My Grandma’s Roasted Potatoes Are Worth Fighting Over

updated Jul 15, 2023
Kitchn Love Letters
Grandma's Potatoes Recipe

These roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside, but are tender and buttery on the inside.


Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes

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Credit: Andrea Kaufman

My grandma once told me that she didn’t really like cooking. It’s ironic, then, that the two things she’s best known for in my family are her roasted potatoes and her pot roast. I only ever eat her potatoes twice a year — on Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving — and I don’t look forward to the holiday, or the time off, nearly as much as I look forward to the potatoes. 

When I was growing up, I always anxiously awaited the sight of grandma walking up to our house from her car carrying a giant aluminum foil roasting pan. I’d sneak a potato as early and often as possible — because who could wait until dinner?

It wasn’t just me who was obsessed: Before dinner was served, warnings were issued from all the cousins to leave enough potatoes for everyone. They’re crispy on the outside and tender and buttery on the inside, and it’s impossible to eat just one. In fact, when my mom and I cooked them again, we literally stood over the pan, forks in hand, and ate straight out of it.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman
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Tips on Making Grandma’s Roasted Potatoes

A few years ago, my mom inherited the responsibility of making the potatoes. Grandma had fastidious notes for her.  

  • Buy the whole canned potatoes from Del Monte or Stop & Shop. Those are the best ones; “nowhere else is as good.”
  • They have to be cooked the day-of, because they won’t be good if they’re made ahead of time. 
  • They must be cooked in an aluminum pan (metal pan). (But aluminum is fine for transport and a small reheat before serving.) 

Unfortunately, Grandma passed away earlier this year, so I can’t ask her for more details about this beloved recipe, like where it originated. She can’t know that it’s being published or written about. She can’t tell me all of her specific notes about how they should be made to make sure they’re the best. 

While this isn’t the first holiday season without her cooking the potatoes, it is the first one without her around to call and ask how they went. Over the years, I’d tell her, “Mom did a good job, but yours are the best.” She’d tell me that she’s sure Mom did a good job, but I knew she was secretly a little pleased that hers were the best. Because, at the end of the day, nothing beats Grandma’s cooking. 

Grandma's Potatoes Recipe

These roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside, but are tender and buttery on the inside.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 4 (15-ounce cans)

    whole potatoes, preferably Del Monte or Stop & Shop

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter or margarine

  • 1 tablespoon

    paprika, plus more as needed

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 9x13-inch metal or ceramic baking dish. Place it in the oven while it is heating. Check after 5 minutes and remove from the oven when the butter is melted.

  2. Drain 4 (15-ounce) cans whole potatoes. Pat dry with paper towels. Halve the potatoes, or cut into thirds if large. Add the potatoes to the baking dish and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon paprika, and toss until evenly coated. Add more paprika as needed until visible and evenly coated. Arrange into an even layer.

  3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Increase the temperature to 450ºF. Continue to bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the potatoes are golden-brown and crispy, 30 minutes to 1 hour more.

  4. For extra-crispy potatoes, turn on the broiler and broil until dark golden-brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat uncovered at 350°F until warm, about 15 to 20 minutes.