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4 ways to turn the humble potato into meal

The humble potato is not only versatile, but inexpensive and can turn into a decadent meal in a flash! 

Layered potato bake 

Serves 4-6 

Take this up a notch and serve with dollops of cream cheese.  


2 Tbsp soft butter 
2 cups cream 
3 cloves garlic, grated 
¼ punnet thyme, leaves picked 
½ cup grated parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella 
6 large soft cooking potatoes 
200g bacon or ham 
Handful fresh sage 


  1. Grease a large baking dish with butter. 
  2. Combine cream, garlic, thyme and half the cheese. 
  3. Slice potatoes into ovals and set aside. 
  4. Toss potatoes in cream mixture to coat well. 
  5. Stack potato slices upright in a baking tray and tuck in bacon or ham and fresh sage. 
  6. Pour over leftover cream mixture, cover with foil and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. 
  7. Remove foil, scatter with remaining cheese and bake for another 20-30 minutes 
  8. Serve while hot.

Also read: Potato and leek soup with roasted nuts and cauliflower 

Cheesy garlic pull-apart bread 

Serves 4-6 

Swap out regular potatoes for sweet potatoes if you like. 


2 medium soft cooking potatoes, peeled and quartered 
1 cup (250ml) milk 
½ cup (125g) butter 
1 tsp (5ml) salt 
1½ cups (300g) cake flour 
1½ cups (300g) bread flour 
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk 
2 tsp (10ml) sugar
1 sachet (10g) yeast 
Salt and milled black pepper 

For the cheesy garlic butter

1 bulb garlic
Olive oil 
½ cup (125ml) melted butter 
1 Tbsp (15ml) chopped thyme 
½ cup (60g) grated cheddar 


  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. 
  2. Drain and place in a warm oven for 5 minutes to dry out. 
  3. Mash potatoes with milk, butter and salt. 
  4. Spoon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
  5. Add cake flour, bread flour, eggs, yolk, sugar and yeast. 
  6. Mix for 5–8 minutes, or until dough pulls away from the sides. 
  7. Cover and leave to proof in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size. 
  8. To make the butter, cut the top off the garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast for 15 minutes at 180°C. 
  9. Squeeze out the flesh and mix with melted butter, thyme and cheese. 
  10. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  11. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  12. Tip dough out onto a lightly oiled surface. Knock down dough and divide into 4 portions. 13. Roll out the portions into 10cmx20cm rectangles.
  13. Spread a third of the butter mixture on three portions of the dough. 
  14. Place them on top of each other, ending with the fourth unbuttered layer. 
  15. Cut into four pieces and turn each piece on its side. (layers facing upwards). 
  16. Arrange snugly next to each other in a baking tin, brushing with garlic butter and season well. 
  17. Cover with clingwrap and leave the bread to rise for 15-20 minutes. 
  18. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot.


Potato-base pizza 

Serves 4 

Cut the cost and top with cheddar, over shredded chicken or beef. 


3-4 medium potatoes, washed and thinly sliced 
2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil 
Salt and milled pepper 
2 Tbsp (30ml) tomato paste
3 Tbsp passata sauce or any other tomato-based sauce 1 cup mozzarella, grated
Handful kalamata olives 4 slices ham Wild rocket and fresh basil, for serving.


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. Arrange potatoes in a circle, overlapping the edges to form a 25cm base.
  3. Drizzle with oil and season. 
  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until parcooked. 
  5. Mix together tomato paste and passata and spread over base, leaving a ½cm edge. Top with cheese and olives. 
  6. 6. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
  7. Top with ham, rocket and basil. Serve immediately.

Potato dippers with blue cheese sauce 

Serves 6 

More than just a fancy side, they’re a great snack, too!. 


For the sauce

½ cup blue cheese 
½ cup plain double cream yoghurt 
¼ cup tangy mayonnaise 
Salt and milled black pepper   

For the dippers

1 packet (1kg) baby or medium potatoes
1 packet (200g) streaky bacon, halved lengthways (optional) 
1 cup (80g) finely grated Parmesan 
10 fresh sage leaves 
3 Tbsp olive oil Salt and milled black pepper 


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. Blitz together the blue cheese, yoghurt, mayo and season. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and par-cook potatoes for 13-18 minutes. 
  4. Drain and cool in cold water for 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and press them down with the back of a spoon or mug to ‘smash’ them. 
  6. Wrap the potatoes with the streaky bacon, if using.
  7. Sprinkle the potatoes with parmesan and sage leaves. Drizzle with oil and season. 
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Serve dippers with sauce on the side.

Also read: Shepherd’s pie with a cheesy potato topping

Words by: Chad January 
Photographs: Fresh Living Magazine 

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