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14 Ways You Should Be Using Instant Mashed Potatoes

Easy and Delicious Ways To Use Instant Potato Flakes

There are a lot of versatile ingredients in the cooking world, but I never would have guessed that instant potatoes were one of them! But it’s true – those dehydrated potato flakes can be used for much more than just whipping up a quick weeknight side dish! It’s also why potatoes are one of the best foods to dehydrate! Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to use instant potatoes, starting with a delicious and easy meal.

Homemade Instant Potato Gnocchi

adapted from King Arthur Flour

Making gnocchi using instant potato flakes is actually the secret to making light and airy gnocchi! By using instant potatoes, you can achieve an incredibly dry potato mixture, reducing the amount of flour you need to use. The result? Gnocchi with great potato flavor that melts in your mouth.

Instant Potatoes

  • 2 cups prepared potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

To make your two cups of prepared potatoes, add 1-1/3 cup of boiling water to 1-1/3 cup of instant potato flakes, and stir until the potatoes absorb the water and there aren’t any lumps left. (You can also put a couple of baked potatoes through a potato ricer if you happen to have them on hand!)

Instant Potatoes

Add the eggs and the salt to the potatoes and combine.

Instant Potatoes

Then add the flour and mix until you achieve a soft dough.

Instant Potatoes

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (I used a silicone kneading mat, but your countertop would be just fine!) and knead just until the dough ball is smooth. Then cut your dough into 8 equal pieces.

Instant Potatoes

Working with one dough piece at a time, roll it out into a rope that’s about the same width as your thumb.

Instant Potatoes

Use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the rope into 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces. Place the dough pieces on a piece of parchment paper that has been floured lightly.

Instant Potatoes

Once all your dough pieces have been cut, it’s time to shape them! If you plan on making gnocchi more than once (which I assume you will after you taste these!) I highly recommend investing in a wooden gnocchi board. I found mine at a local kitchen supply store for around $6. It’s easy to use and it’s such a lovely little tool to have in your collection!

Instant Potatoes

To shape the gnocchi, hold your gnocchi board at a 45 degree angle and use your other hand to press a piece of dough onto it with your thumb. Gently drag your thumb down the board about an inch or so, and the dough should curl back around your thumb as you go, forming a little pocket. Put the gnocchi back onto your floured parchment paper as you go. Once you get the hang of the process, it goes really quickly!

Homemade Gnocchi

Time to cook those beautiful gnocchi! Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt (about a half teaspoon or so.) Place your gnocchi gently into the boiling water, but don’t crowd them. They should all be able to sit on the surface of the water in a single layer.

Homemade Gnocchi 4

Let your gnocchi cook until puffed and tender, about 4 minutes. Scoop them out of the pot with a strainer spoon or drain them into a colander. Add your sauce of choice (they’re amazing with pesto!) a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and dig in!!

Homemade Gnocchi

Homemade Gnocchi

Jill Nystul
adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 243 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups prepared instant potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Add the eggs and the salt to the potatoes and combine.
  • Then add the flour and mix until you achieve a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead just until the dough ball is smooth. Then cut your dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Working with one dough piece at a time, roll it out into a rope that’s about the same width as your thumb.
  • Use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the rope into 1/2” to 3/4” pieces. Place the dough pieces on a piece of parchment paper that has been floured lightly.
  • To shape the gnocchi, hold your gnocchi board at a 45 degree angle and use your other hand to press a piece of dough onto it with your thumb. Gently drag your thumb down the board about an inch or so, and the dough should curl back around your thumb as you go, forming a little pocket.
  • Put the gnocchi back onto your floured parchment paper as you go.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt (about a half teaspoon or so.) Place your gnocchi gently into the boiling water, but don’t crowd them. They should all be able to sit on the surface of the water in a single layer.
  • Let your gnocchi cook until puffed and tender, about 4 minutes. Scoop them out of the pot with a strainer spoon or drain them into a colander.

Nutrition

Serving: 6servingsCalories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 7gFat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 430mgPotassium: 284mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 16.2mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 2.4mg

Other Clever Ways to Use Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant Potatoes

Make quick and easy Norwegian lefse
Using instant potatoes makes it easy to whip up a warm batch of lefse, a traditional Norwegian potato bread (and one of our family’s favorite treats!) Get the full recipe here. And if you have Norwegian parents or grandparents, don’t worry, it can be our little secret! ;-)

Homemade Gnocchi 6

Create a crispy coating for fish or chicken
Dip a piece of chicken or fish into an egg wash or milk, then press it firmly into a dish full of instant potato flakes. Saute in oil for a deliciously crispy experience! (Apparently the coating tastes like hash browns – yum!!)

Instant Potatoes

Make your Shepherd’s Pie a feast for the eyes
Prepared instant mashed potatoes are super smooth, so they can easily be loaded into a pastry bag and piped into decorative shapes or designs.

Instant Potatoes

Use as a binder in meatloaf or meatballs
You can use potato flakes in place of the breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs in your favorite meatloaf and meatball recipes. Perfect for those on a gluten-free diet, but also handy to know to avoid a future emergency trip to the store!

Instant Potatoes

Thicken soups and sauces
Throw some instant potato flakes in the food processor for a few seconds to create a potato powder that’s perfect for thickening soups and sauces. One of the major advantages of using potatoes over cornstarch or flour is that it doesn’t clump up as much, and it adds a bit of delicious potato flavor!

Instant Potatoes

Make extra-crunchy onion rings
Use a combination of potato flakes and panko breadcrumbs next time you’re making onion rings. The potato flakes make the onion rings extra crunchy!

Here are a few more recipes I ran across using this versatile box of flakes:

Duchess Potatoes

Potato Donuts

Potato Pancakes

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

Chocolate Coconut Balls

Potato Flake Starter & Bread

Irish Chocolate Potato Cake

How do you use instant potatoes?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • My husband mixes some potato flakes up with a little bit of water and makes potato patties out them, then fries them up in oil. Delicious!!

  • My dad used to be a sous-chef in a Italian restaurant that was famous for their lighter than a cloud gnocchi.

    He told me then that the secret was using instant potato!

    So yes, definitely a GREAT tip for yummy gnocchi. :)

  • Hi Jillee, great post. Have a question, or two. When substituting potato for the bread curmbs – equal amount for the bread crumbs??? When using for a thicken for gravys – what is the ratio?? My niece was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease so I am trying to learn how to cook/adapt recipes for her needs….LOVE your site….

  • I use instant potato flakes to thicken Clam Chowder, as a coating for chicken strips, I’ve even used them to thicken my marinara.

    I love gnocchi! I also just flip a fork over and run the dough down the tines but my Nonna Maria Louisa used to just pinch them in the middle like a pillow.

  • For anyone looking to make these gluten free a word of warning…I used a high quality gf flour mix and it did not work. The mixture refused to stick together, even after adding extra water. Possible some psyllium husk would be helpful. My flour mix has zantham and everything already in, but some extra zantham might be good too. Off to look for a good recipe for gf gnocchi.

    • Ciao! You could try the rice flour in the same amount of wheat flour indicated , same cooking .

      In Genoa is also used to make gnocchi without eggs and red skin potatoes are considered the most suitable .
      The doses are different and we usually use the fork.

  • Growing up in an Italian family, my mom always made delicious homemade gnocchi & cavatelli. I look forward to trying your recipe though. Also, if anyone can’t find the gnocchi board, just use a fork & roll it.

  • We have a recipe that has been handed down for generations: Mashed Potato Spice Cake. In a pinch, no cold leftover mashed potatoes, I have mixed up a batch of instant and it tasted the same-delicious.

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