How to Make Basic Roast Potatoes
In our house, my wife is Queen of the All Things Potato. She makes the best mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, baked potatoes and my kids can't get enough of her roasted potatoes. Her method of preparing these roasted tubers is simple and described below.
I already have a two-step recipe for Awesome Roasted Potatoes from Chef JoAnna Minneci, a personal chef to the stars. Her method is to first boil the potatoes for a minute before roasting. This is a great way to prepare roasted potatoes but like many of you, we don't always have the time or desire to execute this 2-step process.
My wife skips the boiling step but has a few other tips for making incredibly delicious roasted spuds. One of them to make sure all the potatoes are the same size.
You can either quarter larger potatoes so they are all the same size or cook baby potatoes that are similar in size. Having the potatoes all the same size ensures even cooking.
In the photo above, we roasted both purple potatoes and fingerling potatoes because that's what we had on hand and needed to use them up. I suppose a restaurant would only serve one kind but that's the beauty of cooking at home - you can serve them any way you want.
How Many Potatoes?
How many you prepare doesn't really matter for this recipe. It's more important that you don't overcrowd the roasting pan to prevent the potatoes from steaming rather than roasting.
You can see from my tips for great mashed potatoes, I suggest ⅓ to ½ pound of raw potatoes per person but in actuality, it really depends on who's eating them. Your son who's in college and is bulking up for his school's sport team is going to eat a lot more potatoes than your 80 year old aunt who visits on holidays.
So for this recipe we'll say 2 pounds for 4 people. That's most likely going to be too many but these potatoes are great for making home fries the following morning.
Simple Roasted Potatoes Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Prep the potatoes by cutting them to equal sized pieces if necessary and then coat with oil. Most recipes say to do this right in the roasting pan.
- I prefer to transfer them to a bowl, add the oil, season with salt and give them a big stir. This way I know I'm going to get all of them coated.
- I always feel I'm not getting them coated completely when I try to coat them in the pan.
- Spray the bottom of your roasting pan with spray olive oil. You may think this is necessary, but we've found it prevents the potatoes from sticking even though they are coated with oil.
- Place the roasting pan into the preheated oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are done. Halfway through the cooking process, carefully flip the potatoes using a large heatproof spatula.
Hi R.G.--just discovered you. What temp do you pre-heat oven for these taters?
G. Stephen Jones
Hi Bill, thank you for bringing this to my attention. When I asked my wife, she said sometimes 400°F, sometimes 425°F and sometimes 450°F depending on how many she is roasting, the size of the potatoes and how fast she needs to get them done. It will also depend on your oven because there can be variations between oven models. The best way to test is with a fork or wooden skewer. I suggest in the recipe to roast at 425°F.
Oh my, you are missing two main ingredients: Rosemary and a little lemon juice.Cheers!