Appetite for Gratitude!

“Good mashed potato is one of the great luxuries of life” – Lindsey Bareham.

The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about? I don’t think so. As Idahoans, potatoes are near and dear to our hearts. Here are two delicious potato side dishes for your family holiday!

Mashed Idaho Potatoes Loaded with Bacon and Cheddar


  • 5 lbs. Idaho russet potatoes
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chives (minced)
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1‑inch chunks. Place in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain; return to pan, cover, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp and browned, turning once. Transfer to paper towels to drain; let cool, and crumble into pieces.
  3. Using a fork, mash the potatoes in pan until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth. Add the chives, 2 cups cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a buttered 3‑quart baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake until top is slightly golden and potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with remaining bacon. Serve immediately.

Idaho Potato Stuffing Balls


  • 6 cups of mashed Idaho® potatoes
  • 6 cups of stuffing (boxed stuffing works!)
  • 1 cup of pan-fried pancetta
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil or pancetta grease
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, stuffing and pancetta, and mix together with your hands to ensure that the 3 ingredients are fully blended. Once blended, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, but you may find that you need neither, as the pancetta brings a nice salty taste to the blend, and the stuffing may be well seasoned.
  3. Using your hands, form the ingredients into a ball about 2 inches in diameter, taking care to compact the ingredients so that they stay in the ball form. Each ball should be equally sized to ensure even cooking. And any ‘bits’ not pushed into the ball will darken or burn in the cooking process, so aim for an tray of smooth and equally sized balls. Lay each pall flat along the baking sheet, leaving a ½ inch space between them to allow for all sides to cook evenly.
  4. To finish, lightly apply the grease from the pancetta or olive oil across each ball. As all the ingredients are pre-cooked, you are cooking time will depend on how long it takes for them to reach that beautiful golden brown color and slightly crispy outer shell; usually around 30 minutes.