Potato Recipes To Try When You Need An Easy Side

Potatoes are one of those foods that you should definitely keep on hand at all times for so many reasons. One of our favorites is that, unlike many other vegetables, potatoes will keep for a long, long time. As long as they're stored properly, Healthline reports that raw potatoes will be fine to eat for months! (And in order to prolong their freshness, they should be kept in a dark and cool spot.) That means it's easy to make sure you always have some on hand — and that's a convenience we can all get behind.

Starch-heavy potatoes might have a bit of a reputation as being one of those vegetables that isn't "really" considered a veg, but they're still filled with all kinds of goodness, like vitamins C and B6, fiber, and potassium. They're loaded with antioxidants, and starch has actually been found to help manage blood sugar and lessen insulin resistance (via Healthline). Not bad for this modest, unassuming vegetable.

So, since you already know you're going to be keeping some on hand, let's talk about the creative ways you can use potatoes every day for easy side dishes. We guarantee you won't get bored.

Hasselback potatoes

When it comes to super easy potato recipes, there are few that are easier — and cooler-looking — than the hasselback potato. The hardest part about our hasselback potato recipe is getting the slices just right ... and that's not even that hard. Each one of those slices is going to come out perfectly crispy and allow our sage butter to drip down into the crevices for some seriously amazing flavor. They look much more complicated than they are, and they taste even better than they look.

Potatoes au gratin

Let's talk about childhood memories. There's a very good chance that one dinnertime staple was potatoes au gratin, probably made with the help of a brightly colored box, some dried potatoes, and packets of seasoning. Our potatoes au gratin recipe takes that same final, decadent, creamy, cheesy dish and uses actual potatoes, cream, and cheese. It might not be the healthiest thing in the world to eat, but if you're looking for a hearty and filling side, this recipe does the trick.

German potato salad

Potato salad is a staple summertime meal across America, but if you kind of get sick of mayo-heavy salads, you definitely need to check out our recipe for German potato salad. Instead of being slathered in mayo, it's a tangy salad made with mustard, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, and perhaps best of all, bacon. That's right, bacon! That's how you know you can't go wrong with choosing this delicious German dish, and you absolutely won't when you serve it up at your next BBQ.

Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potatoes are one of those foods that seem to only show up on a lot of tables around the holidays, and that's a shame. They're delicious — most especially when they're used in our sweet potato casserole recipe. This casserole is a brilliant side that comes packed with all the sweetness you expect from sweet potatoes, and the addition of brown sugar and pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer) round out the flavor profile into something that even the pickiest of eaters will love.

Scalloped potatoes

Scalloped potatoes is another one of those sides that you might think of mainly coming out of a box, but with help from our scalloped potatoes recipe, you'll find you never need to use those weird, dehydrated, hockey puck-like potatoes again. Scalloped potatoes are similar to potatoes au gratin, but they're much lighter. Here, it's the potatoes, leeks, and bacon that are the stars of the show. After all, when there's bacon involved, you don't want anything that would overshadow it!

McDonald's hash browns

One of the best things about the McDonald's breakfast menu is their hash browns: those crunchy, crispy, yet soft-on-the-inside potatoes that are cooked to golden-fried goodness. If you agree, we've got some great news for you. We've come up with a copycat McDonald's hash browns recipe that will absolutely let you get your fill without even having to head over to the drive-thru. They'll make the ultimate side for your homemade breakfast sandwich.

Roasted fingerling potatoes

Sometimes, the meals that have your family running to the dinner table are the simplest ones, and when it comes to easy, it doesn't get much easier than our recipe for roasted fingerling potatoes. The most complicated part might be making the roasted garlic butter, but here's the thing — this stuff is so good, you might want to keep the recipe on hand to use in countless other dishes. It's particularly amazing here, though, and this versatile side can be a go-to with a wide range of meats.

Slow cooker potato soup

On cold days when you're craving something comforting to eat, there's nothing better than a warm bowl of potato soup. The thick, creamy texture is miles ahead of something like chicken noodle on these days, and if you resort to reaching for a can on the pantry shelf, hold that thought and check out our slow cooker potato soup recipe. This one is going to take around eight hours in the slow cooker, but prep is simple, and it's a perfect way to warm up before the main course.

Twice baked potatoes

Whenever we hear that something has just a 15-minute prep time, that makes us happy. We know it makes you happy, too — especially when it means you can quickly put some delicious food on the table. That's definitely the case with our recipe for twice-baked potatoes. With just 15 minutes of hands-on time, you'll have some fresh twice-baked potatoes, filled with cheesy goodness and topped with anything you'd like, from sour cream to jalapeños to bacon ... or all of the above.

Potato salad

Potato salad is one of those side dishes where it's easy to fall into a rut. You likely have a go-to potato salad you make, and you might even be hard-pressed to describe the recipe because you sort of whip it up on autopilot. If this sounds familiar, consider mixing things up with our potato salad recipe. Not only does this one include the kick of dill and Dijon mustard, but there's wine in it, too! Not even the mayo can overpower the fresh herbs and veggies in our recipe, and it's perfect no matter what summertime food you're serving alongside it.

Instant Pot loaded mashed potatoes

There are mashed potatoes ... and then there are our Instant Pot loaded mashed potatoes. Imagine if you took all the fluffy goodness of a standard mashed potato, then smushed it together with all the toppings of a baked potato or a potato skin. We're talking about cheese, green onions, bacon, sour cream ... and really, the sky's the limit when it comes to what you can add to these. This is a great way to spruce things up, while still being confident that everyone's going to love it.

Slow cooker mashed potatoes

While mashed potatoes can be one of the best sides to serve with so many other dishes, it can also be pretty easy to mess up. Have you ever ended up with what looked like a pile of glue on the plate? Well, don't fret, because you're not the only one!

Here's some good news: We have a recipe for slow cooker mashed potatoes that will not only help you make sure your mashed 'taters come out perfect, but if you're making a big, complicated meal, you can prep this one, then forget about it until it's time for dinner.

Candied yams

You can think of yams — or sweet potatoes — as a regular potato's cousin ... and everyone knows which cousin we're talking about. You know, the one you want to hate because they're so undeniably sweet that it seems like it must be fake — but that sweetness is real. While some recipes for candied yams dress up that sweetness with even more sugary goodness, like marshmallows, our candied yams recipe uses just a bit of maple syrup and a whole bunch of herbs to bring out the glorious, nothing-else-like-it flavor of this side you'll want to serve year-round.

Taco Bell copycat Fiesta Potatoes

Taco Bell's Fiesta Potatoes were unfortunately removed from the Tex Mex chain's menu. But if you're like us and totally fell in love with these spicy taters while they were on the menu, we have you covered with our Taco Bell copycat Fiesta Potatoes recipe. Not only did we hack the potatoes, but we're also giving you everything you need to know about making a Taco Bell-style nacho cheese. You'll use it on so much more than just potatoes!

Copycat KFC mashed potatoes

KFC has some pretty amazing sides — especially their mashed potatoes and gravy. It's such a simple dish, yet there's something undeniably magical that KFC does with it. And we think we've figured it out ... sort of. Our copycat KFC mashed potatoes recipe doesn't use packets like the restaurant does, but it does come pretty darn close to recreating all that goodness with ingredients you might already have on hand. Sounds like a win to us.

Instant Pot baked potatoes

Baked potatoes are delicious, but they can be a pain to make. Especially if you're making just one or two, the idea of turning on the oven to let them cook for around 45 minutes can seem like a total waste of time. That's why we have you covered with our Instant Pot baked potatoes. Not only does this recipe cut the time down to a fraction of how long baked potatoes take to cook in the oven, but they'll come out just as delicious, ready and waiting for however you want to serve them.

5-ingredient TGI Friday's stuffed potato skins

Here at Mashed, we think food should be fun. Whether it's cooking, baking, or eating, there's nothing about it that should be a chore — and that's why we love fun foods like these TGI Friday's-style stuffed potato skins. They're easier to make than you might expect, and once you have your technique down, there's really no limit to the ways you can customize this dish. You might find yourself serving these with a dollop of leftover chili on top, and that sounds pretty tasty, right?