This recipe makes utterly perfect roast potatoes! These roast potatoes, with fluffy middles and super crispy edges, are definitely the star of every plate.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- spinach and ricotta lentil slice
- veggie en croute
- creamy lentil and aubergine stack
- cheesy bean roast
- carrot and white bean veggie cutlets
- mushroom stroganoff pie
- vegetable toad in the hole
- vegetarian haggis and mushroom wellington
- honey and mustard sticky sausages
What do you like to serve alongside your 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:
- use them instead of chips, topped with homemade veggie chilli, to make vegetarian chilli cheese fries
- throw them into a vegetarian curry to make it extra nourishing
- add them to a vegetable stew
- scatter them (cold or warm) through a hearty salad, like this creamy green bean potato salad
- cover with sauce and grated cheese, and pop in the oven to make a super easy potato bake
- give them a new identity as Bombay potatoes
- chop them up into breakfast burritos
- blend them into a warming vegetarian soup, to thicken it up
- slice them up to create a crispy topping for a vegetarian hotpot
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!
How to make perfect roast potatoes
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- 1 kg (~ 2 lb 3 oz) potatoes (see blog post for best varieties)
- 4 tablespoon unflavoured cooking oil (e.g. vegetable oil or sunflower oil)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 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.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.