Plain instant mashed potatoes are a quick and easy way to add a carbohydrate to your meal. However, they do not always taste as nice as homemade mashed potatoes. Sometimes they are a bit like mashed paper with very little flavor. Luckily, there are a number of ways to make your plain instant mashed potatoes taste delicious.
Making instant mashed potatoes taste better can be as simple as adding a few seasonings. Some seasonings that taste good in instant mashed potatoes are onion salt, garlic salt, onion powder, onion salt and paprika. Just add a little to taste of whatever you have and/or like.
There are loads of vegetables that can be used to make your plain instant mashed potatoes taste better. Dice an onion, sauté it and add it to the potatoes if you like onion. Chives or scallions also taste good in instant mashed potatoes. Just slice them; there is no need to cook them before adding. Fresh garlic or fresh shallots also taste excellent in instant mashed potatoes. Simply dice your garlic and/or shallots, sauté them and mix them in with your potatoes.
It may sound odd, but there are a few meats that can be added to plain instant mashed potatoes to make them taste better. At the top of the list is ham and bacon. Ham should simply be fully cooked, chopped and mixed right in. You can do the same for bacon as well. However, a nice little trick is to take a little bit of the bacon grease and stir that in as well. That will incorporate the taste throughout your potatoes. In fact, you may want to save your cooked bacon for something else and just use the grease to spruce up your potatoes.
Another meat that is often seen in mashed potatoes is hamburger. Simply cook off the ground hamburger and drain the liquid before adding it to your potatoes. Now, this recipe is not for everyone. It is a little grainy and decidedly unhealthy. However, it is common, so people must like it. Remember that the hamburger is not going to add much in the way of taste, so you may want to add some seasonings in with it.
These little tricks can make your plain instant mashed potatoes taste like, well, real food. A few little tricks can go into the preparation too, like chicken broth instead of water or buttermilk instead of milk. Whatever you decide to do is bound to make that straight out of the box taste disappear or at least diminish.