How to Prepare Red Skin Potatoes

Red skinned potatoes are small, round and white inside. The red skin is thin, making them somewhat delicate to cook. Red skinned potatoes can be cooked as a side dish, accompanying a leg of lamb or a pot roast. They can also be precooked and used in casserole dishes and salads. These wonderful potatoes are versatile and can add a little bit of balance to any meal. Read on for a discussion of how to cook red skin potatoes in several different ways.


  • 1 lb red skin potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Herbs or spices (paprika, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Onions (optional

Edit Steps

Method One: Sautéing

  1. Wash 1 pound of potatoes in warm water thoroughly. If desired, peel potatoes, although peeling is not necessary.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium-low/medium heat.

  3. Cut the potatoes into half moon shaped quarters. The smaller the cut on the potato, the faster they will cook.

  4. Place the diced potatoes into the heated skillet.

  5. Spice up red skinned potatoes by adding herbs and other ingredients. Here are some suggestions for things to add to sautéed potatoes:

    • Onions work really well with sautéed potatoes. White or yellow onions work best, although red onions can be used. Onions add a little bit of sweetness to the potatoes.
    • Garlic also works well, alone or in tandem with other spices. If adding chopped or minced garlic, incorporate toward the very end of cooking or the garlic will burn before the potatoes are cooked.
    • Herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary. Thyme and rosemary together make a classic combination, while fresh parsley lightens up the heavier taste of the potatoes.
    • Spices such as paprika, dry mustard, or cumin. Paprika will add a little bit of heat and color; mustard adds a bit of tanginess; and cumin adds a bit of exoticism to what can be a very pedestrian dish.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the potatoes. For one pound of potatoes, a couple teaspoons of salt should be fine, especially if you’re seasoning them with herbs and spices.

  7. Stir the potatoes every few minutes. Try to develop color on all sides of the potatoes.

  8. Allow to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Potatoes should be soft on the inside but still have “bite” and crispiness on the outside.

Method Two: Oven Roasting

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F (~218° C).

  2. Wash 1 pound of potatoes with warm water. If desired, peel potatoes, although peeling is not necessary. Many prefer the color and texture of the skin in the final dish.

  3. Cut the potatoes into half moon shaped quarters and place them on a baking dish. The smaller the cut, the quicker the potatoes will cook.

    • Use a glass baking dish if possible. A glass baking dish will allow the potatoes to cook more evenly, as glass is an excellent conductor of heat.
  4. Coat the potatoes with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil.

  5. Into the baking dish, add any desired spices and herbs. Perhaps try:

    • 3-4 cloves of garlic, whole or chopped.
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  6. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. One tablespoon or two of salt should be sufficient.

  7. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Stir about every 10 minutes. Thicker-cut potatoes will take about an hour to cook, while smaller-cut potatoes closer to 50 minutes.

Method Three: Baking

  1. Wash the potatoes with warm water.

  2. Preheat oven to 450° F (230° C).

  3. Coat potatoes with olive oil (optional), salt, and pepper.

  4. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil (optional). Some people think that the aluminum foil helps the potato cook faster. Aluminum foil will make the outer skin less crispy.

  5. Bake for 60 minutes or until tender. After an hour, take one potato out of the oven and cut in half. Let cool and sample for doneness. Bigger potatoes and/or potatoes that aren’t fully cooked may need an additional 10 minutes to cook.

  6. Remove from foil to serve.

Method Four: Boiling

  1. Wash the potatoes with warm water. If desired, peel potatoes, although peeling is not necessary. If making mash potatoes, peeling is recommended.

  2. Cut the potatoes into half moon shaped quarters.

  3. Fill a saucepan with water, leaving more than enough room for the potatoes. One pound of potatoes should have at least two quarts of water to boil.

  4. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.

  5. Place the diced potatoes in the boiling water and reduce heat to low. Try to get the water so that it’s simmering, not boiling out of control.

  6. Cook potatoes for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.

  7. Drain the water from the potatoes.

  8. Return the potatoes to the drained pan to add butter or olive oil, salt, pepper and additional desired seasonings.

    • To make mashed potatoes, add to boiled potatoes:

      • 1/4 cup of butter
      • 1/4 cup of milk
      • 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream
      • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Stir in ingredients and mash together until smooth and creamy.

Method Five: Microwaving

  1. Wash the potatoes with warm water.

  2. Cut the potatoes into half moon shaped quarters.

  3. Place the diced potatoes into a microwave safe dish.

  4. Add 1/2 cup (0.2 liters) water for every pound of potatoes.

  5. Cook in the microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes.

  6. Remove carefully. Add salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings.

  7. Finished.

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Edit Tips

  • Red skinned potatoes will cook faster than brown skinned potatoes due to their smaller size and lower starch content.
  • When pan searing potatoes you can check the temperature in the skillet by flicking a splash of water into the skillet. If it sizzles, the skillet is ready. If not, let it heat for a few more minutes and test the temperature until the waters sizzles. Use caution when doing this, the oil can splash and burn you.
  • Butter can be used instead of olive oil to roast and pan fry red skinned potatoes. Butter cooks faster than olive oil. If you are substituting butter for oil, cut all cooking times down by a few minutes.
  • A skillet has a flat bottom with sides generally no more than a few inches high that flair out, whereas a sauce pan is a much deeper pan that often comes with a lid.

Edit Warnings

  • Potatoes become very starchy when overcooked. Cook only until a fork or toothpick easily goes through the potato.

Edit Things You’ll Need

  • Baking dish, when roasting
  • 1 quart (1L) sauce pan, when boiling
  • 1 inch (2.54cm) skillet, when pan searing
  • Microwave safe bowl, when microwaving
  • Oven
  • Stove
  • Microwave
  • Olive oil
  • Aluminum foil
  • Salt and pepper

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