Molly Yeh's Roasted Potatoes with Paprika Mayo

January 30, 2019

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

There is this one little step to getting the finest, crispiest roasted potatoes: Boiling in salty water first. It seasons the potatoes all the way through in a way that a cloak of fat and salt on a raw potato can’t. But maybe more importantly, boiling brings some of the potatoes’ gelatinized starches to the surface, so they get even crispier in the oven. Molly wisely has you make double the dressing so you can dip other things in it at a Super Bowl party, or use it to dress a salad another day (maybe this time with eggs or tuna or another friend of mayo). Of course, you can halve the dressing if you prefer. But you’ll miss it when it’s gone. Adapted slightly from Food Network's Girl Meets Farm.

Genius Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil (Molly uses about 3 tablespoons salt). Add the potatoes and cook until slightly tender, 6 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a clean towel. Tossing the potatoes back into the drained, still-hot pot briefly can also help some of the excess moisture steam away.
  3. Scatter the potatoes on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss to coat using tongs or a thin spatula. Roast until the potatoes are dark brown and crispy, 30 to 45 minutes, tossing halfway through. If the potatoes are sticking stubbornly, don’t fuss with them too much—let them keep browning and crisping till they release from the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, paprika, sugar and shallots.
  5. You have two choices for serving: You can either serve the salad warm right away, or, if you want to be able to set it out at a party and stay creamy and crunchy for longer, let the potatoes cool before dressing. When ready to serve, toss the warm or cooled potatoes with half of the paprika mayonnaise (save the rest for dipping or another use). Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Top with chives and enjoy!

More Great Recipes:
Salad|American|Potato|Sheet Pan|Quick and Easy|Roast|Super Bowl|Weekend Cooking|Winter|Game Day|Weeknight Cooking|Back to School

Reviews (17) Questions (5)

17 Reviews

Tere February 19, 2019
Wow! Just found this, can't wait to try it.<br />About avoiding splashes, I use a flexible cutting mat that allows you to curl it up and drop the veggies down right over the water. Of course, I'm sure you can find really nice flexible "cutting boards," but I get 2 really large ones in a pack at Dollar Tree. They're so big, and so cheap, I cut them up in various sizes for different uses and use markers to designate one for meat, one for poultry, etc. When they get too grungy looking, just toss and go buy more. (Buy before you toss...sometimes they're temporarily out.)
Kate February 12, 2019
NUM! I followed the directions to allow the potatoes to stay crunchy by coming to room temp after removing them from the oven. Worked perfectly - the potatoes retained that crispness from roasting in the oven and was more satisfying that way. I debated making only 1/2 the sauce but all the reviews really raved about it so I made the entire amount. I used smoked paprika instead as I saw someone else mentioned using it. I LOVE smoked paprika. I only used 1 tsp as the other reviewer mentioned the full 1 tbsp was close to overwhelming. Glad I did - the 1 tsp still had plenty of the flavor and I might have eaten a spoonful all by itself. I used not even half the dressing on the potatoes and am now saving the leftovers as salad dressing and for other roasted veggies. Normally I'd swap at least half the mayo for greek yogurt but didn't this time. I will try that next time.<br />As for the method of boiling the potatoes to help with roasting, it seemed to work, but at 6 minutes my potatoes did start to crumble slightly. I was worried as I tossed them on the pan with the butter that they would really start to fall apart so I used a fairly light hand. Perhaps I should have boiled them for a little less time. Either way, the end result from the oven seemed perfect and the crumbliness wasn't an issue.
Pananaka February 9, 2019
Sooooo goooood
Rose L. February 8, 2019
This has just become my top favorite way to eat potatoes. What a perfect recipe in every way! the balance of flavors and textures is mind-boggling good! I don't usually eat a half pound of potatoes not to mention 1/4 cup mayo but it was worth every calorie!
Kate M. February 3, 2019
Tonight my husband and I took our first bites of Molly Yeh's Crispy Potatoes and simultaneously looked at each other and said WOW!! This is a delicious dish, easy to make. Only change I made was using some red onion not having enough shallot. We know this is a crowd pleaser side dish that we'll be adding to our favorite list. Well done Miss Molly!
jfold February 3, 2019
Loved this! All I had on hand was smoked paprika, and although it was still fantastic, I totally understand why the recipe calls for the simplest possible ingredients. The smokiness was mostly welcome but was also a bit overpowering.
jfold February 3, 2019
<br />Loved this! All I had in the house was smoked paprika, and although the sauce was fantastic, I totally understand why the recipe recommends keeping ingredients as simple as possible. The smokiness was mostly welcome but a bit overpowering.
Anne M. February 2, 2019
Except for the sugar, this is the dressing our family always used for potato or macaroni salad. I think it was my grandmother's "mother" sauce for just about everything. However roasting the potatoes for a salad...Oh la la! I can't wait to try this. I am roasting a chicken tonight and will serve potatoes ala this technique with this.
Alicia C. February 3, 2019
Hah! I just made that exact meal! :) <br /><br />The BEST potato salad I've ever had in my life is a roasted potato salad from a BBQ restaurant in my hometown. (From the restaurant website, "Roasted Red Potato Salad: You know, usually we give a description of our foods, but for security reasons, we can’t reveal our recipe. Um, we are not kidding, ok?") <br /><br />My new favorite riff using these particular roasted potatoes for potato salad is on this: (we've been eating a lot of roasted potatoes lately...) :)
Merissa G. February 2, 2019
This was amazing. So yummy that I was inspired to write my first review on this site. The pre-boil worked amazingly and my potatoes came out crispy. I'm going out to buy more Mayo and potatoes so I can make it again!
Heather G. February 2, 2019
My hint for how to not burn yourself when dumping potatoes into boiling water is to cut them on a silicone mat, then turn the sides up and slide them into the water, with the edge of the mat just touching the water. No plopping, and minimal (if any) splash :)
Alicia C. February 2, 2019
Made these a couple nights ago and have not stopped talking about them since. I, like the author, never had time for the boil, and previously have always used ghee or oil (because of course milk solids would burn at high temps)-- but I sit and type before you now, an educated and reformed woman of the kitchen. Thank you, and thank the algorithm that sent me down the clickhole that led me to your article! :) <br /><br /><br />
sam January 31, 2019
We tried these today and they were delicious! Also, love that you've called this a 'salad' :p
Kristen M. January 31, 2019
:) "potato salad" has always been a rather generous name.
tastysweet January 31, 2019
Was wondering, if you make these to serve later, I am assuming you refrigerate them?
Kristen M. January 31, 2019
To keep the crisp, I'd recommend only roasting earlier the same day and holding them at room temperature. In the fridge, they'll get soggy.
Shayron January 30, 2019
This recipe looks so simple and I’m definitely going to make it Super Bowl weekend thanks.