How to Transform Leftover Potatoes into Shiny New Dinners

As a single person who loves to cook, there are many a week where I eat the same dish over and over (and over) again. But as much as I love leftovers (especially leftover potatoes), I also love variety. To balance affordability and flavor fatigue, I tu…

As a single person who loves to cook, there are many a week where I eat the same dish over and over (and over) again. But as much as I love leftovers (especially leftover potatoes), I also love variety. To balance affordability and flavor fatigue, I turn to dishes that transform into entirely new meals with just a few extra ingredients.

I hardly need to tell you, but hearty, humble potatoes are leftover superstars. From mashed to baked, roasted to boiled, potatoes transition into solid foundations for salads, soups, patties, and casseroles. With a little bit of planning, potatoes can fill you up all week long. Here are some of my favorite ways to reuse spuds.

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Garlic Parmesan Oven Fries

What doesn’t taste better when covered in garlic and Parmesan?? This classic flavor combo gives these oven-baked fries a one-two punch of savory umami flavor that makes you just want more and more… And don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to just eat a huge plate full of these Garlic Parmesan Fries on […]

The post Garlic Parmesan Oven Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What doesn’t taste better when covered in garlic and Parmesan?? This classic flavor combo gives these oven-baked fries a one-two punch of savory umami flavor that makes you just want more and more… And don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to just eat a huge plate full of these Garlic Parmesan Fries on their own, but you might as well serve them next to an equally epic sandwich for a totally brag-worthy meal. Suggestions for delicious sammies and dipping sauces to pair with your fries are included below! 👇

Originally posted 2-18-2016, updated 9-22-21.

a hand dipping one garlic parmesan fry into ketchup next to a pile of fries

Are Oven Baked Fries Crispy?

Thick-cut oven-baked fries like these are not crispy like their deep-fried counterpart. That’s just the nature of baking versus deep frying. They’ll get a little crispy along the edges and coating them in grated Parmesan does go a long way toward giving the potato a lot of texture so you won’t really miss the ultra-crispy deep-fried texture. 

Seasoning Ideas for Oven Fries

What I love about these baked fries is that you can change the seasoning to be almost any flavor you like. Keep in mind the extra texture that the Parmesan gives to the fry when deciding whether to include Parmesan in your seasoning mix. Some other french fry flavor ideas are:

What to Serve with Garlic Parmesan Fries

These Garlic Parmesan Fries are pretty spectacular and they deserve to be on a plate next to something equally as delish. Try pairing them with Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers, Mediterranean Turkey Burgers, Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, Sloppy Joes Plus, or Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

Want an awesome sauce to dip your fries in? Try some Comeback Sauce, Homemade Ranch Dressing, or 5 Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce

Side view of a pile of Garlic Parmesan fries with a small cup of ketchup

a hand dipping a fry into a cup of ketchup next to a pile of fries

Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

These oven-baked Garlic Parmesan Fries are the perfect side dish to any burger or sandwich, or just piled high with your favorite toppings!
Total Cost $1.55 recipe / $0.78 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 387kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes (about ⅔ lb. each) $1.08
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 2 tsp dried oregano $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the potatoes well then cut into ½-inch wide fries.
  • Place the cut fries in a large bowl and add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Toss until the fries are coated in oil and seasoning.
  • Spread the seasoned fries out onto a large baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  • Bake the fries for about 30 minutes, or until well browned, stirring once half-way through.
  • Serve hot! Optional garnish: chopped parsley and a pinch of Parmesan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 674mg | Fiber: 5g

baked garlic parmesan fries on a baking sheet garnished with parsley

How to Make Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries – Step by Step Photos

Two russet potatoes on a cutting board, one cut into fries

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash two russet potatoes and cut them into ½-inch wide “fries.”

Cut potatoes in a bowl with seasoning

Place the cut fries in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Toss the fries until they’re evenly coated in oil and seasoning.

uncooked fries spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned fries out over the baking sheet.

baked garlic parmesan fries on the baking sheet

Bake the fries in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until nicely golden brown, stirring once halfway through.

close up view of garlic parmesan fries and a cup of ketcheup

Garnish the fries with a little chopped parsley and another pinch of grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

The post Garlic Parmesan Oven Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Absolute Best Way to Cook French Fries, According to So Many Tests

In Absolute Best Tests, our writer Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s mashed dozens of potatoes, seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, and tasted enough types of bacon to concern a…

In Absolute Best Tests, our writer Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's mashed dozens of potatoes, seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, and tasted enough types of bacon to concern a cardiologist. Today, she tackles French fries.


I have a friend who jokes that the sinister underbelly of this column is that each month, I am forced to identify the exact point at which a delicious food becomes revolting. After I hard-boiled hundreds of eggs, I couldn’t look at one for a year. And I still haven’t recovered from 2019’s porterhouse sear-off.

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Scoot over oat milk; there’s a new kid in town—potato milk.

In recent years, more and more nondairy milks have popped up on shelves and in local coffee shops. There are stalwarts like soy (the most popular), almond, and coconut, followed by more niche nut milks such as macadamia and hazelnut.

Then oat milk ent…

In recent years, more and more nondairy milks have popped up on shelves and in local coffee shops. There are stalwarts like soy (the most popular), almond, and coconut, followed by more niche nut milks such as macadamia and hazelnut.

Then oat milk entered the arena, upping the game for milk-alternative connoisseurs. Oat milk has a creamy consistency, like cow's milk, convincing even some of the naysayers.

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Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things […]

The post Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat. But these days I’m a busy person, so when I got the craving for those tasty meat pies I just whipped up the curried ground beef filling and ate it in a bowl instead of fiddling with dough and stuffing it into hand pies. It was still totally satisfying and way easier. There are a few different ways you can serve this curried ground beef, so keep reading to see some options!

Originally posted 10-10-2012, updated 9-4-2021.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

What Kind of Beef to Use

Since the spices and aromatics are going in the skillet before the beef, you won’t want to have to drain off any fat after browning the ground beef, or else you’ll lose some of the flavor. For that reason, you’ll want to use a lower fat ground beef, maybe 10-15% max. Having some fat is good for flavor, but you don’t want it pooling in the bottom of the skillet.

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

Curry powder blends can vary a LOT from brand to brand, so it’s important to choose one that you’re familiar with and that you know you like. The kind I happen to be using today is 365 brand curry powder, but I’ve also enjoyed Sharwood’s brand in the past. You can use a mild curry powder, or spicy if you prefer. If you’d like to try making your own homemade curry powder, here is a great recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Up.

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

This dish is quite filling on its own since it contains meat, potatoes, and vegetables, but I like to add a little bread on the side. I love serving naan with this curried ground beef so I can scoop up some of the beef mixture with the piece of naan and get everything in one bite (just like those meat pies I used to eat, but open-faced!). You could also serve the curried beef over a bed of rice for a little extra inexpensive filler. 

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Yes! This mixture is so flexible. If you want to incorporate a few extra vegetables, consider adding a diced onion, sliced carrots, and maybe even broccoli. If you want to swap out the potatoes for a lower carb option, you can use small cauliflower florets.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a bowl with naan in the side

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

Meat and potatoes come together with savory curry powder in this super simple weeknight curried ground beef skillet.
Total Cost $7.91 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 293kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp turmeric $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef (15% fat or less) $5.49
  • 1 russet potato (¾ lb.) $0.63
  • 1 cup beef broth $0.13
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and cooking oil to a large deep skillet. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and crushed red pepper and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet with the spices and sauté until the beef is cooked through.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and cube the potato into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potato and beef broth to the skillet. Stir to combine with the ground beef. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to continue to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid in place (stir occasionally). After ten minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.
  • Finally, stir the frozen peas into the beef and potato mixture and heat through. Give the curry beef a taste and add salt to taste (about ½ tsp). Top with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g

close up of a scoop of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in front of the skillet

How to Make Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes – Step By Step Photos

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and grating about 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to a skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for one to two minutes.

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

Next, add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) to the skillet. Continue to sauté over medium heat for about one more minute to toast the spices.

Browned ground beef in the skillet

Add one pound of ground beef to the skillet and continue sautéing until it is cooked through.

Cubed potato on a cutting board

While the beef is browning, peel and cube one russet potato into ½-inch pieces. My potato was about ¾ lb. total, but it’s flexible so you can add a little more or less if you have it.

cubed potato in the skillet with beef, broth being poured in the side

Once the beef is browned, add the cubed potato and one cup beef broth. Stir to combine.

Spatula pulling beef and potatoes to the side to show no liquid in the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the skillet simmer for about 10 minutes, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes the potatoes should be nice and tender. Remove the lid and let it simmer a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

Add one cup of frozen peas to the skillet and stir to combine, then allow the peas to heat through.

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

Give the curried beef with peas and potatoes a taste and add salt to your liking (I added about ½ teaspoon). 

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

Side view of a bowl of curried beef with peas, naan in the side of the bowl

The post Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My Weird Night in the World’s Biggest Potato Hotel

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner, illustrated by Olivia de Recat.

I know a place where you can go to be alone. It’s got a roof over it, with a door that locks. There’s a bed and a sink and a kettle for coffee, …

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner, illustrated by Olivia de Recat.


I know a place where you can go to be alone. It’s got a roof over it, with a door that locks. There’s a bed and a sink and a kettle for coffee, and from most angles, the land on which it sits is stunningly green, and stunningly flat. The packaged snacks are free and abundant, and there is a rabbit who hops around the property as if he hadn’t yet decided what he’d get up to that day. There is a cow named Dolly who will wander by, shooting you reproachful glances until you acquiesce and stick your hand beneath the dispenser that overflows with edible pellets. Her gratitude will make you blush. It is the place where I began and ended one of the weirdest nights of my life, and it is a six-ton potato, thirty minutes southeast of Boise, Idaho.

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Loaded Smashed Potatoes

These loaded smashed potatoes are boiled until tender and fluffy, baked until golden and crispy, and piled high with toppings!

The post Loaded Smashed Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Um, if you’ve never had smashed potatoes before, let this be a sign from the universe that you need to make them immediately. These tasty little taters are boiled until fluffy and tender on the inside, then smashed and baked until crispy on the outside. Then I went one step further (because of course I did) and loaded them up with my favorite baked potato fixins’. These Loaded Smashed Potatoes are everything I’ve ever wanted.

Close up of loaded smashed potatoes on the baking sheet

What Kind of Potatoes Work Best for Smashed Potatoes

I highly suggest splurging a little on small baby potatoes, the kind that are about the size of a golf ball. They cook quickly and have the perfect skin to flesh ratio to make these smashed potatoes just right. Plus, they are always so smooth and creamy on the inside.

Loaded Potato Topping Ideas

I kept my smashed potato toppings fairly simple because I like to work with what I have on hand. I seasoned with some Everything Bagel Seasoning, then topped with cheddar, sour cream, and green onion. Here are some other toppings you can try:

  • Bacon
  • BBQ Sauce
  • French Fried Onions
  • Pepperoni
  • Chili
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeños
  • Chopped Sweet Onion
  • Pesto
  • Blue Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Spinach Dip

Seasoning Substitutions

If you can’t find everything bagel seasoning at a store, here is a recipe for homemade everything bagel seasoning. Or, if you want to use something else, you could use Montreal Steak Seasoning (a similarly chunky seasoning mix), or maybe a little ranch seasoning (mix with the oil before brushing onto potatoes). Another option is to do a simple classic mix of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

What to Serve with Smashed Potatoes

The classic flavors in these smashed potatoes go with so many different meals and they can add a fun twist to your usual “meat and potatoes” dinner. Try them with my Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Honey Mustard Chicken Wings, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, or Homemade Chicken Nuggets. Or just serve them on their own as a snacky-snack for movie night or something. ;)

Side view of loaded smashed potatoes on a baking sheet
overhead view of loaded smashed potatoes on the baking sheet

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

These loaded smashed potatoes are boiled until tender and fluffy, baked until golden and crispy, and piled high with toppings!
Total Cost $4.97 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 4 potatoes each
Calories 276kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes $2.99
  • 2 tsp salt (for the boiling water) $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp everything bagel seasoning $0.15
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $0.85
  • 1/3 cup sour cream $0.39
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Instructions

  • Place the baby potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add 2 tsp salt to the water.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are very tender. You can test the tenderness by piercing the potatoes with a fork. They need to be very tender so they smash easily.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the olive oil and everything bagel seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Drain the potatoes and let them cool for about few minutes, then transfer them to the baking sheet. Use a heavy-bottomed glass or a potato masher to smash each potato until it's relatively flat.
  • Brush the olive oil and seasoning over the surface of the smashed potatoes
  • Bake the smashed potatoes in the preheated 425ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven, then top with the shredded cheese. Return them to the oven for a few more minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.
  • Finally, top each potato with a tiny dollop of sour cream and sliced green onions, then serve!

Notes

*the sodium content listed below includes the salt added to the boiling water, most of which is discarded when the potatoes are drained.

Nutrition

Serving: 4potatoes | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 1171mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Loaded Smashed Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Baby potatoes in a pot with water

Place 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Also add 2 tsp salt to the water to season the potatoes as they cook. Place a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are very tender (test with a fork). Drain the potatoes in a colander.

Olive oil and everything bagel seasoning in a bowl

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ Tbsp everything bagel seasoning in a small bowl.

boiled potatoes on the baking sheet being smashed with a glass

Transfer the drained potatoes to the baking sheet and use a heavy-bottomed glass to smash them until they’re sort of flattened.

Seasoned oil being brushed over the smashed potatoes

Brush the oil and seasoning over the surface of the smashed potatoes.

Baked smashed potatoes being topped with cheese

Bake the smashed potatoes in the preheated 425ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and crispy on the edges. Then remove them from the oven and top with shredded cheese (about 1 cup total). Return them to the oven for a few more minutes to melt the cheese.

Final smashed potatoes topped with sour cream and green onion

Once the cheese is melted, remove them from the oven again and top each potato with a tiny dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle sliced green onions over top.

loaded smashed potatoes on a plate with a chicken drumstick

The post Loaded Smashed Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Citrusy Chicken Breasts & Crispy Potatoes Worth Firing Up the Grill For

We’ve partnered with Imagery Wine Collection—a portfolio of unique, artistically inspired wines—to share a summer-ready grilled chicken recipe from Adrianna Guevara Adarme (aka A Cozy Kitchen) that doubles as a delicious next-day chicken salad tartine….

We’ve partnered with Imagery Wine Collection—a portfolio of unique, artistically inspired wines—to share a summer-ready grilled chicken recipe from Adrianna Guevara Adarme (aka A Cozy Kitchen) that doubles as a delicious next-day chicken salad tartine.


If you ask me, there’s no better way to revel in the warm weather than by firing up the grill. One of my favorite grilled recipes to make during the summer months: juicy, citrusy grilled chicken breasts served with a side of golden-crisp grilled potatoes, plus a glass of wine (my go-to is Imagery Wine Collection).

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This Is the Only Way to Store Sweet Potatoes

Oh sweet potato, oh sweet potato, how lovely is your orange flesh, fibrous skin, and bright, slightly earthy flavor. We could go on and on with a list about our favorite uses for sweet potatoes (in fact, we already have!), but today we are just here to…

Oh sweet potato, oh sweet potato, how lovely is your orange flesh, fibrous skin, and bright, slightly earthy flavor. We could go on and on with a list about our favorite uses for sweet potatoes (in fact, we already have!), but today we are just here to talk about how to shop for and store sweet potatoes. Most root vegetables like raw sweet potatoes, carrots, and hearty winter squashes have a pretty long shelf life. As a rule of thumb, most raw root vegetables can be stored at room temperature for at least a week or two before they show any signs of bruising and spoiling. There are at least five different varieties of sweet potatoes, and they can all be stored the same way. The key is to start with very fresh sweet potatoes purchased from the grocery store or farmers market. They should be firm to the touch and free of decay, according to the United States Sweet Potato Council (yes, this is a very real, very wonderful organization).

How to Store Sweet Potatoes

The best way to store your sweet potatoes is in a cool, dry, and dark area, like your pantry or the back corner on your kitchen countertop. Keep them in a bowl or basket so that they’re self-contained, and always thoroughly wash and scrub their skin before you cook them. Don’t store potatoes of any variety in the refrigerator, as the cold air can activate their sugars and starches, causing them to spoil faster. A simple sign of this structural change is when tiny white specks appear in raw sweet potatoes. Store them away from a heat source, too, per the U.S. Sweet Potato Council. And while you shouldn’t put sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, you can, surprisingly, freeze sweet potatoes. Frozen sweet potatoes may be stored for up to 12 months. You must start with cooked sweet potatoes, which should be peeled and boiled. Once a fork can easily pierce their flesh, slice or mash the cooked sweet potatoes and top them off with a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice, which will preserve their vibrant orange color. Place the potatoes in the freezer in plastic bags and lay them flat.

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