We obviously love to cook (hello, every Ina Garten recipe ever), but sometimes it can honestly be hard to get a full, satisfying meal on the table. There are some nights when have enough time to make the chicken, but an actual side dish? Fuggedaboutit. That’s why there are certain items we end up buying premade from the grocery store, from bagged salads (they can be legitimately delicious) to microwaveable mashed potatoes. And before you knock that last one, hear us out! These pre-cooked mashed potatoes save a ton of time, and they’re definitely closer to the real thing than the dried flaked stuff. But if they still don’t quite hit the mark for you, then The Kitchen‘s Sunny Anderson’s three-ingredient storebought mashed potatoes hack is about to come to the rescue.
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The key to this dish is building upon the flavors of your standard grocery store mashed potatoes (like Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes). They’ll be in the refrigerated prepared foods section. Anderson opts for garlic mashed potatoes, which already have a kickstart on that craveable homestyle flavor we’re looking for.
But to make them really special, instead of microwaving the potatoes, she adds them to a pot filled with melted butter and grated fresh garlic. The mashed potatoes reheat in the warm butter, getting creamy and luscious, while the freshly grated garlic adds a big kick of flavor.
To serve, Anderson sprinkles the top of the potatoes with chopped scallions, which brings a hint of freshness to an otherwise decadent side dish.
Heating up the butter and potatoes only takes a couple of minutes, compared to the total time suck of making mashed potatoes (peeling, chopping, boiling, mashing) from scratch, but it has almost the same depth of rich flavor. Considering just how much time it saves you, we think Anderson’s store bought mashed potatoes hack is right on the money.
You can play with the additions, too. Crumbled bacon would definitely be a treat in this recipe, and we’d never say no to adding some shredded Gruyere to the mix. Or, you could take a page out of Bobby Flay’s book (after all, Anderson has made her love for Flay well known by sporting socks with his face on it, among other things) and add green chiles and queso for a satisfying southwestern take. Anyway you mix it, we’re totally feeling inspired by Anderson’s store bought mashed potato upgrades.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: A 5-Ingredient Grilled Pizza That’s Easier Than Ordering Takeout