It's no secret that the foods you eat before, during and after your workouts will make or break your progress and performance. For optimal results, endurance athletes need high-quality whole foods that are easy to make and easy for the body to break down. Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables out there, acting as a canvas for herbs and spices, protein-packed meats, eggs, and cheeses, while also delivering essential nutrients to the body like carbohydrate, calcium, fiber, potassium and magnesium.
We've rounded up the most delicious potato recipes for runners, created by expert chefs and nutritionists with the athlete in mind. Try these to add a little power to your next workout.
PORTABLE EGG & POTATO MINI FRITTATASDeveloped by: Allen Tran, MS, RD, CSSD 1 of 13
These filling and easy-to-make snacks are perfect for an on-the-go, pre-workout breakfast.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 lb. medium-size red and yellow potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced red bell pepper
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup 2 percent milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup finely crushed seasoned croutons
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and coat 12 muffin cups liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place potatoes, onion and bell pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a small hole to vent. Microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Place equal amounts in muffin cups.
3. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk and seasonings in a large measuring cup; pour equal amounts into each muffin cup and top with crushed croutons.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until eggs are puffed and lightly browned. Let cool slightly, then loosen from muffin cups with a butter knife or other small knife.
Allen Tran, MS, RD, CSSD is the High Performance Dietitian and Chef for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
HASHBROWN WAFFLES WITH TART CHERRY SYRUPDeveloped by: Chef Glenn Lyman 2 of 13
Who doesn't love waffles? Both protein and carbohydrates combine to make this tasty pre-workout meal a powerhouse addition to your meal plan. Plus, with tart cherry syrup, your recovery game will be strong, too.
- 1 1/4 lbs. yellow potatoes, with skin-on, grated
- 1 large egg and 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 12 oz. bag frozen tart cherries or fresh pitted
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar or honey
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. water
1. In a small saucepan, bring cherries, sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cherries cook down and the mixture starts to thicken to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat. It will continue to thicken as it sits.Optional: Blend using food processor or blender if you prefer a thinner syrup.
1. Preheat waffle iron to medium-high setting. Meanwhile, squeeze excess water out of grated potatoes using a clean kitchen towel.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together potatoes, eggs, olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
3. Spray waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray. Spoon a layer of potato mixture onto the surface leaving about 1/2-inch from the edges. Close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes, checking occasionally. Continue to cook for about 2 more minutes or until golden brown.
4. Transfer to a warm oven while you finish the remaining batches. Serve with warm cherry syrup.
Note: If the waffle iron lid doesn't close all the way at first, close it slightly and let cook for 2 minutes before pressing the lid down completely.
Glen Lyman is the owner of "GCooks," a personal chef and meal planning service for professional and Olympic athletes.
POTATO POPPERS WITH TURMERICDeveloped by: Chef Glenn Lyman 3 of 13
This portable powerhouse snack is simple to prepare and packs a serious punch to your taste buds, thanks to its bright flavors.
- 1 1/2 lbs. petite potatoes (any color)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1. Steam potatoes (with skin on) in a large, covered saucepan with 1 inch of lightly salted water for about 12 minutes, or until tender, drain.
2. Toss immediately with olive oil, lemon, turmeric, peppers and salt. Allow to cool slightly and toss with chopped fresh chives.
3. Divide into equal portions and store in re-sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for easy access during the week. chives, chopped
HASH BROWN AND EGG NESTSDeveloped by: Carissa Bealert, RDN 4 of 13
A mixture of egg whites and veggies are nested inside of hash browns and cooked in a muffin tin, creating a perfectly portable pre-exercise meal.
- 4 cups of refrigerated pre- shredded potatoes
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
- 5 liquid egg whites
- 4 tsp. salsa
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Olive oil spray
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a muffin tin with oil or non-stick spray.
2. Combine potato shreds with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Evenly distribute potato mixture in muffin tins and press the mixture in the middle using a spoon so that it forms a nest.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until it's golden brown with crisp edges. While nests are baking, combine eggs, onions, peppers and salsa in a bowl.
4. When nests are golden brown, remove from oven and fill each one with 1/4 cup of egg mixture. Top with cheese.
5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until eggs are cooked.
Carissa Bealert is a certified personal trainer, marathon runner and race announcer for Run Disney.
POTATO PANCAKES WITH APPLE BUTTERDeveloped by: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN 5 of 13
Make a batch of potato pancakes and freeze them for easy-to-reheat, pre-workout fuel to enjoy throughout the week. Top with apple butter for a sweet and satisfying addition.
- 2 packed cups of refrigerated
- 3 tbsp. crushed cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 1 extra-large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup apple butter
1. Mix potato shreds, crushed cereal, beaten egg, spices and grated orange peel together in large bowl until well combined.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a non-stick skillet. With a small ice cream scoop, take about 1-1/2 tbsp. and drop about 6 scoops into the hot skillet.
3. Cook pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on other side and transfer to plate to cool. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
4. Top with a dollop of apple butter and enjoy.
Leslie Bonci is the nutrition consultant for the Kansas City chiefs, Carnegie Mellon University athletics, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the WNBA.
ZESTY MASHED POTATO SNACKERSDeveloped by: Carissa Bealert, RDN 6 of 13
Sick of fueling your long runs with sugar-based gels? Instead, try these easy-to-make, potassium-packed mashed potato snacks with fresh lemon zest and mint.
- 3/4 cup dehydrated potato flakes
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tbsp. salt
- Lemon zest and fresh mint (optional)
1. Combine broth, coconut oil and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in potato flakes until combined.
2. Heat to a boil, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and gently stir.
Optional: Add in 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest and ½ to 1 tsp. chopped fresh mint to taste.
ON-THE-GO POTATOESDeveloped by: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN 7 of 13
These snacks offer just a bit of crunch and spice that is perfect for mid-run-or even mid-bike for cyclists.
- 24 oz. of petite yellow potatoes (about 40 petite potatoes)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup tuxedo sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. Chinese 5-Spice seasoning mix
1. Put potatoes in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and soy sauce. Mix to coat well.
2. In a separate bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and 5-spice seasoning and mix well.
3. In small batches, put the potatoes in the breadcrumb mixture and roll around to coat well.
4. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through.
PORTABLE POTATO CAKESDeveloped by: Allen Tran, MS, RD, CSSD 8 of 13
Grab-and-go with these simple (read: easily digestible) cakes that are even customizable, so you never get bored.
- 2 1/2 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. flour
- Plus, extra ingredients for your preferred variation (see link at bottom for ideas)
1. Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and add salt. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes can be pierced with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and add back to pot. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they have a creamy consistency (a few small lumps are okay) and add flour. Stir until combined.
3. Choose your flavor variation from the options below. Transfer mashed potatoes to a large bowl and add all ingredients from your selected flavor variation. Mix thoroughly and let mixture cool for 30 minutes.
4. Form into cakes about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.
5. Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
6. Add 3 to 4 patties in to pan and fry for about 3 min, turning over and cooking for another 2 minutes. Gently press on cakes for even browning. Remove from pan when deep golden brown on both sides. Repeat, adding more olive oil to pan if needed, for remaining mixture.
7. Serve immediately, or cool and store in Ziploc bags for eating on the go.
ROASTED SMASHED PETITE POTATOES WITH BUFFALO BLUE CHEESEDeveloped by: Allen Tran, MS, RD, CSSD 9 of 13
This post-run meal is the perfect match for your ravenous appetite after a long run. The blue cheese will even make you feel like you're splurging (don't worry-you're not!).
- 1 1/2 lbs. red and yellow petite potatoes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
- 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2. Put potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Potatoes should be cooked through but still hold their shape. Do not overcook. Drain potatoes and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Place potatoes on baking sheet and gently press down on each with the palm of your hand until they split open and are about 1/2-inch thick but still in one piece. Space potatoes 1-inch apart. Brush with oil and flip to coat both sides. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.
4. While potatoes are cooking, place garlic in the microwave and cook on HIGH for 30 seconds to soften and mellow flavor. Peel and place in a small blender or food processor with buffalo sauce and sugar; puree until smooth. Brush potatoes on both sides with mixture and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more or until potato edges are crispy and brown. Stir together blue cheese yogurt dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and serve with potatoes.
POTATO AND BLACK BEAN SOUPDeveloped by: Chef Glenn Lyman 10 of 13
This satisfying post-workout meal is packed with protein and carbohydrates. It's also an especially great way for cold-weather runners to warm-up after chilly miles.
- 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp. avocado oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño pepper and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, potatoes, black beans, salt and pepper, increasing heat to high and bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
2. Cool slightly and transfer 1/3 mixture to a blender and carefully blend until smooth. Repeat with the remaining soup, 1/3 at a time or use an immersion blender instead.
3. If soup is too thick, add water or broth a little at a time. If soup is too thin, return to medium heat and simmer, stirring often until desired consistency, being careful not to burn.
4. Top each bowl of soup with 1 1/2 tbsp. low-fat cheddar cheese and serve with green onion garnish.
POTASSIUM POTATO SMOOTHIEDeveloped by: Carissa Bealert, RDN 11 of 13
This vibrant smoothie gets its color from purple potatoes and pomegranate juice.
- 4 small purple potatoes
- 1 small banana, frozen
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp. unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 handful of ice cubes
1. Place potatoes (whole, with skin-on) on microwave safe plate and pierce with a fork 2 to 3 times. Microwave on high until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool until next step.
2. Blend all ingredients, including potatoes, in a blender until smooth. Add more honey or banana to sweeten as desired. Add more ice to thicken.
POWER BAKED POTATODeveloped by: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN 12 of 13
The traditional baked potato is given a powerful boost with the addition of protein-rich ricotta, antioxidant-rich baby spinach and flavorful pesto.
- 1 Russet potato, about 10 oz.
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
- 3/4 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped if desired
- 1 1/2 tbsp. pesto, homemade or store bought
1. Wash the potato and pat dry. Prick with fork 4 to 5 times on both sides. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Use oven mitts to flip the potato and microwave an additional 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and set aside.
2. While the potato is cooking, mix together the ricotta and pesto in a bowl.
3. When potato has cooled enough, split open the potato and stuff in the baby spinach leaves. Top with the ricotta-pesto mixture and enjoy.