Red Potatoes - What's Fresh in March

What’s fresh in March? Red potatoes

These waxy wonders are more than just a side dish.

Story By Bailey Gilliam

Potatoes, a culinary cornerstone in almost every culture, offer an array of flavors and textures. While the ubiquitous russet potato may be the default choice for many, there’s a hidden gem in the potato family that deserves your attention — the red potato. Smaller in size with a delicate reddish skin, these root vegetables retain their shape and offer a subtly sweet flavor that sets them apart from their russet cousins. Not only are red potatoes a delicious addition to your plate, but they also pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. So if you haven’t ventured into the world of red potatoes, now is the perfect time to start.

Unlock nutritional treasures 

Potatoes often get a bad rap due to their unhealthy preparations like deep-frying into french fries. However, red potatoes are a different story. Their thin skin, which you’re more likely to eat, is loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium. With 3 grams of fiber in one medium-baked red potato, they keep you feeling full longer and potentially help curb your appetite. Moreover, these little red gems boast 943 milligrams of potassium per serving, aiding in reducing the effects of sodium and possibly lowering blood pressure. Red potatoes also provide a good source of iron, offering 1.2 milligrams per medium-baked potato.

Potatoes in the Garden

Plant your own

If you’re interested in growing your own red potatoes, they thrive with seven to eight hours of sunlight, well-drained moist soil and high fertility. Plant them during cool weather, avoiding any risk of frost but ensuring temperatures remain below the mid-80s. You can harvest tiny, extra-tender baby red potatoes in about three months. For larger, mature potatoes, wait an additional month when the plants start to turn yellow. Handle these delicate-skinned treasures with care to prevent cuts and bruises when digging them up, and avoid washing them before storage to prevent decay.

organic potatoes of different colors and sizes close-up selective focus, potato harvest

Red potato varieties

Red potatoes come in several varieties, each with its unique characteristics:

Red Pontiac: A popular mid-season potato, typically round to slightly oblong.

Norland Red: Known for holding up well when cooked.

Red Gold: Features reddish skin and golden-colored flesh.

Red LaSoda and LaRouge: These red-skinned potatoes thrive in warmer climates with short cool seasons, maturing early.

Red Ruby: An early-maturing, brilliantly red-skinned potato that stores well.

All Red: A heavy producer with striking red skin and light red flesh.

Selecting and storing

When choosing red potatoes, look for firm, smooth specimens free of sprouts, wrinkles, soft dark spots, cut surfaces or a greenish hue. Opt for bright and shiny skin as a sign of freshness. To store red potatoes, keep them in a cool, dark place with proper ventilation, preferably in a perforated plastic or paper bag. Avoid refrigerating them, as colder temperatures can lead to starch conversion into sugar, altering the taste and causing discoloration. Remember not to wash the potatoes before storage.

Fresh red potatoes with soil on wooden bench

How to clean

Given that potatoes grow in the ground, it’s no surprise that they can be dirty. To clean red potatoes, soak them in cold water for 15-30 minutes to loosen the dirt. You also can gently brush them with a potato brush if needed, but be careful due to their delicate skin.

Culinary versatility

Most red potatoes are round and categorized as waxy, boasting higher moisture and lower starch content. These qualities make red potatoes perfect for potato salad, steaming, boiling or inclusion in casseroles and crockpot dishes, retaining their firmness during cooking. With a sweet and robust flavor, coupled with a creamy, slightly moist texture, red potatoes elevate any dish they grace. To bring out the best in red potatoes, consider these cooking methods:

Roast: Toss red potatoes in oil, salt and pepper, arranging them cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 20-30 minutes until tender and golden brown.

Boil: Place whole red potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil, and cook for 15-20 minutes until fork-tender. Toss with butter, salt and pepper.

Pan-sear: Boil cut red potatoes until slightly tender, then add them to a hot skillet with hot oil for 10-15 minutes.

Air-fry: Place red potato wedges coated in olive oil on an ungreased tray in an air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees until brown and tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Grill: Toss red potato halves with oil, herbs and seasoning, placing them on a foil sheet in a single layer. Seal the foil and grill on medium-high heat for 15 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Microwave: Place cut red potatoes in a microwave-safe dish with butter, and cook on high for 8-12 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Pawpaw’s spicy pan-fried red potatoes

My grandfather, known for his adventurous culinary spirit, had a penchant for spice. When I requested fries as a child, he whipped up these delectable pan-fried red potatoes with a flavorful kick.

Fried Breakfast Potatoes in a cast iron skillet. Peppers, onions and potato cubes fill the skillet resting on a rustic farmhouse style kitchen table with a wooden fork.


8-10 small red potatoes, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 teaspoon flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Optional: Any fresh hot pepper, diced


[1] Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.

[2] Wash and dice the potatoes, then sprinkle them with flour. Toss to coat evenly.

[3] Add the coated potatoes to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add diced onion and hot peppers if desired. Pan-fry the potatoes until they turn brown and crispy, typically taking 15-20 minutes.

[4] Once done, remove the potatoes from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve piping hot.

Red potato tart

This crisp puff pastry tart featuring red potatoes, herbs and cheese is a must-try recipe. It’s not only easy to make but also exceptionally delicious.

vegan potato pizza with spinach on top healthy


Half of a 17.3-ounce puff pastry sheet package (1 sheet)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

4-5 small red potatoes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Milk for brushing the crust

Optional: Fresh spinach


[1] Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the puff pastry and place it on a large baking tray, or roll and cut it to fit a large pie pan. Fold over the edges to create a 1/2-inch crust. Prick the pastry base with a fork, then brush olive oil over the surface.

[2] Spread the crushed garlic and rosemary evenly over the tart base.

[3] Slice the red potatoes into thin circles and arrange them evenly across the tart. Sprinkle with sea salt.

[4] Tear the mozzarella into pieces and distribute them evenly over the tart. Grate Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle a small amount of olive oil. Finish by brushing the folded edges with milk.

[5] Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown. For added freshness, consider adding fresh spinach before baking.

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