The boiling, the baking, the peeling, the mashing, whichever recipe you’re making it calls for multiple steps with different cooking methods and mixing. You know what doesn’t have a ton of work involved? Boiled Baby Potatoes. Just boil, drain and add butter, garlic and herbs. Done.
The flavor is so garlicky, buttery and rich, plus this boiled baby potatoes recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make. It’s an easy, fix it and forget it side dish, making it perfect for when you want something hearty and fast to add to your weeknight meal. They’re also quite pretty, making them a sure winner for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table.
When you only have a few ingredients, quality and freshness matters. I recommend using fresh herbs and make sure the potatoes don’t have any eyes or green spots.
Baby potatoes – these can be found in the produce section of the grocery store, usually in 1 or 2 pound bags. The recipe calls for 2 pounds and will feed 5-6 people, maybe more. Fingerling potatoes will also work.
Garlic – These are garlic butter potatoes after all, so we’re using 4 big cloves of garlic. If using jarred garlic, that’s about a tablespoon. As they say, you don’t measure garlic with a spoon, you measure with your heart, so use as much as you like!
Butter – Salted or unsalted, it’s your call. But you want to use real butter, not margarine or anything from a tub.
Fresh herbs – I used fresh parsley and chives. Again, the measurements are not an exact science so use as much or as little as you want. You really want fresh here, not dried, for the best flavor. Try adding some fresh rosemary, thyme or Parmesan cheese for even more flavor.
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Step by Step Instructions
Prep the potatoes. Scrub them clean, remove any imperfections and cut large ones in half.
Boil potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and add salt, then boil for about 10-15 minutes or until tender but firm.
Drain and season. Drain the water and keep the potatoes in the same pot. Add butter, garlic, parsley and chives to the pot and toss to coat. The butter will melt pretty quickly so once everything is melted and nicely coated, replace the lid and let everything sit and steep in all that buttery, garlicky, herb-y goodness for about 10 minutes. You can serve them immediately, but letting them sit allows the potatoes to soak up a bit of the butter and flavor from the garlic and herbs.
These tiny potatoes can vary quite a bit in size, so you may need to cut them in half or even quarter them if they’re on the larger side. About half of what was in my 2-pound bag needed to be cut down, and only a few of those needed to be quartered.
Before cutting them to size, you want to make sure to scrub them with a clean vegetable scrubber to remove any dirt or bacteria, especially since you’ll be eating the skin.
Potatoes absorb the salt while their cooking and it helps bring out their natural flavors. The amount of salt may seem excessive, but trust me, it’s worth it for the best flavor.
Test them for tenderness with a fork. The fork should slide easily into the potato, breaking it apart just slightly. Cook them too long and they will fall apart completely – you want them to hold their shape.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, adding a little more butter if they seem dry.
In my experience, cooked potatoes in general don’t freeze well. However if you wrap they tightly and squeeze out as much air as possible, you can freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge, them microwave or heat in a saucepan on the stovetop.
What are baby potatoes?
They are those adorable little yellow skinned potatoes, similar in shape but much small than red potatoes. They are ultra creamy and because of their small size they don’t take long to cook. A 2-pound bag yields around 20-25 small potatoes.
How long does it take to boil potatoes?
The time it takes depends on the size of the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, then lower it to a rapid simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are tender. For chopped potatoes or small whole potatoes, this will take 10-15 minutes. For larger whole potatoes, up to 30 minutes.
Do you boil the water first?
Always start potatoes in cold water. The hot water will cook the outside faster than the inside, resulting in a less than desirable texture.
Scrub potatoes clean with a vegetable scrubber. Cut any larger potatoes in half or quarters so that all of the potatoes are uniform in size (leave as many In tact as possible. Place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Turn heat down to medium and simmer potatoes until fork-tender; about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, drain the water and return potatoes to the pot.
Stir in butter, garlic, parsley, chives, salt and pepper until potatoes are well coated. Feel free to add black pepper as desired.
Cover and let sit for 10 minutes, then serve. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, adding a little more butter if they seem dry.In my experience, cooked potatoes in general don’t freeze well. However if you wrap they tightly and squeeze out as much air as possible, you can freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge, them microwave or heat in a saucepan on the stovetop.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.