Grandma Ruth’s Roasted Potatoes

These roasted potatoes are so popular in my family that they are requested at every holiday meal!!!  For us, they are a tradition!  Easy to make ahead with basic ingredients you always have in your pantry: potatoes, salt & pepper, paprika, butter.

To serve 4-6 people:

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, washed and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic
  • spring of rosemary (optional)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • salt, pepper & paprika

If you are confused by which potato to use for which purpose:


I use Idaho potatoes to bake whole




russet potatoes to roast or mash




red bliss to boil (for New England Boiled Dinner, corned beef & cabbage, potato salad).



Wash 1 medium sized russet potato per person, cutting out any sprouted eyes or green spots (as these are poisonous), then cut into bite-sized pieces.  Don’t bother peeling them. Into a pot large enough to hold all the potato pieces no more than 3/4 full, cover with cold salted water into which you’ve thrown two whole garlic cloves and a spring of fresh rosemary if you have it.  Now bring to a boil over medium heat.  As soon as you see the water begin to boil, take off heat and drain in a colander.

In the same pot, melt sufficient butter for the number of potatoes you’ve cut up (or use olive oil if you prefer).  My holiday dinner batch usually feeds 5 and I usually cut up 5-6 potatoes (extras are eagerly eaten as snacks and never go to waste).  For this amount, I melt 1 stick of unsalted butter (1/4 lb).  While the potatoes are still hot, I coat the pieces in the melted butter in batches of 1/3…using a slotted spoon to coat them (easiest if you tilt the pot to draw all the melted butter into a puddle on one side so the pieces are immersed), then lift them onto a parchment-lined (for easy clean up) cookie sheet, creating one layer.  Drizzle any remaining butter (or olive oil) over the layer of potatoes.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika (you can add garlic powder and cayenne if you like them spicy, or ground rosemary, thyme and marjoram if you like them herbed).  You can make ahead to this point, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  If you use garlic and/or herbs, and have a dessert sharing the refrigerator, you may want to also seal over the plastic wrap with a layer of aluminum foil, so the stronger herbs don’t ruin the flavor of a delicate dessert.  (Please avoid direct contact between aluminum foil and foods, as acidic foods react with the foil to release aluminum ions which if absorbed by the foods and ingested into the body, can cross the blood/brain barrier and accumulate in your brain cells. Toxic levels of aluminum ions in the brain are thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s.)

Roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and sizzling.

You will be asked to make these simple roasted potatoes over and over again!!!