content help you feel satisfied with just one potato half as a serving.

Final Thoughts

A fully loaded baked potato can end up with over 600 calories or more depending on the size and toppings. To keep the calories in check, opt for a medium potato, limit high-fat toppings like cheese and bacon, and load up with low-calorie veggies. With reasonable portions and lighter toppings, you can definitely enjoy baked potatoes while maintaining a healthy calorie intake. Just be mindful of your additions to avoid a gut-busting dish.

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