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If you are an average joe with no culinary training, finding the right food combinations can be difficult. Thankfully, mashed potatoes are basically universal when it comes to using them as a side dish. This creamy and buttery dish goes well with almost any food. But you can still be puzzled when you are planning a dinner and not sure what to do.
Almost all dishes cooked with meat like beef, ham, and pork get along with mashed potatoes. Then there is the classic combination of turkey and mashed potato. Chicken and fish dishes also become fantastic with mashed potatoes on the side.
There are basically hundreds of dishes to choose from when you are picking the main course for your mashed potatoes. But, in this article, I will talk about 15 foods that complement mashed potatoes the best. You’ll also learn why this side dish pairs so nicely with so many other dishes. So, let’s get started!
15 Foods That Go Well With Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are arguably the most popular and classic side dish all over the world. If you’re making a dish and can’t decide which side dish to serve with it, mashed potatoes are the way to go.
So, here are examples of some foods and dishes that make great pairings with mashed potatoes.
Without a whole roasted turkey, Thanksgiving dinners are incomplete. In the United States, most people prefer having turkeys with mashed potatoes. Roasted turkeys can be a little dry as they are cooked for so long.
The creamy texture of mashed potatoes helps balance out the dryness of the turkey, which your guests will surely love. If you are cooking turkey patties, you can pair them with mashed potatoes as well.
2. Fried Chicken
Apart from turkey, chicken dishes, especially fried chicken, go really well with mashed potatoes. Fried chickens tend to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Fried chicken is delicious on its own, but pairing it with the right side dish can take it to a whole new level.
With mashed potatoes, the juicy chicken takes on even more flavor. The buttery potatoes along with the crunchy fried chicken will surely please your taste buds.
3. Roasted Chicken
Are you craving some roasted chicken breasts? The chicken should be properly marinated and roasted till golden brown. A creamy side dish, such as mashed potatoes, will definitely complement your crispy yet tender chicken.
Also, if you do not have a roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, you can replace it with a roasted chicken. There are many more roasted chicken recipes you should try with mashed potatoes. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to chicken, you can never go wrong with mashed potatoes as a side dish!
4. Pork Chops
There’s no denying that grilled pork chops are delicious. However, the texture of the pork meat might seem a bit dry for you. Thus, you’ll want something creamy to go with it. You should also choose a dish that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the pork chops. Not sure about the side? Mashed potatoes to the rescue!
Its smooth and silky texture evens out the dryness of the pork chops. Pork chops and mashed potatoes make a delicious meal. If you want to add some nutritional value to it, add some boiled veggies on the side and serve right away.
5. Grilled Beef Steak
Beef is full of protein. Based on how you cook, grill, or fry them, they can be either dry or succulent. But, when it comes to choosing a beef dish that goes well with mashed potatoes, beef steaks will be your best bet.
One of my friends gave me the recipe for her Grilled T-Bone Steak sided with sweet potato mash and Kimchi. The meal combines a wide range of flavors and nutrients. It might become a dinner staple once you try it.
Grilled T-Bone is kind of a paradox. The meat is delicate and juicy close to the bone, but on the edge, they are robust and flavorful. The grilled beef meat has a powerful savory taste to it that can be tuned with something sweet. Thus, you should prepare some sweet potato mash to serve along with it.
Not to mention, sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and nutrients. If you want some probiotics in your diet, you can make Kimchi as well. The rich flavor of the steak, buttery smooth and sweet potato smash, and the spicy and sour taste of Kimchi, create a divine meal when paired together.
6. Pot Roast
One of the best comfort foods you’ll ever eat is pot roast. This rich gravy meal, which includes wine and tomato sauce, can be made with either beef or ham. Pot roasts have a little caramelized flavor from being grilled for a long period of time, and mashed potatoes as a side dish will complement it perfectly.
Make sure to boil the potatoes instead of grilling them. The texture should be lump-free and as smooth as possible, so it can soak up the gravy of the roast. Given that pot roast takes hours to cook, you can prepare the mashed potatoes in the meantime. But, make sure to serve while it’s piping hot.
Another comfort food on this list is meatloaf. You can prepare meatloaf in many ways by adding ingredients of your choice. Given the dish is on the drier side, it is perfect for eating with creamy mashed potatoes.
The instant pot meatloaf recipe is super easy and less time-consuming because you will cook everything in one pot. You can use both ground beef and pork for this recipe. However, the trick is to combine both to give the dish a nice texture and flavor. Then you have to add all the essential ingredients with bread crumbs and cheese.
When the meatloaf and mashed potatoes are ready, pour the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf or eat them as a side dish. The combination of slightly crispy meatloaf and velvety potatoes will be interesting as well, to say the least. You will be able to taste almost all the flavors of meat, cheese, bread, sauce, and potatoes in one bite.
8. Corn Beef
Corn beef has always been one of the favorite dishes on my table on festive occasions. The salty, spicy, and tender dish is rich in flavor. Hence, plain, creamy mashed potatoes are just the best side dish to complement the taste of spicy corn beef dishes.
Making corn beef recipes from scratch is a lengthy process. But when you taste it after all the hard work, it will be worth it. You have to prepare your corn beef from beef brisket which is tender and succulent.
The dish combined with mashed potato is rich in protein, iron, and vitamins. However, you should limit your intake of these foods because they are high in fat and sodium.
9. Pork Roast
Pork roast with mashed potatoes is an amazing combination. Since the pork meat is a bit firm, the smooth and creamy mashed potatoes will make up for it.
Season the pork meat with coarse salt for taste and sprinkle some garlic powder on top. Then add some spices of your choice, like ground black paper. For more flavor, you can add cumin seed and ginger. Finally, you have to slow cook the dish in the oven at a low temperature.
When the dish is ready, serve it with some fluffy mashed potatoes on the side. You may also have some of your favorite gravy on top of the mashed potatoes.
10. Fish Cakes And Patties
Not only meat, but you can also try mashed potatoes with various fish recipes. There are many ways you can combine mashed potatoes with fish. My favorite fish dishes with mashed potatoes are fish cake and fish patties.
You can prepare your fish cake and patties with fish like salmon, trout, or cod. The taste of fish cakes is often mild, so having the buttery and tasty mashed potatoes adds a great taste to the dish.
You can also have mashed potatoes on the side of grilled or fried fish. Fish are very light, and mashed potatoes cover the lightness with their filling nature.
11. Sausage And Gravy
One of my favorite combinations is sausages, mashed potatoes, and some gravy on top. Preparing this dish is super easy. Thus, you can enjoy it as a quick yet tasty dinner whenever you have no time or energy to cook.
You can make the dish with your homemade sausages, or you can just buy some from the store. I make some onion gravy to spread on top of the fluffy mashed potatoes. The dish is also known as bratwurst in Germany. However, the German dish has a strong garlic flavor, and the sausages are often made of pork.
For more taste and nutrition, you may have kimchi as your second side dish. You can also chop some vegetables and boil them for more nutritious value. The smoky flavor of the grilled sausages with the gravy and mashed potatoes creates a delicate flavor. You should try eating sausages with mashed potatoes with cheese for a salty and milky taste.
Deliciously crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, meatballs are enough to bring water to the mouth just by looking at them. When you eat them with buttery and cheesy mashed potatoes, it will hit all the important taste buds of your mouth.
Meatballs are typically made of a mixture of ingredients like bread crumbs, eggs, onions, butter, and various species. They are also covered with sauce or creamy cheese. Hence, the taste of meatballs is slightly salty, spicy, and savory.
The smooth, creamy, and flavorful mashed potatoes are an impressive combination with the rich, juicy taste of the meatballs.
Yes, I have already talked about fish, but I want to talk about catfish separately because it gets a unique taste with mashed potatoes. Catfish fish has a sweet and mild taste. Their texture is moist yet firm.
Hence, it tastes excellent with the fluffy and creamy texture of mashed potatoes. Deep-fried catfish is the best dish to eat with mashed potatoes. It gets a crispy texture, which gives a fantastic taste with buttery mashed potatoes.
Having a party with friends and family? Why not serve them barbeques with yummy mashed potatoes? Be it chicken, fish, pork, or beef barbeque, all of them have a smoky and savory taste, which can be elevated with mashed potatoes.
Barbequed meats are extremely rich in flavor. You need a side dish to balance the flavor. Thus, mashed potatoes are one of the top choices as a side dish with barbecue. It is a starchy dish that evens the rich and smoky taste of barbeque.
15. Mashed Potatoes With Vegetables
The best thing about mashed potatoes is that the dish also goes well with vegetables. If you are short of meat or want to cut the meat, try some vegetables with mashed potatoes.
One of my favorite vegetable dishes with mashed potatoes is garlic mashed potatoes with sautéed green beans. You can also try eating mashed potatoes with other boiled or grilled vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, carrot, French beans, green peas, etc.
Why Do Mashed Potatoes Go Well With So Many Foods?
You may wonder what makes mashed potatoes the universal side dish that goes along with almost any food. Well, it is not actually that hard to understand. Mashed potatoes have a clean and absorbent nature. It absorbs the flavors of other food and combines them. It also adds flavor and texture to dry textured food.
Thus, it is perfect for richly flavored dishes and food that are pure protein. Besides, mashed potatoes are also great for a balanced meal. It contains fat and carbohydrates. These are essential for creating energy in your body. So, protein foods are served with mashed potatoes as the source of carbohydrates.
Tips For Making The Best Mashed Potatoes
The holidays are knocking at the door, and mashed potatoes are a must for joyous family dinners. But you are still struggling to make the right-textured and flavored mashed potatoes.
Making mashed potatoes may seem easy, but you have to know a few tricks to make them. Many people do not know how to make tasty mashed potatoes. As a result, they become frustrated while making them.
Here are some tips to help you make the best-mashed potatoes:
Use The Right Kind Of Potatoes
People who make mashed potatoes for the first time may get different kinds of tastes and textures because they do not know which potatoes are best for mashed potatoes. There are different types of potatoes. You need starchy potatoes to make mashed potatoes.
The potatoes have to be high in starch, low in moisture and have a fluffy inside. The best type is the Yukon Gold Potato. They do not get over-mashed and have a creamy texture.
Peel The Potatoes before Boiling
Wash the potatoes well and then peel the potatoes. After that, you should boil the potatoes. This way, you will get smooth and creamy textured mashed potatoes.
Some people boil the potatoes first and then peel them. Again, others may mash the potatoes with the skins on them. It may give some texture, but it can also be unhealthy.
Place The Potatoes On Cold Water To Avoid Discoloration
Do your potatoes get discolored while you are cutting them? The mashed potatoes will look bad for such discoloration.
So, after peeling the potatoes, put them in a bowl of cold water. It helps the potatoes to stay fresh and avoid getting discolored.
Cut The Potatoes In Large Pieces And Then Boil
When it is time to cut the potatoes, take a potato from the cold water and cut it into large pieces.
Do not cut the potatoes into small pieces. Water gets into small parts of the potatoes more, which affects the texture and taste of the mashed potatoes.
Do Not Use A Food Processor
There are many ways to mash the potatoes. But do not use a food processor. They will ruin the texture of the potatoes. Mashed potato tastes best when it has some chunkiness to it. Blending potatoes will give it a more fluid texture which can be very unappealing.
You can use a potato masher or even a fork. They will ensure that some of your potatoes are silky smooth while keeping some granules as well. Leaving some chunks for you to bite down which can produce a satisfying mouthfeel.
Do Not Let the Potatoes Get Cold
For a smooth and creamy texture, you have to mash the potatoes while they are still warm. It is not easy to mash cold potatoes, and the taste will not feel right.
Warm potatoes are softer and will easily crumble at the slightest pressure. But colder potatoes will not smoosh as easily. Leaving too many chunks. Which can also be a bad thing.