The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe  | Alexandra's Kitchen (2024)

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4.6 from 7 reviews

//By Alexandra Stafford onJune 20, 2010 (updated December 1, 2022) Jump To Recipe

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Friends, this recipe is the best way to cook fingerling potatoes. Most recipes on the web call for roasted fingerling potatoes, but this stovetop method is better. The key to perfectly cooked fingerlings? Boil first; then crisp them up in a skillet over high heat.

The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe | Alexandra's Kitchen (1)

From creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes to cheese-crusted hasselback potato gratin, potatoes can morph into many a form depending on the side dish recipe at hand. But these crispy, herb-flecked fingerling potatoes hands down are my favorite potatoes to eat.

I learned how to make them by the caseload. By the caseload of salt, too. I was working at Fork in Philadelphia and gasped the first time I saw the chef unload a box — literally one 3-lb. box — of kosher salt into a pot, albeit a very large pot, filled with fingerling potatoes, water, many cloves of garlic and several bunches of rosemary and thyme.

Bring the water to a boil, he instructed, then turn off the heat. The potatoes, he ensured, would finish cooking as they cooled.

He was right. The potatoes were cooked perfectly, not the slightest bit overdone or dry, which can happen when potatoes are roasted. And moreover, they were seasoned perfectly, too, not a bit too salty and subtly infused with the flavors of rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

Often I eat these potatoes straight out of the pot without a bit of extra seasoning. They are excellent, too, sliced and tossed into salads.

But when I’m not feeling so lazy, I go the extra mile and crisp them up, as I learned to do at Fork, with a bit more rosemary and thyme and a pinch more salt. And then I splash Sriracha all over them. It’s such a treat. I know you’ll love them, too.

PS: All the Potato Recipes right this way.

How to Cook Fingerling Potatoes in Two Steps

Place potatoes and seasonings — garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt — in a large pot. Cover with cold water; then bring to a simmer. Depending on the pot you are using and the quantity of potatoes, times will very, but the key is to turn off the burner as soon as the water boils. Often I get asked: “How long should I boil fingerling potatoes?” The answer is one second. As soon as the water boils, immediately turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to cool completely in their cooking liquid.

The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe | Alexandra's Kitchen (2)

Once cool, halve the potatoes on the bias; then crisp up in a hot skillet until golden and season with more rosemary, thyme, and salt.

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Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

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The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.6 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

This recipe is the best way to cook fingerling potatoes. Most recipes on the web call for roasted fingerling potatoes, but this stovetop method is better. The key to perfectly cooked fingerlings? Boil first; then crisp them up over high heat.

I learned to cook potatoes this way while working at Fork in Philadelphia. The chef at the time cooked fingerlings as directed below, the keys being:

  1. Use a ton of salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then shut it off. As the potatoes cool, they continue to cook, and they take on the seasonings of the herbs and salt. They are irresistible. Note: Best to use a pot with a narrow opening to ensure the cooking liquid does not cool down too quickly.

Ingredients

To cook the potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fingerling potatoes or other small potatoes
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • several sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

To crisp the potatoes:

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt or flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • a few more sprigs rosemary and thyme, leaves removed and minced

Instructions

  1. Place fingerlings in a pot. Cover with approximately one inch of water. Add the salt, herbs and garlic. Bring the pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Let the potatoes cool completely in their liquid before proceeding.
  2. Once cool, you can eat the potatoes as they are or you can brown them. These potatoes are wonderful to have on hand — they are truly delicious cooked as they are, sliced and tossed into salads or just eaten straight out of the refrigerator.
  3. If you want to crisp them up a bit, slice the potatoes in half on a bias (or leave them whole if they are really small). Then, heat a pan (preferably cast iron or carbon steel or stainless steel) over high heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom — the pan and oil should be very hot before adding the potatoes. Add the potatoes, shake the pan once and then let them be. Do not disturb them for a minute or two. Check one before trying to shake the pan or stir them with a spoon — you want that edge to get crispy and it won’t get crispy if you try to move them too quickly.
  4. Once the fingerlings are browning nicely, shake the pan, toss in the herbs and give them a pinch more of kosher salt. Serve immediately. I like to eat mine with Sriracha. Yum!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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    62 Comments on “The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe”

  1. DeniseReply

    Alex,
    I am just doing these and realize I have exactly half the weight of potatoes. I am wondering if I should use half the salt since I am probably using a smaller pot therefore less water. But I’m not sure if my logic makes sense. Maybe the amount of potatoes don’t matter whether more weight or less. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you.

    • alexandraReply

      Hi Denise! I think your logic is good. I would halve the salt. Also, you can always season more aggressively with salt when you fry them if they are not salted to your liking.

  2. Pat SteeleReply

    Do I leave the pot on the burner after turning the burner off?

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      I do! But if you push it aside, that’s fine, too.

  3. BethReply

    I had 2 mixed varieties of fingerlings that I wanted to use in my crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage & there was no room. These were ideal! So easy, so yummy!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Oh yay! Wonderful to hear this 🙂 🙂 🙂 Your crockpot dish sounds lovely as well!

  4. CherieReply

    This is literally the BEST recipe for fingerling potatoes! I’ve used this recipe multiple times and each time it never disappoints. I’ve even got some friends hooked on these. Thank YOU! YUMMM!!!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Yay! So wonderful to hear this, Cherie! It’s one of my oldest, most favorite recipes here 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Amanda AubeReply

    These are SO FRICKIN’ DELICIOUS! I’ll admit I had a false start, I used a wide pot which I think made the water cool a bit too quickly and so they weren’t quiiiiite cooked through after the water cooled, so I brought them up for another quick simmer to nudge them the rest of the way. Funny, I had a moment of thinking that was the wrong pan to use – I should have followed my gut! We had these with Martha Stewart’s saltine meatloaf. *Chef’s Kiss!* Hope you’re well Ali!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Ohhhhh I’ll have to try that saltine meatloaf… sounds like the perfect match! So great to hear all of this Amanda. I am sure the pot width makes a difference — I’m going to add a note. This is one of those restaurant recipes/techniques that doesn’t totally translate to the home kitchen, so I’m glad you were able to make it work. Happy Happy Thanksgiving to you!! 💕💕💕

  6. Jennifer GordonReply

    Hi. How long (approximately) do the potatoes take to cool before crisping them up? Thank you! I love your recipes!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      I would let them cool at least an hour. I like to do the boiling step earlier in the day; then I just let the potatoes hang out in the pot until I can tend to them. Hope you love them. Thanks for the kind words.

  7. AliciaReply

    I made these yummy potatoes for the first time last night and served them with your Simple Grilled Chicken Breasts (which I have made many times). They were a perfect combo with a salad. I’ll be serving that meal throughout the summer. Another winner!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Yay! So nice to hear, Alicia 🙂 🙂 🙂 Great to read all of this. Thanks for writing.

  8. jamiReply

    okay so I put the salt, rosemary,thyme sprigs and garlic with potatoes and waited patient for a rolling boil and turned off and let cool. My potatoes definitely not done…. what did I not do?

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      How long did you let the water cool? How big were the potatoes?

The BEST Fingerling Potato Recipe  | Alexandra's Kitchen (2024)

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