Ah, is there any better side dish than the humble potato? They’re versatile, easy to cook, and loaded with health benefits — not to mention, they taste super delicious, too.
But sometimes we can all get in a rut when it comes to making our potatoes. Maybe you find the prep process too labor intensive, or perhaps you’re just bored of your usual recipes. Luckily, there are so many different (and easy!) ways to take your potatoes to the next level without a ton of extra work.
Wash ’em down in the dishwasher.
Before you even start cooking your potatoes, you have to clean them. The step, unfortunately, can be time-consuming and still end with potatoes that taste a bit earthy. Instead, try this simple hack: throw them in the top rack of your dishwasher and run them on a rinse cycle for 10 minutes or so. Presto, clean spuds with no scrubbing!
Don’t poke your sweet potatoes.
Chances are you’ve heard the old wives’ tale that you should always pierce your potatoes before sticking them in the oven because they could potentially explode. (And no one wants to clean up that mess!)
However, by poking sweet potatoes in particular, you run the risk of letting all of the sugars and moisture out, which in turn takes away from that sweet flavor you crave. Skip the poking next time and see how much better they taste.
Add a pinch of baking powder.
Want to make the fluffiest mashed potatoes of all time? You don’t need to do anything special to your usual recipe other than add a teaspoon of baking powder.
Why does this trick work? You can thank science for that: Baking powder’s baking soda and dry acids mix forms small, airy bubbles, making your mashed potatoes appear lighter in texture.
Roast your potatoes whole before mashing.
You’re probably used to taking those cleaned spuds and throwing them into a pot with some water to boil them. However, if you have extra time on your hands and really want to take those taters to the next level, try roasting them for 80 to 90 minutes and mashing them after that.
Throw a little mayonnaise in there.
Some people probably swear by the tried ‘n’ true butter and milk method for mashed potatoes, but if you want your truly creamiest side dish ever, adding a little mayo (yes, it’s controversial!) is the way to go.
Rough up the edges.
This hack comes from none other than actress Emily Blunt. When making roasted potatoes, she says that a crucial step to get the crispiest dish possible is to give your pot a good shake once you’ve boiled and drained your spuds and returned them to their pot. She swears this easy trick keeps them crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside once you roast them.
Cool them down.
If you want to try another take on the roasted potato, look no further than this easy trick. After you’ve partially boiled your potatoes but before you put them in the oven, stick them in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to cool down.
Try a soup mix.
Our very own senior editor, Jess Catcher stole this idea from her sister-in-law: She cut her potatoes into cubes and sprinkled on Lipton’s Recipe Secrets Soup and Dip Mix (Buy on Amazon, $9.48) before sticking them in the oven to roast.
Melt those potatoes.
If you want to mix things up for dinner time, you can try this recipe for “melting” potatoes. Simply wash and peel your spuds, sauté them in a ton of butter, roast them in the oven (complete with another huge helping of butter), and then pour chicken stock over them.
Now that you’ve got these nine fun hacks under your belt, serving potatoes as a side dish will never be boring again!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.