When it comes to a Thanksgiving feast, potatoes are both an underrated dish and an overlooked ingredient. People only think about potatoes in a mashed form while debating over which of the other side dishes is the best. If it's not the turkey taking center stage, it's typically the types of pie, the best mac and cheese recipe, or the untouched cranberry sauce.

However, potatoes should be the main character of the Thanksgiving table because of how multifaceted, nutritious, and handy this vegetable can be in many dishes outside and inside Thanksgiving. Here are some ways you can make a potato shine over Thanksgiving.

Mashed Potatoes

It is a classic Thanksgiving stable and comfort food everyone recognizes and craves. Despite its commonality, it still deserves a spot on the table. Mashed potatoes are easy to make from an instant box at supermarkets or from scratch.

With a meal like mashed potatoes, there’s always room for improvisation. These roasted garlic parmesan mashed potatoes are my personal favorite, but there are many to choose from. You could even opt for a cauliflower mashed potato dish.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is one of many soul food staples in the African-American community, commonly served on holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You’ll need a pie shell, milk, sugar, eggs and sweet potatoes, of course. If baking is not your specialty, then you can buy a prepared pie at a chain supermarket. Just throw it in the oven and enjoy a slice. 

(Before anyone says it, sweet potatoes and yams are not the same. Hence I didn’t put candied yams on this list.) 

Potato Wedges & French Fries

Something for the kids, picky eaters or fry lovers! Having potato wedges and fries at any function guarantees that no one will go hungry.

The best potatoes to use are white main crop potatoes, Maris Piper potatoes, russet potatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes.

Potato Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board is a perfect way of serving potatoes because of how multifaceted potatoes are as finger food. Pass it around or leave it on the kitchen table for guests to snack on. If you don’t know where to start when putting together a potato charcuterie board, I got you covered.

You’ll want dishes that are shareable — big enough to eat with one hand and small enough to fill your plate. 

Potato wedges and fries, as I stated before, will guarantee that no one will go hungry as everyone likes them. Serve them plain, cheesy, or spicy. You can also add potato croquettes to the board with crispy breaded coating on the outside and soft potato filling on the inside.

Speaking of mashed potatoes, potato pancakes are another way to use up leftovers. For a fun surprise, stuff them with cheese, chorizo, beef ,or stuffing. Duchess potatoes, oven-baked swirled mashed potatoes coated with butter, are a creative way of serving couture on a budget.

As for dipping sauce, ketchup is a great option. But I would opt for adding honey mustard, Chik-fil-A sauce, ranch, and barbecue sauce.

Pot or Pan Potatoes

If you prefer to enjoy things with utensils, these dishes might help. Au Gratin Potatoes and potato lasagna are both made with thin, layered potato slices smothered in butter, cream, and  cheese. The lasagna adds in a meat sauce topped with melted cheese.

Loaded baked potato soup brings the taste of baked potatoes without  the skin and will leave you licking the bowl clean.

Potato Pasta

If you want to impress a crowd, turn a bag of potatoes into pasta noodles. You can make them long strings, round balls or cute buttons as long as you’re creative (and patient) enough to do it.