Introduction: Potat-Os

My father always seems to be nostalgic about the past. He wishes he had played more sports in high school. He makes me listen to old music. He tells stories about childhood, high school, and college all of the time. The guy even gave me his old college backpack and asks about it daily. So, it makes sense that he talks about foods he ate in college, too. My father, who has a fascination with food mixes and concoctions, always talks of one meal. That meal would be Potat-Os; SpaghettiOs and instant mashed potatoes mixed together.

Being an easy and affordable meal, Potat-Os are a quick go-to food for a college student. The ingredients don’t need to be refrigerated and all heating can be done in a microwave. Although it is a rather weird mixture, combining these two beloved foods offers a different flavor to add variety to your college diet.


  • Can of SpaghettiOs in your desired flavor
  • Microwavable instant mashed potatoes
  • Microwave safe bowl large enough to hold both the SpaghettiOs and the potatoes
  • Microwave cover, napkins, or bounty towels
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • Microwave
  • Can opener if the SpaghettiOs’ can doesn’t have an easy open pull tab


  • Minimal cooking experience
  • Ability to follow written directions
  • Ability to operate a microwave

Step 1: Make the Potatoes

  1. Remove the lid from the container.
  2. Add cold water to the fill line located inside the container.
  3. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Cook time depends on the microwave; it took my microwave 1 ½ minutes.
  4. Remove the container from the microwave.
  5. Stir well. Let it sit for one minute.

Step 2: Cook the SpaghettiOs

  1. Remove the top of the can. You may need a can opener if the can doesn’t have a pull tab.
  2. Transfer the SpaghettiOs from the can to a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl before microwaving. You can use a microwave plate and bowl cover, a napkin, or a bounty towel; I used a bounty towel.
  4. Heat in the microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Again, cook time varies by microwave; cooking was completed in my microwave at 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Leave the SpaghettiOs in the microwave for 1 minutes. I didn’t do this, and it still turned out fine.
  6. Remove the bowl from the microwave.
  7. Stir the SpaghettiOs with a spoon.

Step 3: Mix Them Together

  1. After they’ve both been cooked, transfer the potatoes into the same bowl as the SpaghettiOs.
  2. Stir them together to your desired consistency.
  3. Enjoy your cheap and easy meal!
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