Potatoes are incredibly versatile and universally loved, making them the perfect ingredient for a plethora of delicious side dishes. In many cases, these potato-based sides can even steal the show from the main course, impressing with their flavors, textures, and overall culinary appeal.
Whether you’re a fan of classic comfort food or looking for something a little more gourmet, there’s a potato side dish out there for you. Here are six potato side dishes that are so good, they might just overshadow the main course.
1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Why You’ll Love It: Creamy, rich, and full of flavor, garlic mashed potatoes are a classic side that pairs well with just about any main dish. The key to making them irresistible is using real butter, cream, and plenty of roasted garlic. The result is a velvety-smooth, deeply flavorful dish that is comforting and satisfying.
Perfect Pairings: Roasted meats like chicken, beef, or lamb; grilled vegetables.
Pro Tip: For an extra creamy texture, use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes before adding your butter and cream.
2. Crispy Hasselback Potatoes
Why You’ll Love It: Hasselback potatoes offer the best of both worlds: the outside is crispy and golden, while the inside remains tender and fluffy. Thinly slicing the potatoes almost all the way through allows the edges to crisp up beautifully while the inside cooks to perfection.
Perfect Pairings: These potatoes are versatile enough to accompany a hearty steak, a delicate fish fillet, or even a vegetarian main course.
Pro Tip: Brush the potatoes with a mixture of melted butter and herbs halfway through baking for extra flavor and crispiness.
3. Potato Gratin
Why You’ll Love It: Potato gratin, or Dauphinoise potatoes, is a luxurious side dish that combines thinly sliced potatoes with cream, cheese, and a hint of garlic. Baked until golden and bubbly, this dish is decadent and indulgent.
Perfect Pairings: Potato gratin is rich, so it pairs well with simpler main courses like grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.
Pro Tip: Use a mandoline slicer to get uniformly thin potato slices for even cooking.
4. Twice-Baked Potatoes
Why You’ll Love It: Twice-baked potatoes are first baked in their skins, then scooped out, mixed with ingredients like cheese, sour cream, and chives, and baked again until golden. They are a crowd-pleaser, combining the comforting goodness of baked potatoes with the richness of mashed potatoes.
Perfect Pairings: These are great with barbecued meats, burgers, or as a stand-alone dish for a light meal.
Pro Tip: For an extra-crispy skin, rub the outside of the potato with olive oil and a little salt before the first bake.
5. Sweet Potato Fries
Why You’ll Love It: A healthier alternative to traditional fries, sweet potato fries are packed with flavor and nutrients. When baked or air-fried, they become wonderfully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Perfect Pairings: They go well with almost anything – burgers, sandwiches, grilled meats, or as a snack with a tasty dipping sauce.
Pro Tip: For extra crispy fries, soak the cut sweet potatoes in water for an hour to remove excess starch before baking.
6. Loaded Potato Skins
Why You’ll Love It: Loaded potato skins are a fun and flavorful side dish. The skins are baked until crispy, then filled with a combination of cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions. They’re perfect for when you want something a bit indulgent.
Perfect Pairings: Serve as an appetizer, with a light main course, or during a game day gathering.
Pro Tip: Scoop out enough potato to leave a thin layer inside the skins so they maintain their shape and have a nice balance of crispy skin and fluffy potato.
Potatoes, with their incredible versatility and universally beloved taste, can easily become the star of any meal. These six side dishes showcase just how impressive potatoes can be, often threatening to overshadow the main course with their delicious flavors and textures.
Whether you’re looking for something classic and comforting or a dish that’s a bit more gourmet, potatoes have got you covered. So next time you’re planning a meal, consider giving potatoes a starring role on your plate – you might just find your new favorite dish.