Considering that the potato is the most popular vegetable in America, it’s no surprise that people have come up with dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to cook them. Of course you can bake, fry, scallop, roast, and mash them. But have you ever tried hasselback potatoes, pommes puree, duchess potatoes, or potato waffles?
And what about microwaved potatoes, dishwasher potatoes, and car engine potatoes?
These are just a handful of the creative ways you can prepare your spuds—the list doesn’t stop there.
If you want to perfect the art of potato-cooking, and learn a few new cooking tricks along the way, keep reading!
A Perfect Potato For Every Recipe
Russet potatoes are oblong and oval-shaped with rough brown skin and many eyes. Its skin is floury and dry to the touch, but tastes rich and hearty when cooked. These potatoes have a very mild, earthy flavor, and are best used for baking, frying, and mashing.
White, red and yellow potatoes are much smaller and rounder. These potatoes keep their shape when cooked and won’t fall apart when cut after cooking. They’re sweeter and creamier in flavor than russet potatoes, and should feel waxy to the touch. They work best for boiling, steaming, grilling, and roasting.
These potatoes can be mashed, but they won’t be as fluffy as russet potatoes.
Purple potatoes are usually oblong or round, and have an eye-catching purply-blue hue. When cut or peeled, you’ll see that the flesh itself also has a bright, often light pink or blue hue. These potatoes may have a higher starch content, and taste much more nutty than the others. They work best baked, roasted, and grilled. They’re perfect for salads, too!
Fingerling potatoes come in a wide array of colors, but have a somewhat uniform shape. They’re oblong and about 2-4 inches long, and their skin should feel waxy to the touch. When eaten, they have a mild, buttery flavor. These potatoes are best served fried, baked, and (especially) roasted.
Petite potatoes are very similar to white, red, and yellow potatoes in texture, flavor, and use. The main difference, though, is that they are much smaller—hence their name. They work best fried, sautéed, baked, and roasted. What’s great is that, since they’re so small, they don’t have to be cut prior to cooking and save you prep time.
Potato Recipes Everyone Should Know
Out of the countless ways that you can cook a potato, there are nine that every cook should know. Baked, twice baked, roasted, scalloped, hasselback, mashed, fried, hashed, and campfire baked. Let’s start with twice baked.
This classic way to prepare a potato is super simple. Just poke some holes in your potatoes with a fork, then cover them with olive oil and salt. Place them in the oven for 45 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Serve with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives.
Baked potatoes aren’t just classic. They’re good for you too!
Twice Baked Potatoes
If you’re looking for something a little more unique than a simple baked potato, but don’t want to do anything too fancy, look no further! To make twice baked potatoes, take a baked potato, scoop out the insides, and mash them.
Mix in some butter, sour cream, green onions, a splash of milk, and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, and scoop the mashed potatoes back into the baked potato skins.
Place the filled skins back into the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 more minutes, and serve hot!
For a delicious side dish to any main course, try this simple roasted potato recipe.
Cut your potatoes into eighths and soak them in cold water for about an hour. Drain and dry them, then coat them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano, or any other herbs and seasonings you like.
Bake them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Looking for something fancy to add to the dinner table? Try scalloped potatoes. They look impressive and are surprisingly easy to make.
Thinly slice your potatoes and line them in a baking dish. In a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and cook 1 sliced onion and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Add in ¼ cup of flour, 2 cups of milk, and some salt and pepper. Stir until fully combined.
Pour this creamy mixture over the sliced potatoes and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
These eye-catching crispy potatoes are just the thing to impress family and friends. They’re perfect for fancy dinners and dinner parties.
Take your russet potatoes and thinly slice them, making sure not to cut all the way through. Then, place the potatoes on a baking sheet and cover with oil, salt, pepper, and butter. Bake for 50 minutes at 450 degrees F.
If you like your potatoes cheesy, put small slices of cheese between each cut in the potato once it’s out of the oven. As the potato cools for the next 10 or so minutes, the cheese will melt. To serve, top the potatoes with a dollop of sour cream and chives.
As one of the most popular ways to make potatoes, every home cook should know how to serve up a delicious plate of mashed potatoes.
Peel your potatoes, then cut them into small bits and place them into a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes soften for about 20 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork through them.
Drain the potatoes and mash them with a hand masher or mixer, and add in sour cream, heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper to taste. The longer you mash them, the creamier they’ll get!
One of the most fun things you can do with a potato is make french fries. There are a few different ways of making them, but the best way is to double-fry them. Slice your potatoes up, then fry them in 300 degrees F oil for about 6 minutes. The potatoes won’t crisp up, but they’ll cook.
Dry them off, then fry them again at 400 degrees F.
Cooking the potatoes first, then frying them second makes sure they’re brown and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.
This common breakfast side can be made in four easy steps. First, peel and grate your potatoes into thin shreds. Then, with a paper towel, squeeze out the potatoes’ moisture. Skipping this step makes the potatoes much harder to cook.
Next, place the shreds into a pan with a few tablespoons of butter and cook until one side is brown. Lastly, flip the shreds to cook the other side. This whole process should only take about 20 minutes.
If you’re looking for a hearty meal you can eat on the trail, try a campfire potato recipe. Potatoes can be cooked over a flame or in coals in all sorts of ways.
For campfire baked potatoes, rub salt on a potato, then wrap it in foil and place it on a grill or over coals to cook for about 1 hour. Flip the potato at the halfway mark.
For campfire roasted potatoes, cut your spuds into chunks and put them into foil. Mix in rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper for flavor, or your spices and herbs of choice. Cook for about 30-40 minutes and serve hot! The outside of the potatoes should be brown and crispy.
Potato Recipes That’ll Impress Your Guests
Potatoes may be one of the more simple foods out there, but with the right recipe, your potatoes can go from country bumpkin to bigwig. If you’re planning a dinner party, any of these recipes will not only impress your guests, but will surprise you with how easy they are to make.
If you want to elevate a simple side of mashed potatoes and turn it into something a little fancier, try duchess potatoes. Simply pipe mashed potatoes into a swirl formation on a baking sheet, brush with a light coating of butter, then bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
If you don’t have a piping bag, just put the mashed potatoes into a casserole dish and follow the rest of the steps.
This delicious dish from France is another way to take mashed potatoes to the next level. When made correctly, aligot potatoes have an ooey-gooey texture and rich cheesy taste that you won’t be able to get enough of.
Start with mashed potatoes and add in plenty of heavy cream and garlic for flavor. Cook and mix the mashed potatoes over low heat while you gradually add in grated cheese. The longer you cook the potatoes, the more elastic and creamy they’ll get.
When the aligot is a thick, fondue-like texture, transfer it to bowls and serve hot. These kinds of potatoes go perfectly with meat dishes and roasted vegetables.
Haven’t gotten enough mashed potatoes yet? Then try pomme puree. Pomme puree, or pureed potatoes, is a potato dish made popular by famous French chef Joel Robuchon. When potatoes were considered too lowly to be served at high class restaurants, Robuchon decided to turn the tables and create a potato dish classy enough for any restaurant.
His dish, pomme puree, is simply very finely mashed mashed potatoes. Rather than hand or machine mashing the potatoes, you push the potatoes through a fine sieve, getting rid of absolutely all the lumps.
This results in the smoothest, creamiest mashed potatoes you’ll ever taste!
This easy potato side works best with russet potatoes and is a fancier alternative to simple baked, roasted, or mashed potatoes.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into cylinders about 1 to 2 inches thick. The ends should be the same size. In a skillet, heat butter, oil, and thyme sprigs. Place the potatoes on the pan and season with salt and pepper. Pour in some chicken stock for flavor.
After about 5 minutes, flip the potatoes to cook the other end. Once both sides are browned, transfer the skillet to the oven and let the potatoes continue to cook for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Cook-at-Your-Own-Risk Potato Recipes
All you really need to cook something is a bit of heat. Right? But who said that heat has to come from a stove or oven? There are a handful of outside-the-box ways that you can cook a potato. They may not be the most practical, but they can certainly get the job done.
If you’re in the mood for roasted potatoes, but can’t seem to get the oven to heat up, you may want to try taking out the clothing iron.
Cut up your potatoes and place them on a piece of foil. Cover them in oil, salt, pepper, oregano, or any other spices and herbs of your choice. Wrap the foil around them completely, then cook them by pressing down on both sides with your iron.
This method will get the job done, but it will also take quite a while for the potatoes to get fully cooked.
Another unusual potato cooking method is putting them in the dishwasher. The potato won’t be fully cooked through if left uncut. So, before cooking them, make sure to cut the potato into chunks or slices.
Keep them in the dishwasher at the highest heat for at least 2 hours.
Car Engine Potatoes
If you’ve ever wanted to eat freshly cooked potatoes on the road, but didn’t want to make a pit stop, now you can! Just wrap whole or prepared potatoes in foil and shimmy them into your car engine. As you drive, the engine will heat up, cooking the potatoes after you go about 50 or 60 miles.
This is probably one of the most low-effort ways of cooking potatoes there is, but it’s certainly not the worst!
Cooking potatoes in the microwave is actually quite a common way to both reheat potatoes and to make quick baked potatoes.
For a simple microwave baked potato recipe, just poke some holes in a russet potato and cover it in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook it in the microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Flip the potato over and cook for another 3 minutes.
The potato won’t get crispy or have a very interesting texture, but at least it’ll be cooked all the way through, and at more than half the time it would take for an oven baked potato to cook!