I tried Ina Garten's trick for elevating store-bought mashed potatoes, and they tasted as good as homemade

  • I tried Ina Garten's tip for elevating packaged mashed potatoes from the supermarket.

  • Garten's recipe included refrigerated mashed potatoes, sour cream, butter, and parmesan cheese.

  • Her recipe was so cheap, simple, and quick — and tasted just as good as homemade mashed potatoes.

Ina Garten may be the queen of Thanksgiving, but sometimes even she needs a break from the kitchen.

Ina Garten
Ina Garten has created a Thanksgiving menu that highlights store-bought ingredients.NBC/Contributor/Getty Images

Garten remade some of her most popular Thanksgiving recipes with products you could buy at the supermarket, including her parmesan smashed potatoes.

"Mashed potatoes are an essential Thanksgiving side dish but can be time-consuming," Garten wrote in The New York Times. "Instead of starting with raw potatoes, then peeling, cutting, and boiling them, start with these prepared potatoes and no one will know you didn't make the dish from scratch."

I've made Garten's parmesan smashed potatoes from scratch and loved them, so I was intrigued. Could refrigerated supermarket potatoes taste as good as the real thing?

Let's find out.

Garten's store-bought mashed potatoes only require a few ingredients.

Ingredients for Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Garten's new recipe features refrigerated mashed potatoes, parmesan, and sour cream.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

To make Garten's parmesan mashed potatoes for six, you'll need:

  • 1 32-ounce package of refrigerated mashed potatoes

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • ½ cup freshly-grated Italian parmesan cheese

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for serving

In her recipe, Garten recommends using refrigerated mashed potatoes from Bob Evans. The "Barefoot Contessa" star told the Times that she tried every package of refrigerated and frozen mashed potatoes she could find before deciding that Bob Evans was the best for this recipe.

I wasn't able to find Bob Evans at my local Safeway, so I settled for a package of refrigerated mashed potatoes from its Signature Cafe deli. I was still really happy with the finished product, so don't be worried if you can't find Bob Evans!

To begin, I placed a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and threw in my refrigerated mashed potatoes.

Warming up Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
First I warmed the refrigerated potatoes over a pan of simmering water.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I adjusted Garten's recipe for a 24-ounce package of prepared mashed potatoes since I was only cooking for three people, so I scooped my refrigerated potatoes into a small saucepan.

I let my mashed potatoes heat up for 20 minutes.

Ina Garten Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
I stirred my potatoes while waiting for them to get hot.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Per Garten's instructions, I stirred the potatoes occasionally while I waited for them to get hot.

Then I added the parmesan cheese and sour cream.

Adding parmesan to Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
I let my potatoes heat up for 20 minutes before adding the parmesan cheese.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Just as with her original parmesan potatoes, Garten doesn't skimp on the cheese.

I also threw in the butter.

Adding butter to Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
I added my butter in knobs to help everything melt together.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

I cut my butter into knobs while adding it to the potatoes so that everything would melt quickly.

Then I added my salt and pepper and gave everything a good stir. Once everything was heated through, I took my pan off the stove.

Mixing Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
I seasoned my potatoes with salt and pepper.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Garten recommends adding 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper when making this recipe with a 32-ounce package of refrigerated potatoes.

My parmesan mashed potatoes looked ready for the Thanksgiving table.

Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
I served my mashed potatoes with a pat of butter on top.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

Per Garten's instructions, I seasoned my potatoes and added a pat of butter on top before serving them hot.

And the mashed potatoes were such a hit, no one even knew they were store-bought.

Ina Garten's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Garten's parmesan mashed potatoes were a huge hit at the dinner table.Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

As a huge fan of Garten's homemade Thanksgiving recipes, I went into this taste test feeling pretty apprehensive. But Garten's parmesan mashed potatoes honestly tasted really delicious. The sour cream made their texture super creamy, and the parmesan cheese provided a richness that was indulgent. I couldn't stop sneaking more spoonfuls.

My parents were also huge fans of the elevated dish. Our only critique is that the parmesan mashed potatoes were a touch too salty, so season carefully! But overall, the recipe took way less time and effort than Garten's original parmesan smashed potatoes yet still provided tons of great flavor. Plus, there were fewer dishes to clean after!

If you're looking for the quickest and easiest Thanksgiving side dish, there's no competition. Garten's delicious parmesan mashed potatoes are sure to make everyone very happy.

Read the original article on Insider