25 Ways to Turn Potatoes into a Vibrant Spring Side Dish

updated Mar 30, 2023
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Buffalo potato salad in serving dish with spoon on side.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani / Food Stylist: Szewczyk

We love potatoes all the ways: We love them mashed, roasted, and fried; we love them in latkes, stews, and turned into bread. We never tire of this versatile spud, which fills bellies and warms souls.

But we get especially excited about potatoes in the spring. That’s when the new potatoes — smaller, more tender potatoes of every variety, with thinner skins — make their way to farmer’s market stalls and produce bins in grocery stores. (New potatoes aren’t the same as fingerling potatoes, though they can be used the same way.)

These young potatoes are sweeter and less starchy than fully mature potatoes — and they are perfectly suited for the lighter, fresher fare we’re craving right now. Here, now, are 25 of our favorite ways to turn potatoes into vibrant spring sides.

1 / 25
Potato Roses
These decorative roses are an easy-yet-impressive side that's sure to impress your dinner guests.
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2 / 25
Fondant Potatoes
Spring potatoes are already tender and buttery, but this easy melting potato technique takes them over the top. Cooked here in garlic butter, the potatoes are golden and crisp on the outside while the center practically melts in your mouth.
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3 / 25
Grilled Potatoes

They're lightly charred and crispy on the outside, tender and creamy on the inside, and perfectly seasoned all over.

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4 / 25
Buffalo Potato Salad
This spicy, crunchy potato salad takes the BBQ staple to a whole new level.
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5 / 25
Mustard-Roasted Potatoes

Great springtime roasted potatoes look like they would be hard to master, but they're really simple. Just grab a sheet pan, some Dijon mustard, and your bottle of good olive oil.

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6 / 25
Corn, Cheese, and Potato Croquettes

Super cheesy corn and potato croquettes for the warm months ahead.

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7 / 25
Ukrainian Dill Potatoes
The dish is just four humble ingredients — potatoes, dill, garlic, and sunflower oil — but their combination is magical. With each bite of creamy boiled potato, you get a grassy hit of fresh dill and a kick from raw garlic, all brought together by the nutty aroma of virgin sunflower oil (the hallmark ingredient of Ukrainian cooking).
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8 / 25
Potato and Caraway Seed Cakes
To use up leftover mashed potatoes, look to potato and caraway seed cakes.
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9 / 25
Crispy Sheet Pan Potato Salad
These crispy smashed potatoes are tossed with arugula, bacon, red onions, and a whole grain mustard vinaigrette, and they definitely pack a punch.
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10 / 25
Potato Breakfast Gratin with Red Peppers & Parmesan
If the tender bites of potato are your favorite part of a Spanish omelet, turn those individual servings into big-batch brunch recipe. Use a mandolin or a sharp chef's knife to cut thin slices of red potatoes, then layer with red peppers, egg, and cheese. Yogurt is the secret ingredient that adds a subtle tang to the gratin's custard.
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11 / 25
Classic German Potato Salad
Spring is the official beginning of potato salad season. I like to forego heavy mayo-slicked versions in favor of this tangy vinaigrette variation. Toss baby red potatoes with the mustard-bacon dressing while it's still warm.
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12 / 25
Fresh Herb, Potato, and Goat Cheese Frittata
I fully believe there's a frittata for every season. For spring that means herbs, tender potatoes, and tangy goat cheese. Don't be afraid to swap in what you have, though: Whatever herbs and cheese are in your fridge can work.
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13 / 25
Lemon Potato Chowder
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest add vibrancy to an otherwise simple potato soup. Cook the potatoes until tender, then purée until smooth or leave some smaller pieces for added texture. Parsley is an obvious choice for garnishing this warm bowl, but dill pairs nicely as well.
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14 / 25
Potato and Leek Galette
If you've been looking for a pretty spring side, your search is over. These thinly sliced potatoes layered with chopped leeks bake until everything is crisp and brown on the outside and tender inside. The galette is made with olive oil, rather than butter for a lighter version than traditional French pommes Anna. Serve it alongside sliced ham for lunch or with over-easy eggs at breakfast.
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15 / 25
Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto
Sweet potatoes may get pegged as a fall vegetable, but they are every bit as delicious in the spring. Top them with a bright fresh-herb pesto of cilantro, coconut and pistachios.
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16 / 25
Skillet Braised Cod with Asparagus and Potatoes
Serve white fish fillets and season-straddling vegetables — potatoes and asparagus — gently simmered in a lemony white wine broth. It's the spring supper that's as easy as it is impressive.
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17 / 25
Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes and Sage
Dinner doesn't get much easier than a sheet pan of crispy, juicy chicken thighs, spring onions, and tender red potatoes. Nestle the chicken among the vegetables and watch as the potatoes sizzle and brown in the buttery chicken fat.
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18 / 25
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Searching for an easy app to feed a crowd with sports-bar appetites? Wrap bite-sized new potatoes in bacon, roast, and then pair with a spicy sour cream dip. It's a dinner-party take on traditional game day potato skins.
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19 / 25
The Best Twice-Baked Potato
This two-for-one potato side combines the best parts of mashed and baked potatoes. Oven-baked potatoes deliver the crispiest seasoned skin to cradle the cheesy, sour cream stuffing. Prep the potatoes a day in advance for an easy weeknight dinner.
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20 / 25
Au Gratin Potatoes
Despite their fancy French name, potatoes au gratin are easier to make than mashed potatoes — and tastier too! Use a mandolin or sharp knife to cut paper-thin slices of potatoes before smothering them in a rich and creamy cheese sauce. Choose Yukon Gold or red potatoes. They'll hold their shape better when baked.
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21 / 25
Indian-ish Baked Potatoes
We haven't stopped making this recipe since first setting eyes on it, when Priya Krishna’s cookbook Indian-ish was our October 2019 Cookbook Club pick. Small, thin-skinned potatoes sub for the traditional Idaho variety, while the zip of fresh ginger and chiles are just the thing to add spark to springtime menus.
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22 / 25
Roasted Potatoes, Fennel & Radishes with Lemon Brown Butter Sauce
Did you get carried away at the farmer's market, filling your basket with buttery fingerling potatoes, spicy radishes, and crunchy fennel? No problem. Roast them! While the veggies char on a sheet pan, whisk melted butter over heat until it browns. Spike it with lemon juice, mustard, and maple syrup, and you have the perfect sauce.
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23 / 25
Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup
This slow-cooking soup is spring's answer to baked potato soup. Make sure to clean fresh leeks well or make prep even easier with sliced leeks from the freezer section. Buttery Yukon Gold potatoes give the soup its signature creamy texture.
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24 / 25
Creamy Spring Vegetable Gratin with Grana Padano
The combination of potatoes, fennel, and onion is perfect for warm spring evenings, and there’s just enough sour cream and cheese mixed in to make the gratin creamy without being indulgent.
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25 / 25
Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
These mouthwatering smashed potatoes are tossed in a garlic butter mixture and baked until golden and crispy.
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Your turn! What are your favorite potato recipes to cook in the spring?