French Parmentier Potatoes (Better than Your Favorite French Fries – But No Deep Frying!)
Food & Cooking

French Parmentier Potatoes (Better than Your Favorite French Fries – But No Deep Frying!)

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Don’t be surprised if these crisp, golden Parmentier potatoes with pillowy soft interiors steal the dinner show! They can be prepped in advance for easy entertaining!

I came across this Parmentier Potatoes (aka Pommes de Terre Parmentier Françaises) recipe while doing research on French recipes in anticipation of a culinary inspiration trip this summer to France. I love that this recipe has a super interesting history, but it was the first bite of these golden, crisp, roasted-to-perfection potatoes that had me smitten! The fact that they come together easily and can be prepped ahead really sealed the delicious deal.

Horizontal overhead photo of an oval steel skillet of Rosemary Roasted French Parmentier Potatoes on a wood table.

We’ve always enjoyed roasted potatoes but these Parmentier Potatoes are definitely a step up. The par cooking and unique roasting technique yields potatoes with golden, super crisp exteriors with fluffy soft insides. Imagine the best french fries you ever tasted… but without deep frying! Definitely a win-win!

History of Parmentier Potatoes

These delicious roasted potatoes have an interesting history. In eighteenth-century France, potatoes were thought to be only for animal consumption as it was believed they could lead to a number of different illnesses.

Along came a French pharmacist by the name of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier. Parmentier ate potatoes while he was a prisoner of war in Prussia which made him realize that, besides being edible, they were also quite nutritional. When he returned to France, Parmentier was responsible for persuading the French people that potatoes were safe as well as super delicious!

There is a painting of Parmentier in the famous Palace of Versailles, right outside of Paris. This is what the official CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES website says about him:

As a member of the Agricultural Society, and a professor at the College of Pharmacy and School of Bakery, his research on the potatoes he planted in the Sablons plains outside of Paris resulted in his Treatise on the Culture and Use of Potatoes in 1789, which was met with great success and earned him this compliment from Louis XVI: “One day France will thank you for having found the bread for the poor!”

Vertical photo of a painting of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, French pharmacist who discovered the benefits of potatoes.

Many potato dishes, including these fabulous Parmentier Potatoes, are named after him.

Vertical overhead closeup photo of a oval hammered steel pan of French Parmentier Potatoes.

What makes these potatoes so different?

You might think a roasted potato is a roasted potato is a roasted potato, right? Nope! There are a few simple steps that make these Parmentier potatoes uniquely delicious. This is how the recipe works:

  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • Drizzle a sheet pan with neutral-flavored, high-heat oil (see Café Tips below) and place in the preheating oven while you prep the potatoes.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil
  • Cut potatoes into rectangles (or squares for round potatoes) then into ½-inch cubes. The flat sides give them lots of surface area to get crisp and golden.
  • Add the potatoes to the boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes then drain and allow the potatoes to dry a bit. (You can stop at this point and hold the potatoes at room temperature for several hours or refrigerate them until ready to roast.)
  • Add the par-cooked potatoes to the preheated oiled sheet pan and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring to redistribute twice in between, until crisp, golden and BEAUTIFUL.
  • Toss with finely minced fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and a shower of flaky sea salt.
  • ENJOY!

Vertical overhead closeup photo of an oval hammered steel pan with Rosemary Roasted French Parmentier Potatoes.

How to serve these potatoes

These Parmentier Potatoes are like a little black dress, they pair well with so many things! Here are a few ways we like to serve them.

  • These potatoes pair beautifully with grilled, pan-seared or roasted entreés. I love serving them with our Grilled Chicken Breasts as well as our Juicy Tender Stovetop Chicken Breasts.
  • We recently had a family birthday party. The menu was burgers and salad. I brought a double batch of these Parmentier Potatoes and they disappeared like hot cakes!
  • These crisp potatoes are also a fun and delicious addition to salads.
  • Serve these Parmentier Potatoes for breakfast instead of hashbrowns.
  • They make a crazy delicious appetizer served with aioli, an herby dipping sauce or a honey mustard sauce.
  • Just don’t walk away between pulling these potatoes from the oven and transferring them to a serving platter. They smell and look so good, everyone who walks by will snitch one and then be back for more!

One other warning

I don’t dare make a whole recipe of these Parmentier Potatoes if it’s just Scott and myself. They are totally irresistible and we would have difficulty not eating the entire batch. If you have guests, on the other hand, make sure to prepare plenty or you will notice a lot of long faces when the platter comes back around the table empty!

Or you could use a little trick that I used to employ. If we had dinner guests when our kids were growing up and it looked like there might be a shortage of something, I would say to them (discreetly) “FHB”. They knew that meant “family hold back”. They didn’t like it one bit – but understood that the situation required them to restrain themselves!

Don’t get yourself in a FHB dilemma – make plenty of these Parmentier Potatoes and everyone will be happy!

Vertical overhead photo of a batch of Rosemary Roasted French Parmentier Potatoes in an oval hammered steel serving pan on a wood table.

Café Tips for making these Parmentier Potatoes

  • This recipe calls for cubed potatoes. Since potatoes don’t come with flat sides you will need to cut each one into a rectangle or square before cutting into cubes. I achieve this by cutting a thin slice off one edge of the potato. I then lay the potato on my work surface with the cut side down and proceed to cut thin slices off of the other three sides. Lastly, I cut off the rounded ends. If there’s a bit of skin left on the potato, it’s fine – no one will notice when the beautiful golden potatoes emerge from the oven.
  • I like to use golden potatoes (yellow) such as Yukon Gold (other varieties are Carola, Delta Gold, Inca Gold, Yellow Finn, German Butterball, Hermes…) for these Parmentier Potatoes. They have thin skins and a creamy, buttery flavor. That being said, I have also used Russet (also called Idaho) potatoes with good results.
  • This recipe calls for a neutral-flavored, high-heat oil. What does that mean? A neutral oil has almost no flavor of its own. That’s good in this Parmentier Potatoes recipe as it allows the flavor of the potato to shine. A high-heat oil is an oil that has a high smoke point, meaning that they are better suited to cooking and baking at high temperatures. Neutral-flavored, high-heat oils include grape seed, safflower, sunflower, avocado, corn, canola and vegetable oils.
  • Don’t be tempted to add the rosemary and garlic until the end, right after you pull the potatoes from the oven. The high heat at this point allows the garlic to mellow a bit and brings out the flavor of the rosemary. I discovered that these ingredients will burn if you add them before this point.
  • Also, don’t be tempted to use less oil. 3 tablespoon may sound like a lot but when you divide it up, it’s not that much per person (unless you eat the whole pan) and you need the oil to achieve the beautiful, crisp exteriors.
  • To prep this recipe ahead of time for easy entertaining, skip preheating the oven with the oiled pan until about 45 minutes before serving. Cut and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes as directed in the recipe then drain and dry. You can keep the par-cooked potatoes at room temperature for several hours before the final roast on the hot, oiled pan.

Thought for the day:

Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

Psalm 84:5 

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

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French Parmentier Potatoes (Pommes de Terre Parmentier Françaises)

Don’t be surprised if these crisp, golden Parmentier potatoes with pillowy soft interiors steal the dinner show! They can be prepped in advance for easy entertaining!

Author: Chris Scheuer

Horizontal overhead photo of a hammered steel pan of Rosemary Roasted French Parmentier Potatoes on a wood table.

Prep Time:
20 mins

Cook Time:
30 mins

Total Time:
50 mins

Servings: 6

Calories: 210 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ½
    pounds
    yellow or golden potatoes
    peeled cut into cubes about ¾-1-inch – see Café Tips above in the post
  • 3
    tablespoons
    neutral- flavored oil
    see Café Tips above
  • 1
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
    more to taste
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    fresh ground black pepper
  • 3
    medium
    garlic cloves
    finely minced
  • 2
    teaspoons
    finely chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F (218°C)

  2. Pour the oil onto a sheet pan and place the pan in the preheated oven.

  3. Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and bring to a boil.

  4. Continue to cook over high heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve then spread the potatoes out on a clean kitchen towel to dry for 5 minutes.

  5. Remove the hot sheet pan from the oven and add the potatoes (the potatoes will sizzle a bit in the hot oil), salt and pepper. Toss them with a metal spatula to coat with the oil and seasoning.

  6. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, turning and redistributing them every 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and add the rosemary and garlic. Toss the potatoes with a metal spatula one more time to evenly distribute the flavorings.

  8. Taste and season with more kosher salt (or flaky sea salt) and pepper, if needed.

  9. Transfer to a serving platter and pray that you made enough.

Recipe Notes

If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Calories 210kcal

Fat 7g

Saturated fat 1g

Trans fat 0.03g

Polyunsaturated fat 2g

Monounsaturated fat 4g

Sodium 399mg

Potassium 802mg

Carbohydrates 34g

Fiber 4g

Sugar 1g

Protein 4g

Vitamin A 5%

Vitamin C 38%

Calcium 26%

Iron 2%

French Parmentier Potatoes (Better than Your Favorite French Fries - But No Deep Frying!)