The best recipe for Greek lemon roasted potatoes. This is the only recipe you will need. I prefer yellow fleshed or Yukon Gold potatoes (but as you will learn, any potato will do), a combination of olive oil and vegetable oil, plenty of fresh lemon juice, Greek oregano, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of paprika which is a wonderful addition. They are so easy to make, and even easier to eat!
If you have eaten in a Greek restaurant or taverna, you will certainly have seen roasted lemon potatoes on the menu. They are perhaps the most common and beloved of all Greek foods, and with good reason. A great roasted lemon potato will be like nothing you have every eaten – crispy, soft, full of flavour. They are so easy to make, and all you need is plenty of time, plenty of lemon juice, and plenty of oil! Yes, don`t worry, much of oil stays behind in the roasting pan.
Why this recipe works
When people think about Greek food, they tend to think about the big ones…the pastitsio, moussaka and spanakopita, foods that Greeks and non-Greeks often consider to be the quintessential staples of our cuisine. These foods are revered, and the fact that many (erroneously) believe that they are next to impossible to prepare probably adds to their appeal. But we think that there is another Greek food which should be added to the list of favourites, and that is roasted lemon potatoes.
Ask anyone who has ever had good Greek food, and they will tell you about the potatoes. They’ll wonder what makes them so delicious, why they are so addictive, and more importantly, how they can make them at home. Read on, we have the answers to all these questions, and more. The good news is, making these potatoes is as easy as falling in love with them.
Cooking tips and helpful hints
Choose your potatoes wisely
We know that many recipes get pretty specific about the type of potatoes to use. There are so many varieties out there and some seem to be best suited for mashing, others for frying, and others for baking. All I know is that for my parents (who taught me how to make these amazing potatoes), the best potatoes to use are the ones which are on sale. Truly. They tend to stick to yellow fleshed or red-skinned potatoes, but not exclusively. And, their potatoes turn out perfectly every time, whether they are making them solo as we are describing here, or as part of their roasted chicken and potato meal.
Add some carrots to your pan
When my parents roast potatoes they almost always add a couple of carrots to the roasting pan. I don’t think that the carrots add anything to the flavor of the potatoes, but they are delicious when they are slow-roasted this way. The bit of orange colour also makes any photos you take of your meal that much prettier. Speaking of which, if you do make this recipe (you should), take a photo and send it along to me! 🙂
Don`t scrimp on the oil
This recipe calls for a total of 1 1/2 to 2 cups oil (that’s 500 ml), depending on how many potatoes you use !!! That’s A LOT of oil! Don’t balk at the amount however. You will see that when the potatoes are done, and you remove them from the roasting pan, there is still plenty of oil left in there (so the potatoes don’t soak it all up). In the spirit of waste nothing, our parents drain this oil and keep it in the refrigerator to be re-used the next time they make roasted potatoes, or another meal which calls for oil.
Also, adjust the amount of oil you use depending on the size of your pan, and if you use 10 or 12 potatoes. I use a 15 inch round roasting pan; if your pan is smaller, you may need less oil. If using 10 potatoes use 3/4 cup olive oil and 3/4 vegetable oil. If using 12 potatoes, it is best to use 1 cup (250 mL) of each oil.
Take your time!
You will also notice that along with requiring a lot of oil, this recipe needs A LOT of time! Not active time mind you, but roasting time. I have seen recipes that say you must roast your potatoes for about 30 minutes. I will assume that those potatoes are cut into really, really, really small wedges. In the recipe which follows, the potatoes will roast for a total of about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Don’t rush them. Every minute helps transform the lowly root vegetable into a spud delicacy. Trust
me my folks.
Choose your spices carefully
The seasoning added to these potatoes is simple; salt, pepper, oregano and paprika. Now, here’s a funny thing about the paprika; the brand you use, actually makes a difference. I typically use the paprika found at Costco, but one day, my sister Billie used a no name brand of paprika she found at the grocery store…and this was a mistake. The paprika did not “dissolve”; instead paprika particles were seen in the oil after the potatoes were cooked and it turned the potatoes VERY dark, like almost black. Lesson learned. Don’t skimp on the paprika.
This is a really simple recipe, and the ingredients are readily available. Here is what you will need:
Potatoes – I really like the creaminess of Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes and these are the ones I tend to use for this recipe. Having said that, you can use any potato here and I have enjoyed this recipe with everything from red skinned potatoes to russet potatoes. Stay away from sweet potatoes here though – use those to make sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla
Carrots – The carrots aren’t necessary as they don’t add flavour to the potatoes, but I love them. Roasting carrots brings out a lovely sweetness and I find that a few roasted carrots look so pretty among a platter of roasted potatoes.
Lemon juice – A must! I use only freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe, and plenty of it.
Dry oregano – I only use dry Greek oregano in my cooking. I usually use oregano that has been shipped from family in Greece, but you can easily find it in Mediterranean markets or even online.
Paprika – This is not a typical ingredients in roasted lemon potatoes, but I love the colour and the flavour that it adds. As mentioned earlier in the cooking tips, it is really important to use a good quality paprika. Also, remember that it is sweet paprika that you want, not the smoked variety.
Olive oil – There is no denying the amazing flavour that olive oil gives to food. Be careful when purchasing your olive oil as often it is mixed with cheaper oils.
Vegetable oil – Because olive oil is a heavy flavour, and can be quite expensive, I use a combination of olive oil and vegetable oil to make these roasted lemon potatoes. I feel that this is the perfect balance of taste and economy. Remember, you are not eating all this oil – it is just required to cook the potatoes to roasted perfection.
Salt & pepper – Start with the quantities that I have listed – which I feel are ideal. Next time, adjust to your taste if you want a little less or more of these seasonings.
How to make
Once you have all of your simple ingredients handy, it is time to make your lemon potatoes.
- Peel your potatoes and cut them into thick wedges lengthwise. A medium size potato will yield 4 – 6 wedges.
- Peel your carrots and cut into chunks
- Preheat oven to 400 °F
Mix all of the ingredients, except for the paprika, together in a large roasting pan. We use a 15-inch round roasting pan.
Place in the bottom rack of your oven and bake, uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven and sprinkle the paprika on the potatoes and carrots. Mix well. If you find your pan is getting too dry, add a little more oil. Return to oven.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes, remove from oven, and check to make sure potatoes are done. If not, return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so, until they’re ready.
Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat. Transfer to a serving platter carefully (you don’t want to break apart the potatoes) using a slotted spatula to help drain off any excess oil.
If this was the first time you used this oil you can drain it and reserve it in the refrigerator, to be used for future potato roasting, or in other dishes, such as Roast chicken and potatoes; or veal roast and potatoes, or other roasts.
Although not traditional, you can add some fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to your roasting pan. You can get some inspiration by checking out this easy roasted potato recipe.
The long roasting time would help make some amazing roasted garlic. You can either add some peeled garlic cloves to the pan, and mix them in with the potatoes or you can wrap a whole head of garlic (drizzled with some olive oil) in aluminum foil and tuck it in amongst the potatoes.
How to serve
I actually love to have these potatoes be the star of the meal; accompanied by some cheese and olives, and some fresh bread, this is a perfect vegetarian lunch or light dinner. But, if you want something more substantial, consider serving these potatoes with pork tenderloin or some roasted chicken thighs. Both, excellent choices, although you may find that the potatoes will remain the stars. 🙂
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Potato salad Move over mayonnaise, no need for you here!
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Roasted lemon potatoes
- 10-12 medium-large size potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges preferably yellow-fleshed or Yukon Gold
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil see Recipe Notes
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil see Recipe Notes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (Not smoked paprika)
- Preheat oven to 400 °F
- Mix all of the ingredients, except for the paprika, together in a large roasting pan. We use a 15-inch round roasting pan.10-12 medium-large size potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges, 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks, 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp dried Greek oregano, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 3/4 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- Place in the bottom rack of your oven and bake, uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven and sprinkle the paprika on the potatoes and carrots. Mix well. If you find your pan is getting too dry, add a little more oil. Return to oven1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- Bake for an additional 30 minutes, remove from oven, and check to make sure potatoes are done. If not, return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so, until they’re ready.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat. Transfer to a serving platter carefully (you don’t want to break apart the potatoes) using a slotted spatula to help drain off any excess oil.
- If this was the first time you used this oil you can drain it and reserve it in the refrigerator, to be used for future potato roasting, or in other dishes, such as Roast chicken and potatoes; or veal roast and potatoes, or other roasts.