8 Exciting Ways to Prepare Your Potatoes on Thanksgiving

Potatoes are the cornerstone of a successful Thanksgiving feast, but these root vegetables have so much more potential than their simple mashed variety, as delicious as that may be. The mild taste and malleable texture of the potato can be transformed into a fabulous variety of holiday side dishes, tending to be paired with cheesy and creamy accompaniments for an indulgent taste worthy of any holiday spread.

Impress guests at this year’s holiday feast with these eight innovative potato recipes.

1. Duck Fat-Potato Galette With Caraway and Sweet Onions

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Indulgent doesn’t even begin to describe Bon Appétit’s creamy potato galette, which is laced with rich rendered duck fat (bacon fat may be substituted), pungent caraway seeds, and sweet onions. The dish offers a perfect balance of distinctive flavors and a smoothy, creamy texture. To make it a vegetarian-friendly option, simply substitute olive oil in for animal fat. Recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rendered duck or bacon fat, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ⅛-inch-thick slices with a mandoline or V-slicer
  • 1 small sweet onion, very thinly sliced

Directions: Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet with butter; set springform ring on top.

Toast caraway in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool. Place in a resealable plastic bag; crush with a rolling pin or bottom of a skillet. Place in a large bowl. Add duck fat, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add potatoes; toss to coat.

Arrange ¼ of potatoes in an even layer inside ring on baking sheet, overlapping as needed. Toss onion in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Arrange ⅓ of onion over potatoes. Repeat layers twice more, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Carefully remove ring.

Bake until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Bake until edges of potatoes are deep golden and top is crisp, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Run a thin spatula under galette to loosen from foil. Slide onto a platter. Season with salt, if desired.

2. Mushroom-Provolone Potato Gratin

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Thinly sliced Russet potatoes are a wonderful match for melted provolone cheese and meaty portobello mushrooms in Garnish With Lemon’s exquisite potato gratin. She warns readers not to use Yukon Golds in this recipe, as their high water content will compromise the texture of the dish. The comforting gratin is topped with cream and Parmesan, with all ingredients then being baked to perfection. The recipe takes an hour to complete and yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium Russet potatoes, sliced thinly (⅛-inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced portabello mushrooms
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an oval baking dish lightly with cooking spray and set aside.

Peel potatoes and cut into ⅛-inch thin slices and place in a large bowl.

In a small skillet, add olive oil and mushrooms and heat on medium for 5 to 6 minutes to let mushrooms release moisture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat cream, thyme and garlic over low heat until warm but not boiling, and pour over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir gently to coat.

Spoon a third of the potato and cream mixture into prepared dish and arrange so potatoes are evenly distributed. Add ⅓ of the mushrooms and cover with two slices of provolone cheese. Repeat process two more times, finishing with mushrooms and cheese. Pour extra cream left in bowl over top.

Using a spatula, press down to compact layers and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, but leave one corner vented to release steam. Bake for 45 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

3. Oven-Roasted Garlic Ranch Potatoes

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Roasted potatoes are a delectable, if simple, Thanksgiving offering. Try bolstering the flavors of the dish with ranch seasonings and freshly minced garlic this year with a variation on the recipe from Damn Delicious, who recommends that meat eaters add a hint of distinctive flavor to the dish with crispy bacon bits. Recipe takes 40 minutes to complete and makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds baby Dutch potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-ounce) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Place potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic, and Ranch Seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.

Place into oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Stir in butter until melted, about 1 minute. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

4. Scalloped Gruyere Potatoes With Parmesan Crust

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Swiss gruyere cheese lends this dish from Two Peas and Their Pod its distinctive and refined flavor, while cheddar, cream, butter, and an irresistibly crispy Parmesan-infused crust take it to new and heavenly heights. It’s a must-try side dish that everyone will crave, making it the ideal addition to this year’s Thanksgiving spread. The recipe takes an hour to complete and yields a generous 8 to 10 servings.

Ingredients:

Potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes, sliced into ⅛-inch slices
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Parmesan Panko topping

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent and softened. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in the cream and vegetable broth. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender. Poke with a fork to check. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer half of the potatoes and cream mixture to a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle half of the cheeses evenly over the potatoes. Layer the rest of the potatoes over the cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the second layer of potatoes.

For the Parmesan Panko topping – In a small bowl, combine melted butter, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Sprinkle topping over the potatoes.

Bake potatoes until bubbly and the top begins to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

5. Pan-Fried Fingerling Potatoes With Leek

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Elegant, delicious, and easy, these fried fingerlings with leek are a great way to satisfy Thanksgiving guests without requiring intensive effort or attention in the kitchen. Leaving the skin on these potatoes will help create that beautifully crisped exterior — complementing the splendidly softened interior — all resulting from a quick and easy pan-frying process. Keep in mind that these potatoes can be made vegan by replacing butter with additional olive oil. Daring Gourmet’s recipe takes just 20 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed and boiled in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes until just barely softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, sliced and thoroughly washed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions: Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the leek until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a rapid boil, and boil for 2 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the butter and olive oil to the same skillet and heat over medium-high. Once hot, add the potatoes and fry until browned on all sides. This will take several minutes. Don’t turn the potatoes over too frequently, to prevent the skins from coming loose. Return the leek to the potatoes and stir to combine and heat through.

Transfer the potatoes to a warmed serving platter and serve immediately garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

6. Pommes Anna

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Treat your guests with this deceptively simple dish from Bakers Royale, which requires just four basic ingredients. Slicing your potatoes as thinly as possible before baking them will result in a delightfully buttery crisp. Although a traditional French Pommes Anna dish consists of potatoes served in a larger, cake-sized form, serving individual versions of the dish will make for a more convenient and aesthetically appealing addition to the dinner table. This recipe yields 12 miniature servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-pound) bag of petite Yukon gold potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions: Prehead oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and peel potatoes. Slice potatoes as thin as you can with a knife or use vegetable peeler to get paper-thin slices. Place sliced potatoes in a bowl and toss with melted butter. Start in the center and form the first layer by overlapping each slice in a circular pattern. Lightly sprinkle layer with salt and pepper. Arrange second layer working in the opposite direction of the first. Lightly sprinkle layer with salt and pepper. Continue layering potatoes in opposite directions, sprinkling with salt and pepper along the way until pan wells are filled to the top.

Cover top of pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about another 15 minutes until edges start to turn golden brown. To remove, cover the top of pan with foil and turn it upside down onto the foil. Tilt the pan with one corner and carefully lift a small opening of foil in the opposite corner to drain any excess butter. Transfer released Mini Pommes Anna to platter and serve.

7. Potato, Brie, and Bacon Tartiflette

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In another rustic dish from the French tradition, this potato, brie, and bacon tartiflette from Girl Cooks World contains a variety of elegant flavors. Tartiflette customarily consists of reblochon cheese, but we hardly think your guests will miss it as they feast on mild, gooey brie. Rendered bacon fat adds to the indulgence of the dish, while white wine adds its own subtle character to the mix. Recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ pound thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound wheel brie
  • Chopped parsley (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until a paring knife can pierce the potatoes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes into a ½- to ¾-inch dice and set aside.

In a very large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the bacon and cook until the bacon and onion are both browned. Add the potatoes, the wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the mixture from the heat. Place half of the mixture in a large, ovenproof dish. Cut the cheese in half horizontally, so that you have two identical rounds, each with one side of the rind.

Cut the wheels into several wedges. Scatter half of the cheese on top of the potato layer, rind side up. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture and the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, scatter with parsley, if using, and serve hot.

8. Pesto-Parmesan Potato Swirls

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Melding your potatoes with pesto and Parmesan cheese is a wonderful — yet simple — departure from mashed potatoes in their traditional form. The Cafe Sucre Farine adds a literal twist to these Pesto-Parmesan potatoes by presenting them in a swirled form. The dish can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen, if wrapped correctly. Recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons pesto, extra for drizzling
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to thin pesto for drizzling

Directions: Place potatoes in a medium-large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and return to pot.

Add butter, sea salt, and milk (start with 2 to 3 tablespoons) and mash with a potato masher till smooth and fluffy. Stir in Parmesan and pesto. Add more milk as needed — the amount will be determined by the density of your potatoes. Also, for swirling, you want the mashed potatoes fairly loose but not runny.

Butter 8 to 10 small dishes or ramekins. Insert a large star tip into a medium-size decorating bag (available at craft stores, kitchen stores and grocery stores in the cake decorating section). Alternatively, cut a small snip off of the corner of a large heavy-duty ziptop plastic bag and insert a large star decorator tip.

Place the bag with the tip inserted into a deep, narrow bowl with tip end down. Folding top edges over the rim of the bowl, fill bag about ¾ full with potatoes. Twist the top of the bag a few times to enclose potatoes and pipe into small bowls as equally as possible. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through and just starting to brown. Combine 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon of pesto. Drizzle swirls with the pesto mixture. Serve immediately.