Chef John's Best Potato Side Dishes
If you're a meat and potatoes person, or maybe just the taters type, prepare to thrill to this totally tuberular collection of Chef John's best potato recipes. He covers them all here, from French fries to mashers, from roasted potatoes to potato dumplings, from gratins to potato salads. And Chef John explores the advanced potatoes course here, too, with recipes for pommes dauphine and beautiful (but actually simple to make) potato roses. Yes, with these recipes, Chef John secures his place as America's Spud Stud. And as always with Chef John's recipes, you don't want to miss the videos.
Chef John's Best Potato Side Dish Recipes
"Tender on the inside and crusty on the outside, these potatoes make for an impressive side dish," says Chef John. "The only problem is whatever main course you pair it with is in serious danger of being upstaged." The key to success here is flipping the potatoes over every 15 minutes to achieve the beautifully golden brown crust. You might also like Chef John's "Special" Roasted Potatoes.
These soft, comforting dumplings are drizzled in browned butter and topped with something even better than bacon! "For best results, roast, don't boil, the potatoes so they're nice and dry," says Chef John. "Yes, you can top these dumplings with bacon anyway, and/or sautéed onions and mushroom sauce. I served mine with sausage and braised red cabbage."
"This is such a classic go-to potato side dish recipe," says Chef John. "The best roasted red potatoes start with a heavy roasting pan, a generous amount of olive oil, and enough time to roast the potatoes dark and rich. If you do those things, you're talking intense potato side dish pleasure!"
There's a reason why restaurant fries are so good! The secret is cooking the potatoes twice. "I don't think most people realize that any decent French fry needs to be twice fried," says Chef John. "The first frying in done at a lower temperature, which softens the potato and prepares the starchy surface for the second frying's crispification." Watch the video to see how it's done. You might also like Chef John's Cottage Fries or his Crusty Herb Potato Wedges.
These cheesy, creamy potatoes with nicely crisp tops are easily twice as nice as regular baked potatoes! "When entertaining guests on special occasions, don't forget that you're putting on a show with the food," says Chef John. "And, when it comes to starchy side dishes, these potatoes are a great way to express flair for the dramatic."
Chef John's light and fluffy mashed potatoes are the essential side for meatloaf, roast beef, chicken, or Salisbury steak, topped with a simple gravy. And they're absolutely required beside roast turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. "This recipe will hopefully give you the proper techniques to turn out perfect mashed potatoes every time; always light, fluffy and lump-free." You might also like Chef John's Celery Root and Potato Puree.
If mustard is good in potato salad, why not mustardy mustard greens? Oh yes, it completely works. This potato salad with greens is delicious as a side dish for ribs, burgers, barbequed chicken, sausages—basically any food you can toss on the grill. It's also an extra-tasty way to sneak healthy greens into your diet! "This is no beginner's potato salad," says Chef John. "Mustard greens are spicy, slightly bitter, and not at all subtle."
The starring ingredient here is a semi-soft Italian cheese called sottocenere, which is studded with truffles. You can find it in most quality cheese shops. The cheese smells fantastic, and it really makes this gratin special. Layer your potatoes, mushrooms, and grated cheese into a casserole dish, and pour over a little cream and chicken stock. "I used a mix of brown and lobster mushrooms, which worked very nicely, but this recipe will be spectacular with any mushroom," says Chef John. "If you can find some wild mushrooms like morel, chanterelle, porcini, or lobster, use them. But if you can't, use regular supermarket mushrooms and you will still be rewarded with a very memorable potato side dish."
Here's a baked version of the typically deep-fried pommes dauphine, which Chef John describes as "one of the finest foods ever invented. I was very happy with the results. Even though they weren't as dark and crispy as the fried version, the inside was virtually identical. Enjoy these as a warm snack with a dip, or to go alongside some eggs or grilled steak."
10. Fondant Potatoes
Follow Chef John's technique, and these little potato towers will come out tender and creamy on the inside with perfect crispy edges. "The texture this old-school method provides for russet potatoes is unlike anything you get by just roasting: so dense, moist, and rich. The way the crusty, crunchy edges outside contrast with the uniquely rich and creamy inside is truly a magical thing."
"This is my mother Pauline's recipe," says Chef John. "It's pretty much a classic American salad but remember, if you add onions, use sweet onions and chop with a very sharp knife, allow potatoes to cool to room temp before dressing them, and always taste for salt." You might also like Chef John's Grilled German Potato Salad.
Here's a simple and delicious method for roasting potatoes. You'll simply roast a colorful combination of red, gold, and purple potatoes in a skillet with a little bacon and rosemary. "A simple and delicious side or as a tasty start for potato salad," says Chef John.
"Baked rose-shaped potato gratins would be great for entertaining," says Chef John, "since you can make them ahead, and keep them warm in the pan, or cool and reheat in the oven when you are ready to serve. The technique is straightforward, but make sure you season the potatoes generously."
Check out our complete collection of Chef John's Recipes.