Food

The Best Crunchy Roast Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

My mom always made super crunchy roast potatoes alongside roast chicken and a green salad. We found it impossible to eat only the potatoes on our plates; you need a second helping and maybe a third. Crunchy roast potatoes are one of life’s great pleasures, don’t you agree? Lucky for us, Katie Quinn Davies from the blog What Katie Ate has agreed to share her mother’s perfect recipe…

The Best Super Crunchy Roast Potatoes You’ll Ever Have
By Katie Quinn Davies from the blog What Katie Ate and beautiful new cookbook What Katie Ate

My mum made the best roast potatoes ever—they were super-crunchy and crisp. For years I’ve tried to replicate them, and this is what I’ve learned along the way. First, once you’ve par-boiled the potatoes, drain them well and return them to the pan, then shake them vigorously to rough them up nicely (you could fluff them up with a fork as well, for extra crunchiness). Secondly, never try and roast potatoes in a glass or ceramic dish—it must be metal to make sure they get really crispy. Finally, if your potatoes are large, cut them in half or quarters, as the more edges you have on your potatoes, the crunchier they will be.

Recipe: Super Crunchy Roast Potatoes
Serves 4-6

You’ll need:
8 large russet potatoes, peeled
Fine salt
1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil
2 springs rosemary, leaves picked
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 475F.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, then again crosswise. Half-fill a large deep saucepan with cold water, add a pinch of salt and the potato pieces. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily into the potatoes but there’s just a little resistance in the center. You want to just par-boil the potatoes; if you overcook them at this stage, they will become too mushy.

Drain the potatoes in a colander, then return them to the saucepan. Cover with the lid and give the pan a really good shake to fluff up the potatoes; these soft, loose edges will become really crispy during roasting. If you want, you can scrape the edges and tops of the potatoes with a fork to create even more fluffy bits.

Add the oil to a deep roasting tin and place in the oven for 10 minutes until smoking hot. Remove the roasting tin and turn the oven temperature down to 425F. Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil, then sprinkle over the rosemary leaves and crumble a bit of sea salt on top.

Return the tin to the hot oven and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are really crispy and a gorgeous golden brown. Feel free to turn the spuds halfway through to ensure even browning.

Serve piping hot with an extra sprinkle of sea salt.

What do you guys think? You can find Katie on her blog, and check out her gorgeous new cookbook…Thanks again, Katie!

P.S. More best recipes, including roast chicken and brussel sprouts.

(Photo and recipe by Katie Quinn Davis for her book What Katie Ate. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series)

  1. carol says...

    Yum yum, made these potatoes the other night and they were so good, very good, soft inside and crispy outside. Will definitely make them again…….maybe tonight.

  2. For anyone who gets as far down the list as this, here’s a tip: if you overboil the potatoes (very easy to do), when you shake them many will fall to pieces. Solution: first remove – with a wooden spoon – the whole ones, then let the broken bits cool down a little and “handcraft” them, pressing the bits firmly together to make balls the same size as the whole bits. They will be smooth on the outside but they come out crispy just the same. And another tip: if the potatoes you are roasting at the bottom of the oven are not keeping up with the chicken or whatever that’s at the top, change them round and use the grill + fan; that will brown them quickly while not overcooking the meat.

  3. I actually tried this recipe and they turned out so delicious! BEST ROASTED POTATOES EVER!!

  4. I didn’t read the directions was in advance. I didn’t realize these potatoes would take 1 1/5 hours (minimum) until they were ready to eat. Now it’s time for guest to start arriving and I just FINALLY got the potatoes in the oven. Hope they turn out okay since I over boiled — maybe my temp was too hot since I only par-boiled for 8 minutes.

  5. These are seriously the best crunchy potatoes I have ever had. My dad made them for me one night…we stayed up until 1030pm so they would finish cooking and we could enjoy! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Turned out perfect! Thanks Jo!

  7. Turned out perfect! Thanks Jo!

  8. I just made these and they were the best potatoes I’ve ever made! I always struggle with getting them crispy and this did the trick. Can’t wait to try with sweet potatoes! Thanks :)

  9. These are excellent! Love the parboiling step; makes a huge difference. I had to bump up the temp slightly and leave in a bit longer to get them crispy but would absolutely make these again.

  10. I made these last night with sweet potatoes and they are/were so good!

  11. This looks so delicious, maybe I just found tomorrow’s lunch.

  12. Okay…made these last night and they really ARE the best crunchy roast potatoes I’ve ever had.

  13. Omg, just made these….. Blew my mind! And the kids love them too! Love the fluffing trick. I used the colander to fluff them, worked lie a charm.

  14. I just made these for dinner tonight and they turned out great! Fluffy on the inside and nice a crispy on the outside. Huge hit with the kids, too.

  15. Yum-o, made these last night and they are kid and diet approved! Used russet potatoes but dieced them smaller and par boiled untill fork tender. Almost as soft as you would use for a potato salad. “Fluffed” them in the collandar (hubby says we should “fluff” them more next time)and put them in a 500 degree oven; a bit hotter then called for but it really dryed them out perfect. Crunchy on the outside and soft and perfect on the inside! I didn’t use as much oil either, just two or so glugs of olive oil and stired those babies up! So yummy and easy to make, although a bit more time consuming since I don’t normally boil the potatoes first, but I will from now on.

  16. These are one of my favorite breakfast foods! So yummy!

  17. You all look very nice and the picture with Toby crying becuase of the fries is fantastic. Made me laught so much.

  18. A great tip is to parboil the potatoes in advance, shake them a bit to rough up the edges, and then put them in a bowl, uncovered in the fridge for a few hours. The very dry atmosphere in the fridge removes all moisture from the potatoes which means that once you roast them in really hot oil (or goose fat / beef dripping as we do in the UK!), the outsides go really crispy and the insides are really fluffy. Om nom nom…

  19. Done and done!

  20. Love all your tips! There s nothing better than roast meat and amazing crunchy potatoes!

    Francesca Bee

  21. Sounds totally delicious.

  22. dear lord. these look amazzzzzing.

  23. Love that you have English roasties on here, being English they are just about my favourite thing! I have recently come to appreciate the goodness of a biiig roastie- cut a big potato into 2 or at most 3. They take a bit more par boiling but then you can really enjoy the difference between crispy outer and super soft inner.
    I also like to leave my par boiled potatoes to steam just a bit before I shake them (Jamie Oliver terminology: ‘chuff them’!).
    I also don’t have a metal roaster, so use my Falcon enamel pan which is fantastic.

  24. Love a decent roastie. Rosemary always works well with spuds.

  25. I got this cookbook for Christmas, and these potatoes were the first thing I made. They are so delicious, and absolutely perfect with roast chicken and a simple salad.

  26. I’ve tried for years to get crunchy potatoes! I will be trying these asap. Thanks!!

  27. oh i want some.
    sleeplessanddreammore.blogspot.com

  28. In the photo is thyme, not rosemary.

    • That is definitely rosemary. Thyme leaves are much smaller.

  29. I will definitely try this. I love potatoes every way but my husband will only eat them if they’re “crunchy and crispy”. I only wish this didn’t take 1 hr 20 minutes to make! That’s a long time for your average weeknight dinner!!

  30. Savoy, crunchy perfection! Thanks for the recipe!

  31. just looking at them and reading the description makes me feel like I already made them : )

    thank YOU

  32. perfect timing on this recipe. i have a bag of potatoes that need to be used. i like the touch of rosemary.

  33. Yum! I’m going to have to try those! Being on a completely gluten free diet, I need all the potato recipes I can get.

  34. Oh my gosh, this looks wonderful

  35. crispy potatoes are my go to to accompany any chicken or meat dish. i usually just cover the halved potatoes in olive oil/ salt/ pepper and pop into the oven until the edges are brown and there’s a distinct sizzle. easy.

    but. the extra step of parboiling might be worth it. soft edges getting crispy? that’s like doubling up on the crisp. mm.

  36. these look amazing. I always try to take the lazy way out and bake potatoes the whole way, but this recipe’s convinced me to parboil first :)

  37. They look soooo tasty! I ‘ll try this recipe for sure!

  38. I make almost the exact potatoes, although I never thought if par-boiling, roughing them up, or making sure the pan was metal for that extra crisp. I planned on making these Sunday so ill try it.

  39. That meal (roast chicken, crunchy potatoes, and a salad) would probably be the last meal I’d choose to have on earth! A good roast chicken in something everyone should learn to make. I like mine stuffed with lemon, garlic, and herbs.

  40. YES! I love roasties and learned how to make them over in England visiting friends. They are one of my most favorite foods :-)

  41. Great tips, I always chuck my roasties in my ceramic dish… no wonder they were always a little sad looking!

  42. so funny – i was just thinking last night “roasted potatoes would be a great “best of” recipe on cup of jo” – thanks!! =)

  43. HP says...

    This is Jamie Oliver’s method also except he says “chuff ’em up”, rather than rough them up. We made them last night with bacon fat instead of oil.

  44. Over in England the BEST roast potatoes are cooked in goose fat. So much nicer than using oil!

    • that’s funny, but sounds tasty! i don’t think we have that in portugal! we do have pork fat (i guess you call it lard?), would it be any similar?

  45. this is an English technique, works perfectly every time. I learned it while living in the UK & Nigella Lawson describes how to do it in her first cookbook. Your guests will just think that you are an amazing cook!

  46. I love the idea of fluffing my potatoes with a fork. Even before I read the details and understood what that meant, it just sounded indecently decadent.

    http://www.nomadicd.com

  47. my biggest frustration in the kitchen is never getting my potatoes crunchy enough. I never even thought of par-boiling them before. ah! (and I’m making a roast chicken tonight… this is perfect!)

  48. Super yum!

  49. I LOVE a good crispy oven baked potato! Can’t wait to this method…parfrying? Iiiiinteresting…

  50. This is exactly how we make potatoes! A lot of people use this method, it makes for the best roast potatoes every time. I love all the extra crunchy bits left in the pan.

  51. i thought you were going to tell us YOUR mom’s recipe for The Best Super Crunchy Roast Potatoes You’ll Ever Have. mannnn.

  52. jm says...

    Yum.

  53. They look delicious. Glad they don’t ask for too much oil. It’s hard to make potatoes crunchy without adding too much oil. Will def. try them!

  54. I find it odd how you always start out with how your mom used to make whatever recipe it is when you were growing up…then you share someone else’s or someone else’s mom’s recipe. How about your mom’s recipe?! That would make these “the best _________ you’ll ever have” posts much more personal and awesome.

    That being said, they always do look awesome! It’s just a suggestion :)

  55. An easier way is just to roast them in chicken or duck fat – that way you can dispense with the parboiling.

  56. i make these almost the exact same way about once a week and eeeeveryone always loves them!

  57. sounds delicious and opposed to regular deep-frying, it might not make your entire tiny apartment smell like a deep fryer for days ;)

  58. Yum! This looks delicious. I’m wondering what size potatoes she used as I usually use little ones and boiling them for 15-20 minutes would ensure they were mush. I’ll experiment and see what works for smaller taters!

  59. Oh man, these look so tasty – such a nice side on a wintery day.