How to Use a Mandolin Slicer Without Being Intimidated

Use a mandolin to trick yourself into eating more veggies.

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You could meticulously slice a potato by hand—or you could use a mandolin slicer to make the job way easier. If you frequently add thin slices of vegetables to your dishes, a mandolin slicer is a kitchen tool worth having around. Plus, if you’re interested in making homemade potato chips, you probably won’t be able to get the potato slices as thin as you need if you’re working by hand—no matter how good you think your knife skills are! Enter the amazing mandolin.

To use a mandolin slicer with a potato, peeling is optional. (Keep in mind the potato skin does provide extra nutrition such as iron and fiber.) After scrubbing off any dirt, hold the potato perpendicular to the mandolin slicer and simply slide the potato back and forth against the blade. Fair warning: The mandolin blade is very sharp, so as you reach the end of the potato, use caution. Some vegetable mandolins even come with an extra piece designed to hold the vegetable to keep your fingers safe.

For making chips with a mandolin, you’ll likely want to set the mandolin slicer on the thinnest setting. This works for other unique versions of chips, like apple chips or taro chips. A wider setting, however, is perfect to make cucumber slices (use them to flavor water naturally or make homemade pickles) or long eggplant slices for a noodle-free lasagna.

Looking for more ways to use a mandolin slicer? Make a unique, low-carb appetizer by slicing a sweet potato on a wider setting. Roast the sweet potato rounds in the oven and then top with anything you might put on a cracker. Try goat cheese, pecans, and dried cranberries for a winter holiday feast, or guacamole and fresh cilantro for a summer fiesta!