If you want to be the hero of Thanksgiving dinner, volunteer to bring everybody’s favorite guilty pleasure side dish — potatoes. Stick with a traditional version, go sweet, or get wild, the only rule is don’t screw ‘em up. Which is harder than it sounds — mashed potatoes may seem simple, but all it takes is one too many lumps or not enough salt and you have a dish of lumpy, bland mashed potatoes on the table and no one wants seconds. (If you want to make mashed potatoes without a recipe, here you go.)
Aside from just being plain delicious if done right, potatoes, whether savory or sweet, serve an important purpose on the Thanksgiving plate. They’re essentially the glue that allows you to make that one dreamy bite of turkey, cranberry sauce, and green beans by holding all of those things together on your fork. Took too much gravy? No problem, the mashed potatoes will soak it up.
One more important purpose of potatoes — even the pickiest of eaters will indulge in them and fill them up. Your 5 year-old-niece who only eats white foods won’t be able to resist mashed or they’ll be tempted by the tiny marshmallows atop the sweet potatoes. Mom, Dad and host will be equally happy. To ensure success of this crucial Thanksgiving linchpin, follow one of these recipes for perfect potatoes no matter how you prepare them.