How to make roast potatoes: tasty recipes from your favourite chefs

Learn how to make roast potatoes and deliver perfect spuds – crispy on the outside, fluffy inside – every time

roast potatoes
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Roast potatoes. Sunday roasts are unimaginable without them, and they make the perfect accompaniment to many, many dishes, from pan fried fish to duck or mushrooms. However, knowing how to make roast potatoes isn't always our top skill in the kitchen. This isn't a problem, as we have plenty of easy and delicious methods below to ensure that you succeed in making this side dish, every single time.

And – did you know that the humble spud is one of the most nutritious vegetables there is? Which makes them even more important at this time when we're all looking to keep our immune systems in good nick. 

Keep scrolling for how to roast crispy potatoes to perfection, and for many more ways – as recommended by our favourite top chefs. For more recipes, see our dedicated hub.

How to make crispy roast potatoes

Crispy roast potatoes

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Our advice is to cook your roasties in a separate tin placed in the hottest part of the oven as they’ll come out crisper (and everyone can share whatever their diet, which isn’t the case if you put them with the meat). But what else do you need to do to achieve the sought-after taste? The answer is right here.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 to 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
  • Salt
  • 100g goose or duck fat or 100ml olive or sunflower oil

Method:

1. Put a roasting tin large enough to fit the potatoes in a single layer in the oven and preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/GM6.

2. Peel potatoes and cut into roughly 5cm pieces. Put into a large saucepan and cover with water.

Tip: If you're looking to save time, it's not essential that you peel the potatoes.

3. Add salt, and bring water to the boil. Simmer potatoes uncovered for eight minutes.

4. In the meantime, add fat to the pre-heated roasting tin and return to the oven for around five minutes.

5. Drain in a colander and shake to get the sought-after crispy outers. Leave for just a few minutes to steam dry.

6. Add some herbs and potatoes to the roasting tin, turning them so they’re coated by the hot fat on all sides.

7. Roast the potatoes for around 40 to 60 minutes or until they’re crisp and golden, turning them after 15 minutes, and then again 15 minutes after that in order to brown all round.

Tip: Adding a few cloves of unpeeled garlic and sprigs of rosemary or thyme will heighten the flavours of your roasted potatoes still further. Yum.

How to cook roast potatoes in goose fat

No veggies in the household? Goose fat roasted potatoes have a flavour all of their own and if you're not on a New Year diet, you might like to indulge (or use up any you had left over from Christmas). Follow all the instructions above, just substitute cooking oil with goose fat, ensuring it's thoroughly hot before adding the potatoes to the pan.

How to make roast potatoes like Jamie Oliver

You can use our roast potato recipe above, but don't forget these expert tips from Jamie Oliver:

1. First things first – how large should your roasties be? Jamie says that they should all be even-sized (makes sense because then they'll cook at the same rate), and twice the size of a squash ball – that's about 7 to 8cm.

2. Next, parboil your potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water for 15 minutes – this is what makes the insides fluffy.

3. Leave your potatoes to steam dry for a couple of minutes to help the fat to stick to them, then shake the colander to roughen their edges – makes them crispier. Yes!

4. Once coated in fat, spread them out to make sure there are gaps between the potatoes in the baking tray – don't want to lose any chance to make them crispy. 

5. Jamie Oliver likes to crush unpeeled garlic cloves and ad them to the tray – he says it adds a 'gentle perfume' to the potatoes. Plus, of course, it's delicious to eat in its own right. 

6. Now what Jamie describes as a 'game changer'. Once the potatoes are just about cooked, he gently half-squashes them with a slice or potato masher so they fill the try. He then tosses sage leaves in oil, sprinkles them over the potatoes and roasts for another 20 minutes or so. 

7. Last of all, Jamie suggests transferring your potatoes to a plate lined with kitchen paper; this drains off some of the excess fat (handy if you're watching your waistline)

See more about Jamie's clever roast potato tricks in his recipe.

Top tip: space in the oven tight? Short on time? Jamie says that once the potatoes are parboiled, drained and tossed in fat, 'you could get the potatoes up to this stage the day before, simply cover them with clingfilm or tin foil and pop in the fridge or in a cool place until needed... then roast for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and three quarters cooked'.

How to make roast potatoes like Delia Smith

1. There are a few candidates for the best variety of potato for roasting, and we tend to use Maris Piper or King Edward. But it’s Desirée that’s Delia’s number one. Now we’ve tried, they’ll be going on our shopping list again for sure.

2. Delia steams her potatoes rather than parboiling. After about 10 minutes, she says to lift one out to see if the outer edge is fluffy. She recommends running the point of a skewer along the surface to test and, if it stays smooth, the potatoes need a few more minutes. Neat.

3. Vigorous shaking is a must following steaming, if you roast potatoes the Delia way. She says to shake the potato-filled saucepan from side to side, then turn it upside down to give it another shake. Lid on throughout, of course.

4. Delia pre-heats the fat in which the potatoes will cook in a roasting tray in the oven, but transfers the tray to the hob – medium heat – before adding the steamed and shaken potatoes. Only after the potatoes have been turned over a couple of times each for a complete coating of fat does she put the tray back into the oven.

5. Once the roasties are done, Delia sprinkles them with a little crushed salt then serves straightaway to retain the crunch. We say, no danger there, we don’t keep a good roastie waiting.

How to make roast potatoes like Nigella Lawson

The secret, according to Nigella Lawson, is goose fat if you're after roast potatoes that are super indulgent and delicious – would you expect any less from Nigella Lawson. Here's everything you need to know...

1. Nigella Lawson begins by pre-heating her oven to 250ºC/230ºC fan/Gas mark 9.

2. From there, Nigella Lawson puts a good amount of goose fat in a baking tray, before placing in the oven and leaving to heat. Take care because after 20-30 minutes, which is what Nigella Lawson suggests, your goose fat will be extremely hot.

3. In the meantime, Nigella Lawson suggests peeling the potatoes and cutting into small chunks. They should then be placed into a pan of cold, salted water and brought to the boil. Allow to cook for four minutes.

4. Once cooked, drain the potatoes in a colander and return to a dry saucepan. At this stage, you can also sprinkle with semolina – this is Nigella Lawson's secret ingredient.

5. Give the potatoes a good shake so that they're edges become 'fuzzy,' then leave to rest until you're ready to get roasting.

6. Once the fat is hot enough, add your potatoes carefully and roast for an hour, or until they're golden and crispy on the outside.

Check out the full recipe on Nigella Lawson's website.

Nigella Lawson’s salt and vinegar roast potatoes

Nigella’s roast potatoes are a little different from our usual roastie recipe, and the method a tad different, too. That said, though, we didn’t find it hard, and the results are definitely worth it. This is what you need to know.

1. Nigella’s roast potatoes are made using baby new potatoes rather than the Maris Piper or King Edward normally used in roast potato recipes. We love this alternative which, together with crushing (see below) makes beautifully bite-sized treats.

2. You’ll need to steam rather than parboil the potatoes to follow Nigella’s method, and this should take around 20 to 30 minutes. Once they’re tender, Nigella empties the water from the pan below and leaves the potatoes in the perforated section above the empty base to dry them.

3. Nigella crushes the potatoes a little before roasting, placing them on a plate and using a fork for the task. The idea, she says, is to have some small pieces but mostly that they’re more or less halved with rough edges that’ll crisp and brown.

4. It’s olive oil Nigella uses for roasting, and she adds it to a small shallow roasting tin and heats it in a preheated oven for five minutes before the potatoes are added.

5. Nigella turns the potatoes in the heated olive oil before putting the tin in the oven to roast them. She says after 20 minutes of cooking they should be turned again, then cooked for another 10 minutes.

6. When it comes to colour, once done, Nigella says the roasties will be deep golden brown in parts with the rough edges crisp and smaller pieces dark and crunchy. (And we say, scrumptious.)

7. The last step is to put the cooked potatoes in a serving bowl, then add raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and sea salt flakes. Nigella recommends tasting as you go at this stage so you can get a full-on salt and vinegar crisp flavour or something a little more restrained.

How to make roast potatoes like Martha Stewart

When we learnt that Martha Stewart doesn't parboil her potatoes before roasting them (sacrilegious some may say) we were equal parts skeptical and intrigued. But, having given the recipe a go, we were actually pretty impressed. The result is tasty potatoes with a crispy outside and a soft inside. Here's everything you need to know:

1. Begin by pre-heating your oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas mark 6.

2. In terms of preparing your potatoes, it really is pretty simple. There's no need for peeling, simply give them a good scrub and – if they're on the small side – you're ready to go. If not, you might consider chopping them into slightly smaller pieces.

3. Then, place your potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and any fresh or dried herbs you might have to hand – we'd recommend  rosemary, oregano or thyme. 

4. Martha Stewart then simply places her potatoes in the oven for 35 minutes, turning occasionally. 

How to make spicy roast potatoes like Gordon Ramsay 

We’ve just discovered a new recipe from Gordon Ramsay that’s a great alternative to the classic roast potato and it’s a twist we love to serve up with lemon roasted chicken or barbecued meat. Here's everything you need to know:

1. Opinions vary on which potato is best for roasties, but here Gordon suggests Maris Piper, so we followed suit. As there aren’t eight to 10 of us for Sunday lunch right now, we halved the quantity and used 1.25kg.

2. Gordon adds the peeled and quartered potatoes to a saucepan of salted cold water then brings them to the boil before simmering for 8 minutes.

3. After they’re drained, Gordon sprinkles the potatoes with turmeric and chilli flakes and seasons with salt and pepper. He advises a pinch of the chilli to taste – ours was generous for the spicy kick.

4. Next, the potatoes are tossed in the colander for an even coating, and a little olive oil drizzled on before they’re tossed again then left to steam for 5 minutes. That’s those crispy edges guaranteed, then.

5. Gordon then heats some more olive oil in a roasting tin in the oven for a few minutes. He then adds the potatoes, and tosses them to coat them in oil. He opts to turn them a few times during the 40 to 45 minutes roasting time. We got great even colour and crispness this way (although we confess we don’t usually do this with roasties).

6. Gordon advises putting the roast potatoes on kitchen paper before moving them into a warmed serving dish – definitely a good move to avoid excess fat if you’re watching your weight.

  • Back in 2011, the Independent.ie featured Gordon’s chilli and turmeric roast potato recipe so we’ve tried and we like, and now we’re sharing Gordon’s top tips.

How to make marmite roast potatoes

Oh yes, marmite roast potatoes are totally a thing. The key to success here is preheating your marmite with your oil or cooking fat of choice before adding the potatoes.

So, while you're pre-boiling/draining your potatoes, mix a tablespoon of marmite with your cooking oil and spread at the bottom of your oven dish or roasting tin. 

Stick in a hot oven for about five minutes. Take the tin out and add the potatoes, rolling them nicely in the mixture. Pop back in and roast as normal. Yum.

How to make OXO roast potatoes

The Oxo cube trick was shared by foodie Andrew Price on the Facebook food group Rate My Plate Éire, so what’s his secret?

1. Andrew parboils the potatoes, then puts them into an ovenproof dish and tosses them in oil. So far, so usual. 

2. But next comes the special ingredient: he adds two Oxo cubes made into stock with half a cup of water to the dish before seasoning.

3. Andrew also adds some chopped onion and garlic cloves to his roasties, which we can heartily recommend for a flavour boost.

4. Bear in mind that you’ll need to get started in good time if you’re following Andrew’s recipe. He cooks his roast potatoes in the oven for three hours at 160°C.

5. Wondering which Oxo cubes are best? Andrew’s recommendation is chicken, but either beef or vegetable could do the job instead.

How to make clementine and sage roast potatoes

The roasties are given a tangy, aromatic flavour with sage and clementine peel. And if you've already got a pot of sage in the garden and a clementine (or, we reckon an orange or tangerine would do just as well), you're good to go.

Roast potatoes

(Image credit: Aldi)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg Maris Piper potatoes 
  • 3 clementines 
  • 2 tsp sage 
  • 80ml sunflower oil 
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh sage leaves

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

2. Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks.

3. Boil, cover and cook for five minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a roasting dish.

5. Drain the potatoes then peel the rind from the clementines and slice into strips.

6. Place both into the oil and roast for 30 minutes.

7. Sprinkle sage over and roast again for a further 10 minutes.

8. Serve with fresh sage leaves and salt (and of course, your lovely main).

More roast know-how: