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As a single person who loves to cook, there are many a week where I eat the same dish over and over (and over) again. But as much as I love leftovers, I also love variety. To balance affordability and flavor fatigue, I turn to dishes that transform into entirely new meals with just a few extra ingredients.
I hardly need to tell you, but hearty, humble potatoes are leftover superstars. From mashed to baked, roasted to boiled, potatoes transition into solid foundations for salads, soups, patties, and casseroles.With a little bit of planning, potatoes can fill you up all week long. Here are some of my favorite ways to recycle spuds.
If you made: mashed potatoes
Transforming mashed potatoes from creamy to crispy makes leftovers feel entirely new, and are a great way to breathe new life into leftovers. These cakes from Merrill Stubbs are stuffed with garlicky broccoli and sharp cheddar, then coated with a crunchy panko crust.
For less-fluffy mashes, consider stuffing into flaky baked samosas. To make the filling, boil some carrots, then combine with cooked onions, peas, cilantro, mint, garam masala, serrano, and salt. Dollop spoonfuls into squares of puff pastry, fold, crimp, and bake.
If you made: baked potatoes
The perfect baked potato has a crispy outside and pillowy inside. Sure, you could pop one in the microwave and call it dinner, but the best bake comes from the oven (and is the definition of low-effort, high reward). Bake a batch and top with sour cream, bacon, and/or butter.
No one said you had to twice-bake at the same time. If you’re looking for another way to recycle baked potatoes, scoop out the center and mix and mash with sour cream, cheese, sautéed kale, salt, and pepper. Put that delicious, creamy mixture back in those skins and bake at 350° F for 25 minutes.
If you made: boiled potatoes
Basic, boiled potatoes make a substantial base for potluck salads (or mashes, if you want triple transformations). But it’s easy to turn the starch into loads of other meals.
With leftover boiled potatoes, you already have a third of Posie Harwood’s soup ready. For this simple take on a classic vichyssoise, start by softening leeks in a Dutch oven, then add cooked potatoes and water. Purée in the blender (or with an immersion version), and voilà! Dinner is served.
This spicy, vegetarian twist on a club sandwich includes thin slices of boiled potatoes. Layer chutney, potatoes, cucumber, beets, and cheese between two slices of buttered bread for a golden grilled meal.
What's your favorite way to transform leftover mashed potatoes? Share your favorites below!