Top 10 potato recipes

Britain has a real love affair with the potato. Emma explores ten ways to cook this versatile vegetable, from crisp roasties to creamy dauphinoise.

Roast potato traybake with spoon

On average, each person in Britain eats three potatoes every day – but they are so entrenched in the fabric of British food culture that I worry we don’t give them enough applause. From classic roasties, baked potatoes and dauphinoise to chips, crisps and mash, there are no limits to the versatility of the humble spud.

Read on for ten recipes that celebrate potatoes in their finest form...

1. Crispiest ever roast potatoes

Bowl of crispy roast potatoes

Transform a bag of Maris Pipers into something special with a fluffy middle and golden crisp exterior. Using a combination of hot rapeseed oil and butter is the key to this method, allowing the spuds to crisp up nicely. Cooking your potatoes with their peelings plus a hint of lemon thyme, garlic and sea salt also intensifies the flavour. Try this recipe and soggy roasties will be a thing of the past!

Elevate your Sunday dinner with this recipe for crispiest ever roast potatoes and read our guide on how to make the ultimate roast potatoes.

2. Baked potato

Baked potato

I thought it was impossible to improve on a simple baked potato. I was wrong. Steam the spud for 20 minutes to infuse with moisture, then bake for 40 minutes in a hot oven to get the perfect combo of fluffy inside and extra crisp outside.

If you want a filling, simple supper, try our jacket potatoes with home-baked beans. Or check out more brilliant baked potato recipes

3. Classic potato salad

Bowl of creamy potato salad topped with herbs

Picnics and barbecues would not be the same without a bowl of creamy potato salad on the side. This classic recipe pairs boiled new potatoes with shallots, capers and cornichons for a tangy kick. Bind the mixture together with mayo and stir in chopped parsley for a burst of freshness. If you are catering for kids, this simple salad can easily be adapted by leaving out the stronger flavours such as capers and cornichons.

Everyone has their own favourite version of this dish so why not use our classic potato salad recipe as the perfect starting base to experiment?

Find more perfect picnic accompaniments in our potato salad recipe collection.

4. Fondant potatoes

Pan of fondant potatoes

These potatoes may sound fancy but there's no need to whip out your chef whites quite yet! Recreate this traditional French dish with crisp, crunchy edges and a soft, silky middle for an elegant dinner party side or Sunday lunch accompaniment. Butter is essential here to add richness whilst rosemary and thyme provide a subtle herby flavour whilst simmering with the potatoes.

Impress your family or friends with our easy fondant potatoes recipe.

5. Mashed potato 

Watercress mashed potato

I’m not going to lie, I have found it hard to do full justice to this most magnificent of side dishes. However, everything improved once I got my head around this hack: after you’ve boiled the potatoes, drain them, return to the pan and cover with a cloth for 10 minutes. This dries them out, so that when you add butter they absorb it and taste buttery, rather than absorbing their cooking water and tasting watery. Tiny step – big difference.

Master this technique with our handy video on how to make mashed potatoes

Discover more marvellous ways with mashed potatoes.

6. Rösti

Oven-baked rosti cake

Easier than you think. Grate a potato, squeeze out all the moisture, add rosemary, salt and pepper, then oven bake. Once you’ve flipped it, top with grated Gruyère or a fried egg. It’s the new pizza.

Try this ultra-crisp, golden brown oven-baked rosti cake or find more of these crispy potato cakes in our rösti recipe collection.

7. Crisp sandwich

Crisps in a sandwich

As if crisps aren’t wonderful enough, it turns out they’re even better between bread. We've seen this trend emerging across the UK restaurant and café scene so it seems only right to replicate it in the comfort of a home kitchen. To make the crisps, slice some medium potatoes very thinly, coat with sea salt, vinegar and olive oil, then bake! The crunchiness of these crisps balances perfectly with soft bread and a dollop of tangy tomato ketchup. 

Try Emma Freud's salt & vinegar crisp recipe in your own crunchy sandwich.

8. Boiled, squashed and then roasted

Crispy squashed baby potatoes

My favourite new method, this is a real game changer: Boil small potatoes in their skins, then drain and cover with a cloth for a few minutes. Put each potato into a clean tea towel and squash so it slightly bursts, then place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter over grated garlic and chopped rosemary, and roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes until golden and a bit crisp: the joy of a boiled spud, the texture of smashed potatoes and the crunch – but not the fat – of a roastie.

These crispy squashed baby roasties are just the ticket for Sunday dinner. For something smaller, try our smashed mini jackets which also use this technique.

Are you a fan of roasties? Find more variations on this super side in our roast potato recipe collection.

9. Dauphinoise potatoes

Potato dauphinoise in an oval bowl

We’ve arrived at nirvana – layered potato slices with lots of cream, garlic and melted Gruyère – to be served on feast days on my desert island. Classic dauphinoise tips: 1) If your life is too short to peel potatoes, try potato peeler gloves, which have rough, abrasive palms. You peel by rubbing, though be warned – they look like murder weapons. 2) Don’t demean dauphinoise by calling it a ‘side’ – it’s the main event. A glass of wine is the side dish. 3) Wear elasticated trousers when you eat them, for obvious reasons.

Try a classic Dauphinoise potatoes recipe for yourself – it's well worth the effort. We've also got plenty more inspiration in our Dauphinoise recipe collection.

10. Oven chips

Some foods are at their peak only when cooked brilliantly using the most expensive ingredients. The potato is not in this category. You can achieve perfectly crispy, golden chips using a home oven, which also takes away the effort of frying. We consider Maris Piper to be the best potatoes, by far, for chips, with Désirée and King Edwards your next best options.

Simply simmer your potato batons in salted water for a few mintues before draining, cooling, then baking in the oven with oil. Tossing the chips in a coating of flour, baking powder and cayenne pepper provides a nice crunchy outside with a touch of heat.

Make these best ever oven chips for yourself or discover more comforting chip recipes.

Why not go one step further and make these into chip butties? The ultimate indulgence of carb-on-carb plus butter-on-fat make these so wrong they’re perfect. Four ingredients: floury white bap, butter, ketchup and thick-cut chips. Meddle with this formula at your peril. 

More perfect potato recipes...

Our best potato recipes
7 ways to perfect potato salad
How to make the ultimate mashed potato
How to cook jacket potatoes in the microwave
Hasselback potato recipes
Potato wedges recipes
A guide to British potatoes

What are your favourite ways to cook potatoes? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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24th Oct, 2018
I love, love, love this article! It made me chuckle so much :) So well written. Well done Emma - you succeeded in making the piece both witty, entertaining and charming as well as educationally informative about potato dishes. Fab!
16th Feb, 2017
Hasselbacks would make my top 7, but never sure what the best type of potatoes are for these though?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Feb, 2017
We love hasselbacks too! Check out this recipe for hasselback roasties using Desiree potatoes, plus one with new potatoes: Potatoes with a firm flesh work really well.
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