Jazz Up Mashed Potatoes With A No-Fuss Poutine Twist

Really, we're not sure if there's a better side dish than mashed potatoes. Versatile, simple, and inherently satisfying, smashed spuds enriched with butter and cream, go with everything from a roasted turkey to a simple grilled pork chop. When it comes to mashed potatoes, sometimes simple is best. When you want your protein to shine as the star of the meal, plain old mashed potatoes may be the perfect choice. But what if you want to show off mashed potatoes that will be both delicious and memorable?

Bring on the poutine. While we won't start an argument about whether poutine is Canada's greatest culinary contribution to the world, we will insist that adding a poutine twist to your mashed potatoes is a delicious trick you should try. It isn't as crazy as it sounds, as there's already some spud synergy going on, so swapping mashed potatoes for french fries isn't completely out-there. Not to mention gravy on mashed potatoes is commonplace. That leaves just one component of the holy trinity that makes up poutine, and couldn't the world use more cheese curds?

Which type of potatoes you should use and why cheese curds are crucial

We typically know poutine as crisp french fries drizzled with rich brown gravy and topped with squeaky cheese curds. How does that translate for mashed potatoes? Use your favorite mashed potatoes recipe, taking time to choose your potatoes with care. We like Yukon Gold potatoes if you prefer your potatoes richer and creamier, while Russet potatoes deliver lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes. Then, prepare your brown gravy, which you can either make from scratch or from a powdered mix. 

Pour your gravy on piping hot mashed potatoes, then nestle yummy cheese curds on top. Of course, cheese in any form is a delicious addition to mashed potatoes, but the squeaky freshness of cheese curds adds both texture and flavor to your mashed potato homage to Canada. And while cheese curds might once have been hard to find, they're more widely available now, with even large retailers like Target featuring them in some store locations. Perhaps the best part of your fun new mashed potato makeover is how easy it is to assemble. Just two simple toppings transform boring mashed potatoes into a fun, photo-worthy side.