While instant flaked spuds can be a bit boring at times, their ease of use and rapid readiness makes them incredibly tempting come dinnertime. Plus, there's something magical about watching the thin little flakes transform into thick, fluffy potatoes with just some milk, heat and stirring.
For nights when this boxed deliciousness is the only option, or if you don't have time to whip up yet another Thanksgiving side next week, prepping some simple extra ingredients to toss in with your insta-spuds is a great choice.
Mashed Potatoes image via Shutterstock
From shredded cheddar cheese to salty chunks of bacon, there are many options when it comes to upgrading your mashed potatoes. Read on for our suggestions and let us know how you spruce up your spuds in the comments section!
Cheese - Adding a rich cheese to instant mashed potatoes during the stirring process is a great way to introduce new flavors and add a bit more excitement. Shredded cheddar is the easiest and will add a brighter color, but nuttier cheeses like Gouda or raw milk cheese will add a new depth to your dish.
Herbs - A handful scallions or chives go a long way in a bowl of fresh mashed potatoes, and that fact does not change just because you're using the instant stuff. Chop of some herbs (both fresh and dry work) to fold into your tots for a fancier feel when eating.
Meat - Many would argue that bacon makes anything and everything taste better, and in our communal mind at What's Cookin', those many are right. Fry or bake up some bacon strips to stir into your pot for a bit more saltiness and an added textural element. This combo with cheese will remind you of deliciously stuffed baked potatoes.
Vegetables - Looking for a way to add some protein or fiber to your spuds? Add in some cruciferous vegetables that are chopped finely. Think of veggies like broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, or even arugula, which will add a nice peppery flavor.
Eggs - If you haven't caught on, we are fans of the "put an egg on it" trend. A softly scrambled egg or egg over easy is a perfect addition to instant potatoes as either will add both protein and creamy richness. Added bonus: instant potatoes with softly scrambled eggs are great come dental work or oral surgeries that prevent you from eating solid foods!