Easy Baked Potato Bar + Crock Pot Baked Potatoes!

Entertain, Food, Party, Recipes

A baked potato bar is the perfect way to host a party. It's easy on the budget and always a crowd favorite. Plus, crock pot baked potatoes make preparations a breeze!

Baked potato on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free

We love to have friends over and do so quite often, if you haven't been able to tell from Instagram. We love to entertain during the holidays, throw parties, and even host barbecues for the whole neighborhood. What we don't like? Breaking the budget to have these get togethers!

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Lucky for you, I have a few helpful entertaining-on-the-cheap tips for you, starting with one of my favorite ways to feed a crowd… The baked potato bar using crock pot baked potatoes! I've got some great tricks to put up your sleeve that'll make it as effortless and easy for you as possible. You'll be chowin' down on a baked potato and visiting with your guests in no time!


Before you go to the grocery store, decide which recipes you want to use and make a list of all the ingredients you'll need for the recipes. Shop your pantry, fridge and freezer first (ahem, shelf cooking, always do it!), then get everything else from the store.

Before shopping, though, it's always good to check out Deals To Meals or your grocery ads to see if any of the ingredients you need are on sale at your local stores. I'm very particular in how I shop for my groceries, and you should be, too!

Potatoes are one of those kitchen staples for me, so I pretty much always have a lot of them on hand, ready to come to my aid when they're called to action. When it comes to entertaining, I'm a bit OCD about not having enough food for my guests. I always live on the cautious side of life and make too much food. Thank goodness pretty much all of the baked potato bar food is great leftover!


Baked potato bar toppings from Fun Cheap or Free

You really can't go wrong with the basic potato toppings. It's also fun to step it up a notch and make some extra, unexpected toppings that your guests are sure to love and be super excited about.

Here are some of our favorite baked potato bar toppings:

One of the best things about a potato bar is that you can use leftovers and your guests will never know! Use that leftover meat that you have sitting in the fridge that needs to be eaten. Just chop it up and reheat it right before you're ready to eat. A 3-crock pot server is the perfect way to keep any soups, meats and even the cornbread warm. I seriously love mine. I recommend it to anyone who entertains even a fraction as much as I do!


Don't ever feel bad about asking your guests to bring something with them when they come! Most of the time, they're more than happy to bring it. Bonus, it really helps to take some of the load off your shoulders. We usually assign salads, sides and desserts and I've never had anybody complain about having to bring something.


Baked potato bar from Fun Cheap or Free

Even though we don't usually have people over until dinner, I like to wake up and get started on dinner prep right away. That way, I can get most of it done and relax the rest of the day. It's always good to have a schedule of what time you need to be doing what, such as putting the potatoes in the crock pot and making any soups or breads to go along with it. You'll be less stressed and it'll help your day to go easier!


I lay out everything I will need for my dinner, so all I have to do is toss it all in the crock pot when the time comes to cook it all.

I even like to chop up my baked potato bar toppings and put them in individual airtight containers in the fridge. (Leftover baby food containers work great for this. I love them and use them for EVERYTHING!) That way, all I have to do is pull them out when the company comes, take the lids off, add a spoon, and they're ready to go!


Foil-wrapped potatoes from Fun Cheap or Free

The crock pot is the absolute easiest way to go when it comes to baking them! Of course, you can do it in the oven, but the crock pot is convenient because you can start them and forget them. You're able to go about your day, go to church, clean your house, do whatever, and dinner is cooking all by itself without you. It's great!

Use this recipe and you'll never want to make them in the oven again. It's super easy for your next baked potato bar or any weeknight meals.

Baked potato on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

This is one of the easiest, hands-off ways to whip up some baked potatoes! Perfect for quick and easy weeknight dinners, meal prepping, or hosting your next baked potato bar.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 10-12 small baking potatoes
  • Olive oil, optional
  • Sea salt, optional


  • Wash and dry potatoes.
  • Stab with a fork.
  • Rub olive oil all over and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Wrap in aluminum foil.
  • Fill crock pot with potatoes.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours, or until tender.


Store any leftover potatoes in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave or oven just until they're hot enough to eat. You don't actually want to cook the potatoes, just heat up that warm and fluffy goodness! You can also turn them into mashed potatoes, soup, or throw them in another delicious recipe.
Keyword party food, slow cooker

So quick, easy and pain-free! You can also do this with sweet potatoes. It may be good to have a few of those on hand if someone is wanting a healthier potato to chow down on.


If you go the route with the extra-delicious toppings (which I highly recommend!), then get those going when it's time. I usually cook the broccoli cheese soup in the morning, let it cool, then stick it in the fridge. Then an hour or so before we're going to eat, I'll get it out and stick it in the crock pot on warm to heat it back up. I'll cook the chili on the stove, then put it in the crock pot on low for a while so it can simmer and really come together.

Right before company arrives, I make a quick batch of my awesome 20-minute cornbread. It's so easy, and I want it hot and fresh, so I don't make it ahead of time and I'm always glad I didn't. I cut up my cornbread and put it in the server crock pot and put on “warm” so the bread will be nice and toasty when it's time to eat.


I like to put out plates AND bowls for my guests. Some people will have soup on the side, some people will put the soup ON their potato, and some people will smash up half a potato in the bottom of a bowl, pour soup on top of it, then cover the soup with the potato toppings. All ways are delish!

There's always tons of food to go around, and it's one of the cheapest meals that I'll serve for a get together. We always have a blast and everybody raves when we have baked potato bar parties!

Now isn't that just about the easiest way that you can come up with to feed a crowd? What are your favorite toppings to put out with a baked potato bar? Let me know in the comments!

Crockpot potatoes from Fun Cheap or Free

If this was your kind of budget-friendly thing and you're looking for more ways to help with your budget, then check out Budget Boot Camp! It's a fun online video program that will help you to whip your wallet into shape.

Doesn't that sound great?! I offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you don't save at least what you paid for the program. You've got nothing to lose! Plus, I'm giving you 10% off at checkout with the code FCFBLOG, just because! 😉

Looking for more great ideas from me?

  • Most of us have a checking and savings account, but do you have the other 5 that I suggest?! Learn all about the 7 bank accounts that every family should have!
  • See what a grocery haul for my family of 10 looks like!
  • Calling all non-bakers out there! Make your family some bread using the easiest bread recipe that you'll find!
Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free


  1. Jennifer

    I love a quick potato bar! A quick tip, my mom did a potatoe bar for her whole luncheon group at work, she preped and cleaned all the potatoes in the Dish washer. She pierce then and placed them on the spokes to keep them all in place. I thought it was genius.

  2. Jenn

    Great idea on the baked potato bar! Kind of an off topic question, but where did you get your backsplash tile? Did you diy it? I'm thinking of doing that on my own but am nervous about it 😉

  3. Debra Kapellakis

    You put in a lot of work but the way you did it let you enjoy the meal with your guests, BRAVO! I wanna a crockpot and a 3 crockpot server!

  4. jeannie

    Greta idea, Can't wait to try it, thanks for sharing!

  5. LIZ

    My daughter did this for a family reunion one year, didn't know how it would turn out, everyone was used to having fried chicken and the works every year. She wanted to do something different, It was a huge success, everyone loved it. even on a hot day it was great… 🙂

  6. Nancy

    Great idea! We have been having a baked potato bar at home every other week to keep the food budget down. The first time I made them I wrapped them in foil. The second time I made them I skipped that part and they turned out great. IF I was having company over, I would definitely wrap them. Makes it a little more formal, maybe.

    I love the idea of serving this with soups. Great idea. When we do our informal family potato bar we have cheese, cooked broccoli, salsa, sour cream, cottage cheese, diced ham or leftover taco meat (my kids would love bacon but alas there is never any leftover), butter and salt and pepper. Ranch and Parmesan would be a great additions.

  7. Nancy

    Jennifer, that sounds way too easy….please clarify for me….your mom put the potatoes on spokes…(top or bottom?) was that just to wash them, or did she cook them in dw also? if she cooked them too….on what setting….after writing this it sounds like a dumb question…..but humor me and answer anyway……thanks

  8. Alisha

    omh I just laughed my butt off and woke up my kids. Im going to die.

  9. Angela

    i wouldn't wash potatoes in the dishwasher, the detergent residue would be a huge concern for me. I don't even like the thought of it on my dishes. Maybe i'm paranoid.

  10. Ronna

    That's alot of work for potatoes. You only need an hour for large potatoes to cook at 450 degrees. The rest of preparation are great and the small baby containers idea.

    • Paige Fairfield

      This would work out great for us, we are going to the Dells and I love the thought of putting them in the Crock Pot and leaving. They would be done when we get home in the evening.

  11. Peggy

    I make potatoes in the slow cooker all the time. After washing them – I don't stab them at all. I do put in a few tablespoons of water in the bottom besides wads of foil so the potatoes don't sit in water nor right up against the hottest part of the heating element. Don't wrap the potatoes in foil either (does not make a difference & lowers cost/time). Cook for 4 hrs on high & that's it. I would like to know if anybody did it this way without the balls of foil on the bottom & what was the result?

  12. Vicky

    I had the same thoughts too.

  13. Vicky

    I look forward to trying it in the slow cooker. I cook mine in the oven with a skewer through each one and rub oil and a little salt over them.

  14. Cool 3D Tattoos

    This is what exactly I was searching, the information was overall very useful for me, thanks a

  15. plaukai

    It cant get better than this,music,family and baked potatoes with lovely ingredients

  16. Sharon Oliver

    I just came across your potato in crockpot idea. I do this all the time and I don’t use foil or poke them, just wash and put in the crockpot plain. I have done this with yams, sweet potatoes and winter squash as well. They all work great. And no foil is a money saver. Hope that helps.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Thanks for sharing, I’ve never thought of using it for squash – genius!

  17. Cheryl

    I too, do baked taters in the crockpot, but like another said, I do not wrap them in foil. After scrubbing, I rub a bit of olive oil all over each potato, sprinkle with coarse salt, and let ’em cook! The skins get just a bit crispy and salty and delicious!!!



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