How To: 4 Tasty Reasons to Not Throw Away Your Potato Skins

4 Tasty Reasons to Not Throw Away Your Potato Skins

Potato peels are largely misunderstood creatures. They're shucked away from every mashed potato dish like some icky rag that has no business in your kitchen. PS: Quit it. By ditching the peels, you're not only missing out on fiber and large amounts of potassium (even more than a banana), you're tossing the potential for chewy, crunchy finger food. So the next time you're left with a plate of scraps, here are four tasty reasons to hold onto them.

Nacho Boats

When you're making mashed potatoes, save the skins and turn them into nacho boats. This is also a great way to use up extra cheese and ground beef, too. Here, I used the leftover meat sauce from a pasta dish and shredded cheese from yesterday's Taco Tuesday.

You'll Need:

  • 1 potato
  • ½ cup of ground beef or refried beans
  • ¼ cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
  • Hot sauce

How to Make It:

  1. Wash the outside of the potato thoroughly.
  2. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 400°F (no aluminum foil cover is necessary; the skins get crispier without it).
  3. Let it cool for 5 minutes before cutting potato in half lengthwise.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop out the potato flesh from inside each half (set aside for mashed potatoes).
  5. Place ground beef inside hollowed-out potato, then top with cheese.
  6. Place back in the oven at 400°F for 8 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle with hot sauce (we used Sriracha).

Potato Crisps

A tasty snack that requires nearly zero effort, these potato skin crisps have a lighter texture than your average potato chips but manage to hold the same toasty flavor as French fries.

You'll Need:

  • Leftover raw potato skins
  • Salt, ground pepper, or preferred seasonings

How to Make It:

  1. Tear potato skins into smaller chunks.
  2. Season if desired.
  3. Place in oven for 10 minutes at 400°F.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Enjoy as is or with a dip.

Potato Croutons

Just like you can with stale bagels, use potato skins to spruce up soup when you don't have croutons on deck. These add a much-needed hit of texture and crunch, and they're high in nutrition, too.

You'll Need:

  • Leftover potato skins
  • Pepper

How to Make It:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above for Potato Crisps.
  2. After letting it cool, crunch up into tiny bits and sprinkle over soup.

Potato Skin Sandwiches

This isn't quite like stuffing a meaty sandwich with thick kettle chips, but it's the next best thing. For this tip, you bake potatoes and scoop out the flesh like for the Nacho Boats above. Then you coat them with olive oil or butter and your favorite seasonings and continue baking the skins on both sides until crispy. Next, you layer them inside a hearty sandwich and enjoy.

Image via Bite Me More

Get the full recipe from the folks over at Bite Me More for bacon, cheese, and potato skin sandwiches. You could even ditch the bread and use the potato skins as the top/bottom of your sandwich, if they're big enough.

Helpful Potato Hack

According to the internet, here's the fastest way to peel an entire bag of potatoes under one minute. Power tools not included.

More Leftover Inspiration

Peek our guide to transforming leftover pizza. Don't blame us if you have a sudden urge for pizza waffles. Have leftover fries? Here's how to make them taste good as new.

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Photos by Charisma Madarang/Food Hacks (unless otherwise specified)

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