Have you ever wondered what other ways of cooking potatoes are out there?
Maybe you are bored of eating the same types of potatoes, or maybe you just want to add some new challenges to the way you cook! Do not worry. There are a lot of ways in which you can prepare the vegetables as a side for your dishes in ways that don’t even involve frying them.
After all, we all know about the two most popular ways to eat potatoes: mashed or fried. Yet, none of these are as healthy as they may appear, and nothing deep-fried is good for your health in general. Because we know that you are looking to try out healthier versions, we have not only gathered some alternative methods you could use to cook potatoes but also provided the instructions to do so!
What’s more, we will also tell you what type of spuds you should use to get the best results! In the end, just because you can cook any type of potato in any way you want, it does not mean you should do it!
Let us know your favorite potato dish in the comments down below!
Before we talk about recipes, let’s talk about cleaning them!
This is one of those steps that you will have to do before we even start talking about the alternative cooking methods we want to present to you here. And since it’s mandatory for all the recipes, it is better that we present it before we start going into the instructions. No matter what kind of spud you choose to use, if you plan to not peel them (you can eat the peel with no health issues attached), you have to thoroughly scrub and wash them.
This is because they grow in the dirt, and you have to make sure you’re not accidentally adding some ground to your side dish. Always use cold running water and, if there’s any stubborn grime, either rub at it with your finger or a clean brush. If you notice that your potatoes are green, you should most probably toss them; they aren’t ripe and you shouldn’t eat them. The green will also not leave no matter how much you scrub at it!
#1 Make use of the air fryer
If you haven’t joined the air fryer craze, now would be the best time to do so. The gadget functions as a convection oven that you can just keep on your countertop, and it can help you make any dish that you would generally fry in a ton of oil without such excess! This also makes cooking much easier and facile!
When it comes to potatoes, you can make those french fries easier and healthier with the use of this machine. The best variety of potatoes that you should get is the ones that aren’t starchy, like the Russet Potatoes or Idaho. Your best bet is the Yukon Golds, but you can also get away with red, fingerling, or new potatoes!
Also, keep in mind to follow the instructions on your air fryer before you cook anything new, so you can do so in a safe environment!
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes
- Cooking or Olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and your choice of aromatic herbs and spices
Before you do anything, you should make sure to preheat the air fryer to about 400°. After that, take your clean potatoes and cut them into half-inch strips before seasoning them with oil, salt, pepper, and any other aromatic herbs you want. You can even add some paprika if you want or garlic powder!
All that is left is to place them in the air-fryer basket (do not forget the parchment paper on the bottom for easy cleaning). You should cook them for about 15 to 17 minutes until they are tender and golden brown! Just remember to stir them every 5 minutes, so you get that gorgeous color all over the vegetables.
Serve them on a plate with your protein of choice, or just enjoy them as they are with condiments! And you don’t have to stop here. You can also use your air fryer for chips, latkes, wedges, or even baked potatoes (more on those later). Make sure you read the complimentary book that came with the machine for more recipes!
#2 Roasted Potatoes
If we had to choose one of the best ways to cook potatoes, it would probably be this one! And while you can technically roast any type of potato, unless you want them to turn into a soggy, mushy pile, avoid the starchy potatoes (like Idaho and Russets). Instead, opt for the Yukon Golds or waxy ones (like fingerlings, new, or red potatoes) as they roast great!
The trick to getting the best-cooked roasted potatoes is to not overcrowd them on the baking sheets and to make sure they are cut relatively the same size. That way they will all cook at the same time, and you will have perfectly crisp and even potatoes!
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Like with all recipes, make sure you preheat your oven, this time to 450°F. Cut your potatoes in half, quarters, or into two-inch wedges, depending on preference, then add them all to a bowl. Drizzle them with a smudge of olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss or mix with your hands to ensure all of them are evenly coated.
Arrange them on the baking sheet (again, use some parchment paper for easier cleaning), making sure they’re all spread in a single layer, with the cut side down. Place in the oven and let roast anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes or until tender and golden!
They pair fabulously with meat-forward mains, like roasted chicken, glazed salmon, and prime ribs!
#3 Believe it or not, you can make them in the microwave
Yes, we know it sounds like something you should not even think of, but you can actually cook potatoes quickly by using the microwave. And if you’re not truly 100% keen on this, you can just use them for what they are: you need to par-cook them. You can microwave them on high for up to 6 minutes and then finish them in the oven, thus cutting the cooking time in half!
Other reasons to use the microwave include convenience: for scalloped or skillet potatoes, or even breakfast hash, you can soften the vegetables in the microwave. Just 3 minutes with a tablespoon of water and partially covered in a bowl after you cut them to your liking, and they’re soft enough so you can continue cooking with no issues.
But realistically, you can cook any type of potato in the microwave. You just have to keep an eye on them, and it depends on what your end goal is. A little warning here: if you’re choosing to cook them whole, make sure you poke some holes into them with a fork so you won’t run the risk of them exploding due to steam!
- 2 pounds of red potatoes
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- herbs and spices of your choice
Cut your potatoes into two-inch wedges to ensure easier cooking. Afterward, place them into a microwave-safe dish that is going to accommodate all of them and not allow them to spill over. Pour over the melted butter and seasonings (garlic powder, salt, pepper, and herbs like parsley work the best) and then mix them to ensure all of them are well coated.
Place in the microwave without covering the dish and set the microwave on high. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, making sure to stir after 5 until they are tender and you are ready to serve them!
#4 The Timeless Baked Potatoes
These may be some of the hardest potatoes to make as they have to be cooked whole, and it depends on how big your vegetables are to approximate the cooking time. They also differ from the other types of potato cooking techniques we mentioned before, as for this one you specifically require starchy potatoes instead of the usual waxy ones.
The starchiness helps them break down, and it’s what gives them that fluffy and soft texture, making them the perfect vessel for butter, cheese, and sour cream! Whether you poke them and bake them whole or go the British route and cut a cross on top, they make fantastic side dishes and even a delicious main dish!
Just be careful not to forget to poke or cut them because otherwise, they run the (still very low) risk of exploding due to the steam, and it is not an easy task to clean your oven afterward.
- Russet or Idaho potatoes
Have your oven preheat at 400°. After you have used a fork to prick the skin of the potatoes, you can place them directly on your oven rack or on a baking tray if you’re afraid they will roll around. Then bake them for up to an hour, or until they are tender enough to be pierced with a fork. If you want to cut down your cooking time in half, you can use the microwave hack we talked about earlier (cooked on high for up to 6 minutes).
Once they are ready, they are a perfect side dish to the traditional steak or meatloaf, or you can even serve them as a vegetarian main alongside roasted veggies or Caesar salad.
#5 The Instant Pot can be your best friend
If you do not like to have to keep an eye on your potatoes or you simply do not have the time, but you do not like the idea of using the microwave, you can make use of an Instant Pot. A lot of people are scared of these types of pots since they think they might explode due to the pressure, but keep in mind that technology has advanced greatly since the first types came to be. These new Instant Pots are as safe as they can be if you follow the usage instructions.
The only drawback that some see with the Instant Pot is that in order for it to work well, it needs a cup of broth or water to be added alongside your ingredients. This means you cannot count on it to yield crispy potatoes, but rather it is perfect for making boiled ones, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and even potato salad!
The secret is to know your potatoes before you decide to use the pot and cook your side dish. If you wish to make potato salad or just about any boiled potato dish, you should reach out for the waxy variety or Yukon Golds, while for the mashed or baked ones, you’re better off using starchy potatoes like Russets or Idaho potatoes.
- one to one and a half pounds of baby potatoes
- a cup of water or broth
- fresh herbs, like chives or parsley
After washing your baby potatoes, you will want to cut in half the ones that are bigger than 2 inches, so they all have the same cooking time. Then you should add them together with the water or broth in the Instant Pot, alongside a pinch of salt. Lock the lid in place and set the temperature on high pressure, leaving it to cook for about 12 minutes.
Drain all of the cooking liquid and toss the potatoes with the butter and fresh herbs after carefully releasing the steam from the pot! Yet, you don’t have to stop here! You can always take it a step further and make potato soup! We are sure the pot came with a number of useful recipes you can use for inspiration!
#6 Versatile Boiled Potatoes
For as versatile as we perceive them to be (and still pretty delicious if you know your way around them), boiled potatoes have the unlucky problem of being perceived as, for a lack of a better word, boring. This is the only method on the cooking list we made today that needs more improvement in order to add more flavor to the vegetable or to make it a bit more interesting when it comes to texture.
Of course, they are the perfect vessel for making some amazing side dishes, as the boiled potatoes have the amazing quality of being able to absorb other liquids: after being boiled themselves, the excess starch is removed, and you can infuse them with anything your heart would desire. This is why, depending on what you want to make with them, the Yukon golds and waxy potatoes may be your best shot as they have less starch content.
That being said, you can still make some pretty damn good boiled potatoes with any you have on hand. This means you can either make some mashed potatoes by adding other mix-ins or you can par-boil them in preparation for being sauteed with other veggies and protein before roasting or even grilling! There are a lot of options, including the classic one, and we have prepared some of the best options down below!
- any type of potatoes you have around the house
- a generous pinch of salt
Instructions for various types of boiled potato-based dishes:
Depending on what you want to boil the potatoes for, you will have to cut them into different sizes. However, if their diameter is bigger than 2 inches, you should either half or quarter them; the bigger the potato, the more cuts you will have to make. Yet, ensure that all of them are cut about the same size, so you will not run into the problem of them not cooking at the same time.
If you want to make roasted or fried potatoes fast, it would be the best choice to par-boil them first to cut down on the time you have to keep them in the oven or oil.
Start by cutting the potato to the size of your choice or the recipe you are using it for. Then add the potatoes to a pot, covering them with two inches of water, and put the lid on the pot. Check that the pot is large enough to accommodate the potatoes and that there is enough water in it. Boil over high heat with a generous pinch of salt for about ten minutes, then drain and use them for the recipe you are making. You can also use par-boiled potatoes if you are planning on making breakfast hash.
For making par-cooked potatoes, instead of immediately draining the water from the pot, you should turn off the heat and cover the pot. Then leave them to sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes before you drain the water.
If your goal is to make just boiled potatoes, you should bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it so that the potatoes will simmer away for anything between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on their size. Cook until they are tender, and a fork can easily go through them. After draining, you can toss them with butter and fresh parsley and then serve them as is, or you can prepare them for mashed potatoes or potato salad!
Truly, boiled potatoes are some of the most versatile when it comes to cooking side dishes!
And if you are looking for more effortless yet delicious recipes to add to your meal rotation, these slow cooker recipes are worth a try!