Don't Toss Leftover Potato Salad. Make Ultra-Crispy Roast Potatoes Instead

Potato salad is the perfect side dish for barbecues, picnics, and cookouts. Whether it's a creamy basic potato salad recipe with mayo, or a tangy version made with a sharp vinaigrette and fresh herbs, it goes with just about everything. But if you've somehow ended up with lots of leftovers, you may be wondering what to do with it all.

While you can freeze any potato salad, store-bought or homemade, you may prefer to skip that step so you can eat it the next day instead. And even though it's delicious straight from a bowl in the fridge, you don't have to just serve the dish as is. Potato salad can also be used to make other recipes, too. One of the tastiest has to be crunchy golden roast potatoes.

One of the advantages of using potato salad to make roast potatoes is how quick and easy it is. The potatoes are already cooked, and coated in fat thanks to the mayonnaise, so half the prep work is already done. The oven does the rest, with the result being extra crispy potatoes with minimal effort — and loads of flavor.

Mayo helps the potatoes become extra crispy and browned

This hack works best with leftover potato salad that is simply dressed with mayonnaise. While some additions such as onions, herbs, or bacon may work well when roasted, you probably don't want to try this with a potato salad that's loaded with chopped egg, or dressed in a sour vinegary dressing.

With a classic potato salad, you may prefer to rinse off some or all of the mayo before you start roasting if there's too much. But the fact that the potatoes have been coated in the creamy condiment does have an advantage: The protein from the egg whites in the mayo helps the potatoes to become even crispier and browned in the heat of the oven. It's one reason why you sometimes see mayo used as a marinade for meat or vegetables, and also why you should be using mayo (not butter) for the crispiest grilled cheese.

For this trick, the potatoes need to be roasted in an oven set to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for around half an hour for a super crispy result that's both quick and satisfying; just turn them a couple of times so they brown evenly. Or, if you want an even faster result, try 15 minutes in the air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

More ways to turn leftover potato salad into new dishes

Potato salad is a great way to get perfectly crisp roast potatoes in a hurry, but there are also several other ways you can transform the leftovers from your barbecue or cookout into a whole new dish. For example, try rinsing off some of the mayo and then frying the potato salad in a hot skillet for quick and crunchy fried potatoes.

Alternatively, you could turn leftover potato salad into a fun breakfast dish. Lightly mashing the leftovers before forming them into patties, and then coating with breadcrumbs and frying will produce a crisp, crumbed potato cake with a tender interior that goes great with eggs, bacon, or whatever else you fancy. Or mash the potatoes with flour, an egg, and some parmesan to make cheesy pancakes.

As if that's not enough, leftover potato salad could be baked into a casserole, or can even be turned into soup. Just smash it up a little and add it to canned cream of mushroom or chicken soup with a little broth and any other additions you wish, then heat in a pan for a comforting treat. However you reinvent it, potato salad can be much more versatile than you think, so don't even consider throwing those leftovers away.