11 Ways to Make Potatoes the Star of Your Meal

By: Foodlets
FNM090110WeekendDinners046.PSD

FNM090110WeekendDinners046.PSD

Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop stylist: Marina Malchin

©Con Poulous, 2010, All Rights Reserved.

Con Poulous, 2010, All Rights Reserved.

Inexpensive, easy to store and totally reliable in the flavor department, potatoes are hard to beat. From go-to breakfast plates to appetizers, entrees and side dishes, check out these surefire recipes for staple spuds.

Light and pillowy, potato-based gnocchi take the place of noodles in this hearty Italian dinner. Get the step-by-step how-to from Food Network Magazine.

Who knew you could transform a humble bag of potatoes, a carton of chicken broth and a couple of onions into the creamiest soup of the season? (Shout out to your slow cooker for politely doing the work for you, all day long.)

Looking for the definitive version of a classic? Food Network Kitchen’s extra-creamy side requires only a handful of ingredients to make magic on a plate.

This is the fish recipe for every person who thinks they don’t like fish. I learned the technique when my family lived in Rome. Our friend invited us to lunch at his childhood nanny’s home on the Mediterranean Sea, and this is what she served us. Even for my husband who isn’t big on seafood, it’s a favorite to this day.

Food Network Kitchen's Sweet Potato Skins for Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Not only are these cheese-stuffed potato skins shockingly healthy, but they allow for double-duty meal prep. “Mash up the leftover scooped-out sweet potatoes and add them to a cheese quesadilla or regular twice-baked potatoes for a marbled effect,” note the chefs in Food Network Kitchen.

THE ULTIMATE STUFFED POTATO Tyler Florence Tyler’s Ultimate/Ultimate Surf n’ Turf Food Network Idaho Potatoes, Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Butter, Allpurpose Flour, Milk, Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Broccoli, Bacon, Chives, Pepper

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

While traditional baked potatoes are a tried-and-true side, you can turn them into the main dish by stuffing them with hearty, satisfying ingredients. Tyler Florence’s recipe brings together a rich cheese sauce studded with bacon and broccoli.

Food Network Breakfast Casserole

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

Start with cooked red potatoes to bulk up this cheesy, egg-sausage casserole.

When I was a kid, I always scanned the school lunch menu for anything “a la king.” It was my favorite: turkey a la king, pork a la king. I’d take any of them so long as they had the creamy sauce. This simple version starring mashed potatoes is easy to make and hits the spot every time.

Ree-Drummond-Twice-Baked-Potatoes

Ree-Drummond-Twice-Baked-Potatoes

My mother-in-law makes these for special family meals — because my kids beg her to. And with a cup of bacon, a cup of sour cream and a cup of cheese involved, who can blame them?

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Giada De Laurentiis doesn’t stop with mashed potatoes. Instead, she adds two kinds of cheese before baking the whole dish to a golden brown. The bread crumbs on top add a crispy texture, so don’t skimp on those.

This is the side dish I reach for when it’s already 5 p.m. and I haven’t started dinner yet. These potato wedges are a cinch to make and full of fresh flavor, and kids love the crispy-yet-tender results.

Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids. She blogs about food and parenting at Foodlets.com, where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested 4x.

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