Ingredients That Will Seriously Upgrade Your Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes are a versatile and delicious side dish. Everyone has their favorite way of cooking them, but sometimes it's good to mix things up once in a while. No matter what you're adding to your roasted potatoes, there are some basic tips to keep in mind. One of the most important decisions you'll make is the choice of potato. According to Real Simple, floury, starchy varieties like Yukon golds or russet work best, as they have a creamy texture, and crispy outside. If you want to enjoy the contrast between the fluffy inside and crunchy exterior, make sure you don't cut your potatoes too small either.

When it comes to cooking, parboiling your potatoes for 10 minutes before roasting them will help you achieve that perfect, crispy crust. Before they go in the oven, make sure your potatoes are dry, and give them a good shake to break up the edges a little bit. It's also a good idea to get your fat nice and hot in the roasting pan before adding your potatoes, and make sure they're well coated. Again, this helps with the all-important crunch. Roast at a relatively high temperature — 400 degrees Fahrenheit should do it. While they're in the oven, give them a toss halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Once you've mastered roasting your potatoes to perfection, experiment with seasonings and flavor combinations. Try adding new ingredients to your next batch. Any of the following will seriously upgrade your roasted potatoes.

Consider chili and lime

Chili and lime may not be the first flavors that come to mind when planning roasted potatoes, but this combination is not to be missed. This may also be the easiest roasted potatoes recipe you will make. People can't stop talking about this spicy chili lime seasoning, and all you'll need to achieve potato perfection is a Costco membership. 

Urban Accents' Spicy Chili Lime Seasoning Blend started life as a corn-on-the-cob seasoning, but it works on much more. To be honest, there's not much it doesn't work on. The blend contains three kinds of pepper — chili, cayenne, and black — with parsley, onion, garlic, and smoke flavor, for a taste sensation. Urban Eats said its seasoning, "has a slight kick, but is far less spicy than Tajin." It claims the spice blend pairs perfectly with everything from potatoes to popcorn, and works exceptionally well on shrimp and fish tacos.

Slather them with salt

If you're a fan of salt, you will love this dish. This salt-roasted potatoes recipe calls for garlic, rosemary, parsley, and peppercorns. What sets it apart is that you don't just toss your potatoes with salt when preparing them, you build a salt bed for your potatoes to roast on top of.

To start, toss your potatoes in oil and minced garlic. Using coarse sea salt, build a bed in a sheet pan or roasting dish, then sprinkle peppercorns and rosemary on top. Line the pan with your potatoes and pop them in the oven, then bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes. According to Alpha Foodie, cooking your potatoes on a bed of salt traps any moisture that escapes during cooking. This is then reabsorbed by the potato, so you end up with a perfectly fluffy result. The salt bed also helps to regulate oven temperature, so everything cooks more evenly.

Liven things up with lemon

Lemon livens up all sorts of foods with its zesty freshness, including potatoes. This lemony roasted potatoes recipe uses lemon juice, zest, and a cornucopia of dried herbs for delicious potatoes you are sure to love.

Start by slicing red skin potatoes. Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, basil, onion powder, parsley, pepper, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and minced garlic into a dressing. Next, toss your potatoes with the dressing. Once coated, lay the potato chunks on a baking sheet, skin side down. Make sure none of them overlap: Keeping your wedges adequately spaced ensures they crisp evenly.

Cut ¼ cup of butter into slices and distribute it over the top of your potatoes. Put the baking sheet in the oven for around an hour, flipping the potatoes halfway through cooking. Finish your potatoes with a few minutes under the broiler to make them extra crispy.

Give them some garlic and herbs

Classics are classics for a reason, like this traditional recipe from McCormick. Garlic and herbs are some of the best seasonings you will ever find for roasted potatoes. McCormick uses oregano, paprika, thyme, sea salt, and garlic, mixed with oil, and tossed with your potatoes before roasting. You could certainly mix up all these ingredients and make the recipe once. Or make the seasoning blend in batch to use each time the urge strikes for garlic and herb roasted potatoes.

Combine dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic granules or garlic powder, dried parsley, and pepper (via The Dinner Bite). Mix up your seasonings and save them in a mason jar or other airtight container, and keep somewhere away from sunlight for up to six months. Use 1 tablespoon of seasoning per 2 pounds of potatoes. Once your potatoes have been in the oven for half their cooking time, gently squash them with the back of a spoon or a large jar, so you end up with even more crispy edges.

Seek simple (but mildly spicy) solutions

You don't need to go all out to give your roasted potatoes a delicious flavor, and you can achieve great results using ingredients you likely already have waiting for you in your pantry. Using 8 cups of Yukon gold potatoes, create a delightful dish you and up to five guests will savor. Or cook up a big batch for yourself, and you'll have loads of leftovers to enjoy.

Begin by tossing your potatoes in avocado oil while your oven preheats to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use traditional oil or an avocado oil spray — the benefit of a spray being that it's easier to prepare and clean up afterward.

Next, coat your potatoes with a mix of cumin, smoked paprika, pink salt, turmeric, garlic powder, and pepper. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Broil them at the end if you like your roasted potatoes extra crispy.

Go Greek (or at least Mediterranean)

Are you dreaming of spending the summer in Greece? Or Italy? Both regions produce gorgeous lemons loved around the world. Whatever time of year, even if summer seems far away, feel like you're in the Mediterranean with these roasted baby red potatoes with lemon and bay leaves. We promise this recipe makes the fall and winter months a little brighter and sunnier.

To get a taste of the Med, combine potatoes with six cloves of garlic, a very thinly sliced lemon, and dried bay leaves in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and toss. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast in an oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, toss, then cover again, and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes.

Really love the fresh taste of citrus? Try using lemon-infused olive oil instead of regular in this recipe.

Reinvent your potatoes with rosemary

Rosemary is a simple but flavorful herb that can vastly change the profile of any dish. Slather your roasted potatoes in a delightful mix of this punchy herb, along with garlic, and please everyone at the dinner table. This roasted potato with rosemary recipe calls for canola rather than olive oil, which is a better choice for deep frying and high-heat searing.

Start by blanching your potatoes for five minutes in boiling water. Drain and allow them to dry. Then heat your canola oil to medium in a sauté pan. Add your potatoes and let them caramelize. This will take about four minutes. Add six unpeeled garlic cloves and put the pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives the potatoes a chance to crisp up and absorb the garlic flavor. Allow them to cook until they're evenly browned.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle with fresh rosemary sprigs. Allow the butter to melt into the potatoes, and drain on paper towels before serving.

Make them masala

Another perfect partner for roasted potatoes is garam masala. You can either buy this Indian spice blend ready made, or make it yourself, using cardamom seeds, peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cumin seeds, cinnamon, coriander, and nutmeg.

You'll need to toast your whole spices in a skillet first, which helps to release the oils, giving you a better, more complex flavor. Be careful not to burn the spices though, as they'll be bitter and unpleasant. Toast carefully for two-three minutes, allow them to cool down, then add them into a spice grinder or food processor along with the spices that are already ground. Blend these spices together. You can use the garam masala immediately, or store it in an airtight container

To make garam masala roasted potatoes, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat a roasting dish with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Dice your potatoes relatively small (skin on or off) and toss with 2 tablespoons of the garam masala, plus salt. Roast the potatoes until cooked through and crispy, which should take around 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.

Insta-cook a quick and simple variety

Did you know you can make Instant Pot roasted potatoes? Roasting potatoes in the Instant Pot is much quicker than doing so in your oven, and still gets great results. Start your Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add butter and oil, season your potatoes with salt, and add them to the party.

Sauté your potatoes for 12 minutes, frequently tossing, so they brown evenly. Once you're finished with the sauté cycle, add garlic powder, and chicken or vegetable broth, depending on your taste and dietary preferences. Put the top on the pot and set the valve to seal.

Set your pressure cooker to high and cook for another eight minutes, then quick release to vent the pot and remove the lid. Voila. You have perfectly roasted potatoes in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take you. Put your potatoes on a serving platter and garnish with parsley if desired.

Ash roast your potatoes indoors or out

Ash-roasted potatoes are just what they sound like — potatoes cooked directly in the ashes of a fire. The concept for these tasty spuds began in South Africa using a braai, which resembles an American barbeque. The original idea involves throwing whole, unpeeled potatoes into the coals of a grill and covering them with more ashes. This process makes the outside crisp and charbroiled, while the inside remains tender.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you can use those ashes instead of the ones in a charcoal grill. Sprinkle the ashes (carefully) over some foil and wrap your potatoes, before putting them in the oven. Spice things up even more by scooping the potato out of the charred shells, mash with sour cream, chives, caviar, or lox, and then stuff back into the shells. And if you want to go old-school and cook them right in the ashes, these will make an amazing campfire treat for your next trip.

Rev things up with Romano cheese

There's just something about the combination of potatoes and cheese. If you can't get enough, you need roasted Romano red potatoes in your life. All you need to make this delightful dish is eight medium red potatoes, olive oil, and a cup of pecorino Romano cheese. Make sure you buy a block of pecorino Romano to grate yourself, as the flavor is much better than pre-grated cheese. There are also a lot of additives in pre-grated cheese to prevent clumping, which means it will never melt smoothly enough.

With this recipe, don't peel your potatoes first: Cut them into quarters and dip two sides of each potato into olive oil. This will act like a glue for that glorious pecorino Romano. Once your cheese is nicely stuck to your potatoes, pop them in the oven for 35-40 minutes. When they're fork tender, they're ready to serve. 

Accelerate with an air fryer

Want to make roasted potatoes in hardly any time at all? Try air fryer roasted potatoes instead. From start to finish, this recipe only takes 20 minutes, which is roughly half the time it would take to roast your spuds in the oven.

Begin by chopping your potatoes into chunks — about 3-inch slices will do. Place the potatoes in a bowl and toss them with olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Once your potatoes are oiled and seasoned, line your air fryer basket with parchment to prevent sticking and add in your seasoned potatoes. Cook at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then turn and cook for another 10 minutes. Your potatoes are done when they're golden and crispy. This technique will give you extra crunchy potatoes with fewer calories than if you were frying them, in a fraction of the time the oven-roasted variety would take.

Use beef drippings

It's time to upgrade your roasted potatoes with beef drippings. Although beef drippings, or tallow, is often discarded, it makes a wonderful addition to your roasted potatoes. During World War II, solidified beef fat was spread onto bread with a little salt and pepper (via Atlas Obscura). While that might not sound hugely appealing, we promise it will transform your potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and melt your beef drippings in a roasting pan. Per 1 pound of potatoes, you'll want to use 1 tablespoon of drippings. Once everything is nice and hot, carefully toss your potatoes into the hot pan, and roast for 40-45 minutes. 

You can also partially pre-cook your potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes, and melt down your beef drippings in a separate saucepan with garlic and rosemary. Finish off the potatoes in the oven tossed with the herby beef drippings. Don't forget to strain it before using.