Potatoes Four Ways

Serve tasty twists on spuds at the holiday table or any meal with this recipe quartet—plus five ways to use leftover mashed potatoes
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes Over Herby Yogurt

Photo:Danielle Kartes, Idaho Potato Commission

Potatoes are a highlight of many meals, and certainly a big player at holiday tables throughout the year. While we often have traditional ways we like to prepare them, it’s easy to mix things up with recipe variations that are likely to be devoured by your family and friends. It’s amazing how many ways there are to prepare tasty taters! Here are four ideas to help you add a twist to the table this weekend or for any dinner ahead, courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission. Plus, they are served up with some fun facts and tips.

Naturally Nutritious

Not only are potatoes comforting and delicious, but they are also naturally free of gluten, fat, and cholesterol and a good source of complex carbohydrates, while loaded with nutrients including vitamins B6 and C, and more potassium than the average banana.

Why is a potato called a “spud”?

A sharp, narrow spade known as a spud was used to dig up large rooted plants, especially potatoes, and around the mid-19th century, it’s said that the word caught on as a slang term for potatoes.

Potato Fun Facts and Tips

  • 13 billion pounds of Idaho potatoes are harvested every year.
  • The average American eats approximately 111 pounds of potatoes each year!
  • There is no harm in eating potatoes raw, however, you might find them a little harder to digest than when cooked.
  • Be gentle: Potatoes can bruise as easily as a banana or apple. If it develops black spots, just trim them away before cooking.
  • Storing spuds: Store potatoes in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place. They’ll keep about a week at room temperature and several weeks at 45 to 50°F. Refrigerator temperatures are too cold, which converts the starch into sugar, resulting in a sweet taste. Extra sugar also causes them to darken prematurely while frying. Dampness can cause decay, so do not wash before storing.

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes Over Herby Yogurt

Makes 8 servings | Recipe by Danielle Kartes, courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

Roasted potatoes are the perfect, simple side dish. Here, they are dressed up with an herby yogurt sauce, and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

8 medium Idaho red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon aleppo pepper (or mix paprika with cayenne, to taste)

For the Herby Yogurt
1½ cups Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh dill
1 bunch scallions
½ cup cilantro
Pinch of chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the potatoes into quarters, then place in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and aleppo pepper.
  2. Pour the potatoes out onto the lined baking sheet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Halfway through cooking, flip the potatoes for even browning and place back in the oven to finish.
  4. While the potatoes roast, make the yogurt sauce by placing all the ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. It should be smooth.
  5. When the potatoes are tender, spoon the yogurt into a serving platter, then pour the hot potatoes over top. Garnish with extra dill and cilantro.
Basic Hasselback Idaho Potatoes

Photo: Lisa Lin, Idaho Potato Commission

Basic Hasselback Idaho Potatoes

Makes 4 servings | Recipe by Lisa Lin, courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

For just a little more effort than a plain baked potato, you can make these showy potatoes. They are easy to make and encompass two favorite textures—crispy edges like your favorite french fries with a creamy center reminiscent of mashed.

4 large Idaho russet potatoes
Lemon juice
4 tablespoons oil or butter
Fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, sliced
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it.
  3. Slice off the bottom of the potatoes to make them steadier for cutting.
  4. Place potato between two chopsticks. Cut slits ¼-inch apart using the chopsticks as a guide to keep from cutting all the way through. The slices should stay connected at the bottom.
  5. Carefully fan out the sliced pieces without breaking them apart. Place the cut potato in the prepared bowl of water while you cut the remaining potatoes.
  6. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary, the sliced garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let sit a few minutes to season the butter.
  7. Remove potatoes from water and dry thoroughly. Place on a baking sheet.
  8. Brush potatoes with some of the melted butter.
  9. Bake for 1 hour. Halfway through cooking, the potatoes will start to fan out. When this happens, brush with some more of the melted butter.
  10. Remove from the oven. Brush with remaining butter, sprinkle with salt and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Loaded Cheesy Garlic Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

Photo: Kita Roberts, Idaho Potato Commission

Loaded Cheesy Garlic Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

Makes 10 servings | Recipe by Kita Roberts, courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

These creamy cheesy mashed potatoes are quick to make and amazing when served fresh and hot; the perfect base for supper.

5 pounds russet Idaho potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed into even 1-inch portions
¾ cup cream
¼ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
6 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook 12 to 17 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Mash the potatoes by hand, or with a ricer, and whisk in the cream, sour cream, butter, grated cheese, and garlic.
  5. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Crispy Cheesy Potato Cakes

Photo: Danielle Kartes, Idaho Potato Commission

Crispy Cheesy Potato Cakes

Makes 8 large or 16 medium potato cakes | Recipe by Danielle Kartes, courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

Do something fun with leftover potatoes—or make a fresh batch. This recipe for a crispy, cheesy, potato cake that includes bacon serves as a great side dish, snack, or main course. The sauce is delicious, too.

3 cups leftover mashed Idaho potatoes
3-4 slices bacon, diced and cooked
¼ cup sliced green onions
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2-3 tablespoons oil

For the Dipping Sauce
1 cup salsa
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

  1. Mix the mashed potatoes, bacon, green onions, cheese, dill, and salt and pepper together.
  2. Form into 8 equal portions, then pat each into a round disc.
  3. One at a time, set each cake gently into the beaten egg wash, then press firmly into the panko breadcrumbs, and set on a plate.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry 4 cakes at a time. Flip once, and fry until golden. Repeat with each cake.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, mix the salsa ingredients. Dip the hot potato cakes into the sauce and serve.
Leftover Potato Muffins

PHOTO: ANUSHREE SHETTY, IDAHO POTATO COMMISSION

Hungry for More?

Love Your Leftovers: Mashed Potatoes 5 Ways

Turn your delicious remains of the day into new dishes from appetizers to soup.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.