Elevate A Box Of Instant Mashed Potatoes With A Waffle Iron

Garnished mashed potato waffle
Garnished mashed potato waffle - numstheword / Instagram

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Waffle irons are a popular tool for creating restaurant-quality brunch foods you can enjoy without leaving your house, or even changing out of your pajamas. But did you know that they can make more than just the well-known sweet breakfast treat? A waffle iron is the countertop appliance you need to make everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to calzones in fun, unexpected ways. And it turns out one of those exciting twists involves instant mashed potatoes.

On their own, instant mashed potatoes aren't usually considered to be particularly tasty or inviting. The texture can be a bit off-putting and they can require a bit of doctoring to give them a satisfactory flavor. But grilling instant mashed potatoes in the waffle iron can transform those bland spuds into a fun, crunchy treat. Imagine crisp, golden potato waffles with the perfect grid of nooks and crannies for cradling melted butter and sour cream, topped with bacon bits, green onions, and shredded cheese. There's a good chance the flavor and texture evolution will change how you feel about the potential in a package of instant mashed potatoes.

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How To Make Waffles With Instant Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes in a waffle iron
Mashed potatoes in a waffle iron - eliade_sinnett / Instagram

Making potato waffles out of instant mashed potatoes is as easy as adding a couple of eggs and ¼ cup of flour to every 2 cups of potato mixture -- the eggs and flour create a binder that holds the instant mashed potatoes together. If you'd prefer your potato waffles to be less potato-y and more doughy, you can experiment with using more flour -- just make sure to add a bit more water so that the batter doesn't get too thick. After mixing in the eggs and flour, spoon about ½ cup of batter into a greased waffle iron set on a high temperature. Close the lid, and cook the waffles until they are done. You can also use pancake mix or Bisquick to act as the binder; start with 1 tablespoon per ¾ cup of potato flakes.

Properly cooked potato waffles should be golden brown and have a nice crust on the outside, so you'll want to cook them the same as you would regular waffles, which is usually about three to five minutes. Generally, that means keeping the lid closed until the steam stops, but it's always a good idea to consult your waffle iron's operating manual if you're not sure.

Tasty Add-Ins For Instant Mashed Potato Waffles

Waffle with fried eggs and bacon
Waffle with fried eggs and bacon - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

There are all sorts of additional ingredients that can elevate the flavor profile of your instant mashed potato waffles. Consider adding as much as ½ cup of your favorite shredded cheese directly to the batter -- it's safe to cook the two in a waffle iron together.  You can top the cheesy potato waffles with chopped chives and fresh sour cream, or you can add sour cream directly to the waffle batter: three tablespoons will be enough to give your potato waffles a noticeably creamy boost of flavor.

Once the mashed potato waffles are done, you can load them up with the aforementioned traditional baked potato toppings. Or, conversely, plain potato waffles are also very tasty smothered in a cheese sauce. They also make a fantastic substitute for hash browns at breakfast. If you make instant mashed potato waffles instead of the usual hash browns, go ahead and top those waffles with eggs any way you like them --  scrambled, poached, Sunnyside up, or one of a dozen other ways you can make eggs. And of course, don't forget the bacon. You can also serve mashed potato waffles as a side dish to everything from burgers to roast chicken or use them as the base for sweet-and-savory chicken and waffles. Versatile and easy to make, instant mashed potato waffles should find a welcome place at your table.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.