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How to Make Perfect Roast Potatoes

This recipe makes utterly perfect roast potatoes! These roast potatoes, with fluffy middles and super crispy edges, are definitely the star of every plate.

A dish full of crispy roast potatoes.

In my opinion, these roast potatoes are perfect. They’re soft and fluffy in the middle, and super crispy on the outside – the perfect contrast. Whatever you serve them with, these roasties will be the best thing on your plate.

Just look at all those crispy bits…

A close up showing a baking tray covered with crispy roast potatoes.

Now, I definitely don’t make roast potatoes this way every time. I usually use the quickest method possible – literally just cut up some unpeeled potatoes, and stick them in the oven.

They’re still great when they’re cooked the lazy way (it’s very hard to make a roast potato anything short of delicious), but they don’t even come close to these perfect ones. If you have time, I would 100% recommend using the method below, to give utterly perfect roast potatoes.

A close up of a dish full of roast potatoes, with one broken in half, showing the fluffy centre.

How to make perfect roast potatoes

Making good roast potatoes is really easy. There are a couple of steps, but none of it is remotely difficult.

Step 1: Wash and peel potatoes
Step 2: Boil potatoes until fluffy
Step 3: Roast potatoes in plenty of oil

That’s it! Very straightforward really. Even if you’re not a particularly experienced cook, you should be able to make a roast potato taste good.

A pile of Maris Piper potatoes on a chopping board.

What are the best potatoes for roasting?

Whichever variety of potato you use, you’re probably going to end up with a delicious roast potato.

However, some varieties of potato do make slightly better roast potatoes than others.

Ideally, you want to use a type of fluffy potato. This will not only make the middles of your roasties super light and soft, but it will also help them to fluff up around the edges – and these are the bits that get nice and crispy as they roast!

The best potatoes to use for roasting include:

  • Maris Piper potatoes
  • King Edward potatoes
  • Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Rooster potatoes

This time I used Maris Pipers. You can find out more about different varieties of potatoes here, including some information about what types of potatoes are best for different recipes.

A pile of peeled Maris Piper potatoes on a chopping board.

Should I peel my potatoes before roasting?

In short – yes.

As I said, I often don’t bother peeling my potatoes. Potato skins actually contain a lot of nutrients, and it’s quicker not to peel them, which is always a plus for a lazy cook.

But – this isn’t a recipe for the most nutritious roast potatoes, or the laziest roast potatoes. It’s a recipe for the tastiest roast potatoes.

So for these, you’re going to need to peel.

Peeling allows the potatoes to fluff up around the edges as they boil, and these are the bits that form the super crispy exterior of the roast potatoes (and we all know that’s the best bit). So peel away!

Peeled and chopped potatoes in a large saucepan.

Should I boil my potatoes before roasting?

Again, when I’m in a rush / feeling lazy, I usually don’t bother boiling.

But boiling the potatoes before putting them in the oven softens them up, giving fluffy edges, and melt-in-your-mouth centres – so it’s a must if you’re aiming to make the best roast potatoes.

Just boil your potatoes until they’re nearly soft. You don’t want them to end up as soft as they’d be if you were making mashed potato, for example, but just enough that they begin to break down around the edges.

Boiled potatoes in a large saucepan.

How to get crispy roast potatoes

Here comes the fun bit.

Once you’ve drained your boiled potatoes, hold a lid tightly over the pan, and give the whole thing a really good shake.

As the boiled potatoes bash into each other, they fluff up even more around the edges, and create lots of little loose bits that will crisp up beautifully as they roast.

It’s a pretty good arm workout too.

Obviously you don’t want to go overboard here – don’t end up making mash accidentally! Just a few good hard shakes will be enough to rough up the edges of your potatoes.

Fluffed up boiled potatoes in a large saucepan, ready for roasting.

How much oil should I use on my roast potatoes?

I’ll say again: this is not a recipe for healthy roast potatoes.

In other words: the more oil, the better.

Okay, perhaps you don’t want to use an entire bottle, but don’t be too stingy – you need every single piece of potato to be well coated in oil to give those nice crispy edges.

(I’m getting hungry just thinking about those nice crispy edges…)

Lay the potatoes out on a baking tray, making sure not to overcrowd them. If they’re all squeezed together, they won’t crisp up properly.

Fluffy boiled potatoes spread out on a baking tray ready to roast.

How to season roast potatoes

At this point, you’ll need to add some seasoning to your potatoes.

Potatoes love salt – they soak it right up, and it really brings them to life. So add a really generous pinch of salt, and of course, some black pepper too.

I tend to leave it there, but you could also add some garlic powder, dried herbs, or ground spices (smoked paprika is my favourite!).

Then, put the tray in the oven for around 45 minutes or so, until the potatoes are crisped up to your liking.

You can always add an extra pinch of salt while the potatoes are still hot, if needed.

A baking tray full of crispy, golden brown roast potatoes.

How to serve roast potatoes

As much as I’d love to eat a whole plateful of roast potatoes on their own and call it a day, they really work best as a side dish, as part of a roast dinner. They’re also an absolute must every Christmas!

Here are a few ideas for vegetarian meals that all work well alongside some roasties:

What do you like to serve alongside your roast potatoes?

A serving bowl piled high with crispy golden roast potatoes.

What to do with leftover roast potatoes

‘Leftover roast potatoes’ isn’t a phrase that’s ever uttered in my house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leftover roast potato…

But if you do end up cooking more than you can eat, there are plenty of things you can do with them.

If you’d like to eat them in the same way again, they’re best reheated in the oven (microwaving can make them soggy!). Obviously they’ll end up even crispier second time round, so don’t turn the oven up too hot, and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.

Alternatively, you can use your leftover roast potatoes in a new way entirely. Here are a few ideas:

Thinking of all these brilliant ideas for ways to use leftover roast potatoes is actually inspiring me so much that I think next time I’ll try to resist eating the whole tray in one go. It’s just so hard when they’re such perfect roast potatoes!

Aerial shot of a serving bowl piled high with roast potatoes.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

How to make perfect roast potatoes

This recipe makes utterly perfect roast potatoes! These roast potatoes, with fluffy middles and super crispy edges, are definitely the star of every plate.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (~ 2 lb 3 oz) potatoes (see blog post for best varieties)
  • 4 tbsp unflavoured cooking oil (e.g. vegetable oil or sunflower oil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes, and cut them into chunks (depending on your preferred size).
  • Place the potatoes in a large pan of water, and boil until they are just soft, but still holding their shape. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pan.
  • Holding the lid on tightly, firmly shake the pan several times to fluff up the potatoes. They should start to break down just slightly round the edges.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, and toss in a generous amount of oil. Spread them out into a single layer – use two trays if needed. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
  • Roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 45 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through cooking time, until crisped up to your liking. The exact cooking time will depend on how big you cut your potatoes.
Nutrition Facts
How to make perfect roast potatoes
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 125
% Daily Value*
Fat 13.9g21%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 597mg25%
Potassium 1024mg29%
Carbohydrates 39.6g13%
Fiber 6.1g24%
Sugar 2.9g3%
Protein 4.3g9%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.

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