How to Boil, Roast and Microwave Red-Skin Potatoes

Versatile and healthful, small red-skin potatoes can be boiled, baked, roasted or microwaved, and served whole or diced.
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Red-skin potatoes contain less starch than other potato varieties, giving them a firmer, waxier texture, according to the Idaho Potato Commission. They hold their shape well after cooking, making them a great choice for scalloped potatoes, potato salads, soups, casseroles and roasts.


Red potatoes also have a "thinner skin and a subtle, sweet flavor" compared with other potatoes, notes the Washington State Potato Commission. Thanks to their thin skin, small red-skin potatoes are typically served skin-on, making them "a colorful addition as a side dish."

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You can cook red-skinned potatoes a variety of ways to bring out different nuances in their flavor. Served whole, diced, or cut in half, they turn out great whether they're boiled, baked, roasted or microwaved.

Here are some how-tos for cooking red-skin potatoes.


Step 1: Buy Fresh Potatoes

Select only fresh potatoes that have no green spots, sprouts, blemishes or soft areas. A few bad potatoes will spoil your dish.

Step 2: Clean the Potatoes Carefully

Scrub the potatoes thoroughly under running water. Dry them with a clean towel before roasting or frying.


Step 3: Leave the Skin On

Whether you're serving your red-skin potatoes whole, sliced or diced, keep the skin on unless the recipe specifically calls for them to be removed. The skin of red potatoes isn't just thin and flavorful — it also adds color to your plate and contains fiber and important nutrients such as potassium and magnesium, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Boiling Whole Red Potatoes

Things You'll Need

  • 2 lbs. small red potatoes, scrubbed

  • 3 tbsp. butter, softened

  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Put Potatoes in Pot

Fill a large pot with enough salted water to cover the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Bring water to a boil.


Step 2: Simmer Until Tender

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: Test for Doneness

A well-boiled red-skin potato should pierce easily with a fork and have a smooth, creamy, tender texture. Test every 30 seconds after the 10-minute mark to avoid overcooking.

Step 4: Remove Potatoes From Water

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and remove them to a bowl. If you are using them for potato salad, let them cool until they can be comfortably handled. If you are serving them whole or cut in halves or quarters, toss the boiled red potatoes in a mixture of melted butter, chives and seasoning, and cover them to keep them warm until serving.



Oven-Roasted Red Potatoes

Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 lb. small red-skin potatoes

  • 1/8 cup olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced

  • salt to taste

  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Step 1: Turn on the Oven

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2: Prepare the Potatoes

Cut potatoes into large bite-sized pieces and toss in a large bowl with garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary.

Step 3: Roast until Tender

Dump potatoes on baking sheet in single layer and roast uncovered for at least 1 hour. Flip with spatula twice during cooking to ensure even roasting. When the potatoes are browned to your satisfaction, remove them from the pan and serve.


Microwaved Red Potatoes

Things You'll Need

  • 6 medium red potatoes

  • 3 tbsp. butter

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • microwave-safe bowl with cover

Step 1: Prepare Potatoes

Put cleaned and diced red-skin potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Dot with butter and cover.

Step 2: Microwave

Red-skin potatoes should be microwaved on high for 5 minutes, then uncovered, seasoned, tossed carefully, covered again, and microwaved for another 5 minutes.


Step 3: Check for Doneness

Let potatoes rest for 8 minutes, then prick with a fork to test doneness. If they're not yet soft enough, microwave for 2 more minutes, then rest again for 5 minutes. Once all the potatoes are tender, season as desired, and serve.

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