5 Ways to Make Mashed Potatoes More than a Side Dish

published Nov 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Piled high, topped with a pat of butter or savory gravy, mashed potatoes are hard to resist. But this Thanksgiving essential has the power to go way beyond just a comforting side dish — we’ve got five ways to prove it.

The key to making any of these dishes shine, of course, is making a really great batch of mashed potatoes. Here are a few tips and recipes to get you started:

Mashed Potato Tips

1. Serve them with meatballs or a meat ragù.

Think of mashed potatoes as your substitute for polenta or pasta; their creaminess and relatively neutral flavor makes them a good swap. Top warm mashed potatoes with homemade meatballs or a hearty meat ragù for a cozy cold-weather meal.

2. Spruce up your soup.

A few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes added to your bowl will thicken your soup and add creamy richness. Make your potato leek soup even better, or add a fun twist to your chicken noodle soup.

3. Make them part of your pizza.

Ready to up your pizza game? If you’ve never tried mashed potatoes on your pie, now’s the time to make it happen. Spread a layer of creamy potatoes over the crust and then add some of your other favorite toppings. And of course, don’t forget the cheese.

4. Make a shepherd’s pie.

This well-known, comforting dish really hits the spot as the temperatures start to dip. A thick layer of mashed potatoes over this hearty meat-and-vegetable pie is what really makes this meal complete.

5. Turn them into waffles.

Can you waffle it? With mashed potatoes the answer is a resounding yes! Break out your waffle maker and start waffling your mashed potatoes.