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Foolproof Recipe for How to Season Boiled Potatoes

Are you ready to take those boiled potatoes to the next level? I’m sharing my absolute favorite method for season boiled potatoes – it’s so simple but the results are amazing.

Plus I will share all the tips I learn with time on how to boil potatoes perfectly every time.

perfect boiled potatoes


The Right Variety For Boiled Potatoes

When it comes to boiling, not all potato varieties are created equal, some hold their shape better, while others become fluffy and perfect for mashing, so choosing the right variety of potatoes is very important.

For seasoned boiled potatoes, you want to opt for waxy ones.

The best potatoes are yellow potatoes, red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, new potatoes, baby potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. 

They hold their shape well and have a creamy texture.

If instead you want to prepare boiled potatoes to make mashed potatoes then I recommend starchy potatoes such as Russet potatoes.

Ingredients for Boiled Potatoes

Waxy potatoes, for this recipe I use medium-sized Yukon gold.

Water for boiling, water must cover whole potatoes.

Salt & black pepper, to taste.

Fresh herbs, I use basil but fresh parsley is good too.

Extra virgin olive oil, choose a good quality oil.

Garlic, before you chop it make sure to remove the core, so it will be more digestible.

How To Boil Potatoes: Basic Step-by-Step Recipe

Step 1

Give a good rinse thoroughly under running water with the help of a vegetable brush to remove any dirt.

Cut the larger potatoes in half so that you have potatoes of the same size for even cooking.

Step 2

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water.

boiling potatoes

Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and let the potatoes simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until they are fork-tender.

Be careful not to overcook them.

Step 3

In the meantime, chop garlic and basil – I used the blender. And mix with the olive oil.

fresh herbs to season potatoes

Step 4

Once cooked, drain the potatoes in a colander and season them with salt and pepper and with the herb and olive oil.

cooked potatoes in a plate

Pro Tips

  • Cook the potatoes in cold water if you cook them whole with their skins on, but if you want to cook peeled and cut potatoes, they should be cooked in hot water otherwise they absorb too much water.
  • Do not salt the water. If you add salt, the potatoes will flake or spoil. I season my potatoes after.
  • If you want to peel the potatoes do it while they are still warm.

How Long To Boil Potatoes: Different Potatoes Size

Potato cooking times vary based on size. Here are guidelines:

  • Small potatoes (1-2 inches): 10-15 minutes
  • Medium potatoes (2-3 inches): 15-25 minutes
  • Large potatoes (3+ inches): 25-30 minutes
  • Cubed or sliced potatoes: 8-12 minutes

Remember to always check by piercing the potatoes with a fork. If they slide off easily, they’re ready!

Quick Ways To Boil Potatoes

The easiest way to cook potatoes when you are short of time.

How to boil potatoes in a pressure cooker (instant pot):

if you’re short on time, using a pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the whole potatoes in the pressure cooker, add water and salt to the pot, and make sure you put enough water to cover them.
  2. Seal the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure.
  3. Cook the potatoes for 5-7 minutes, depending on their size.
  4. Release the pressure manually or let it release naturally.
  5. Drain the potatoes and season them to your liking.

How to boil potatoes in the microwave:

Yes, you can even boil potatoes in the microwave!

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes all the same size.
  • Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and add a small amount of water.
  • Lightly cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid, leaving a small opening for steam.
  • Microwave the potatoes at high temperature for 5 minutes, then check for doneness. If necessary, continue to microwave in 1-minute intervals until done.

Variations To Boiled Potatoes

Indian-Style: Toss with garam masala, cumin, ginger, chopped cilantro.

Mediterranean: Dress with olive oil, parmesan cheese and kalamata olives.

Greek: Toss potatoes with oregano, red wine vinegar, crumbled feta.

Lemon Herb: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the boiled potatoes and toss with melted butter, chopped fresh herbs like dill or parsley, salt, and pepper.

Pesto: Toss the boiled potatoes with this homemade pesto without pine nuts.

How To Serve Them

Serve your seasoned boiled potatoes as a quick side dish, or make them the star of a salad like this Italian potato salad

More Ways To Use boiled potatoes

Boiled potatoes are versatile and can be used in various potato dishes.

Here are some ideas:

  • Fritattas, for a tasty breakfast or light dinner.
  • Mashed potatoes. Use the boiled potatoes to make creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes by mashing them with butter, milk, and seasonings.
  • Homemade gnocchi. The boiled potatoes are the base.
  • Potato puffs, a simple appetizer that can be prepared with leftover boiled potatoes
  • Loaded baked potatoes. Slice the boiled potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh, mix it with cheese, bacon, and green onions, then stuff it back into the skins and bake until the cheese is melted.


If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 


How will you know when your potatoes are finished cooking?

With the fork method, if the fork sinks easily, the potatoes are ready, you can also use a stick

What is the difference between waxy and starchy potatoes?

Waxy potatoes have a lower starch content and hold their shape well when boiled.

Starchy potatoes, on the other hand, have a higher starch content and tend to become fluffy and crumbly when boiled.

Should I peel potatoes before boiling them?

I always recommend boiling potatoes with skins on them to prevent them from absorbing water during cooking and losing many nutrients.

It’s a personal preference if you want to keep the skin on after. For me, it depends on the recipe.

Perfect Boiled Potatoes

season boiled potatoes pintarest


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Yield: 4 portion

Boiled potatoes recipe

how to season boiled potatoes

Get the best tips for cooking boiled potatoes to perfection, plus ideas for how to season them in delicious ways.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs of waxy potatoes
  • 3 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped


  1. Scrub the potatoes under cool running water, using a vegetable brush to remove any dirt.
  2. Halve any large potatoes so all pieces are a uniform size for even cooking.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  4. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes, taking care not to overcook.
  5. While the potatoes cook, finely chop garlic and fresh basil leaves. Blend together with olive oil to create a vibrant herbed oil.
  6. Once cooked through, drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. 
  7. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the flavored oil, salt and pepper to taste. 


Adjust the cooking time based on the size of your potatoes. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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Thursday 28th of September 2023

This is an easy guide to tasty boiled potatoes. My boiled potatoes just got an upgrade.

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