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Best Roasted Rosemary Potatoes?

I am obsessed with great roasted potatoes. Cut into 1 inch chunks or so, roasted in a hot oven with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and oil. I want mine to be even better, though - so so crispy on the outside, tender in (though the outside crisp is what is important to me). They don't always come out just right.

How do people do it? What are your best approaches?

I often use my cast iron skillet - would you agree? Sometimes when I try to turn them they stick and the skin comes off...how do you avoid that?

Would love any advice or ideas, thanks

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  1. I use the Zuni method -- boil the potatoes first in salted water. Drain and roast them with crushed rosemary and duck fat. Even though the potatoes are boiled first, it will get crispy.

    Oh, and I do use a cast iron skillet, but have found out that other skillets work fine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      Peeled or no? Cut before or after you boil them?

      1. re: Tom P

        The recipe calls for peeled, but I use unpeeled. And you cut them before boiling them into small chunks. Make sure to sufficiently salt the water (like you do for pasta). And you do have to turn them from time to time. It's the best roasted potatoes I've ever had.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          How long do you boil them for? Til tender? I have the same problem as the OP. My roasted potatoes always taste great but don't have the crispy exterior.

    2. I use a Le Crueset cast iron and enamel ramekin or roasting pan. I spray it first with canola. Then I toss the potatoes with same ingredients you do, put them in the pan skin side down and roast them at 450 for at least an hour, maybe longer if they aren't brown enough to suit me. I don't stir them or turn them at all, just check for browness. They come out crispy crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

      2 Replies
      1. re: morwen

        Do all sides get crispy without turning them or just mainly what is face down in the pan?

      2. I also use the Zuni method. Yukon Gold-type potatoes (I quit peeling them after the first time I made them), boiled in salted water until tender, then drain and toss with olive oil and fresh rosemary which you have bruised, not chopped or minced. Throw the mess on a cookie sheet and bake at fairly high temp for about 20 min. I'm guessing at the temp and time because I'm at work, but you can probably locate the details on chowhound somewhere because the Zuni book was cookbook of the month at some point here. The absolute best part of this recipe,other than the fabulous taste and texture, is that you can turn the oven down to low and leave the potatoes in there for a long time while you get everything else ready, or if your guests are late,or if cocktail hour lingers... all that. They just get better.

        1. Great thread - I am never happy with the outcome of mine, and don't make them enough to learn from my mistakes.

          1. Here is a method you might adapt along with the spices you are using:

            Iron Skillet Baked Potatoes

            My family loves potatoes cooked this way.

            1. Here's what I do....wash large new potatoes (redskins to some of you), dry them, cut into quarters unpeeled and put into a large bowl. Then I pour in some oliive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and some pepper, and hand toss until well coated. Spread on a cookie sheet and put some sprigs of fresh rosemary on the potatoes. Roast at at 400 for about 20-25 minutes.

              While they are roasting, slice some sweet onions into thick rings and put in bowl. When the aroma of potatoes fills the kitchen, take the sheet out and throw away the large sprigs of rosemary...they will be browned but have imparted flavor. Turn the potatoes over, and put the non-crisp side down, cover with the sliced onions, and roast for another 10 minutes or so. These are delicious, go with anything, and are so much better for you than a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream.

              2 Replies
              1. re: steakman55

                I have a few variations--I peel the potatoes, but otherwise I start out similar to yours. I chop the rosemary and add it to the bowl when I toss them with olive oil and salt. During this time I preheat the oven to 400-450. During preheating, I put two jelly roll sheets in the oven so that they get good and hot.

                When the oven and the sheets are hot, I split the potatoes between the sheets and roast for about 20 minutes. I take them out, flip them, and sprinkle them with chopped garlic and a little orange zest. Then I roast them for about 10 more minutes. I could eat these like candy!

                1. re: Nettie

                  I preheat my baking sheets in the oven too. I find that in order to get them really crispy I need oil on the pan as well as on the potatoes. Here is another tip: Toss your olive oil - mixed with the chopped rosemary and some garlic - into the microwave for a minute. It really releases the flavors of the garlic & rosemary. Toss the potatoes in that and toss some additional sprigs on top. Lots of salt & pepper! And I find that it takes more like 40 min at 400.

              2. Just made rosemary roasted potatoes for supper tonight. I used some red bliss potatoes and one Idaho russet potato. Wash and half the new potatoes. Wash and quarter the russet. I used my cast iron skillet and preheated the oven to 425. Sprinkle with olive oil, kosher salt and cracked pepper. Strip 2 sprigs of rosemary and sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake 45-50 minutes cut face up. The cut face will blister and get dark brown in places. The skin side down is crisp too because it is in the olive oil and "fries."
                Last week I added sliced fennel to the potatoes about half way through the cooking time and that was really good.

                1. Mine are always slightly squishy but I sort of like them that way- but try adding a sweet potato some time, and shallots or garlic- great flavor!

                  1. TomP, I'd always been looking for the same and have found this recipe to be a sure winner.

                    Cut several waxy (Yukon Gold, new red, etc.) potatoes into 1 inch cubes, blanch in boiling unsalted water for 2-3 minutes and drain. Mix them in a bowl with fresh chopped rosemary, a head of unpeeled but separated garlic cloves, high quality EVOO and plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper.
                    Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it with EVOO. Spread the potatoes onto the sheet and roast on a high rack in a pre-heated 425 oven for 30 minutes turning at least once during the cooking.

                    Foolproof. (I think the important steps here are using waxy potatoes, not starchy ones, and blanching them before roasting)

                    Spreading the potatoes around a chicken oven roasted in a pan works very well too.

                    1. 1) Hot oven 425 to 450. Any kind of metal pan with sides.

                      2) Use a high temp oil--not lots--but enough to make the skins glisten

                      3) Shake 'n Bake to keep the crust forming. Agitate those taters.

                      4) Add the garlic and rosemary toward the end of baking to avoid burning.

                      Scrub potatoes and rough cube to about 3/4" but needn't to be anal about it. Place in a large bowl and toss with about 1 1/2T olive oil per 3 cups cubes.

                      Transfer to a rimmed steel baking pan (lasagne) and roast at about 425. Sir or toss the pan to turn the potatoes every 8-10 minutes once they start to form a nice crust.

                      Test after about about 40 minutes. If they are getting tender but not yet creamy, toss in a dozen smallish garlic cloves, roast another 15-20 minutes at 350. Last 5 mintues, sprinkle pan with chopped fresh rosemary. Remove and serve, or loosely cover and let sit a few minutes.

                      I really don't think this requires much fuss like parboiling and peeling. The critical thing is not to overcook the garlic. You want it browned and soft, not crispy, or it will be dry and bitter.