10 Ways to Eat a Potato (and Just a Potato) for Dinner

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Bacon-Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

It's going to involve a little more than butter and sour cream. But making a baked (or sweet) potato a meal is an easy, satisfying way to solve dinner. We don't do it nearly often enough.

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How To Bake a Potato in the Oven

We were inspired by Faith's 400-calorie lunches; one involved a sweet potato topped with yogurt and bacon. We love the combination of a sweet potato and something savory, which is why we included one of our favorite options below.

Most of these meals have some sort of protein, whether from meat or cheese, to keep everything balanced. But in essence, a potato can be a vehicle for almost any sort of dish—a staple just like brown rice or pasta.

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How To Bake a Potato: Three Easy Methods

10 Yummy Potato Meals

1. Last night's leftovers. Got some flank steak left over from fajitas? A little stir-fry? Spoon it on top of a baked potato and drizzle on some sauce to add moisture. Almost anything goes.

2. Shredded chicken and spiked yogurt or sour cream. Take a handful of shredded rotisserie chicken (or leftovers; see above) and add some sour cream mixed with seasonings. Garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika all work. Sprinkle on some parsley for color.

3. Chili or stew. If you made a huge batch of chili and are getting tired of eating it day after day, this is one way to mix things up.

4. Black beans, avocado, and salsa. A combination similar to this lunch. Think of it as a Mexican potato.

5. Steamed broccoli and a good cheddar cheese. Classic pairing for a potato—for a reason! We love potatoes with broccoli and salsa (or broccoli and sour cream), too.

6. Hummus and chopped tomato. Maybe a bit unconventional, but we think the creamy hummus mashed into a potato would be really good. You just need something else for texture, like some chopped tomatoes or cucumber.

7. Bacon and egg. The potato is like your hash browns. Just top it with any type of egg and some crunchy bacon pieces.

8. Shredded pork and grainy mustard. If you braise a huge pork shoulder, you're bound to have extra. This is a great way to use it, and the mustard adds good flavor.

9. Roasted vegetables. A good mix of peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, or root vegetables would be great. We'd also add some yogurt mixed with cumin or curry.

10. Sweet potato with greens and Parmesan. An all-time favorite in our house. Collard greens are the best; their slightly bitter flavor is so good with the sweet potato.

Do you have a favorite way to make a potato into a meal?

Originally published August 10, 2010.

(Images: Emma Christensen)

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