Perfectly seasoned, tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, straight out of the oven...these crispy roasted potatoes are a dinnertime dream! Don’t hold your breath wishing for leftovers…my family never leaves any behind!
Producing crispy roasted potatoes is a challenge as old as wall ovens. Every food blogger has probably tackled it at one time or another, and I figured I might as well too. I thought it would be easy and quick since I’ve been making roasted potatoes for many years. Wrong! I learned so much while I was researching and testing this recipe that the final version looks nothing like the notes I scribbled out a few months ago.
What makes a perfect roasted potato?
I posed this question to my family, and it led to a surprising amount of debate. How crispy did we want/need the potatoes to be? How seasoned? Are we looking for a French fry kind of experience, or something different? We finally settled on a list of attributes for the perfect oven-roasted potatoes: well-seasoned, tender on the inside, with a pleasant amount of browning and crisp edges.
For me, making the recipe weeknight-friendly was also a requirement. I’ve always felt the best side dish recipes are those that I can work on while also making something else. I discarded any technique that had too many steps or took more than 30 minutes of cooking time.
How to make crispy roasted potatoes in the oven
Getting potatoes crispy in the oven involves combining starch, fat, and heat. If we give up the French fry dream, we can cut way back on the fat. That means we’ll need to turn up the heat and add some starch to make them crisp properly. Here’s how to achieve that:
- Preheat your sheet pan. Preheating a sheet pan in the oven is my new go-to technique for roasting almost any vegetable (thank you, Molly Baz). All you have to do is place your clean, dry sheet pan in the oven while it preheats. That’s it!
- Dry your potatoes after cutting them. Moisture is the enemy of crispness. The longer it takes for surface moisture to evaporate, the less crispy your final product will be. Potatoes have a lot of moisture, so as you cut them they start to ooze a little. I blot off as much moisture as possible with a paper towel after I cut the potatoes. If they are extra juicy, I sometimes blot them twice.
- Add a starchy crisping agent to your seasoning. Cornstarch is a great option, but I worry about the fact that it’s known to spike blood sugar. I poked around for an alternative and landed on brown rice flour. It produced crisp edges, not as crispy as cornstarch, but crispy enough to be a viable option for those who prefer to avoid cornstarch.
- Manage your oven temperature. Your oven must be hot! That means no hovering with the door open. You want to be as efficient as possible any time you have to open that door. When you do anything with the pan, take it out and set it on a heat-proof surface and close the oven door as quickly as possible to preserve the heat.
FAQ: Crispy roasted potatoes
Crispiness is all dependent on high starch and low moisture, so varieties of potato that fit that bill are are your best bet. My personal favorite is Yukon Gold potatoes, which are simple to wash (no scrubbing!) and don't require peeling. Russet potatoes are high in starch (which makes them perfect for French fries) and work great in this recipe too, but need to be scrubbed, and maybe peeled (although that's optional). Red and white potatoes have a higher moisture content, and will be less likely to give you a crispy result.
Extra virgin olive oil is my favorite roasting oil for just about everything, for a variety of reasons. Because we consume so much of it, we are used to the flavor, and the health benefits of olive oil can't be beat. My second choice would be avocado oil, which is more neutral in flavor and has a higher smoke point (although I've never had a problem with olive oil smoking). I also always keep a bottle of organic, non-GMO, expeller-pressed canola oil around, which works for just about anything.
Of course! You'll want to set the heat relatively high and keep a close eye on them. Set your air fryer to 400° (I preheat the air fryer basket), then add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Give them a good stir and cook them for 5-7 minutes more, until they are crispy and cooked through.
The perfect finish: garnish matters!
The final element of this dish is to top these crispy roasted potatoes off with something that puts them over the top. This is totally optional, of course, and some days I do it, and if I feel lazy, I don’t. When I do, it almost always involves cheese and herbs, as suggested with the feta and parsley for this recipe. Crumbled bacon and shredded gouda is delicious, and also parsley and thyme. It keeps these crispy roasted potatoes from ever being boring, and can help tie the dish in with the rest of your meal.
Prep, storage, and reheating
Crispy roasted potatoes can’t really be made ahead, but if you have any leftovers (that’s a big IF!) they will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days. They won’t stay crisp, of course, but they are absolutely delicious tossed into a breakfast scramble.
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
What’s your favorite way to prepare potatoes? How did you like this recipe for crispy roast potatoes? Drop me a question, a comment, or a rating and let me know...you’ll make my day! And don’t forget to save and share this recipe by pinning it to Pinterest or saving to Yummly, Whisk, or Flipboard.
Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes, scrubbed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton’s
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic garlic powder will work
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika you can use hot
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch or brown rice flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground white or black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or other preferred cooking oil
- Cooking spray of your choice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Set a rack in the middle of your oven and put your sheet pan on the rack. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut potatoes into ½-1 inch pieces (1-inch pieces will take a little longer to cook). Use a paper towel to blot off as much moisture as you can.
- Toss the cut potatoes in a bowl with the kosher salt, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Combine the granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, cornstarch or brown rice flour, and pepper.
- Blot the potatoes off with a paper towel one more time, then toss them with the olive oil. Add the seasoning mix and toss to coat.
- Take the sheet pan out of the oven and close the oven to preserve heat. Spray the pan with a very light coating of cooking spray.
- Carefully spread potatoes out on the pan and shake the pan to spread them out. Use tongs to make sure every piece has a cut side in contact with the pan. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven and close the oven to preserve the heat. Stir the potatoes well, using tongs to turn any over that don’t look browned and crispy on the top. Try to make sure every piece of potato gets turned…it’s worth the little bit of extra effort!
- Return the pan to the oven and roast for 12-15 more minutes, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside but a fork goes easily through the middle.
- Transfer the potatoes to a warmed bowl and, if desired, top with crumbled feta and chopped fresh parsley.