Wondering if you can prepare roasted potatoes ahead of time? The answer is yes! With these crispy make-ahead roasted potatoes, you can have them ready to be finished in your oven, over your grill, or over the campfire, for a classic side dish that's perfect for the holidays or year-round.
If you've tried my smoked sweet potatoes, then you know I'm all about the crispy edges when it comes to roasted spuds, and these make-ahead roasted potatoes are no exception. However, the key to getting it right is to parboil the potatoes before roasting, and I don't know anyone who wants to be fiddling around with boiling and draining and then roasting potatoes in a campground. With this make-ahead version, you can take care of the parboiling step at home, tuck these potatoes in your cooler or freezer, and cook them whenever you like.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- You can prepare the potatoes at home and keep them in your cooler or freezer until you're ready to finish them.
- They can be cooked over the fire or on your grill.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes--I love Yukon Gold potatoes for roasting as they hold their shape, but have a creamy flavor and break down enough to create some rough edges that crisp up while they roast. You can substitute another medium-starch potato, such as yellow or white potatoes, but avoid Russets as they won't hold their shape.
- Fresh herbs--Use any combination of fresh herbs that you have. My favorites are rosemary and thyme, but sage and oregano are also good choices. If you need to substitute dried herbs, use about 2 teaspoons dried.
- Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch (25 mm). Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add the olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper and mix to combine. Put the lid on the pot and shake well to create crispy edges.
- Dump the potatoes into a foil pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. If cooking them over the campfire, cover tightly with foil.
- Cook the potatoes over hot campfire coals or over medium heat on a grill until crispy and tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Smoked Potatoes Variation
If you'd like to add a little smoke flavor to your roasted potatoes, prepare a smoke packet by wrapping wood chips or chunks in foil. Poke several holes in the smoke packet and set it over your campfire coals or grill burner. As the potatoes roast, they'll absorb the smoke flavor.
The parboiled potatoes can be stored in your fridge or cooler for up to 2 days before roasting. For longer storage, you can freeze the potatoes in their foil pan for up to 1 month. They can be cooked directly from frozen.
Use a medium-starch potato, such as Yukon Gold for the best results. These potatoes will hold their shape after boiling, but are starchy enough to develop some rough edges for crisping during the roasting period.
Avoid waxy potatoes, such as red, as they won't develop soft creamy centers when roasted, and also won't have crispy edges. Don't use high-starch potatoes, such as Russets, as they won't hold their shape after boiling.
It's optional. Most medium-starch potatoes are thin-skinned and their skin provides another edge to crisp up. That said, if you have potatoes that have a lot of dirt stuck on them that won't come off with a good scrub, or you don't enjoy the taste or texture of potato skin, you can peel them.
Yes. If you're at home and want to roast the potatoes in a regular oven, preheat the oven to 425°F and roast until they are crispy and golden, turning the potatoes once or twice, about 30 minutes. If you are roasting them in the oven, do not cover the pan.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- Take care not to crowd the potatoes in the pan. They need space to roast evenly. If you are going to double the recipe, use a large rectangular foil pan, or divide the potatoes between two pans.
- If you chose to freeze your potatoes, you don't need to thaw them before cooking, but note that the cooking time will be a little longer.
- If you are finishing the potatoes in the oven or on a covered grill, they do not need to be covered with foil. They must be covered if cooking over a campfire.
- This roasted potato recipe is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan diets.
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Make-Ahead Roasted Potatoes
- 8-by-8-inch foil pan
- 2 pounds (908 g) Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1 ½-inch (18-mm) chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the pan
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch (25 mm).
- Set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Stir in the oil and herbs and season well with salt and pepper.
- Place the lid on the saucepan and give everything a really good shake. This part is important as it will give you your extra crispy bits by roughing up the edges of the potatoes.
- Coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square foil pan with oil and dump the potatoes into it. Shake gently so that they lay in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to roast.
- Prepare your grill for medium heat (425°F) or prepare hot coals in a campfire.
- Place the covered foil pan on the cooking grate and roast until the edges are golden brown and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
- Don't crowd your spuds--Take care not to crowd the potatoes in the pan. They need space to roast evenly. If you are going to double the recipe, use a large rectangular foil pan, or divide the potatoes between two pans.
- Cooking from frozen--If you chose to freeze your potatoes, you don't need to thaw them before cooking, but note that the cooking time will be a little longer.
- To cover or not to cover--If you are finishing the potatoes in the oven or on a covered grill, they do not need to be covered with foil. They must be covered if cooking over a campfire.
- Dietary--This roasted potato recipe is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan diets.