It is so easy to get bored of jacket potatoes on healthy diets because you get stuck on the same fillings.

Actually, if you put a little thought into it a baked potato or jacket potato (I use both names!) is a really versatile meal and there are so many fillings you can have that are great on weight loss plans.

pile of raw potatoes
Raw potatoes

When to enjoy a jacket potato?

Perhaps instead of a jacket potato as a meal, you could have it as a side dish to another meal? Just omit the baked potato fillings and enjoy.

Here are some suggestions you might not have thought of. Don’t forget to add some vegetables or salad to it though if you can.

A close up of a plate of food, with Potato and Cheese

How to cook the perfect jacket potato

Everyone has their preferences of course but to me, the perfect baked potato is one that is slow-cooked. It makes an easy meal and perfect healthy comfort food!

Simply give the potato a few pricks with a fork, season well and give it a few sprays of low-calorie cooking spray (olive oil variety works best) then wrap the potato in foil.

Place wrapped potatoes into the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on high depending on the potato size.

jacket potato with salt on

How to cook jacket potatoes in the Ninja Foodi

If you have a Ninja Foodi then this is the best way to make jacket potatoes perfectly in there. It will probably also work well in the Instant Pot as it is similar but as I do not have one of those I am unable to tell you that for sure!

Prick potatoes with a fork all over and place in the crisper basket into the Ninja Foodi pot and add around 300ml of hot water to the bottom of the pot.

Pressure cook with the pressure lid for 10 minutes on high.

Release steam and remove water from the pot then replace potatoes in crisper basket and spray low-calorie cooking spray over the potatoes and set to bake/roast and cook with the other lid for 8 minutes before turning over and spraying again.

Cook for a further 8 minutes on bake/roast.

If they are not crisped to your liking then set to air crisp and cook at 200°c for around 15-20 minutes, turning halfway until the desired crispy skin is obtained!

Potatoes made in this way are very similar to potatoes in the oven in my opinion.

jacket potatoes in ninja foodi

Top tips for jacket potatoes in the oven

I know making a baked potato in the oven is easy but here are some tips I think make all the difference.

Preheat the oven – this ensures that it cooks thoroughly without drying out. This is the same for a baked sweet potato as a baked white potato.

Use salt and pepper – by seasoning your potato all the flavours come out and it really does make a huge difference. Even if you do not usually season food I can assure you that doing your potato will make the world of difference!

Cook potatoes on the shelf of the oven. This ensures heat circulates well. If you use an oven tray it is easy for the potato to have a crispy burnt base.

Use a metal skewer through the whole potato. this helps to cook the inside as the heat travels on the skewer as well as through the skin and can reduce cooking time significantly.

How many calories are in a baked potato?

Potato, without any extras, has 77 calories per 100 grams. If you cook as above with low-calorie cooking spray then add low-calorie toppings it is a really healthy meal.

If you follow Slimming World, Weight Watchers (WW), Noom or any other weight loss plan you can usually count potatoes within your allowances.

jacket potato with salad

Just Average Jen is an independent blog and in no way connected with any weight loss plan and no contributors have been trained by them or worked for them. It is the reader’s responsibility to check Slimming World syn values, WW points and any other allowances themselves as any given are approximate.

How many syns in a jacket potato on Slimming World?

Providing you do not use any oil in the cooking of your baked potato then the potato itself is syn free and any syns are only in the toppings you choose!

Check out my other potato recipes and ideas for some alternatives too.

What about Mccain jacket potatoes?

Have you seen the microwave jacket potatoes by McCain? It would be easy to presume they are also healthy but unfortunately they are not.

Each potato, however, is only slightly more than the calories of the potato on its own so if you are short on time or just prefer these they are not too bad really. If you follow Slimming World each potato is around 1 syn.

jacket potato on plate with salad

Slimming World syns of baked potatoes when eating out

Slimming World generally ask brands what their policy is, this does not mean, of course, that every branch does the same so the syns in jacket potatoes when eating out is difficult to gauge and largely depends on toppings.

If you are not a follower of Slimming World these should still give you an indication of where healthier jacket potatoes are.

If you go somewhere like Hotel Football where things are cooked from scratch it is easy to ask them directly how they are cooked.

Wetherspoon jacket potatoes

Five bean chilli – 11.5 syns approx

Tuna mayo – 15.5 syns approx

Cheese and beans – beans are free but the cheese will depend on the weight.

Don’t be tempted to have a warm chocolate brownie while you are at Wetherspoons though, the syns of those are 43.5 per serving (approx)! No, that is not a typo, literally almost 3 times your daily syn allowance!

Morrisons Cafe baked potatoes

Beef chilli and salad – 11 syns approx

Light coleslaw and salad – 7.5 syns approx

Prawn cocktail and salad – 22 syns approx

Cheddar cheese and salad – 18.5 syns approx

Jacket potato with cheese, beans and salad

Healthy Jacket Potato fillings

What do you have as your topping or filling? Here are some other filling ideas.

Cottage cheese – this really is one of my favourite baked potato fillings and if it’s fat-free and plain it’s generally a great choice!

Baked beans – simple but yummy

Sweetcorn, mushroom and onion topping

Cheese and beans – just be careful to keep the cheese in check and weigh it if needed. This is one of my favourite fillings for healthy comfort food!

jacket potato with cheese and beans

Mushy peas – are not my thing at all but Stuart loves them.

Chick Pea Dahl – Some are of good value and low in calories.

Taco beef stuffed sweet potato don’t forget if you add any soured cream you will need to count this on your plan.

Spaghetti hoops – are not my idea of a good filling but many people love them.

Ratatouille – you can easily make this yourself with onions, peppers, mixed herbs and tomatoes. I always think red onion is better than white onion but of course, the choice is yours.

Syn free chilli

Stir fry vegetables – add some flavouring like fajita seasoning and it makes it lovely.

Mince and onions.

Chilli con Carne – if you have it one day for tea then make extra for a jacket the following day or pop it in the freezer.

Bolognese – as above with chilli save some from a meal.

spaghetti bolognese

Curry – again if you make it save extra for a jacket! Homestyle vegetable curry is perfect on a baked potato too.

Worcestershire sauce – a great way of flavouring the potato a little without making it any more filling.

Tuna – it doesn’t have to be with mayonnaise you could add some fat-free fromage frais to stop it from being too dry

Coleslaw – make some healthy coleslaw as a potato filling idea.

Bacon and melted cheese – be sure to weigh the cheese and remove the fat from the bacon

Cheese and garlic fried mushrooms – weigh the cheese and use garlic frylight for the mushrooms.

Sweet and sour vegetables

beef keema curry

Chicken/Quorn and mushroom curry

Keema Curry

Mediterranean Vegetables in a Balsamic tomato sauce.

Sticky Mushrooms – these are lovely and so easy to make and would go well with feta cheese too.

sticky mushrooms

Top tips for jackets when eating out

If you want to be really strict with yourself ask for any cheese to be given to you separately. This means you can see how much you are putting on and are not at the mercy of a keen chef!

Ask for it without butter. Many places put butter on the side anyway now but it is always worth checking.

If your jacket potato has a side salad ask for no dressing or for the dressing to be brought out in a separate pot.

salad bowl

Ask how they are cooked and reheated. This may seem crazy but some places cook them in the morning in the oven but then reheat them by popping them in a deep fat fryer! Obviously, this adds lots of oil so is something to be avoided!

Maybe you have some other ideas for fillings? Do comment below and share them!

Do you have any favourite places to eat out that do yummy jacket potatoes? I love the ones from Morrisons Cafe!

jacket potato topped with baked beans and served with roasted peppers

Etsy for weight loss

If you are like me and like buying fun new items to motivate your weight loss, then here are my favourites. Etsy is great for items for the kitchen and weight loss goodies. I could spend hours browsing there.

There are so many great food diaries too so you can record your meal plans and track your weight loss to keep a record of the good and bad weeks. Click the photos to have a look for yourself.

weight loss sign
a bottle of milk
A weight loss sign
teaspoon saying calories don\'t count on this spoon
Weight loss magnet
A close up of a bouquet of skinny whip bars

Choosing sweet potato instead

Sweet potatoes are a little healthier than standard white potatoes and have such a different flavour they are popular as an alternative. Sweet potatoes have many health benefits! They can be enjoyed with the same baked potato toppings as regular potatoes!

Loaded potato skins

We love loaded potato skins as an alternative healthy meal. They are really easy to make and you can make them healthy for weight loss or full of cheese if you are not trying to lose weight!

I make them by microwaving the raw potatoes (having pricked them with a fork).

When they are cooked I cut each potato in half and use a metal spoon to scoop out the flesh of each potato half leaving the skin and a little flesh so it holds its shape.

Mix the potato flesh with cheese and your choice of filling. We use spring onions or bacon. If using bacon it needs to be cooked first.

Refill your potato skin with the filling and sprinkle a little cheese on top then bake for around 20 minutes at 200°c.

They are a great comfort food!

I have a lot of weight loss guides and support if you want to exercise including if you have a condition like fibromyalgia.

Have a good look around and see how I can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Request my free resources to get you started too!

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