Canned Potatoes Are Your Pantry’s Best-Kept Secret

Some folks have charming memories of baking cakes or pickling cucumbers with a grandparent while hearing generations-old family lore. When I was a kid, though, there was nothing I loved more than rushing into my Kentucky grandma's house, grabbing a can of Del Monte Fresh Cut Whole New Potatoes from the pantry, and popping taters into my mouth straight from the can while she taught me blackjack at her cramped Formica kitchen table.

And while neither my blackjack game nor affection for canned potatoes has wavered, in adulthood, I've found new ways to consume the spuds. Canned potatoes are a secret workhorse in my kitchen, replacing the homemade version on nights when I just don't have time to peel and boil Yukon Golds. They're inexpensive (both whole and sliced Happy Harvest Canned Potatoes, which are solid, clock in at less than 50 cents a can), hold their shape and texture well, and are shelf-stable for years. (Whether you prefer them pre-sliced or want to dice up the whole canned potatoes, they do tend to be slightly salty thanks to their preserved status, so take that into account when seasoning your dishes.) Always drain your canned potatoes well and pat dry before using, particularly if you're frying, in order to ensure there are no mushy textural complications.

Now grab your can opener and try out these canned spud-forward recipes next time you're craving something starchy (and that trusty bag of Russets that's been lingering around for weeks has sprouted). Who knows? You might become a canned potato convert.

Spice Up Canned Potatoes In The Skillet


There are few things more rewarding than sipping a big mug of piping-hot, milky coffee while sizzling up fried potatoes in the cast-iron on a Saturday morning, and with the ease of canned potatoes, you could probably pull off this simple, satisfying meal before the caffeine even hits.

Rough chop canned white potatoes, pat until completely dry, and sprinkle with your signature seasoning. (I like to add a little kick of cayenne for extra pep.) Drizzle a neutral oil in your skillet over medium-high heat, and when the oil begins to glisten, drop in your potatoes, then fry until golden on the outside, turning frequently. Since canned potatoes are particularly tender, you'll generally get the crispy-outside-fluffy-inside combo that makes these skillet spuds such a crowd pleaser.

Want to make it into a one-pan meal? Add in chopped ham and eggs for a yee-haw-worthy cowboy potato hash.

Crisp Your Canned Potatoes Using An Air Fryer


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? Cooking - AShamaluevMusic

Yet another fine example of "TikTok made me do it" (and it turned out great): crisping up whole canned potatoes in the air fryer. While the viral video simply opts to add drained, whole canned potatoes to the air fryer basket and shake a healthy dose of garlic salt on top, I like to season mine with a more robust blend of dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano in addition to a dash of garlic salt and onion powder. Cook the potatoes at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (closer to 35 or 40 if you want them extra-crispy), shaking the fryer basket halfway through to ensure each potato gets evenly crunchy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth creamy on the inside.

Canned Potatoes = Easy, No-Cook Potato Salad

It's happened to all of us: You committed weeks ago to bring a side dish for the end-of-summer potluck or book club picnic, but until the morning of the event, the culinary commitment completely slipped your mind. Have no fear: Canned potatoes help you whip up an impressive, crowd-pleasing potato salad without even turning on the stove. Simply dice up your canned potatoes and sub them into your go-to mayonnaise-based recipe or opt for one of my favorite potluck dishes: a warm, German-style version of potato salad in which slivers of potato are perfectly coated in tangy apple cider, bacon, and onions.

Quick, Chunky (Canned Potato) Chowder


One of the most painstaking parts of whipping up any high-quality homemade chowder that involves potatoes is, well, the prep. Boiling, peeling, cooling, and chopping potatoes typically takes a lot of precious time—particularly on busy weeknights. By adding canned spuds to your cold weather quiver this winter, though, you've found a shortcut for any chowder or creamy potato soup. Use them in whatever way the recipe calls for and reap the soul-warming rewards on crisp nights. I'm particularly fond of this hearty, rich ham and potato chowder.

Get Cheesy with Canned Scalloped Potatoes

Homemade Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes always deliver plenty of "oohs" and "ahhs" when they emerge bubbling-hot from the oven around the holidays, but use sliced canned potatoes, and the show-stopper can feasibly become a regular in your dinnertime rotation. Whether you're devoted to Julia Childs' classic version or want to use the canned, sliced scalloped potatoes as a topping for hearty cottage pie, you'll never go back to slicing the spuds yourself again.