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How to Prep Potatoes Ahead of Time for a Flawless Holiday Meal

How to Prep Potatoes Ahead of Time for a Flawless Holiday Meal

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Peeling potatoes ahead of time can save you time as long you stick to a few guidelines. These do and don'ts ensure perfectly fluffy—or crispy—spuds.

Whether you’re planning a Thanksgiving menu or hosting a special dinner, finding ways to cut down on prep work can be game-changing, especially if you’re feeding a large crowd. Peeling potatoes ahead of time sounds like a clever hack for making mashed potatoes or French fries—that is, if you’re doing it correctly.

Here's the problem: when you slice into a potato, you expose its natural phenols to oxygen, a chemical reaction that results in an almost immediate pinkish hue. They’re still safe to eat, and it doesn’t change the taste, but who wants to serve mauve potatoes?

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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The best way to keep prepped potatoes from turning brown is to submerge them in cold water. When peeling potatoes ahead of time, follow these pointers to ensure the best results.

Don't soak cut potatoes longer than overnight.

If keeping potatoes in water for more than an hour, refrigerate. However, don't soak them any longer than overnight—after that, the potatoes start to lose their structure and flavor.

Do soak small cuts of potatoes only for a short time.

Small cuts, like diced potatoes, get waterlogged faster, so are best kept in cold water for a short time, like while you prep other ingredients.

Bigger cuts, on the other hand, can hang out happily in water for 8-12 hours. One of the best ways to use this trick is when making mashed potatoes—you don’t have to cut them small and you’ll be adding liquid anyway. In the morning, put peeled, quartered potatoes in a pot of cold water and refrigerate; when it’s time for dinner, just put the pot on the stovetop and fire it up!

Don't soak shredded potatoes.

Such a fine cut takes on water quickly and is typically cooked until golden—think latkes or potato pancakes—so none of that discoloration will show anyway. Instead, give shredded potatoes a good rinse to remove their starch (so that they crisp up better during cooking), pay them dry, then cook according to your recipe.

Do cut some types of potatoes right before cooking.

If your dish depends on the most crisp exterior (like pommes Anna) or requires your potatoes to give off very little moisture (like a gratin with other water-heavy veggies), there's no need to cut those ahead of time and soak them. For these types of tubers, your best bet is to cut them right before use.

Looking for more prep-ahead hacks this holiday season? Use this handy Thanksgiving Checklist to plan a stress-free turkey day.

Easy, Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes

This year will be the first that my mom is coming to us to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is also one of the only years I have had the privilege of inviting our extended family to my home to celebrate this holiday. For so many years we have been a guest in someone else’s home. This time it is my turn. I’m honestly already prepping for it. My Fall decorations are being put lovingly in to place and the plans for the most important portion – the meal – are stacking up.

As a little girl, my mom and I would spend the entire day in the kitchen. While I’m looking forward to a portion of that, and to bringing my small people in with me, I’m also excited about doing a little prepping ahead of time. This allows me to teach Delaney the finer points of cooking our holiday meal as well as making sure everything is on the table together.

One of the biggest keys, in my mind, to having a flawless meal, is planning a few of your dishes ahead of time. I’m excited, once again, to be partnering with Libby’s, to share a few recipes you can work on the day before you are serving your meal to your family and guests.

Here are two of my favorites: A Vegetable Medley with a Pomegranate Dressing and a Sliced Beet, Orange and Spinach Salad. I so love the ‘Fall’ colors of each as they add to the festivity of the occasion. Here is a video to walk you through the ease of both recipes.

I so appreciate you watching. Here is the full how-to for both recipes:

Buy the Right Kind of Ham

According to Serious Eats, there are two types of ham: city and country-style. Most hams on the market are city hams, which have been wet-cured with a brine and lightly smoked. Country hams are usually flavored with a dry rub, cured, and aged anywhere from four months to three years. Country ham is much saltier and has a chewier texture in comparison to city ham, so for a holiday ham, it is recommended to buy a city ham.

What is pot roast?

Now for all the crock pot roast recipe details. You can read on or use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page. Pot roast is a braised beef dish made with a large, tough cut of beef such as chuck roast, chuck steak, shoulder steak, chuck shoulder pot roast, chuck seven-bone pot roast, beef chuck arm, rump roast or bottom round.

These less expensive cuts of beef are seared, then slow cooked in a Dutch oven, covered baking dish or slow cooker with liquid, often beef broth and wine along with herbs and vegetables.

Cooking these cuts low and slow breaks the down the collagen which turns into gelatin tenderizing the meat so it’s fall apart tender and bursting with rich flavor. The beef further releases its juices into the broth, which combines with flour to create deeply flavorful gravy.

Thank Us Later: Here’s Your Roadmap to a Flawless Thanksgiving

You know it’s Thanksgiving when. A) The refrigerator overflows and the cooler comes in from the garage as backup. B) Every inch of counter space (plus the dining table) is fair game. C) You drum up any help you can get to peel apples and sweet potatoes, then debate the best way to turn them into casseroles and pies. D) Lunch is vegetable scraps dipped in salad dressing. E) All of the above. (It’s E, obviously.)

It’s a holiday centered around one meal, sure, but it begins long before the turkey is on the table. It starts when we’re menu mapping, grocery shopping, and picking the kitchen playlist to motivate us while we stare down a truckload of brussels and multiple bags of cranberries. It starts days before The Day, and it’s the cooking—in a family-crammed kitchen with limited oven space—that makes the final feast so worthwhile.

This year, all of the communal effort of a takes-a-village Thanksgiving culminates in a menu of all-star classics with mini modern makeovers. They’re recipes your great-aunt, baby cousin, and neighbor’s girlfriend can all have a hand in (after all, it’s the one time of year when there’s no such thing as too many cooks), and thanks to a roster of clever strategies we’ve honed over the years, none of it is so hard to pull off. Here's how we do it, and how you can too:


'This is the easiest meal prep you'll ever do, and yummiest regardless of looks - trust me,' Tayla wrote on her Instagram page (the frittata pictured)

To make the frittata, Tayla said you need to get your hands on an onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and egg whites.

After chopping the onion, mushrooms and cherries in half, she said you need to add them to a baking tray, drizzle your egg whites on top and add Parmesan.

Then, bake the dish in the oven for around 40 minutes until the top is golden and crispy, before slicing and enjoying throughout the week.

'Stop it, this looks amazing,' one woman wrote.

'Genius, am making this this week,' another added.

To make the frittata, Tayla said you need to get your hands on an onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and egg whites (pictured)

How to make Tayla's 'easiest' meal prep frittata

Tayla shared the recipe for the frittata online (pictured)

Three handfuls of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Three handfuls of mushrooms, chopped

8-9 egg whites (and yolks if you want), whisked

1. Chop all of your vegetables up and lay them on a baking tray covered in baking paper.

2. Drizzle your egg whites over the top of the vegetables, making sure to coat the veg evenly.

3. Add salt and pepper to your taste and sprinkle Parmesan over the top.

4. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until crispy and golden on the top.

After chopping the onion, mushrooms and cherries in half, she said you simply need to add them to a baking tray, drizzle your egg whites on top and add Parmesan (pictured)

Previously, secondary school teacher and 'meal prep queen' Katie Lolas (pictured), from Sydney, shared her top meal prepping tips

Previously, secondary school teacher and 'meal prep queen' Katie Lolas, from Sydney, shared her top meal prepping tips.

The 35-year-old said things like hummus, casseroles and soups are easy to make out of long-life ingredients - and they also save you a lot of money.

She also recommends planning meal prepping around sales and promotions found in supermarket catalogues before your weekly shop and picking recipes with fruits and vegetables that are in season as it's cheaper.

'Vegetables that are in season include Asian greens like boy choy and Chinese broccoli, eggplant, kale, leeks, mushrooms and potatoes,' Katie told FEMAIL.

'Seasonal fruit includes grapes, apples, plums, avocados, pears, oranges, guava. These are plentiful and available at most local groceries for a competitive price.'

It's equally as important to choose recipes that can be frozen or that will make enough food for the entire week and to make healthy snacks to save money.

The 35-year-old (pictured) said things like hummus, casseroles and soups are easy to make out of long-life ingredients - and they also save you a lot of money

If you want a nutritious and well-balanced lunch and are new to meal prepping, Katie said you should always start your supermarket shop in the fruit and veg section (her fridge pictured)

If you want a nutritious and well-balanced lunch and are new to meal prepping, Katie said you should always start your supermarket shop in the fruit and veg section.

'Chances are, the fruit and veg section of your local supermarket is rammed full of pre-prepped options, such as mixed salads, chopped veggies in a roasting tin prepped and ready for the oven, zucchini noodles, microwavable greens and much more,' Katie said.

If you invest in just a few of these, you shouldn't have to do too much in the way of prep once you get home.

Katie recommends you shop seasonally to get the best deals - and keep an eye out for sales and promotions where you might score a good deal.

What are some of the top budget meal prep tips?

* Shop seasonally to get the best deals.

* Get catalogues and keep an eye out online and in store for sales and promotions where you might score a good deal.

* Things like hummus, casseroles and soups are easy to make out of long-life ingredients - and they also save you a lot of money.

* Pick recipes with fruit and veg that are in season as this will be cheaper.

* Choose recipes that you can freeze for the entire week as they will last you longer.

* Tinned vegetables are a cheap way to bulk out meals and can also be added to mince if you're making spaghetti bolognese.

How to Buy and Store Scallops

If you&aposre unsure where to buy scallops, search out fresh scallops at specialty seafood stores and most large supermarkets. When buying, look for scallops that are firm and moist and retain their shape when touched. They should be creamy beige to light pink in color and should not smell fishy, sour, or sulfurlike.

Test Kitchen Tip: A stark bleached-white color or excessive milky liquid in the display tray can be a sign the scallops have been treated heavily with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP). While STP is useful to help bind natural moisture to seafood during the freezing and thawing processes, it can be overused and cause scallops to soak up additional water.

To store fresh scallops: Refrigerate, covered in the clear juices, up to 2 days.

Frozen scallops are readily available and easy to keep on hand in the freezer. The only trick to knowing how to cook frozen scallops is knowing how to thaw them: The best way is to thaw the seafood gradually in the refrigerator overnight. Never thaw scallops at room temperature.

Test Kitchen Tip: If dinnertime’s approaching and you forgot to thaw the scallops, there’s hope! According to the FDA, “If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water or—if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter—microwave it on the �rost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable.”

Now that you know how to cook scallops𠅊nd you’ve become an expert on knowing how to tell if scallops are done—take advantage. Swing by the seafood counter whenever you’re at the supermarket, and if the scallops are looking good (or better yet, if they’re on sale), bring some home. You’ll never have to endure overcooked and rubbery (or undercooked and weird) scallops again.

1. Best for a Large Family

Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Value Pack

Where to buy: $34.95, Amazon

You can’t go wrong with Idaho potatoes! This three-pound box contains 48 servings in 12 family-sized pouches, so in just four minutes, you can have the homemade taste of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes ready for a family dinner. They’re so delicious, no one will know you didn’t spend hours preparing them.

Don’t believe us? Trust this satisfied Amazon reviewer: “They are so good. I use only water and they taste fantastic. My kids really like them. Sprinkle cheese on top for a treat! And one box goes a very long way. Great product. Exceptional taste.”

60 Best Super Bowl Recipes

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


Browse the top 60 most popular best Super Bowl party food recipes from dips, chicken wings, handheld appetizers, pizza, healthy snacks, and more.



Plan your menu ahead of time. You can prepare many of these appetizers and party food ahead of time. Some can stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator, and some can even be frozen, according to recipe directions.

Prep your ingredients as much as possible . Once you have decided on the snacks you are going to serve, prepare as much as you can in advance, whether that is chopping ingredients or prepping the dish and storing in the refrigerator until ready for the oven. Any little bit that you can prepare in advance will make things much less stressful when you just want to kick up your feet and enjoy the game.

Set the table the night before . Take out the special party serving dishes, festive napkins and whatever else you need to set up your snack table the night before. It's one less thing to worry about on Super Bowl Sunday.


Keywords: 60 best super bowl recipes, best super bowl recipes, super bowl party food, super bowl appetizers, game day recipes, best appetizers

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ cup olive oil, or more if needed
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into evenly sized pieces
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs, or to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Pour olive oil into a heavy baking dish (such as an enameled cast iron dish). Place potatoes into the baking dish and toss to coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme sprigs, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red bell pepper pieces.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Toss vegetables to turn over. Some potatoes may stick don't try to turn them. Return to oven and bake for 20 more minutes.

Toss potatoes again, turning potatoes so unbrowned sides contact the bottom of the dish. Continue baking until potatoes are browned and tender, about 15 more minutes.

Turn oven off and leave potatoes in the oven for 15 more minutes. Toss once more and adjust levels of salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper before transferring potatoes to a serving bowl.

We find it best to get salmon from the fish counters in supermarkets, look for good marbling throughout, this keeps it moist during cooking.

Ask the fishmonger to cut from the head end, this is the chunkiest part which works best for this recipe. We brought our Salmon from Tesco Fish Counter it was a lovely side of salmon.

Fold the thinner part of the salmon underneath itself width-wise a little to make it even to fit inside the puff pastry sheet.

You can see above, with our parcel you don't have to be too neat! Just make sure not to cut too deeply when scoring the top pastry.

We decorated our Salmon en Croute with some cute little fish! You can choose whatever you want! Like we did on the bottom right corner as can be seen below.

The finished Salmon en Croute, as can be seen, is great! I was like a hawk watching it cooking in the oven!!

Making sure it doesn't burn! If it gets too brown on top before the end of cooking time, cover loosely with foil.

The Salmon inside is perfectly cooked, it was enjoyed by the whole family.

Even the kids enjoyed this (I didn't tell them it had mushrooms in it. just pulled them out before plating as I know they wouldn't have eaten it!)

Watch the video: Ευεργετική η φλούδα στις πατάτες - Τι προσφέρει (July 2022).


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