These Are The 10 Best Potato Varieties For Roasting

Roast potatoes are one of the most delicious dishes you can make — but a wedge made from one variety will taste and look completely different from a batonnet or disc made from another. Some kinds of potatoes have the perfect texture for roasting: They crunch when you bite their outer layer and then give way to a soft, fluffy, buttery center — and it's addictive. Other species of the vegetable come in jaw-dropping hues of pink, purple, and red. Roasted, they add a festive touch to any table or dish. Finally, a few varieties of this root crop can come in interesting shapes and small sizes, with thin, delectable skins, meaning you don't even have to peel before popping them into the oven. 

Considering that the International Potato Center explains there are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes, finding the right one to put on your baking sheet isn't straightforward. You may not even particularly like roast potatoes — if that's the case, then you've definitely been using the wrong variety. Whether your focus is texture, visual appeal, or ease of preparation, this guide will cover the best varieties of potatoes for roasting and take a look at the recipes that bring out their scrumptious qualities.

Yukon Gold

If it's not already, Yukon Golds should be your go-to potato for roasting. These tubers have beautiful yellow, creamy flesh. Their rough, starchy texture provides more surface area to absorb oil and get crispy. All this works out for crunchy, fluffy, buttery, roast deliciousness. It's not hard to find them, either, since Yukon Golds are widely available in grocery stores and aren't expensive — a 5-pound bag costs around $6 at Krogers. If you're a gardener, Yukon Gold seed potatoes are easy to purchase and plant, and you can store the resulting vegetables long-term, through the fall and part of winter. That means roast potatoes for months if you get a good crop.

Chef Joshua Weisman prefers his Yukon Golds for roasting when they measure 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. He recommends this size because he parboils the tubers whole with their yellow skins on before using a wooden spoon to softly smash each one on a baking sheet coated with olive oil. This creates more surface area for a super crispy, mouthwatering final product.

Russet Burbanks

Russet Burbanks are like a '90s rom-com protagonist before she gets a makeover — an unattractive outer shell hides this potato's inner beauty. Russets are characterized by rough, cloudy brown skin that you'll want to peel off. Below, you'll find starchy white flesh that has a light, appealing texture when roasted.

Russet Burbanks are one of the most popular potatoes in the United States — they occupy more acres of farmland than any other variety. The rules of supply and demand make them cheaper than other species — you can pick up a 5-pound bag from Meijer for around $4.

Russets are one of the two varieties recommended by chef Kenji Lopez-Alt for roasting — he likes Yukon Gold as well. Kenji's scientifically-proven method of producing crispy potatoes involves parboiling chunks with salt and baking soda. The baking soda, combined with tossing them in herb-infused olive oil before roasting, breaks down the outer layer into mush which browns and gets crispy. About 50 to 60 minutes in the oven results in a crunchy exterior and pillowy interior.

Maris Piper

Maris Piper is the russet of choice in the U.K. This potato has beige skin and creamy, white, floury flesh, not unlike a cross between a Yukon Gold and a Russet Burbank. It's well suited to most uses — in fact, it's often called the all rounder. One of those many uses is roasting. 

Maris Pipers account for around 15% of the U.K.'s potato crop, making them very easy and cheap to get ahold of there. Buying about 5 pounds of these tubers from the British chain, Tesco, costs just under $2. That's an incredible deal. Of course, if you're in the United States, you probably won't find this variety at the supermarket — and if you do, likely not for that price.

When British chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver make roast potatoes, Maris Pipers are their favorite. That's because the uneven texture of its flesh gives it plenty of surface area to get crispy. For even more crunch, Jamie suggests using goose fat or butter instead of olive oil.

Dakota Rose

Eating roasted red potatoes, like Dakota Roses, is a different experience. Russets and yellows have a floury, fluffy texture, while reds tend toward waxiness because of a lower starch content. When roasted, they remain firm and toothsome. Their flavor is stronger. Red potatoes won't give you traditional roasties, but they're delicious in their own right.

Dakota Roses, specifically, have smooth, ruby-red skin, and like most red potato varieties, remain small to medium. Their brilliant color makes this hybrid particularly attractive, but you'll likely only find them at farmers' markets. The University of North Dakota developed the strain to grow in the short summers there – and you can find certified seed potatoes from companies like Carters Seed if you want to grow them in your own garden. If you can't get your hands on Dakota Roses, but want to roast up some reds, you may have to purchase generic "red potatoes" from a supermarket like Meijer for around $5 for 5 pounds.

Chef Ina Gartner is a huge fan of roasted red potatoes and one of her favorite aspects of preparing this dish is how little prep time it takes. She slices smaller tubers in half and larger ones in quarters, then she drizzles on some olive oil, sprinkles on salt, mixes in garlic, and roasts them for around 30 minutes. She doesn't peel, parboil, or even flip them and they come out perfectly. Roasted red potatoes may not give you the same crunch as Yukon Golds, but they're not as high-maintenance either.


Petites can be any variety of potato, but they come in bite sizes. Usually, their flavor is more intense and their skins are more delicate. They are lots of fun since they come in bags of mixed varieties — you'll find reds, yellows, and purples all together. 

Petites roast well for a couple of reasons. First, the small size of these tubers means they don't take as long in the oven and long cook times are one of the most annoying aspects of making roast potatoes. Second, you don't need to slice, peel or parboil them. Vegetarian chef Jerry James Stone simply drizzles them with herb-infused oil and pops them in the oven. If you're looking for other recipes for petites, you might want to try these Greek-style roasted potatoes.

Finally, eating roasted petite potatoes is a special treat because biting into them is like a little explosion of delight each time. As your teeth sink in, the slightly chewy exterior ruptures, exposing the soft, nutty, flavorful flesh inside. It's a lovely textural sensation.

Russian Bananas

As the fruity part of the name indicates, Russian Bananas belong to the family of yellow potatoes. They are also a variety of fingerlings, which are small, long, skinny potatoes, like the digits on your hand. If you're lucky, and they're in season, you could find a bag of these at Krogers, but they're more likely to make an appearance at the farmers' market or in a friend's garden. Seed vendors occasionally run out of Russian Banana seed stock because they're so popular. 

The taste is what really  sets Russian Bananas apart from other potato varieties. When roasted, these tubers are sweet and buttery, even with no seasoning.

America's Test Kitchen has a hack for roasting any variety of fingerling potato, and that includes Russian Bananas: Pack a tight single layer in a high-edged baking tin, drizzle oil over them and mix in your favorite potato seasonings. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and put them in the oven again. You'll know they're ready when they're spotted brown after around 20 minutes. This method guarantees even roasting despite the variety of shapes and sizes of fingerlings.

Ruby Crescents

Ruby crescents have beautiful pink skin and bright yellow flesh. They are a fingerling variety — they're long and skinny with a strange bumpy look going on. They boast the typical nutty, waxy flavor of this family of potatoes and some potato enthusiasts say it's the best-tasting tuber in its category.  It's a shame, then, that they're not more widely available in grocery stores. If you're lucky, you may find them as part of a fingerling mix. For example, Krogers offers a 1.5-pound pack containing several varieties of these skinny potatoes when they're in season. You may have better luck finding them at specialty grocers or farmers' markets.

One way to roast fingerling potatoes is slicing them down the middle, the long way. Then, place them flat-side-down on a baking tray after tossing them with oil and herbs. This gives you a nice crusty, crunchy bottom and a tender, delicious top. Making them thinner means they'll cook more evenly and quickly.

Purple Majesty

Purple Majesty potatoes will surprise you every time you prepare them! When you slice the potato open, its bright purple flesh will leave you slack-jawed. Honestly, they couldn't have picked a better name for it because the color is truly majestic.

Most likely, though, you won't find Purple Majesties at the supermarket. You'll need to plant some in your garden if you want to serve them roasted at a dinner party. Luckily, seed potatoes for this variety aren't hard to find — Walmart sells them for around $20. 

Since these potatoes are usually small to medium, the best way to roast them is by halving or quartering them and then sticking them in the oven with some oil and seasonings. Their buttery-flavored flesh will lose a bit of color, but retain its nutrients. A study conducted at Penn State in 2015 showed that compounds in purple potatoes combat colon cancer. The University used oven-baked purple potatoes to ensure that they retained their anti-cancer properties even after cooking. 

King Edward

King Edward potatoes have mottled pink and brown skin and creamy flesh that becomes fluffy when you roast it.  They are one of the most popular potato varieties in the U.K., but hard to come by in the United States. You can pick up around 5 pounds at Tesco for approximately $2.  If you're dying to try them, but live outside the British Isles, you can order seed from companies like Seeds Now. 

Chef James Martin says King Edward potatoes are his favorite potato variety for making roasties. He likes their smaller size and creamy taste. To prep them, he peels the tubers and cuts them in half, leaving pretty large chunks for roasting. He parboils them, starting the King Edwards in cold water and then bringing them to a boil while he simultaneously heats lard or drippings in the oven. Once the potatoes have softened, he drains them, tossing a bit so the outer edges break down slightly. While they're still hot from boiling, he tosses them into his pan with hot lard. After 45 to 60 minutes in the oven, he pulls out a tray of traditional roasties.

Mountain Rose

Mountain Rose potatoes stun with their bright color. The reddish-pink skin may not impress you since you've probably already seen potatoes ranging from ruby-red to princess pink, but, rather, it's the tie-dyed pink flesh of these tubers that amazes. To understand the impact these potatoes make, just watch chef Ani's squeal of joy when she cuts a pink tater open for the first time. 

As desireable as Mountain Roses are, they're not easy to find in supermarkets. Originally, the University of Colorado developed this potato strain for growers in that state, but now gardeners can get seed for it from catalogues like Gurneys. Comments from buyers on the company's website highlight how much they enjoyed eating these roasted tubers because of the taste, but also the aesthetic appeal. 

Some people use them to make pink mashed potatoes as well, but they're best when roasted. Since Mountain Rose potatoes are generally small to medium, they roast well in their skins when halved or quartered. Imagine these wedges mixed with Purple Majesties and Yukon Golds for a platter of colorful roast potatoes in mid summer. That's a sight likely to make any mouth start watering.