Everyone feels like they don’t have enough time, and when people don’t have enough time they have to cut activities from their schedules.
Unfortunately, for many people one of the first things to go is preparing wholesome meals from “whole food” ingredients. That is, of course, if preparing food from scratch was ever on the schedule!
By planning ahead and devoting a chunk of time each week to meal prep, it is possible to eat well throughout the week. Usually you’ll save both time and money in the process!
That’s why today I’m sharing my mostly make-ahead roast potatoes. They’re a great step for anyone who wants to get started with some basic meal prep but who finds actually making days’ worth of food ahead of time a bit daunting!
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These roast potatoes are not a 100% make-ahead dish, but they take about half the time of usual smashed potatoes to get on the table because you steam the potatoes ahead of time and then use them throughout the week.
Use a steamer basket in a pot or a rice cooker to steam up several servings of potatoes then smash and roast them when they’re needed!
Fries and potato chips must give potatoes a bad reputation because potatoes are actually a pretty sensible food choice. In fact, they’re nutritionally very similar to the more popular-seeming sweet potato! They have a similar amount of fiber as a sweet potato and even more potassium, which is an important nutrient. (Here’s a link if you want to know more about potatoes’ nutritional value.)
I usually buy the bags of mini potatoes (my favorite is a ‘medley’ assortment with white, red, and purple potatoes), but you can also hunt through the red or white potato bin for the smallest ones you can find. This recipe works best with potatoes that are 2″ or less at the broadest point, preferably even smaller.
These small potatoes only need to steam for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can either smash and roast them right away or pop the steamed potatoes in the fridge to roast later. If you’re planning to roast them a different day, don’t smash them hot out of the steam basket – wait and smash them right before you’re ready to put them in the oven. After smashing with a glass, measuring cup, or large spoon, sprinkle with olive oil and your favorite seasonings (sea salt, freshly ground pepper, rosemary, and thyme are our usual choices!), and roast for about 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crunchy. So tasty!
Whenever I bake anything, I always use my Cooks Illustrated recommended baking sheet. Occasionally it’s available for under $20 – make sure to snag it quick if it is! It doesn’t warp in the heat and it cooks way more evenly than other, flimsier pans I’ve owned.
- Vollrath - 5314 - Natural Finish Half Size Sheet Pan - 13 Ga
- Natural Finish Half Size Sheet Pan - 13 Ga
To prep the potatoes
To roast the potatoes
If you want a really tasty treat, sprinkle feta on the potatoes once they’re out of the oven. Then they’re even more delicious!
If you’re looking for other time-saving recipes, you may enjoy these:
Do you use any make ahead tricks to put dinner on the table more quickly on busy days?
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Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.