I’ve heard a lot of folks complain over the years that they never know how many spaghetti noodles to cook when making pasta.
A friend of mine literally just throws in an entire box every time she makes spaghetti and ends up with leftovers that last forever.
That hasn’t been an issue for me, now that I figured out how to use the holes on my spaghetti server to measure it out, but I still have a major portion control problem for another dish: mashed potatoes.
I never know how many potatoes to toss into the pot when I make mashed potatoes. It doesn’t matter if I’m just making them for Joey and myself or a crowd, I never manage to make the amount I need. Instead, I end up with loads and loads of leftovers.
For Christmas this year, Joey and I cooked enough food for a small army when we had his folks and aunt over to our house to celebrate the holiday. When we were all finished feasting, the serving plates all still looked full—especially my big bowl of mashed potatoes.
Over the years, I have transformed leftover taters into everything from fried potato cakes to potato soup, but this week, I tried something completely different that I absolutely have to share with you.
This recipe comes from “Taste of Home” magazine, and you can find the original recipe on their website at https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheesy-mashed-potatoes/. I added garlic and onion powder to my version, and of course, I used leftover mashed potatoes instead of making some fresh for this dish, but you can do it either way.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- 6 large potatoes cut into one-inch pieces
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese plus more for topping
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 6 to 8 cloves minced garlic
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil your potatoes until they are fork tender, drain them, and then mash with a potato masher until nice and fluffy. (Or skip this step if you already made mashed potatoes and are using leftovers. Just heat them up in the microwave.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a two-quart baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
- Stir the rest of the ingredients into the potatoes until everything is well combined.
- Spread the mixture into your prepared dish, cover it with an oven-safe lid or aluminum foil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the dish is heated through and the potatoes are a little browned around the edges.
- Top with more cheese, and if desired, pop it under the broiler for a couple minutes, uncovered, until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Serve while it’s nice and hot.
I mixed this up for our New Year’s Eve meal, and it was like I made a completely new dish, even though it started with leftovers. These were phenomenal with tons of cheesy flavor, and the added garlic was awesome.
Also, since we ended up with leftovers of these, I can tell you they reheat really well, and they go nicely with leftover ham, too.
Unfortunately, this probably hasn’t taught me any lessons about overdoing it with my mashed potatoes in the future, especially since I can’t say no to cheese, but at least it makes our leftovers a little less boring.
Now, if we can figure out what to do with my friend’s spaghetti problems, we’ll be in business.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 7, 2021.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.