Potato

How to Transform Leftover Potatoes into Shiny New Dinners

February  2, 2018

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

Soft, fluffy mashed potatoes taste great with meatloaf or chicken cutlets, but there always seems to be extra once you’ve finished the main.

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.

To shake up your stock of baked potatoes, make milk gravy (aka béchamel) flavored with white pepper, which imparts an earthy flavor and won’t discolor your sauce.

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.

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  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • BerryBaby
    BerryBaby
  • kathleen gallagher
    kathleen gallagher
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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.

4 Comments

Rosalind P. August 6, 2019
As a person (ahem) of a certain age and life experience, I am thrilled to see you taking this new perspective. Definitely, for me anyway, retro, but perhaps new for more recent generations and definitely with a very salient -- green -- sensibility. But I want to say that in my household, "leftovers" as we used to call them were always seen as a snack, a breakfast (yes, last night's dinner was fair game if it wasn't enough for a dinner), a lunch, a second dinner as is or transformed into something else. Even salad, on a bread that would soak up the dressing. The last piece of pizza or a cupful of spaghetti was fought over the next morning. So thank you for making this concept contemporary and relevant. Many of my colleagues at work, of different generations, think eating "leftovers" is declasse -- even the ones who are definitely on a budget. I hope the sensibility you promote here becomes cool and accepted. And, of course, your actual ideas are great.
 
Rosalind P. August 6, 2019
As a person (ahem) of a certain age and life experience, I am thrilled to see you taking this new perspective. Definitely, for me anyway, retro, but perhaps new for more recent generations and definitely with a very salient -- green -- sensibility. But I want to say that in my household, "leftovers" as we used to call them were always seen as a snack, a breakfast (yes, last night's dinner was fair game if it wasn't enough for a dinner), a lunch, a second dinner as is or transformed into something else. Even salad, on a bread that would soak up the dressing. The last piece of pizza or a cupful of spaghetti was fought over the next morning. So thank you for making this concept contemporary and relevant. Many of my colleagues at work, of different generations, think eating "leftovers" is declasse -- even the ones who are definitely on a budget. I hope the sensibility you promote here becomes cool and accepted. And, of course, your actual ideas are great.
 
BerryBaby February 4, 2018
Using mashed potatoes, I add grated cheese, mix, use an ice cream scooper to form into Snowballs place balls in greased muffin tin and into the iven until lightly golden. The recipe is on my profile. 😋
 
kathleen G. August 7, 2019
My grandmother Mae Connors made these and now so do I. Leftover mashed, an egg, some flour s/p, and any leftover chicken or meat chopped up, form patties, coat with crumbs. Fry in butter. Nothing at all like a latke, but delicious.