The potato is the humble star of the comfort-food pantry. We've gathered a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this down-to-earth spud.
Before we start serving up the recipes, we'll help you brush up on your potato jargon:
Hashed | Whether the spuds are diced or shredded, this approach is all about texture: crisp and golden outside, starchy goodness within.
Mashed | Fluffy, soft, warmly satisfying: simple and—with endless stir-in and topping possibilities—never dull. But there isn't one definitive smoothness: Vary with the dish.
Stuffed | Baked potatoes are hot, starchy bowls ready to hold tasty fillings—self-contained suppers ideal for cold nights.
Our Home Fries recipe is an ideal example of the hashed method. The key to this dish: Resist the urge to stir. Leave the potatoes to cook at the right temperature, and they'll brown gorgeously.
View Recipe: Home Fries
This simple skillet supper uses shredded potatoes as a base. The potato mixture cooks on the stove top first to get it browned
and crisp on the bottom. Use a cast-iron skillet to get the potatoes perfectly crusted on the bottom, then bake them with
smoky chorizo under a blanket of gooey cheese.
View Recipe: Tex-Mex Hash Brown Casserole
To avoid mushy hash, don't boil the potatoes too long; remove them from the water while they're still al dente.
View Recipe: Sweet Potato and Canadian Bacon Hash
"Always looking for ways to use fresh herbs, I came up with these parsleyed roasted potatoes," said reader and recipe developer
Marti LoSasso. "You can also use a mixture of herbs, such as basil and thyme."
View Recipe: Garlicky Roasted Potatoes with Herbs
Tiny morsels, sautéed in a delicious blend of spices—these potatoes will be a hit.
View Recipe: Red Chile Potatoes
A coarse mash gives the dish rustic appeal; leave small chunks of the veggies to add texture to the dish.
View Recipe: Potato and Root Vegetable Mashers
The combination of buttery Yukon gold and fluffy baking potatoes offers richness and a nice contrast both in flavor and texture.
We recommend using a food mill to ensure the potatoes are evenly mashed and, just as important, not overworked, so they won't
get gluey. If you don't have a food mill, cream the potatoes and cooking liquid with a potato masher.
View Recipe: Mashed Potato Casserole
You don't need butter and cream to make wonderfully creamy mashed sweet potatoes. Heart-healthy olive oil adds flavor and
silkiness without saturated fat.
View Recipe: Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
This sweet-and-salty blend is a delicious way to obtain vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health. We love the interesting
twist on classic mashed potatoes.
View Recipe: Two-Potato Mash
We don't wrap potatoes in foil before baking: That produces soggy skin. Try a light coating of cooking spray or oil to make
the jackets irresistibly crisp.
View Recipe: Cajun-Stuffed Potatoes
Baking potatoes (russets) can get huge, tipping the scales at a pound or more each, but smaller ones should also be readily
available. If not, go with Yukon golds, which tend to be smaller.
View Recipe: Chicken and White BBQ Potatoes
Twice-baked sweet potatoes get mixed with a spicy-smoky chipotle butter that balances the sugar. Look for similar-sized sweet
potatoes so they'll cook at an even rate. To make ahead, stuff the potato halves, cover, and refrigerate up to one day. Set
out at room temperature as the oven preheats to take the chill off.
View Recipe: Twice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
This scrumptious low-cal finger food was developed by reader Abigail McMahon who was inspired Ireland. "I love Ireland and
the country's wonderful food. When I think of Irish food, the first items that come to mind are potatoes, salmon, and cheese."
Luckily, this recipe has all three.
View Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes
Bake potatoes up to two days ahead, and fill with stuffing. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, let them stand at room
temperature for 30 minutes, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and bake.
View Recipe: Fontina-Stuffed Potato Skins
Some think the potato exists purely for French fries. If you’re a fan of all things fried, try this oven-baked version that
sizzles in garlicky butter. Russet or other starchy, larger potatoes are best for cutting into matchsticks and keeping good
form. Also try the blue varieties Purple Majesty or All Blue, or the all-purpose Kennebec.
View Recipe: Garlic and Herb Oven Fries