How Do I Microwave a Red-Skinned Potato?

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Cut the red potatoes up or prick them with a fork to allow steam to vent.
Image Credit: Bill Boch/Photographer's Choice RF/GettyImages

Whether you're looking to make mashed potatoes or potato salad, sometimes waiting for a potato to cook in the oven or on the stove top takes too long or requires too much work. Fortunately, if you opt to microwave red potatoes, you can have them ready in just a few minutes.

Tip

Cut the red potatoes up or prick them with a fork to allow steam to vent. Pop the potatoes in the microwave for five minutes. Turn them over, and microwave for another five.

How to Microwave Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are a type of potato, just like white potatoes or sweet potatoes, although they tend to be a little bit smaller, which makes them a great option for potato salad. The USDA lists one medium red potato with its skin as having 154 calories, which come from 34 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of fiber and only 2.5 grams of sugar) plus 4 grams of protein. Red potatoes are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Read more: Are Red Potatoes Healthier Than White Potatoes?

And when it comes to steaming potatoes in the microwave oven, it doesn't matter which variety of potato you're using — the same techniques still apply. The State of Massachusetts advises you try the following method:

  • Start by cutting off the eyes or sprouts of the potato, then either slicing up the potatoes or pricking them with a fork in several places to allow them to vent steam.
  • Before you microwave the red potatoes, you can season them however you see fit, possibly with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  • Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Microwave your red potatoes on high for five minutes, then turn the potatoes over and continue microwaving for another five minutes.

Steaming potatoes in the microwave is a smart option because you lose fewer nutrients that way. As a November 2018 article published in Nutrients points out, microwaving potatoes means less of the water-soluble vitamin C is lost than if they were boiled.

Now that you've cooked your potatoes, it's time to incorporate them into a few dishes.

Read more: Disadvantages With Cooking in the Microwave

Ways to Use Red Potatoes

There are many ways you can use your potatoes. The USDA's recipe for a healthy potato salad starts by walking you through how to microwave red potatoes, then has you cut them up into bite-sized pieces. Mix with nonfat plain yogurt, minced onion, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, fresh chives, bacon bits, salt, pepper and parsley to make a gluten-free potato salad that's perfect for summer.

Another great microwave potato recipe is the Tuscan potato skillet listed by the USDA. The dish calls for 10 petite red potatoes cut into four wedges each. After you have cut them up, you undertake the quick process of steaming the potatoes in the microwave oven before transferring them to a stovetop skillet to cook with chicken, green beans, seasoning and lemon.

You can even use your microwave potatoes in recipes that call for you to steam or boil them on the stovetop — nobody needs to know you took the shortcut of steaming the potatoes in the microwave oven. In a recipe for colcannon from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which calls for russet potatoes instead of red, you mash up the cooked potatoes with parsnip, then incorporate blanched kale and green onions simmered in sauce. This Irish dish is a perfect way to eat greens with your potatoes.

Potatoes are also a classic when they're served alongside roast beef and broccoli, which provides protein, fat, carbohydrates and lots of nutrients — everything you need in a meal.

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