These easy skillet potatoes are seasoned with herbs and butter for a delicious one-pan side dish. Creamy Yukon Gold potatoes are sauteed with shallots and garlic for maximum texture and flavor.
Waxy potatoes are my top choice because their flesh is creamy and the shape holds up well when tossed and tumbled. For this recipe, I slice baby Yukon golds in half and cook them two ways using the same pan. Steaming and sauteeing ensures tender bites and a nicely browned crust.
To elevate these potatoes, I use a classic combination of garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. The buttery flavor of yellow potatoes pairs well with the aromatics of rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Ready to complete your main course with this 30-minute side dish?
How to cook skillet potatoes
- Cut the potatoes in half.
- Add them to a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add olive oil and saute shallots, and then garlic until fragrant.
- Stir in the potatoes and cover, cook until tender.
- Remove the cover and increase heat to medium-high.
- Cook and stir the potatoes to brown the surface.
- Melt the butter in the pan, then turn off the heat.
- Add the herbs and toss the potatoes until coated.
Choose a waxy potato
I use baby Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe because they have a creamy, buttery taste and texture. This type of potato is considered waxy, meaning that it’s low in starch and high in moisture.
The flesh is a bit heavier and less fluffy compared to starchy potatoes like Russets. They also have a very thin skin, so you don’t have to peel them. They also hold together better in the pan. White, purple, or red potatoes can be used.
Do you need to boil potatoes before frying?
For this recipe, I use a one-pan stove-top approach to make things quick and easy. Instead of boiling, cover the potatoes in the skillet with a tight-fitting lid. This method creates a steamy environment for the potatoes to release their natural moisture. After about 10 minutes, they should be fork-tender and ready to brown and crisp.
Typically when I make roasted potatoes, I like to boil them first to pre-cook the spuds, and then place on a baking sheet in the oven to make them extra crispy.
Frying the potatoes
I like a cast-iron skillet or a dutch oven as this type of cookware retains heat well. It takes about 5 or so minutes to fry the potatoes. As the excess moisture in the pan is driven off, a lightly toasted color will appear on the surface of the spuds. They won’t be as crunchy as oven-roasted versions, but they are a tasty short cut.
Add fresh herbs at the end
Right at the end of cooking, toss chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley with a knob of melted butter. Turn the heat off at this point so the delicate greens don’t burn. The pan and ingredients will still be hot, so the natural oils and aromas will bloom as they are tossed together. The result, fragrant herb-infused spuds!
What to serve with skillet potatoes
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Substituting with dried herbs
Robust herbs like rosemary and thyme are good dried candidates as they have relatively stable flavor compounds at high temperatures and a lot of essential oils in their leaves. Parsley is much more delicate and loses its flavor when dried, so stick to fresh. Use about a third of the amount of the fresh herbs when using dried, for example, 1 teaspoon dried for 1 tablespoon fresh.
Herbed Skillet Potatoes
- 1 ½ pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, (60ml) divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, (4g)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup diced shallots, (60g, 2 ounces) ½-inch dice
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, (15g)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- In a medium-sized bowl combine potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a large 12-inch cast-iron pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then once hot, add shallots and saute until translucent, 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add potatoes to the pan, stir to combine.
- Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high.
- Cook the potatoes until lightly brown on the surface, stirring occasionally every few minutes, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Melt the butter in the pan and then turn off the heat.
- Add the thyme, rosemary, and parsley, toss to combine.
- Serve potatoes warm.
- MAKE IT WHOLE 30 and PALEO: Substitute butter for ghee or extra virgin olive oil. Use sea salt instead of kosher salt.
- MAKE IT VEGAN: Subsitute butter for coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
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