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Types of Potatoes

Learn about the different types of potatoes and how to prepare them.

How many types of potatoes are there?

Cooking Tips for Each Potato Type

There are more than 200 varieties of potatoes sold throughout the United States. Each of these varieties fit into one of seven potato type categories: russet, red, white, yellow, blue/purple, fingerling, and petite. Potatoes can be used to fuel the body and the brain throughout the day. Easy to prepare and pair with a variety of cuisines, potatoes lend themselves to convenient meal prep to fuel you throughout the week. They can be whipped together with a few healthy ingredients and ready to serve under 30 minutes for a delicious meal.

Learn more about the characteristics and cooking recommendations for each type of potato.

To see videos about what makes each type of potato unique, please visit Potato Types Videos collection.

Download Potato Types PDF

Potato Recipe How-To Videos

There are a number of different ways to prepare potatoes, among them Baked, Mashed, Roasted, Potato Salad, Au Gratin, and Scalloped. Watch these video instructions for the most popular ways to cook potatoes.

Potato History

Just how old is the potato actually?

The Incas in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C. In 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavors of potato, and brought them back to Europe.

More Potato History

Growing and Harvesting Potatoes

Learn about the process of growing and harvesting U.S. potatoes.

Potato Varieties

Russet Potatoes

Russets are ideal for light and fluffy mashed potatoes. They also fry up crisp and golden brown, and are the potato of choice for baking. The delicate flavor and fluffy texture of baked russets goes well with a variety of toppings, from traditional sour cream and chives to spicy and bold Mediterranean or Latin flavors. Try cutting into planks or wedges to make delicious homemade fries.

Learn more about Russet Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Because of their waxy texture, the flesh of red potatoes stays firm throughout the cooking process. Their thin yet vibrant red skin adds appealing color and texture to side dishes or salads. Reds are frequently used to make potato salad or add pizazz to soups and stews, but can also be served baked or mashed. Round reds are often referred to as “new potatoes,” but the term “new” technically refers to any type of potato that is harvested before reaching maturity.

Learn more about Red Potatoes

White Potatoes

White potatoes hold their shape well after cooking. Their delicate, thin skins add just the right amount of texture to a velvety mashed potato dish without the need for peeling. Grilling whites brings out a more full-bodied flavor. Try adding potatoes to your salad by tossing cooked white potatoes into your Caesar or a creamy garlic parmesan dressing.

Learn more about White Potatoes

Yellow Potatoes

Grilling gives yellow potatoes a crispy skin that enhances the dense flesh, creating a slightly sweet, caramelized flavor. The naturally smooth buttery texture makes delicious baked, roasted, or mashed potatoes. Simmer yellow potatoes until fully cooked, drain, chill, and gently “smash” into flat disks. Brown these in oil or clarified butter and serve as a side or appetizer. Then top with a garnish of your choice.

Learn more about Yellow Potatoes

Purple Potatoes

Most blue/purple potatoes have moist, firm flesh that retains its shape while adding rich, vibrant color and luscious taste to salads. The purple color is preserved best by microwaving but steaming and baking are also great ways to cook purple potatoes. Because of their mild yet distinctly nutty flavor, blue/purple potatoes naturally complement green salad flavors. Red, White, and Blues—Combine blue potatoes with whites and reds in salads or roasted medleys to make all three colors “pop”.

Learn more about Purple Potatoes

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling color and shape are a welcome visual addition to any dish. Pan-frying and roasting enhances their robust flavor and showcases their wonderful nutty or buttery tastes. Consider fingerlings as a change-of-pace foundation for a unique potato salad. Split fingerlings lengthwise and oven-roast to serve as a small-plate or side-dish alternative to fries. Accompany them with a flavorful dipping sauce, like spicy ketchup, romesco, or sriracha mayo.

Learn more about Fingerling Potatoes

Petite Potatoes

Roast a combination of colors for an eye-catching side dish. Petites concentrated flavors and quicker cooking time makes them a good choice for potato salads. You can also toss petite potatoes in olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to make colorful, delicious, and fun roasted potatoes. Petites save on prep time because they can be prepared and served whole without slicing or chopping.

Learn more about Petite Potatoes

Instant Potatoes

Instant (or dehydrated) potatoes deliver all the flavor, versatility and nutrition of real, fresh potatoes because they are real potatoes, minus the water. Whole potatoes are actually put through an advanced process to create premium dehydrated/instant potato products. Thanks to the careful processing techniques used, instant potato products retain most of their nutrition.

Learn more about Instant Potatoes

Potato Chips

A chef by the name of George Crum created the potato chip in a petty way to appease a particularly picky guest, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who had sent his fried potatoes back for being too thick. Crum sliced them thin and fried them to a crisp out of spite. Rather than be offended by the jab, Vanderbilt was delighted. Soon after, other guests began requesting to try the thinly sliced fried potatoes. Before long, each patron was served a complimentary basket of potato chips with the meal.

Learn more about Potato Chips

Frozen Potatoes

Did you know, the U.S. potato industry has long pioneered state-of-the-art technologies that instantly quick-freeze potatoes to lock in fresh flavor and nutrition? As you walk down the frozen aisle of any grocery story and you’ll find many different frozen potato options, from wedges, shreds, hash browns and tots to slices, dices, crinkle cut and waffle fries. These products are instantly quick frozen to lock in the taste and nutrients of fresh potatoes, and maintain a longer shelf life. Baking frozen potatoes is a great time-saving option for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.

Learn more about Frozen Potatoes

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