Insights

Your 101 Guide on How to Cook Potatoes

The humble potato, how do we love thee? Frankly, we love thee in all your forms, and there are just so many! Similar to onion and garlic, which hold myriad options in the kitchen, potatoes can be prepped and cooked in a number of ways. Boiled, sautéed, roasted, fried…the opportunities for the simple spud are endless. So, we’ve compiled some of our favorite methods—in much-loved Plated recipes, of course, to remind you just how special this starchy, tuberous crop really is.

Prep
One interesting factor about the potato is that the way in which it is cut really does make a difference to the end result. Consider the fry: the difference between home fries, French fries, and steak fries—it’s not only about the way they themselves are cooked, but also about the thinness and shape of the slicing.

Sliced

One of our favorite ways to use sliced potatoes is the classic French cooking technique, au gratin, which means, most commonly, baked with cheese and breadcrumbs in a sauce. In this recipe, we slice the potatoes into .25-inch rounds, par-bake them (partially baking means that we start the cooking process a little early so the starchy potatoes will be cooked through in the gratin), then layer them with roasted zucchini, cheese, and a Provençal tomato sauce.

Chopped

Cutting the potato into a dice makes for a smaller surface area and a quicker cook time. In a twist on breakfast for dinner, we’ve combined fennel, chopped potato, asparagus, and peas into a veggie-forward hash that accompanies homemade breakfast sausage.

Grated

It seems there are crispy potato pancakes in many different cultures, from Indian pakoras to Swedish raggmunk to the irresistible Jewish Hanukkah treat: the latka. Inspired by her family recipe, Chef Michelle created this version featuring grated potatoes combined with flour and egg, all fried to crisp perfection.

Boiled

Boiling potatoes is probably the easiest, most hands-off cooking method, as you simply drop them in a pot, cover with two inches of water, and boil away. Boiling potatoes makes for a nice soft inside, and is a great hearty addition to salads, like this salad Niçoise with crispy, melty Feta cheese. Boiled potatoes also keep well in the fridge for a few days, unlike other cooked potatoes.

Fried

Even though we usually prepare our fries in the oven, we definitely appreciate the super crunchy outside and soft inside of a fried potato. We’ve got even more latke recipes to hone those potato-frying chops…

Sautéed

Cooking potatoes in a pan makes for a nice crisp outside, and in this recipe for Brussels sprout home fries, we employ not one but two cooking methods: boiling and sautéing! Boil first, sauté later.

Baked/Roasted

We’ll let you in on a little secret: French ‘fries’ can be made just as delicious (and a little lighter), by baking. We love to oven-roast our Fries and find them perfectly crisp and not overly greasy. Pro tip: space them out on the baking sheet so they crisp instead of steam. We also bake our gratins, like this creamy kale and sweet potato version.

Mashed

We’re firm believers that few things are as comforting as mashed potato. First, we boil the potato until cooked, then add in some cheese, butter, and milk or cream, then mash until smooth. Who can resist?

Love experimenting in the kitchen? Try Plated!

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