You CAN get super crispy roast potatoes without peeling them. This skin on roast potatoes recipe saves so much time, you’ll never go back. Just chop, parboil, roast and you’re done!
Who doesn’t love a gorgeously crispy, perfectly seasoned roast potato?! There’s something so comforting about that soft, buttery centre and incredibly crispy crust that just keeps me going back for more. And contrary to popular belief, you truly do not have to peel your potatoes to get an UNREAL roast potato.
Not only are you going to save a lot of time if you skip peeling, potato skins actually contain a lot of nutrients which normally get thrown away.
This recipe follows the classic steps for roast potatoes – we’ll par-boil them first, then fluff them up with a sprinkling of polenta to create those craggy edges, then roast them in super hot oil until incredibly golden and crispy all over. I love combining them with fresh herbs and lemon zest for a zingy, fragrant finish.
Three steps to get perfectly crispy roast potatoes
- Preheat the oil you’re cooking them in.
- Par-boil the potatoes in well-salted water.
- Fluff them up after par-boiling with polenta to create craggy edges.
Aside from not having to peel your potatoes, the best part of this recipe is the very short ingredient list!
- Potatoes. Maris piper is my favourite potato variety to use for this recipe. They’re readily available and they’ve got the creamy, fluffy texture we want in a roast potato. If you can’t find them, you could use King Edward, Yukon gold or any potato labelled as being ‘good for roasting’. Just stay away from waxy varieties, like new potatoes, Jersey Royal or Charlotte potatoes.
- Oil. The key to getting super crispy roast potatoes is to cook them in very hot oil. That means you’ll heat the oil in the oven in the dish you’ll cook the potatoes in before you get the potatoes themselves in the oven. Use light olive oil, rapeseed oil or similar vegetable-based oil because they will hold up to the very hot oven without burning and smoking up your house! Or if you’re going all out (this is what I do at Christmas or for special occasions) use duck or goose fat.
- Polenta. This is my secret ingredient. Traditional roast potatoes are tossed with flour before they go in the oven, but I find polenta to be a far superior option. It creates a gorgeously crispy, crunchy exterior and clings perfectly to all the craggy crevices on the parboiled potatoes.
- Rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt. While you can keep things traditional with just salt to season, I’ve levelled up these potatoes with a simple mix of rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt to bring a lovely fragrant freshness to them.
How to make them
First, you’re going to get your oil in a large oven tray or heatproof baking dish that’s big enough to hold all your potatoes on a single layer. This is important because if you overcrowd the tray, the potatoes will steam under each other and go soggy, rather than getting crispy. You may need to use two trays depending on the equipment you have. The first secret to perfectly crispy roast potatoes is to cook them in super hot oil. So you’ll need to pop the tray in the oven at 250C/480F for at least 30 minutes before you add the potatoes.
Next, you’re going to prep your potatoes. I like to chop each potato into three chunks, diagonally, so you have chunky potato wedge shapes. This means more surface area for the polenta to cling to later.
Add them to a large pot along with salt and enough cold water to cover them all. Get that over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. You want them to be easily pierced with a fork – give them a poke and if there’s a lot of resistance, let them simmer a few minutes longer. Drain them in a colander, then get them back into the now-empty pot to steam dry. This is another key step. Letting them steam dry for a bit will help them form that crispy crust we’re looking for. Scatter polenta all over the potatoes and you’re going to give the pot a very big shake so that the polenta is distributed all over the potatoes. This is going to create lovely craggy edges that crisp up beautifully in the oven.
PRO TIP: To get ahead, you can cook the potatoes up to this point earlier in the day you want to serve them, or the day before (store them in the fridge in a covered container). The potatoes will benefit from a longer drying time (you’ll get an even crispier result!) When I’m cooking for a crowd (or for Christmas) I’ll get the potatoes up to this point in the morning, then just let them sit until I’m ready to cook them later in the day.
Once the oven is SUPER hot – carefully remove the tray and tip the potatoes in. Be really careful when you do this because it’s a tray of incredibly hot oil and it will splatter a lot when you pour the potatoes in. Pop in the oven and reduce the heat to 230C/440F fan for 45 minutes, turning twice throughout the cooking time.
While the potatoes are cooking, mix the rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt. You’ll know the potatoes are done when they’re super golden on the outside and very crispy. You can cut into one to test it if you like! Mix the rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt through the potatoes when you take them out of the oven and serve right away.
Got a question?
If you want super crispy roast potatoes, this step is key. You can of course roast potatoes without parboiling, but it’ll be harder to get that super crispy crust and buttery soft inside. The purpose of boiling the potatoes first is to part cook them and to soften up that outside layer so that the hot oil clings to it and you get all the lovely crusty, craggy bits.
No problem at all – there are a couple of things you can use instead of polenta. Plain flour is the one that most people will have in the cupboard, or you could use semolina or almond flour.
You can! I often do this when I’m having people over because it makes things a little easier. Just cook the potatoes for 20 minutes or until they’re starting to look golden. Remove the potatoes from the tray and set them aside to cool, then drain the oil into a container. You can refrigerate both (covered) for a day and then all you’ll need to do is heat the oil in a tray for 10 minutes at 250C, before popping the potatoes back in and cooking for another 25 minutes until golden and crispy all over.
You can also cook the potatoes for 20 minutes earlier in the day you’re going to serve them, remove them and leave them at room temperature, then just add them back into the oven for another 25 minutes when you’re ready to serve.
Much like the heat of your oil, potato type is super important if you’re looking for a super crispy result. I like using Maris piper potatoes, but Yukon Gold or King Edward are other examples you could use. You just want to stay away from new potatoes or waxy potatoes because they won’t get that fluffy inside we’re after.
Four things to serve them with
Honestly, I can eat these potatoes by themselves but of COURSE, many things go perfectly with these crispy delights. I love them as a side to different barbecued or roast meat, and fish, with a lovely fresh salad or loaded up with lovely sauces and herbs for a loaded potato dish.
- Enjoy them with this quick miso grilled chicken and courgette and peach salad for a summery al fresco meal.
- Have a Middle Eastern-inspired feast with lamb koftas, creamy hummus and a green goddess salad.
- Pair with honey and harissa glazed halloumi for a vegetarian spread.
- Dip them into easy vegan garlic aioli, 2-minute gochujang mayo or tahini yogurt sauce for a fabulous snack.
Want more potato inspiration? Here are some of my favourites!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do – leave a comment below and let me know how you get on, I love hearing about you making my recipes!Print