12 Days of Easy Appetizers: Loaded Potato Chips

12 Days of Easy Appetizers: Loaded Potato Chips

For the last several years I’ve served a tiny twice-baked potato at my holiday parties that is essentially a miniature version of the traditional large twice-baked russet potato often found at steakhouses. I use small round Yukon Gold potatoes, roast them, scoop them out, and mix the potato guts with goodies like cheese and bacon, then stuff the shells and bake them again. They taste wonderful, but good grief are they a pain to make and it’s not like I have a staff of sous chefs to do the cutting and scooping of 100 little potatoes.

To that end, I’ve been on the hunt for a faster way to bring a similar dish to my parties that takes less work but is just as interesting. I thought that a good quality potato chip might be a great base for an appetizer but even the thickest cut and ridged chips I found wouldn’t hold up well to more than a topping or maybe two.

Enter TERRA Blues Potato Chips. I’d seen this brand of chip at my local grocery store and on Jet Blue flights, but it wasn’t until BlogHer this last summer that I had a chance to visit with the chips’ makers and talk to their chef. They were showcasing their chips as more than your average party food, and it was then that I realized they would be a great based for a fast-and-easy take on my twice-baked potato. The blue chips have a beautiful color, are a nice size, and are hefty enough to take on any number of toppings. And they taste great too, which is what really matters in the end.

Full disclosure: after BlogHer, the nice folks at TERRA sent me a couple of bags of these chips so I could experiment with them. I’ve purchased more on my own since, but the first two were given to me by the company.

TERRA Blues are also a great paring with substantial dips like this Onion Bacon Dip I served with them at a party this fall. I think you’ll find that once you taste these chips and start to experiment with them, you’ll come up with all number of fun applications for these beautiful gems.

Recipe: Loaded Potato Chips


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 24
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 oz. pancetta, cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 24 thick potato chips like TERRA Blues Potato Chips
  • ½ c. crème fraiche
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced


  1. Sautee the pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels to remove excess fat.
  2. Lay the potato chips on a serving platter.
  3. Top each chip with a tsp. of crème fraiche, a few pieces of pancetta, and a sprinkle of chives.

Recipe for Success

  • If you don’t use the TERRA Blues chips, choose a sturdy and large potato chip that will stand up to the toppings. While you could use a traditional yellow chip, I love the contrast of colors that blue chip brings to this dish. You could also use a sturdy vegetable chip for a different color palette and to sneak a few more veggies on the table.
  • You can use just about any combination of potato toppings in this recipe that you’d like. Try traditional sour cream and chives, bacon bits and cheese, or even something more Spanish inspired like manchego and cured chorizo.