Thanksgiving is easily the best food holiday of the year, and I challenge you to disagree. Even without the turkey, the side dishes and desserts alone are able to constitute for the best meal of the year.
But anyone who has cooked a full Thanksgiving feast certainly knows that it is a tiring, challenging, and often stressful affair. So, of course, it's only natural that we're always looking for Turkey Day cooking hacks and time-saving tricks to make the process just a little bit easier.
Which brings me to this seemingly incredulous Thanksgiving cheat recipe: mashed potatoes made from a bag of potato chips. I first saw this "recipe" trending on TikTok, and I was simply stunned.
According to the videos on TikTok, YouTube, and the rest of the internet (there's even a recipe from Lays), all you really need to make these cheater's mashed potatoes are a bag of potato chips, boiling water, and some sort of fatty ingredient like milk, cream, sour cream, or butter.
I wanted to try this trick with two types of potato chips to see which would yield the better result. So, I opted for an original bag of sea salt potato chips and one wildcard: krinkle cut sour cream and onion chips.
I started with the original potato chips first. The instructions, according to the dozens of videos I watched on TikTok, are supposed to be pretty foolproof. Bring a cup of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and add potato chips. I used about 3/4 of the bag.
I mashed the potatoes with a wooden spoon until they were soft and the water had just about evaporated. Then, I added a quarter cup of cream and a sprinkle of onion salt because why not??
I continued to stir and smush the potato chips until the potato chip texture was gone and they started to resemble mashed potatoes. Then, I poured them into a bowl and topped them with green onions because that's what I had in my fridge. Chives would also be a welcome addition here.
The appearance reminded me of congee or grits. It was looser than mashed potatoes and not as thick and creamy (next time, I'd start with a small amount of cream or milk and add more). Despite my best efforts, some potato chip remnants definitely remained. But the taste...wasn't bad! It actually did taste like mashed potatoes, albeit texturally confusing ones. There's no doubt these taste like a gloriously low-brow recipe that you sort of want to keep eating.
Next, I decided to try the sour cream and onion chips. I thought the krinkle cut chips could add an interesting texture (like mashed potatoes made with unpeeled potatoes, perhaps?). Instead of boiling the chips in water, I opted for chicken broth because it usually makes everything tastier.
I followed the same method, except this time, I used cream and butter because fat = flavor, right? I also used slightly less cream than the first time around so that the final texture would hopefully be thicker.
As I had hoped, this version was thicker, creamier, and generally more similar to mashed potatoes in terms of the texture. And as for the flavor, it was disturbingly good. I didn't want to enjoy this, but I couldn't really stop tasting them in the same way that you can't really stop eating an open bag of chips. I really hate to admit that, honest to God, I liked the taste.
So, if you're wondering if you should save money, effort, and time, and make your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes out of potato chips, I would...probably advise against it! 🙃 Instant mashed potatoes exist for this very reason. HOWEVER, you might want to try making these at some point just for the shock value. And if you find yourself scrambling last minute on Thanksgiving day with little more than a bag of chips and some milk in your kitchen, maybe (??) give these a try.
My winning combination was krinkle cut sour cream and onion chips, chicken stock, cream, butter, and green onion, but you could definitely get creative with your flavor combos: jalapeño chips with sharp cheddar cheese, barbecue chips with bacon and chives, sweet potato chips, butter, and maple syrup... The options are endless, and any potato chips will do.
And with that, Happy Thanksgiving, folks!
Have you tried making these potato chip mashed potatoes? Or, do you have another Thanksgiving cooking hack that's worth trying? Tell us in the comments.