Boiled red potatoes are an easy side dish to create on the fly. These tender potatoes are delicious when painted with butter and parmesan, or seasonings can be customized to your tastes.
This is a great side dish I make frequently, particularly when we are having a "meat and potatoes" meal, like venison loin or steak. Admittedly, I change up the flavor of it just about every time it is prepared, so let me show you a few different ways to enjoy these.
Boiled red potatoes are one of the easiest ways to prepare a delicious side dish. Best of all, it allows for infinite possibilities. The potatoes are simmered in water until hot and tender then can be tossed with butter, salt, and flavorings of your choice, such as Parmesan, fresh herbs, or your favorite seasoning blend.
Red Potato Substitutions
Boiling red potatoes for a side dish works particularly well when using baby red potatoes or new potatoes. Since they are smaller in size, baby reds boil quicker and are already practically bite-sized to eat.
However, you can use traditional red potatoes as well, just expect them to have a longer cooking time. Alternatively, this will work with any type of waxy potatoes, so you can also substitute Yukon gold potatoes which have a similar flavor and creamy texture.
Note: Russet potatoes can also be boiled, but they have a much starchier texture that is quite different than red potatoes.
How long to boil red potatoes
Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot of heavily salted cold water, using enough water to cover the potatoes. Set your pot of water over medium high heat and bring to a boil. The exact cooking times needed to boil potatoes will varies depending on the size of your potatoes.
- Baby Red Potatoes (and small red potatoes) are done after boiling in 15-20 minutes.
- Medium red potatoes can take 30 minutes if left whole.
- Large red potatoes I recommend chopping them in smaller pieces, such as half or quarters and simmer 20-25 minutes. Whole potatoes will take needlessly long to boil.
Tip: Cover the pot to bring it to a boil faster, but I typically then remove the lid to prevent the water from bubbling over when pressure builds up.
When are boiled potatoes done?
Red potatoes are done boiling when the potato skins start to crack and the potato is fork tender when pierced with a fork or sharp paring knife. Properly cooked potatoes have an internal temperature of 210 degrees when tested with a digital thermometer.
When done boiling, empty the pot and discard the remaining water and cool the potatoes slightly by letting them sit. They are now ready for your favorite herbs and seasonings!
Ways to add flavor to them
Your potatoes are done boiling, now what? Jazz up their flavor with any of the suggestions below.
- Butter and Parmesan - toss them in melted butter, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and grated Parmesan.
- Fresh herbs - Chop fresh parsley, dill, or chives and sprinkle them on your potatoes with a couple of tablespoons of butter to give them a pop of fresh flavor.
- Creole Red Potatoes - Whip up some homemade creole seasoning and liberally dust the potatoes prior to serving.
- Steak Seasoning Rub - The same seasoning rub I use for steaks tastes great on potatoes as well!
- Creamy Red Potato Salad - A great twist on the classic potato salad!
- Blue Cheese Potato Salad with Bacon - Another great potato salad recipe.
- Smashed potatoes - (My favorite way to prepare red potatoes) Once the potatoes have boiled, place them on a baking sheet and "smash" them to flatten, less than an inch thick. These are then painted with oil, salt, and seasonings and baked in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until crispy. Insanely delicious!
Tip: Potatoes will always taste best served with a bit of butter and salt. For this reason, my personal preference is to use salted butter. If using unsalted butter, add an extra pinch of salt. If you are trying to avoid dairy products, I would recommend using olive oil instead.
Reheating & Storing Leftovers
Leftover boiled potatoes should be stored in an airtight container, or in a dish covered with plastic wrap, and set in your refrigerator. For the best flavor and texture, I recommend eating them within five days. The best way to reheat leftover red potatoes is in the microwave until heated through.
Boiled Red Potatoes
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Place red potatoes in a large pot of cold water, covering the potatoes by an inch. Add a large pinch of salt.
- Bring the salted water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, depending on size. *(see notes)
- Potatoes are done when skin starts to crack and are completely tender when pierced with a fork.
- Drain water from pot, or remove potatoes into a separate large bowl to combine with your desired flavorings.
- Choose your desired way to flavor the potatoes such as tossing them with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can dust them with your favorite seasoning blend.
- Small potatoes will be done in 15-20 minutes.
- Medium potatoes can take up to 30 minutes.
- Larger potatoes should be chopped in half or quartered to reduce cook time to 20-25 minutes.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on February 19, 2020.
This is profound
kim K blair
I am a food safety fanatic (not to mention a clean freak in all areas) When boiling potatoes do you wash them first.... or just rely on the boiling water to clean them
Fox Valley Foodie
Yes, it is always best to wash potatoes prior to cooking them.