Are you looking for healthy potato recipes for weight loss? Maybe you love potatoes but are afraid to eat them for fear of weight gain. Rest assured, with these healthy ways to cook potatoes, you will enjoy this delicious food while seeing the pounds melt away.
Do Potatoes Make You Gain Weight?
Do potatoes lead to weight gain? No!
Can potatoes be a healthy food to eat while losing weight? Yes!
A common weight loss myth is that pototoes and other starches cause weight gain, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Potatoes are an extremely healthy food that have supported civilizations for thousands of years. People have lived and thrived on a diet of mainly potatoes, sweet potatoes, tubers or starches.
The humble potato is often vilified as being “like eating sugar” but potatoes contain vitamins, minerals and healthy starches that provide energy. They have fiber which makes them filling.
In fact, studies show that boiled potatoes are the most filling food that provide hours of satisfaction.
Think of the comfort foods you enjoy. For many people, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and sweet potatoes are on the list. The good news is that you can eat those foods, when prepared correctly, and still lose weight.
Low Carb vs High Carb for Weight Loss
Low carbohydrate diets such as the Keto diet are popular right now for weight loss, and they do have benefits. Eating a low carb lifestyle can lead to losing weight for many people.
The challenge is that this way of eating is often not sustainable, which is what I found to be true when I tried a keto diet.
Believe it or not, you can enjoy a high carbohydrate diet and get to your weight loss goals. The key is choosing the right carbs and preparing them in a healthy way.
I eat a high-carb diet and am currently at the lowest weight I’ve ever been in my life. I eat potatoes every day and sometimes every meal. It almost seems like the more potatoes I eat, the more weight I lose.
I eat a large quantity of food (so that I’m rarely hungry) choosing foods primarily in the green category on this Calorie Density chart. I occasionally eat foods in the yellow category (perhaps one serving every few days) and foods in the red category once a week or so.
If you are a WW member, you can absolutely include potatoes as part of a low-point diet. In fact, potatoes are a zero point food on the WW purple plan, which means they can be eaten to satisfaction.
Diet Potato Recipes
Besides the carbohydrates that people fear (and shouldn’t) one of the reasons potatoes can lead to weight gain is the way they are prepared.
We often add oil to potatoes, such as frying them for French fries. We drizzle them with oil before roasting. We top baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. We take a healthy food and make it unhealthy in the ways we prepare it.
The list below will help you turn that around and bring potatoes back into your diet in a healthy way that leads to weight loss.
How to Cook Potatoes with No Oil
Many of us are used to cooking and serving potatoes with added fat like oil and butter, but these are not necessary to enjoy potatoes in delicious ways.
We are often told we need to add “healthy fats” but all foods contain some fat. When you eat real, whole foods, you will get the fat you need.
Most overweight people need to cut down on fat and most Americans eat drastically more fat, protein, and calories than they need.
Here are some healthy ways to prepare potatoes:
- Bake or roast. I prick potatoes with a fork a few time and throw them in the oven on a baking sheet. I don’t add anything to them and they turn out soft and delicious. (I often roast veggies at the same time.)
- Air-fry. The air fryer makes delicious potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy inside. I’ve found that small baby reds and yellows cook especially well in the air fryer. Put them in plain or toss them with a bit of vegetable broth if you prefer a softer skin.
- Boil. Boiled potatoes have been shown to be the most filling food you can eat. I boil white, yellow, and red potatoes and enjoy them with meals during the week.
- In soups, stews, and casseroles. Potatoes take on flavors well which makes them a delicious addition to soups, stews, and casseroles. Right before serving soups, I like to take out a few pieces of cooked potato, mash them, and add them back to the soup. This makes the soup creamy and thick without the need for dairy products.
- Mash. Yes, mashed potatoes can be delicious without adding heavy butter and cream. Check out our ideas for mashed potatoes below.
- Make chips, fries, or wedges. We give details on how to do this without oil in the healthy potato recipes below.
How to Meal Prep Potatoes
Here are some ways to prepare potatoes so that you have them ready.
- Bake a batch. I typically cook 4-5 yellow and sweet potatoes at a time and eat them over the next few days. I store them in a ziplock or container in the fridge and pull one out to eat with a meal. Sometimes I add sauces or toppings but I often simply enjoy one with vegetables and beans for a delicious, simple meal. One of my favorite lunches is steamed broccoli in the microwave with a sweet potato. This takes less than 5 minutes to prepare since I have the potatoes already cooked.
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes. Easily make whole potatoes in the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water and then the trivet. Place as many potatoes on top as you’d like or until you reach the fill line. Cover, seal lid, and cook on “manual” or “pressure cook” for 12 minutes. Quick release and enjoy.
- Chop and store in water in the fridge. Chopped potatoes turn brown when exposed to the air, but they can be stored in water to keep them fresh for up to 24 hours.
- Raw potatoes do not freeze well, but cooked potatoes can be frozen. I make big batches of healthy mashed potatoes and store them in individual portions.
- Use frozen hash browns. Frozen hash browns, both shredded and potatoes in small pieces, are easy to cook or add to recipes. Just be sure to purchase hash browns with only potato on the ingredient list and no additional oils or fats.
- Instant Mashed Potatoes. While not ideal because they are highly processed, Instant Mashed Potatoes can work in a pinch if the only ingredient is potato flakes. They work well for thickening soups or can be made into mashed potatoes using only broth or nut milk.
50+ Healthy Potato Recipes and Ways to Eat Potatoes to Lose Weight
Here is a huge list of delicious ways to prepare potatoes in a healthy way that leads to shedding pounds.
- Baked potatoes with chili. For a filling meal, you can’t beat a baked potato topped with chili. Try our zero point turkey chili. I keep a batch in the freezer for easy lunch meal prep.
- Wendy’s baked potatoes. Are you on the go? Grab a Wendy’s baked potato. Skip the sour cream and top your potato with Wendy’s chili, salsa, or low fat salad dressing.
- Top baked potatoes with sauce. Baked potatoes are delicious with condiments you probably already have in your fridge like barbeque sauce, ketchup, mustard, spicy mustard, or soy sauce.
- Salad dressing. Use your favorite dressing over a baked potato or try one of our oil-free dressings to top a baked potato.
- Baked potatoes with hummus. Baked or roasted potatoes are delicious with a dollop of hummus. If desired, thin hummus with a bit of water to make a creamy sauce that tastes almost like gravy.
- Baked or mashed potatoes with gravy. Make your favorite gravy or try this super-easy healthier instant gravy recipe.
- Mushroom gravy – If you like mushrooms (like me!) here is a healthy mushroom gravy that is delicious on potatoes.
- Baked or roasted potatoes with nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese. Simple and yummy.
- Roasted potatoes and root vegetables. I love oven-roasting root vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, turnips and rutabaga with potatoes and sweet potato chunks. I make a big batch for weekend meal prep and enjoy them all week. (For more veggie ideas, check out this post with 75+ easy ways to add more vegetables to your diet.)
- Grilled baked potatoes. Wrap a baking or sweet potato in foil and put it on the grill along with your other meat and vegetables. (If your other items will cook quickly, cook your potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes before grilling.)
- Grilled potato wedges. Par-boil potato until still firm but mostly cooked. Cut potatoes into thick chunks or wedges. Season as desired. Grill in a grill basket or directly on grill rack.
- Snack on potatoes. Sounds crazy but I’ll gladly snack on pre-cooked potatoes like little reds, yellows, sweet potatoes or Japanese sweet potatoes. I either reheat it quickly in the microwave or just grab it and go.
- Craving sweets? Eat a potato. Are you craving junk food or chocolate? It’s possible your body is craving starch. Try eating a potato and see if the craving goes away. I thought this tip was a bit crazy when I first heard it, but it really does work!
- Eat the skin. Potato skins are delicious and nutritious. Be sure to scrub potatoes well before baking and the skin is safe to eat, including sweet potato skins. When possible, buy organic if you eat the skin.
- Guacamole potato skins. This avocado potato skin recipe is so creamy and delicious and healthier than fried skins loaded with heavy dairy products.
- Baked French fries. I’ve tried a bunch of baked French fries over the years. They are okay but never quite hit my fry craving spot. These fries are the best recipe I’ve found, delicious, crunchy, and oil free.
- Sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet potatoes are so tasty and I never seem to get tired of them. I eat them plain with meals many days each week and will even grab a piece of one as a quick snack.
- Japanese sweet potatoes. I had heard people raving about Japanese sweet potatoes but wasn’t sure what the drama was all about. That was until I tried one. Click here to read my complete guide to Japanese Sweet Potatoes and top recipes for them. They are much sweeter than a regular sweet potato for the same amount of calories. Now I can’t get enough of them. I found them at my local Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and they are also available on Amazon.
- Hannah sweet potatoes. Hannah sweet potatoes are similar to Japanese in flavor but the skin is brown instead of purple. They are absolutely delicious and very sweet.
- Purple potatoes. The taste of purple potatoes (and purple sweet potatoes) is similar to a regular potato, but we eat with our eyes and these are a fun addition to your table.
- Sweet potatoes with mashed banana and lemon. This little concoction tastes like a creamy dessert and it’s completely healthy. Mash half a banana. Add 1/2 tsp lemon juice or fresh lemon zest. (You can also use a sprinkle of True Lemon.) Don’t use too much lemon! You just want a tiny bit or it’s easy to be overpowering. Split one cooked sweet potato or yam and top with mashed banana lemon mixture. Enjoy! This makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert after dinner.
- Easy IP mashed potatoes. Here’s how I make healthy Instant Pot mashed potatoes. You’ll need 1 head fresh cauliflower, 1 cup vegetable broth, enough potatoes to fill a 6 quart pot, and seasonings of choice (I use garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast.) Choose potatoes that can be eaten with the skin on, like yellows and reds. Pour one cup of broth into bottom of pot. Place cored cauliflower in broth. Top with potatoes to reach fill line. Cook on “manual” or “pressure” for 12 minutes. Natural release pressure. Add seasonings of choice. Mash with a potato masher until you reach desired consistency. (I like mine a bit chunky.) Optional, add 1/4-1/2 cup almond milk to make the potatoes extra creamy.
- Mashed potatoes with vegetable broth or nut milk. Make mashed potatoes using your favorite recipe, but replace dairy with equal amounts of broth of nut milk of choice.
- Baby potatoes. All potatoes are tasty, but I especially love the little baby ones. My kids love them too and gobble them up with ketchup the same way you would eat fries. I feel good about serving them because they are so much healthier than store-bought fries.
- Drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Drizzle cooked potatoes with flavored balsamic vinegar for a tasty treat.
- Baked potatoes with salsa. A simple lunch idea is a baked potato with salsa. Add black beans for extra nutrition and protein.
- Baked potatoes topped with baked beans. Use vegetarian baked beans or your own healthy recipe. (For more ways to eat beans for weight loss, check out this post with 45+ bean recipes and meal ideas.)
- Cold potato salad with white bean dressing. This creamy potato salad uses white beans instead of heavy mayo, making it extra-healthy.
- Waffle iron hash browns. Did you know you can make hash browns into crunchy waffles? These extra-crispy waffles can be eaten plain, with dips or spreads, or even used to replace bread to make a sandwich. I use my Dash mini-waffle maker to make fresh individual servings for my lunches. You can shred your own potatoes, but I use frozen shredded hash browns to make it easier.
- Thicken soup. Use cooked, diced potatoes to thicken sauces and soups. Frozen hash browns also work well for this.
- Hamburger soup. This delicious hamburger soup is full of potatoes and healthy vegetables.
- Vegetable-potato soup. Add diced potatoes to this detox vegetable soup recipe to make it even more filling.
- Curry. Try a delicious potato curry like this one.
- Mashed potato sandwich. I haven’t tried this idea yet, but I’ve read that some people love mashed potato sandwiches. Try it cooked in a pan like a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Mashed potato in casseroles and lasagna. Mashed potatoes can add a delicious layer to dishes instead of cheese or white sauce, while still giving a creamy flavor and texture.
- Pizza potatoes. Top a baked potato with spaghetti or pizza sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
- Slow cooker pizza potato casserole. This recipe for crockpot pizza potatoes comes together quickly and is a family favorite.
- Host a potato feast. For a fun family night, serve a potato feast. Make baked, mashed, roasted and fries or chips. Add a few healthy dipping sauces and let everyone dig in. Serve with a salad or veggie tray.
- Baked potato bar. My family loves baked potato bar night and it’s a favorite for church dinners, too. Make a large batch of baked potatoes wrapped in foil, and serve with various toppings like chili, cheese or nutritional yeast, steamed broccoli and salsa.
- Potato pancakes. These potato pancakes are baked instead of fried. Serve with salt and pepper or the traditional applesauce.
- Healthier potato soup. Here’s a very healthy low fat potato soup recipe your family will love. (Scroll toward the bottom of the newsletter link to the Potato Chowder recipe.)
- Potato tacos. Sautee or bake potato cubes and use in place of meat for taco dinners.
- Shepherd’s Pie. Start with a base of lean ground beef, turkey, or cooked lentils. Add a layer of your favorite vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, corn or green beans. Next, add a layer of tomato sauce. Top with your favorite mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot and crispy.
- Baked potato chips. Make easy, oil-free potato chips in the microwave.
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. – Here’s a deliciously different chili that is both sweet and spicy.
- Sweet potato tortillas. With just 2 ingredients, these are easy to make and good for you.
- Sweet potato muffins. These are a delicious breakfast treat or anytime snack.
- Sweet potato chocolate frosting – This sugar-free frosting uses healthier sweet potatoes as the base.
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Grain Bowl – There’s so much goodness going on in this hearty grain bowl.
- Mashed potatoes with garlic and spinach. Try this twist on traditional mashed potatoes.
Potatoes are a healthy food you can enjoy while losing weight. You don’t have to fear the carbs in potatoes and in fact they are a filling way to eat a reduced-calorie diet that will leave you satisfied. With over 50 potato recipes on our list, you are sure to find lots of options you and your family will enjoy.