Celebrate Spuds With 25 Tasty Potato Recipes
Potatoes are the epitome of comfort food -- soft, hearty, and filling. Delicious on their own with minimal spicing and able to take on nearly any flavor without losing their identity, potatoes are a culinary wonder. They're also highly productive and dirt-cheap, making them a staple of many cuisines. There are endless ways to prepare them, from baking or boiling to mixing them into cake batter. Potatoes provide critical vitamins and minerals along with a satisfying array of flavors and textures. Celebrate the humble spud during National Potato Month, in September, and year-round with these easy and inexpensive recipes.
Related: 28 Fall Recipes That Showcase Seasonal Produce
Potato wedges make any meal seem more complete and nourishing. The wedge shape lets the potatoes crisp on the outside while the inside stays soft, for a pleasurable textural contrast. Wedges can be seasoned with anything from a simple blend of salt and pepper to herbs, chili powder, minced garlic, or barbecue seasoning. A version posted on Allrecipes includes parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Making french fries is not difficult, but it is a process. Food Network personality Ree Drummond offers a how-to video along with a recipe. Each step is important and pays off in the end with toothsome homemade fries. In addition to potatoes, oil, and salt, a heavy pot for boiling and frying and a thermometer are necessary components. Substitute paper grocery bags for paper towels when draining the potatoes. Paper bags also help fries stay crisper after their final fry.
A French comfort food, this classic side dish combines potatoes, cream, salt, and pepper with parmesan cheese to yield a dish that tastes far more expensive than the sum of its parts. The key is properly slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly and then layering the slices in a snug, slightly overlapping pattern to ensure maximum flavor. A recipe at Once Upon a Chef makes it all seem so easy.
The earthy and subtly sweet flavor of potatoes pairs well with any combination of herbs. Roasted potatoes with herbs is a versatile side dish, and the leftovers can be used in many ways. A version posted on Allrecipes calls for roasting at very high heat (475 degrees), until the skins brown and crisp and the natural sugars in the potatoes slightly caramelize. Bringing out the sweetness of the potatoes enhances the herb flavor even more, making the most of the ingredients.
Seasoned with little more than milk, butter, salt, and pepper, mashed potatoes are a comfort food most Americans come to love from an early age. Master the basic preparation by following the steps laid out by Food Network chef Nigella Lawson and then go wild. There are endless variations to add excitement to this otherwise bland dish. Favorite mix-ins include scallions, bacon, and cheddar cheese. The only limit is the cook's imagination.
This variation on the classic mashed potato deserves special mention. Not recommended for those on a low-calorie diet, garlic mashed potatoes get their primary flavor components from generous additions of butter and cream and a subtle injection of flavor from slow-roasted garlic. Try a Food Network recipe as an indulgent accompaniment for broiled fish or lean meat, or as the basis of a one-bowl meal with roasted vegetables and a protein such as tempeh.
Blitva is an Eastern European standby that combines potatoes with chard, garlic, and olive oil for a pungent and flavorful side dish. The combination of leafy greens and starch make it nutritionally balanced, as well. Cook the potatoes and chard with the garlic oil for one to five minutes, following a recipe posted on Food.com, to bring the flavors together and ensure richness in every bite.
Every culture has a name for pan-fried potato cakes. Light, crispy, and paradoxically hearty, potato pancakes are a treat that can be topped with savory or sweet condiments. Using a food processor is a time saver, but the old-school method of hand grating, along with onion, is well worth the extra work. Another key to getting the right texture is to squeeze the moisture out of the potatoes before adding other ingredients and forming into patties. For German potato pancakes, season with salt and pepper and add a touch of flour and an egg to hold the mass together. Heat a good amount of oil in a heavy skillet, ladle in portions one at a time, and flatten each into a patty. Traditional accompaniments include sour cream and applesauce, but be creative -- everything tastes good with fried potatoes.
The fancy man's tater tot, these creamy-on-the-inside and crisp-on-the-outside bundles of joy are the great equalizer at dinner parties. The simple ingredients take a bit of patience to transform into classic French croquettes, but there's nothing difficult about a recipe from the web magazine Fine Dining Lovers. Do most of the prep beforehand and fry shortly before serving, so the croquettes are warm, crisp, and at their peak through and through.
The base of the best hash is potatoes. Although potato hash may seem like a haphazard combination of ingredients warmed up in a large skillet, there is an art and technique to it. Serious Eats lays out the steps for creating layers of flavor and texture, from partially cooking potatoes in vinegar water to maintain their shape to cooking in batches to make sure each element crisps properly.
Like so many Italian peasant dishes, potato gnocchi has staked a claim on fine-dining menus. Frugal consumers will appreciate how cheap and easy it is to make this potato-based pasta at home. The trick is to make the dough quickly without overworking it. The technique takes a bit of practice, but a basic recipe from Martha Stewart calls for just five ingredients (including a pinch of ground pepper). The texture is lighter when using a potato ricer, but hand-mashed potatoes also work. Either way, gnocchi should be soft and pillowy, never gummy.
Potato breads are extra rich and soft, provide nutritional variety for bread lovers, and toast with distinction. Incorporating potato into bread also creates a texture ideal for sandwiches. A recipe posted on Common Sense Homesteading (based on the original in "The Bread Machine Cookbook V") uses leftover mashed potatoes in place of the more typical potato flakes -- a thriftier and more wholesome approach. Kneading by hand in the absence of a bread machine is a bit of a workout but yields a loaf that's just as tasty. The dough can also be formed into homemade burger and hot dog buns to elevate the next backyard barbecue.
A summertime staple, this Southern-style potato salad is rich and creamy, and a cooling component for meals with heavily spiced foods or sauces.
A hearty and satisfying potato dish, German potato salad is fuller in flavor yet lighter than mayonnaise-based potato salad. A recipe from Add a Pinch combines bacon and onion to draw out the earthy and savory side of potatoes. Cooking the bacon until crisp and browning the onion in the bacon grease packs each bite with umami-rich flavor. Vegetarians could substitute mushrooms for the bacon. The key is to use the other ingredients as supporting actors and let the delicious and inexpensive spuds be the star.
Potatoes can be used as a filling for just about anything that calls for stuffing, from pierogi to samosas. Making the spud the base is a satisfying alternative to meat and a frugal way to use leftover potatoes. Potatoes and chorizo is a combination that often shows up in sandwiches, tacos, and burritos in Mexico. The cheese topping in a papas con chorizo recipe from Leite's Culinaria is a nice touch when serving this as a skillet dish but unnecessary when using the mix as a filling. For a healthful alternative that doesn't stint on traditional taste, swap out the chorizo for broccoli, or another vegetable, and add chorizo spices such as cumin, chili powder, and vinegar.
Thick, creamy potato soup is total indulgence. A recipe from the blog Gimme Some Oven swaps out heavy cream for milk for a lower-calorie finish. Some recipes call for blending all the ingredients to ensure the smoothest consistency, but this one keeps some chunks for texture. Topped with the typical baked potato fixin's, this soup boasts the boldness of a loaded baked potato.
One of the best things about this irresistible party food is its adaptability. A recipe by Food Network host Ellie Krieger features broccoli and avocado cream rather than the more typical bacon and sour cream. Don't feel limited by the given ingredients -- add in favorite seasonal vegetables or whatever is in the refrigerator. Anything from kale and onions to shredded chicken is guaranteed deliciousness when loaded into a potato skin and topped with cheese.
A three-ingredient recipe from Martha Stewart is a fun way to turn an everyday, mindless snack into a special homemade treat. While it may be tempting to skip the step of soaking the potatoes in water, don't. This helps achieve the right texture and color in the end. A mandoline makes for easy and even slicing, although hand slicing with care does the job too.
Potatoes masterfully absorb other flavors, which makes them a prime choice for using in curry. The blog Swasthi's Recipes offers step-by-step instructions for creating a curry with layers of flavor and potato as the featured ingredient. Spices and aromatics include cumin seed, onion, garlic, turmeric, salt, tomatoes, coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, and cilantro, all of which are available at most grocery stores.
Hasselback potatoes are the luxury version of a simple baked potato. Vertical cuts ensure both crisp and creamy textures and boost the satisfaction factor. The Kitchn explains how to slice and brush the potatoes with oil and/or butter; the rest is up to the cook. Herbs between the slices? How about shredded cheese or minced garlic? Whatever the choice, the textural variety livens up a meal.
Combining potatoes into waffle batter creates a hybrid dish that's the best of both. A Food & Wine recipe suggests topping the waffles with traditional baked potato toppings such as bacon and sour cream, but the range of options is unlimited. Other recipes for potato waffles, including one at Serious Eats, start with leftover mashed potatoes, widening the world of waffles to the delight of brunch lovers everywhere.
Essentially a thick frittata with potato rounds, this very traditional dish appears in Spanish cafes alongside glasses of wine throughout the day. The mild flavors are sweet and earthy and often complemented with paprika and aioli. One of the most important steps in making this dish, with a recipe on About.com, is to cut the potatoes evenly so they cook at the same rate, ensuring that each bite is perfectly soft but not mushy.
A baked russet potato is one of the least expensive foundations for a meal. Choose one or a combination of toppings -- cheese, chili, chives and bacon, coleslaw and hot sauce, corn and chickpeas, steamed vegetables, and so on -- to give each spud a unique personality. Called kumpir in Turkey, a baked potato can be dressed with up to 15 different salads and condiments (as demonstrated in a YouTube video). Set out a variety of toppings for a fun, hands-on meal that lets diners express their culinary style.
Potatoes lend a rich, creamy texture and lightly sweet, earthy flavor to an indulgent soup by The Veggie Queen. Baking or Yukon gold potatoes and leeks are the basis of this standard. It's a go-to recipe when you'd rather raid the pantry than spring for expensive takeout. Hit a home run by preparing the soup in a pressure cooker: cheap, healthy, simple, and fast.