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6 Best Ways to Cook Potatoes - Cheap, Easy Potato Recipes

Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily. Kids Cook Monday offers simple recipes kids can help with.

Bowl of raw potatoes

Bowl of raw potatoes

Different Ways to Cook Potatoes

There are so many different ways to make potatoes. Plus, potatoes are usually pretty cheap to buy. Being the frugal shopper I am, I look for them on sale. I often buy a five pound bag of any particular type for less than $2.00--even the Yukon gold, which I love for mashed potatoes. Yummy!

I try to buy the red potatoes when the Yukon price is up, as the red skins are generally smooth and don't need to be peeled. I hate peeling potatoes and won't do it unless I have to. The only way I haven't found a way to use the peels is in potato soup. If you have a good recipe for potato soup with skins on, do share! I may be experimenting with that one soon.

When I buy Russet potatoes, whose skins are usually rougher, I wash them with my scrub brush and cut off bad spots. I don't peel the rest of it, and it's fine.

Cut up those potatoes!

Baked oven fries

Baked oven fries

Low-Fat Oven French Fries

Make your own french fries! Scrub your potatoes (any kind) and rinse. Cut into thick or thin fries. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic salt, if you like, on them. Bake in 400 degrees oven for 40 to 50 minutes. These are easy, as you can make them with skins on, so no need for the tedious job of peeling them. With my recent batch, I microwaved the 5 potatoes for 3 minutes per side to soften them and speed up cooking time. I then cut them up and cooked them in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them, and turn them halfway through for more even browning.

Grate potatoes for hash browns

Shredded potatoes for hash browns

Shredded potatoes for hash browns

How to Make Homemade Hash Browns

Make homemade hash browns. You can do this by grating your skin-on potatoes--straight into the skillet, if you'd like! Make sure you have oil in the skillet first. Separate your shredded potatoes into smaller servings, or let potatoes fall across the pan, filling the whole pan. You can separate the potatoes later. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side. When other side is browned and crisp, turn. Add more salt and pepper. Cook until desired brownness. Serve with ketchup, if you wish. I love homemade hash browns!

Stainless Steel Grater--A must for grating potatoes for the hash browns. I have one just like it. Easy to use and easy to clean. I stick mine in the dishwasher!

Homemade Hash Browns - Almost Done!

Brown shredded homemade hash browns in the pan.

Brown shredded homemade hash browns in the pan.

Make a Simple Baked Potato

Baked potatoes can be made quickly in the microwave. Clean skin and poke fork in to make holes to prevent explosion in the microwave. Cook for 3 minutes, turn, and cook for 2 more minutes on the other side. Adjust times as needed to the softness you prefer.

Load the potato as much or as little as you want. Butter, salt and pepper, sour cream, bacon bits, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese--all yummy choices. Be creative. Try black olives, too, or jalapenos and chili.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Who doesn't like mashed potatoes? Potatoes are a classic food, a comfort food, and can be made with many different ingredients in it. They can be made plain, boiling the potatoes until soft, draining, adding back in water or milk, butter, and salt and pepper. Garlic and sour cream are other options to mix in. Mashed potatoes can be made with skins on or off. I prefer with skins on. I peeled way too many potatoes as a kid, and I will get out of peeling potatoes anytime I can! When I learned that restaurants serve mashed potatoes with the skins on, I felt validated. See link to my own homemade mashed potatoes. Great comfort food!

Potato Salad--a very versatile dish


Potato Salad

Potato salad can be made many different ways. Preferably, use Yukon or red potatoes, as the skins are usually smoother and won't require peeling. Boil potatoes until a bit soft but not so much that they will fall apart (as in mashed potatoes). Cut up into chunks and cool. With 5 or 6 potatoes, I use about 3 boiled eggs to cut up with them. Add mayonnaise, enough to coat mixture. Add a few squirts of mustard, to taste. This varies with folks. Some like their potato salad more mustard-y than do others. Stir in several tablespoons of sweet pickle relish. Others prefer dill relish or even sliced green olives. Finely chopped onion--red works great--is another tasty addition. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Although I'm a huge mayonnaise fan (I love that Hellman's!), some people prefer the sweeter taste of Miracle Whip. Suit yourself!

Yukon Gold Potatoes!

These are small Yukon Gold potatoes.

These are small Yukon Gold potatoes.

Microwaved Potatoes

Another way I like to do some quick potatoes is to cut up several potatoes (depending on how many people you're feeding) with skins on into thin slices. Place in microwave dish. Put a couple of pats of butter in, along with salt and pepper, with garlic salt if you prefer. Cook for three minutes. Take out and stir. Continue to cook for two minutes at a time until potatoes reach desired tenderness. Add more butter as desired. These are easy and delicious!

Potato Recipes from Just Ask Susan!

What do you think about these Potato Ideas?

Potato Nutrition Information

Potatoes are nutritious, low in sodium and sugar, and packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. A medium potato has 70% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and about 30% of vitamin B6, plus many other vitamins.

The potato has 26% of the RDA for potassium, among other minerals. A medium potato has about 160 calories according to Check out the site for more nutritional information on potatoes.

Cheap, nutritious, versatile, and delicious--the potato has it all!

Plant your own potatoes from potato eyes!

And here's how you plant them!

Another Versatile Food to Cook: Eggs

  • 10 Best Ways to Cook Eggs - Recipes
    Here are ten great--many easy--ways to cook eggs. Eggs are versatile, cheap, and low in calories. They can be used in recipes but are also great stand-alone foods!

© 2012 Victoria Lynn


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 28, 2012:

Glenn--Interesting way for mashed potatoes! I like trying different things. Thanks for the input!

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on October 26, 2012:

I like using potatoes for making things since they re so cheap. I usually make mashed potatoes by adding a little dill relish, pepper and mayo. It's sort of like a potato salad, but I cut corners in order to make it faster. I don't even use salt a the taste is just fine, and it's healthier anyway.

I found your hub extremely useful because I really would like to branch out and use potatoes to make other things. I got a lot of ideas from you which I'm going to try now. They all look so tasty.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 30, 2012:

Wow, Cardisa, your version of mashed potatoes sound great! All great ingredients!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on March 30, 2012:

I love potatoes and my fave is mashed potatoes. I like mine mashed with coconut cream instead of milk. I also like finely minced onions and roasted garlic in it and sometimes finely minced parsley. Not to mention cheese!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 29, 2012:

That's great, MarleneB! I think you will love the skins on, and the microwaved potatoes are so easy to make and very tasty. Thanks for your input!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 29, 2012:

I just went to Costco and purchased a huge bag of potatoes. My husband and I are empty nesters so we were wondering what in the world we were going to do with all those potatoes. I like your recipes. I'm going to try the microwaved potatoes tonight. I've been peeling my potatoes. I'm going to try them with the skin on this time.

And, vparker - I would have never thought of honey on french fries. But it sounds like it would be tasty. I'm trying that one next.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 29, 2012:

Well, thank you, teaches. Good observation about the more "home-made look" of the potatoes. I always love and appreciate your comments!

Dianna Mendez on March 29, 2012:

I love potatoes, especially baked and mashed. I agree with your taste preference to have the skins on. I like the taste but it also gives it more of a "home-made" look. Great suggestions and the photos present a very good recipe example of the dish.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 29, 2012:

vparker--Honey on french fries? That DOES sound good! I've never heard of the cheese you mention, but anything cheesy is good. Thanks for the suggestions!

Veronica Parker from From Mars on March 29, 2012:

Lately, I have been addicted to eating potatoes especially french fries. Don't know if you have done this before, but I love putting honey on my french fries (so delicious). Kerrygold's Dubliner cheese is excellent for stuffed potatoes skins.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 28, 2012:

Thanks, Audrey. I love them, too!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 28, 2012:

Woo hoo, sunshine! I love my taters! :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 28, 2012:

Thanks, Debbie! I appreciate that!

Audrey Howitt from California on March 28, 2012:

Love, love them! Yum!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 28, 2012:

A shout-out to potatoes has been long overdue. There are so many uses for taters. You offered many scrumptious ways to prepare them. You put the French in French Fry!!:)

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on March 28, 2012:

Well I love potatoes any way you can make them and this looks like all the ways I like them.. LOl

great hub

voted up


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