17 Potato Recipes We'd Make on Mars

The 2016 Oscars

We love the Oscars as much as anyone else, and with less than two weeks to go until we find out this year's winners, we're getting in the mood by reviewing some of our favorite flicks. Of course, we wanted to put our own unique spin on the nominees — starting with The Martian.

Starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a NASA crew member left for dead during an aborted mission to Mars, the film is up for six awards, including Best Picture. The central struggle of the movie, which based on the novel by Andy Weir, a computer programmer who originally self-published the book online, is how Watney will keep himself alive. The answer (spoiler alert!) is potatoes, which Watney grows himself using some, er, creative methods. He mostly eats the potatoes microwaved, with whatever condiments he has available — but we've got a few better ideas for how to cook your taters.

1. Cheesy Mashed Potato Puffs

On the off chance that you ever have leftover mashed potatoes (we know, that's like saying "leftover wine"), these cheesy puffs are the answer to how to put them to the best, most delicious use possible.

2. Loaded Baked Potato Dip with Homemade Chips

Everyone needs to try making potato chips from scratch once in their life. This recipe and the accompanying dip are worth the effort.

3. Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin

This gratin lightens things up with the addition of squash rounds instead of just the potato slices — and you just can't go wrong with goat cheese.

4. How To Make Diner-Style Hash Browns

There are two secrets to making hash browns just as good as you find at your local greasy spoon: One involves making sure those potato strips are really dry, and the other involves borderline obscene amounts of butter. But the results are totally worth it.

5. Southern Smashed Potato Salad

Next time you're tasked with bringing the potato salad to a potluck, skip your normal recipe and try this smashed version. It's more fun to say, and delightful to eat.

6. Kale and Potato Gratin

Need a way to get someone in your family to eat kale? Sneak it into this cheesy, breadcrumb-covered gratin. They won't even know it's good for them.

7. Grilled Cheesy Potato Packets

Yes, this cheese bomb of a recipe is reason enough to fire up the grill while it's freezing outside.

8. Truffled Potato & Goat Cheese Flatbread

Skeptical about potatoes on what is basically a sauce-less pizza? Trust us, give this flatbread recipe a try and let it convert you into a believer. It's just that good.

9. Potato Breakfast Gratin with Red Peppers & Parmesan

How do you turn a gratin from a side dish into a full meal? By adding eggs, of course! This dish is some hybrid of a gratin, frittata, and Spanish tortilla — whatever it is, it's delicious.

10. How To Bake a Potato in the Oven

Consider this your go-to tutorial for perfectly baked potatoes. No more burned skins, or undercooked centers. Follow this step-by-step, and you've got this.

11. Potato & Leek Galette

The secret of this dish is that it looks a lot fancier than it is. Yes, it takes a bit of time to layer in all those potato rounds perfectly, but the result is a dinner party-worthy dish that will impress even the most discerning guest.

12. Smashed Potatoes with Gouda and Horseradish

Need to make those mashed potatoes a little bit more exciting? Give them a kick with a dollop of horseradish, and mix in some shredded gouda for an extra-rich dish. You'll never look at mashed potatoes the same way again.

13. Spiced Oven Fries with Garlic Spread

Despite their name, you don't actually have to deep-fry your French fries. In fact, we might just like these oven fries better. Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that they are dusted with the lemony spice sumac, and then dipped in a creamy garlic sauce.

14. How To Make Potato Salad

Once the warmer weather finally arrives, this recipe will be in heavy rotation, but there's no reason you can't start perfecting your potato salad game now. After all, you can make burgers on the stove just as easily as on the grill.

15. Extra-Crispy Tossed Potatoes

Think of this as your back-to-basics weeknight potato recipe. It works with any potato variety, and can be tossed together in a matter of minutes. It's also one of the best side dish options when you're preparing breakfast for dinner.

16. Smashed Potatoes with Crème Fraîche

We can't think of a more decadent way to make mashed potatoes than by adding a full cup of crème fraîche to the mix. The addition of thyme in this recipe makes for a savory and comforting side dish.

17. Potato Salad with Lemon-Tahini & Dill Dressing

You might not expect tahini to go well with potato salad, but this recipe is guaranteed to change your mind. When combined with the lemon and dill, it's the perfect new take on a comfort food staple.

(Image credits: Emma Christensen; Faith Durand; Nealey Dozier; Sara Kate Gillingham; Nick Evans; Emily Han; Kelli Foster; Andrea Bemis)

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The 2016 Oscars