The humble jacket potato can provide a nutritionally balanced meal when paired with the right fillings. Simply bake in the oven for around an hour, or zap in the microwave until soft (around 5 minutes). Serve with a salad or roasted vegetables to ensure you’re hitting your 5-a-day. Here are my top 10 healthy jacket potato ideas to get you started…
1. Beans and cheese
This classic jacket potato filling will provide you with fibre, plant-based protein and a host of vitamins. Just warm a tin of baked beans on the stove (look out for the low sugar, low salt varieties in the shops), pile onto your potato and top with a grating of cheddar cheese.
2. Cheese and onion
Dice a white onion, scoop out the potato flesh from the skin, mix in the diced onion, grated cheddar cheese and black pepper. Pile back into the skin, add a final grating of cheese and grill for 5 minutes until lightly browned.
3. Tuna and sweetcorn
A super speedy potato filling! Empty a tin of tuna and a tin of sweetcorn into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise, salad cream or crème fraiche and mix thoroughly, then pile onto your jacket potato.
4. Chilli con carne
Fry beef mince with onions, a tin of chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, red peppers, chilli powder, cumin and paprika and simmer for around 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Serve on your jacket potato and top with a drizzle of yoghurt and slices of avocado. You could also swap the beef for mixed beans for a vegetarian alternative.
5. Chicken curry and mint yoghurt
Simple fry diced chicken until browned, add slices onions, fresh chilli, garlic and curry powder. Add a tin each of chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened. Meanwhile, finely slice mint leaves and stir into Greek yoghurt. Pile the curry onto your jacket potato and top with a spoonful of mint yoghurt.
6. Sweet potato, spicy roasted chickpeas and lemon yoghurt
Sweet potatoes make a nutritious alternative to your usual white potato and can be prepared in the same way. For the topping, mix the zest and juice of a lemon into Greek yoghurt. Meanwhile, empty a tin each of chickpeas and tinned tomatoes into a roasting tin, along with chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried thyme and salt, and roast in the oven for around 20 minutes. Serve on your sweet potato and top with a spoonful of lemon yoghurt.
7. Chicken and spinach pesto
This is a great way to add extra nutrients into your meal! Blend a large handful of spinach with a jar of green pesto until smooth. Meanwhile, cook diced chicken in a pan until browned. Add in the spinach pesto and cook until piping hot. Serve on your potato and top with a grating of parmesan or cheddar.
8. ‘Sausage and mash’
A twist on an old favourite. Scoop out the flesh from the jacket potato and mash with a drizzle of olive oil or small knob of butter. Meanwhile, grill your sausages and make an onion gravy by thinly slicing a red onion and softening in a pan until sticky. Add a stock cube or gravy granules and water until at desired consistency. Serve the potato flesh back in the skin, top with the sausages and pour over the onion gravy. Swap the side salad for peas or green beans.
9. Smoked mackerel and spring onion
Peel the skin from a smoked mackerel fillet and flake into a bowl. Add sliced spring onion, crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt and a generous grind of black pepper. Mix until combined, then serve on top of your jacket potato.
10. ‘Pizza’ potato
All the flavours of a pizza but more nutritious! Simple make a vegetable ratatouille by cooking slices onions, peppers and mushrooms in a tin of chopped tomatoes until softened. Pile onto your jacket potato, top with sliced chorizo and mozzarella, and pop under the grill for 5 minutes until melted.
There you have it, 10 simple ideas to top your jacket potato for a healthy, balanced meal. Once you’ve mastered these, why not have a go at getting creative and inventing your own topping ideas? Don’t forget to upload photos of your creations on Instragram and tag me @you.trition