Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes

published Feb 4, 2024
Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes Recipe

With a crispy crust and fluffy inside, these roasted potatoes are totally perfect.

Serves4 to 6

Prep15 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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overhead shot of lemon butter potatoes on a baking sheet, topped with herbs.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

I love roasted potatoes, and these lemon butter melting potatoes have to be one of my favorites. Inspired by melting potatoes, thick slices of potatoes get tossed with a lemony herb butter and cooked in a hot oven, creating a crispy, snappy crust on the outside. 

This low-effort, high-reward side dish is one you’ll want to immediately add to your rotation. Broth helps to make the potatoes extra tender, while lemon juice and zest ensure that each bite carries a bright taste. Reserve some of the lemon zest for sprinkling at the end — the heat from the roasted potatoes brings out its aroma even more. (It makes a huge difference!)

Key Ingredients in Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes

  • Fresh thyme: Its slightly peppery, minty flavors work wonderfully with the potatoes. You can use other herbs like rosemary or parsley instead if you prefer. 
  • Lemons: Bright, zesty lemons add a special touch to the potatoes. Both the zest and freshly squeezed juice are used to add different levels of lemony flavor. 
  • Butter: Makes the potatoes taste slightly nutty once it’s roasted in the high-temperature oven.
  • Seasonings: The recipe keeps the seasonings pretty minimal, but you can explore by adding different spices like red pepper flakes or smoked paprika for additional flavors. 
  • Russet potatoes: Starchy potatoes like Russet potatoes work best for roasted potatoes. But you can also use Yukon gold potatoes for a similar texture.
  • Broth: Cooks the potatoes until they’re fork-tender and adds flavor.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

How to Make Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes

  1. Prepare the lemony herb butter. Make the herb butter by mixing melted butter, freshly chopped thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Prepare the potatoes. Peel the Russet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch-thick rounds.
  3. Toss the potatoes in butter. Coat the peeled potatoes with the lemony herb butter. Arrange the butter-coated potatoes in a metal baking dish and spoon any excess butter on top of the potatoes.  
  4. Cook the potatoes. Roast them at 450°F for 15 minutes first. Then flip the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. Finish by pouring the broth into the dish and cooking for a final 15 minutes.  
  5. Serve and garnish: Garnish with more lemon zest for extra zing. 

What to Serve with Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes

Lemon Butter Melting Potatoes Recipe

With a crispy crust and fluffy inside, these roasted potatoes are totally perfect.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 4 sprigs

    fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

  • 2

    large or 3 medium lemons

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds

    medium russet potatoes (4 to 5)

  • 3/4 cup

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.

  2. Pick the leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme and finely chop (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Finely grate the zest of 2 large or 3 medium lemons until you have 1 tablespoon. Juice 1 of the lemons until you have 2 tablespoons.

  3. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 30 to 45 seconds. (Alternatively, melt on the stovetop and transfer to a large bowl.) Add the thyme, half of the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Stir to combine.

  4. Peel 2 pounds russet potatoes. Trim the rounded ends slightly, then cut the potatoes crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds. Place the potatoes in the butter-herb mixture and toss to coat.

  5. Using tongs or your hands, transfer the potatoes to the baking dish, arranging them cut-side up in a single layer. Spoon any remaining butter mixture over the potatoes (about 1 teaspoon per piece).

  6. Roast until the potatoes easily release from the bottom when picked up with tongs and the edges are beginning to turn golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Flip the rounds. Return to the oven and roast until the second side is golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth into a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine.

  7. Carefully pour the lemon broth into the baking dish. Return to the oven and roast until the potatoes are very tender and most of the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and more fresh thyme leaves before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.