Roasted potatoes level up with this crispy Parmesan and garlic recipe
Every day it seems like a new recipe sets the online food world ablaze and I’m often skeptical of the social media creation. But these Parmesan-crusted crispy potatoes stopped me in my tracks.
Americans love potatoes. In fact, the average American consumes over 100 pounds of potatoes per year, which is double the amount of our second favorite veggie — lettuce. We devour spuds in all shapes and sizes, from whole, to French fried, mashed, smashed, shredded and twice baked. We also adore cheese, whether it’s sharp and nutty, or smooth and creamy. So it’s no surprise the latest internet sensation involves both potatoes and cheese.
And after trying it for myself, I fully understand the passion for these oven fried potatoes.
Crispy on the outside and soft in the center, these tubers are buttery, cheesy, herby and completely addictive. They also require only one pan, less than 10 ingredients and less than an hour to make. What’s not to love?
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The best for potatoes for oven roasting
Use small red or gold potatoes for this recipe. While it would certainly work with your everyday Idaho, the point of the recipe is that each little potato half is baked upside down, so the flesh soaks up the butter and cheese while the skin gets crispy. Color doesn’t matter – red, gold, white or a combination – that’s your call. But size does matter.
And, if your potatoes are more oval than round, halve them lengthwise. This guarantees a more flesh-to-cheese ratio.
Why score your potatoes?
Once your potatoes are halved, use a small, sharp knife to “score” the flesh, which just means to slice vertically and then horizontally, about ⅛-inch into the flesh, making a crosshatch pattern.
This simple yet crucial step allows the butter, cheese and herbs to seep into the nooks and crannies, ensuring maximum flavor all the way to the center of the spud.
What kind of Parmesan cheese to use for crispy garlic potatoes
Since the main flavor of these crispy potatoes is Parmesan, choose a good-quality cheese. That doesn’t mean you need Italian cheese with a pricy label, any grated cheese made with real Parmesan will suffice. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is typically sold in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, next to the other specialty cheeses. I do not recommend the unrefrigerated, shelf-stable, grated Parmesan.
One key thing to note is that you should use grated cheese, not shredded. This is key. The sand-like grated Parmesan cheese used for this recipe is blended with the butter and herbs to create a paste which is basically a buttery-cheesy cement that clings to the flesh of the potatoes and crisps to perfection.
How to customize your roast potatoes
I used Italian seasoning in this recipe because I love the medley of oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary. You can add those herbs individually (about 1 teaspoon each) or substitute your favorites from the spice rack. I also added garlic powder, which is fabulous, but you can add onion powder instead. Paprika would be a nice addition for folks who put paprika on everything (you know who you are) and for a spicy version, add cayenne pepper or your favorite fiery spice blend.
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Recipe: Crispy Parmesan roasted potatoes
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, I prefer unsalted, but salted works too
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds of small red or gold potatoes, washed and patted dry
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons Italian herb seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil, for brushing the potatoes
- Chopped fresh parsley or chives, optional for serving
- Place butter in a 13×9-inch baking pan. Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 400 F to preheat. When the butter is bubbly, remove the pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, halve each potato and score the flesh by making a crosshatch pattern about ⅛-inch deep.
- In a small bowl, combine ½ cup Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and to the pan. Mix with melted butter to form a paste and spread in an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Nestle the potatoes cut side down into the cheese and butter mixture. Brush the skins of the potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
- Place the pan in the oven to bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender with a crispy crust.
- Remove potatoes from the pan and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the cheese to set. Top with parsley or chives, if you like, and serve.
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