Tornado Potatoes

published Nov 28, 2021
Spiral Potatoes Recipe

Parmesan seasoning makes these spiral potatoes impossible to pass up.


Prep20 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 45 minutes

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potatoes cut into a spiral shape and then deep fried to a golden brown
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

There are seemingly never-ending ways to enjoy the humble, delicious potato. It’s amazing how small changes in cutting or cooking techniques can transform spuds into new and exciting dishes. If you have never tried tornado potatoes (aka spiral potatoes), you’re in for a real treat. With just a skewer and a sharp knife, you can create a side dish that’s fun to make and eat, with tons of nooks and crannies to season with all your favorite spices.

How Do You Spiralize Potatoes by Hand?

While spiralizer tools have been all the rage for several years now, it is possible to spiralize a potato by hand for this recipe.

  • Start by running a long wooden skewer through the center of a medium-sized Yukon gold potato. If you are having trouble pushing the skewer through, you can microwave the potato in 15-second increments to soften it slightly.
  • Next, hold your knife at an angle and turn the potato around the knife, rather than trying to move or guide the knife itself. Start at the top and slowly work your way down the length of the potato until you hit the other end.
  • Carefully pull apart the potato along the length of the skewer to reveal the spirals.

How Do You Eat a Spiral Potato?

Spiral potatoes can be enjoyed right from the stick for a treat on-the-go. You can also remove the stick from the cooked spiral potatoes and fan them out on a serving plate. It is a beautiful side dish to accompany the rest of your meal. When served this way, spiral potatoes can be enjoyed with a knife and a fork.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Dipping Sauce Ideas

Anything you like to serve with roasted potatoes or french fries tastes great with a spiral potato. Ketchup is classic choice, as is mayonnaise. Or you could go with a nice garlic aioli for an upscale twist. I’ve even dipped mine in comeback sauce!

Spiral Potatoes Recipe

Parmesan seasoning makes these spiral potatoes impossible to pass up.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    (10- or 12-inch) wooden skewers

  • 4

    medium Yukon gold potatoes (see note below)

  • 3/4 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons

    smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 4 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh parsley


  1. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Insert an 10 or 12-inch wooden skewer lengthwise all the way through the center of each potato. If you’re struggling to insert the skewer, microwave the potatoes in 15-second intervals, just until the skewer successfully goes in, 30 to 45 seconds total. If you go too long, the potatoes will be too soft to cut thinly or spread out the spiral.

  3. Place the skewered potatoes on a cutting board. Hold a chef’s knife at a 30-degree angle at the top of one of the potatoes. Insert the knife about halfway through the potato, then keeping the knife in place, slowly rotate the potato without moving the knife to create a spiral around the potato. Try to keep your cuts as close together as possible. Next, retrace your path and cut down to (but not through) the skewer. Carefully wiggle your fingers in between a cut near the end of the potato and spread it apart and repeat the motion, moving down the potato — being careful not to tear the potato — to stretch the potato along the skewer. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

  4. Place 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a medium, shallow bowl, and stir to combine.

  5. Brush each potato with 1 tablespoon olive oil, brushing between each spiral, then roll in the Parmesan mixture, sprinkling the seasoning between each spiral to cover the surface. Place the skewers on the long edges of a 9x13-inch baking dish so the potatoes are suspended and don't touch the bottom of the dish.

  6. Bake until crisp and knife tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh parsley until you have 1/4 cup, then coarsely chop the leaves. When ready to serve, sprinkle the potatoes with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Potatoes: For better spirals, look for potatoes that are rounder, longer, and evenly sized.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.