This detailed guide on how to cook purple potatoes has everything a home cook needs to confidently use them. Discover what they are, what gives them their color, and the best cooking methods.
We’re all familiar with the standard brown, white, red, and yellow potatoes, but most are not as used to seeing or using purple potatoes in their home cooking. While that beautiful color might make you feel like you need special knowledge to cook them, they’re actually very easy to use and taste great!
This guide is the perfect introduction for newcomers to the purple spuds. You’ll discover the best cooking methods, what gives them that striking color, and much more.
Purple potatoes are simply a potato with purple skin and flesh. The skin is thin, similar to a red potato, and they have a familiar delicate earthy flavor like a russet potato.
The difference is in the color. A high level of antioxidants give them a purple or blue hue that sticks around even after cooking. They’re an easy and fun way to add beauty to your dinner table and get some bonus nutrition.
It is important to note that purple potatoes are not the same as purple sweet potatoes however. They contain less natural sugar, are much smaller than the sweet potatoes, and have a much thinner skin.
With literally thousands of potato varieties grown around the world, it’s not surprising that there are more than a few types of purple ones too.
Some of the most popular varieties are Purple Peruvian, All Blue, Purple Fiesta, Blue Elise, and Vitelotte, but they’re all commonly sold simply as purple potatoes.
Each features a slightly different hue ranging from bright purple to deep violet. Textures and starch content can vary slightly, but overall they can all be cooked in the same way.
The good news is that purple potatoes are pretty easy to find! They come naturally into season most in the fall where you can usually find them at your local farmer’s market. But like most potatoes, they’re also sold at grocery stores all year long.
Look for very firm potatoes that don’t have any black spots, cuts, or soft areas. Store them in a dark, cool, dry place and they’ll last between 6-8 weeks.
Another great thing about giving purple potatoes a try is that they don’t require special preparation. They’re very versatile, the color will remain even after cooking, and you don’t need to worry about peeling them – the skin is both edible and nutritious.
You can’t go wrong with a roasted purple potato. I’ve shared a detailed step by step guide on how to do it in the recipe card below, but the basics are just oil, potatoes, seasoning, and a hot oven.
You’ll be rewarded with crispy edges and tender fluffy interiors in around 25 minutes or less.
Purple potatoes are great for baking whole and loading up with your favorite toppings. Scrub the skin, then pierce, oil, and season them with salt. Then, pop them in the oven on a baking sheet and cook at 400°F for 30-50 minutes, depending on the size.
When they’re done, split them open and load up the beautiful purple inside with things like butter, cheese, chives, bacon, or sour cream.
Or, add them to your favorite soup by boiling them right in the broth. They’ll add nutrition and substance, and also absorb all the delicious flavor.
When you want something quick, pan frying is a great way to cook your purple potatoes.
My favorite approach to pan-fried purple potatoes is in the recipe card below. Each well-seasoned tender potato has crispy edges I think you’ll find irresistible too.
To maximize the nutrition level of your purple potatoes, give steaming a try. Less nutrients are lost during steaming versus other methods like boiling.
You can use it to prepare potatoes for salads and mashes, or you can use it to make purple versions of recipes like potatoes with butter and herbs instead.
We all love our air fryers these days, and those homemade french fries can be just as easily made with purple potatoes.
One of my favorite ways to cook them in an air fryer is to cut them into bite-sized chunks and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, then cook them for about 15 minutes at 400°F. You can try any seasonings your family likes to change it up.
They can also be cooked whole. Opt for bigger potatoes and cook for 50-60 minutes to enjoy a baked potato without ever turning on your oven.
An instant pot is a great, hands off way to prepare purple potatoes when you’re pressed for time.
Place whole, washed potatoes into the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. Season as desired then place on the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Release the pressure according to your machine’s instructions, and pull out your potatoes.
They can be chopped for salads, made into a mash, or simply smashed with a good pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt.
Microwave your purple potatoes to skip the need to preheat your oven. Pierce them all over with a fork and pop them on a microwave safe plate and cook for about 7-10 minutes on full power, turning them over at the 5 minute mark.
All microwaves vary in strength, so start with 7 minutes and add more time as needed. When they’re done, season with salt and pepper, add some butter, and enjoy.
Now that you know everything about cooking purple potatoes, I hope you enjoy using them to make your favorite potato recipes a colorful, showstopper dish. For more inspiration, be sure to check out my purple potato recipe collection, and let me know what methods you end up liking the best.
How to Cook Purple Potatoes
Roasted Purple Potatoes
- 2 lb. (900g) purple potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper , to taste
Pan-Fried Purple Potatoes
- 2 lb. (900g) purple potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary (parsley or thyme also work)
- Salt and black pepper , to taste
Roasted Purple Potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse under running water and scrub the potatoes. Pat dry. Peel, if desired. Cut into 1-inch chunks.
- Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender.
Pan-Fried Purple Potatoes.
- Rinse the potatoes under running water and pat dry. Peel, if desired. Cut into ½–¾ inch cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes together with all the seasoning and toss well. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes uncovering every 5 minutes to stir thoroughly.
- When the potatoes have softened, take the lid off and cook them for 5 minutes more until they are crispy and browned to your liking.