7 clever things you never knew you could accomplish with a humble colander.

By Kay Chun
Updated May 23, 2017
Credit: © Kay Chun

The humble colander can do more than drain pasta. Repurpose this functional kitchen stalwart! Here are seven clever things you can accomplish with a colander that you had no idea you could do.

1. Mash avocados for speedy guacamole: Press peeled and pitted avocados through the holes into a bowl. Mix with fresh lime juice, spicy chile peppers and cilantro for a super-quick and tasty guacamole.

2. Make mimosa eggs: Push hard-boiled eggs through the colander. Sprinkle on top of asparagus for a classic side dish, or on bagels and lox for a sandwich upgrade.

3. Make spaetzle: Let the dough fall through the colander holes straight into salted boiling water. The pasta cooks up in just a few minutes; when the little dumplings float, they're done.

4. Sift flour: For lump-free cake and brownies, shake the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, etc.) through the colander before mixing with the wet ingredients.

5. Rice potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes: Press cooked potatoes through the colander to make extra-smooth mashed potatoes. The riced potatoes are also great for making gnocchi.

6. Grate semi-firm cheese: You can use the side of your colander as a grater for semi-firm cheeses likegruyere and cheddar. A great alternative when you can't locate your box grater.

7. Strain yogurt to make your own Greek-style yogurt: Line the colander with cheesecloth and drain plain yogurt overnight in the fridge (remember to place a bowl underneath to catch all the liquid!). Voila! Greek-style yogurt awaits you for breakfast. Top with berries and honey and enjoy.