This is quite likely the most simple oven baked potatoes recipe, yet it gives great results and I’m using it all the time. It works great as a side for dishes that are intense in flavors, because I’m not using any herbs or other fragrant ingredients to prepare these. They can also serve as a small dinner or an appetizer and my kids love to eat them with a bit of added butter and crushed garlic.
For the best results, use really small (baby) potatoes and cut them into halves. You can also use larger ones and cut into wedges, the result would be great anyways… These baked potato halves are all about two things: fluffy inside and crispy outside, the shape doesn’t matter much.
Wondering what potatoes to use? Honestly, any potato type works well for baking. But there are some varieties that are better than the rest. Since this is a science on it’s own, let me give you a link to a great article that goes over the specifics of the basic potato types. Check the article here.
Personally, I’m mostly using the Yellow or Russet type when making oven baked potatoes. This is simply an availability based decision, these two types are the most common where I live. When looking for really small ones, usually I can get the Yellow type.
Oven Baked Potatoes Ingredients :
1.5kg (3lb) potatoes of choice
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
salt to taste
pepper to taste
How to make oven baked potatoes
Watch the video or scroll down for step by step instructions:
For this recipe, I’m starting by boiling the potatoes first. There are two reasons for doing this. It will shorten the overall cooking time by a few minutes, that’s one reason. And since the potatoes are already cooked when the baking starts, you can use higher temperature and reach crispier outside, while the inside remains nice fluffy and soft. When baking raw potatoes on high heat, the outside might start to burn sooner than the inside cooks.
1. Wash the potatoes and scrub off any dirt. I like baked potatoes with the skin on, so I don’t remove it. Cook the potatoes in salted water until they are soft enough for a fork to slide in easily. This takes about 15 minutes of boiling for small potatoes or up to 30 for really large ones.
2. Once the potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, cut them into halves. I recommend cutting them lengthwise as the halves sit better on the sheet pan when placed on the “flat” side.
3. Put the potato halves into a pot or bowl, add olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. I’ve used a 4-color pepper mix but you can go with regular black pepper as well. Add a bit of sweet paprika and give it a proper toss to distribute the seasonings properly. The red paprika will serve as an indicator, once all the potatoes are somewhat red, you know that you’ve done well 🙂 Proper seasoning is the key to make really good baked potatoes!
4. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, skin side down. Use parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to make the cleaning easier. Now it’s time to actually bake the potatoes in the oven.
5. The baking time will vary depending on how big/small potatoes you’ve used. The ones I have made took 25-30 minutes of baking. I started at 200 Celsius (400F) and once the potatoes started to “catch some color” I turned the heat to the max, which was 250 Celsius (475F).
6. When making oven baked potatoes, do not try to follow some fixed amount of baking time that you find in various recipes. Every oven is different, various potato types take different times to bake… aim for golden brown color and crispy outside instead. Keep in mind that in this particular case, the potatoes have been pre cooked so you don’t have to worry about the inside, just focus on the outer part. Once it’s to your likings, you’re ready to serve.
Optional Tips For Making Oven Baked Potatoes
- Add herbs to make your potatoes more fragrant, thyme or rosemary works the best in my opinion. Crushed caraway seeds are also a great addition.
- Are you a garlic lover? Add dried or crushed fresh garlic when seasoning the potatoes.
- Adding some butter can further improve the results. Put the baked potatoes into a bowl, add a teaspoon or two of butter, let it melt and then toss properly. You can use garlic or herb butter too.
Simple Oven Baked Potatoes
- 1.5 kg potatoes of choice
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- sweet paprika
- Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water for 15-30 minutes, depending on their size. Use a fork to test, once it slides in easily, the potatoes are cooked enough.
- Cut potatoes into halves, lengthwise.
- Put potatoes into a bowl or pot, add olive oil and the other seasonings and toss properly.
- Bake on a sheet pan. Use parchment paper for easier cleaning.
- Start on 200 Celsius (400F) and once the potatoes start to show color, up the temperature to 250 Celsius (475F).
- Bake until golden brown and crispy on the outside. It should take 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven type.