Mashed potatoes 3 ways over 3 days: Your guide to a successful bulk prep.
With all the holidays and the near constant cooking, it is normal to get burnt out and lose sight of the creative and fun part aspects of the kitchen.
In keeping with my typical fashion, I’ve come up with a way to keep prep simple, but fun and purposeful during this last stretch of the Holidays. Here is my take on a child classic and favorite: mashed potatoes. This is a fun way to bulk prep mashed potatoes and use it three ways over three days. I find myself bulk prepping like this over holidays, when there is loads to do. One big bulk prep can be repurposed into many different ways saving loads of time.
I mean, potatoes are always a win, and in regards to prep, it’s the easiest of easy. Throw a bunch of peeled potatoes in a pot and boil until soft. Then drain, mash, and go simple or flavorful with the seasoning (I like to use olive oil, salt, garlic, thyme, and/or rosemary). This is side dish number one. My kids always reach for the mashed potatoes and it pairs well with virtually any protein.
With the leftovers, here are three ideas of foods you can make in following days to refresh them and turn them into something better than reheated mashed potatoes.
1. Potato Cake Pops.
Pack 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes together to form a compact ball. Then stick a cake pop stick in them and dip it in a beaten egg, and then in breadcrumbs or pretzel crumbs. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until crispy. The kiddos (who am I kidding, adults will love this too) can dip it in ketchup or any prepped sauces and eat away! If your day is feeling really long and you need some activity ideas, you can get the kids involved in making these too, they’re super fun.
2. Easy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie.
Chop up any leftover chicken or meat from the previous night along with extra roasted vegetables and put it into a pie crust, then press the extra mashed potatoes on top. If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that I love this pie crust kitchen hack that makes you seem super fancy. Take another pie crust and roll it out using a rolling pin, and lay it on top of the shepherd’s pie, pinching the edges to secure it and make the ridges you see on all those professional pies. Cut a little x on the top using a knife to help the air circulate in there. There you have it! A new and improved, freshly made dish!
3. Homemade Gnocchi:
Having mashed potatoes made is the first big step of making homemade gnocchi. A standard recipe calls for 1 cup of mashed potatoes mixed with 2 cups of flour and 1 egg mixed together.
Once you have the dough, roll it into a long snake and cut small “pillow shaped” gnocchi pieces about ½ an inch long. Boil a pot of water and drop the gnocchi pieces in and boil for 3-5 minutes or until the gnocchi rises to the top, and then remove with a slotted spoon. The last step is to lightly saute them in a pan with oil and garlic, and then enjoy as is or top it off with your favorite sauce! Try this Tomato Rosa Sauce or Homemade Pesto with your homemade gnocchi. It is out of this world.
Other Easy Ideas:
Try this recipe to help you use it all up and leave over zero waste!
Crispy Potato Skins:
Season skins with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings and bake on 400°F for 20 minutes or until crispy!
There you have it! One big prep of mashed potatoes can yield four, or more, unique dishes. What is your favorite kid-friendly food to batch prep and re-use?