Many years ago, I spent a semester abroad in Granada, Spain. Like many other exchange students, I lived with a Spanish family to better submerge myself in the Spanish language. It was an amazing experience, not only because of the cultural and language but also because I got to eat so much delicious food! The lady I lived with cooked for us every day. She was notorious for making simple breakfast recipes, lavish lunches, and easy dinners.
In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and acts like supper in the United States. The other two meals are usually less heavy and uncomplicated. On the weekends, though, she would go all out with breakfast and make these amazing breakfast potatoes.
I never thought that garlic and breakfast went together until I tried the potatoes in Spain. It was the cornerstone of simple breakfast recipes – just super crispy potatoes dripping with garlicky flavor – but they were ultimately satisfying. Our recipe for easy roasted garlic potatoes reminds me of the Spanish lady’s breakfast potatoes and my time in Spain.
The Secret to Crispy Breakfast Potatoes
The best thing about these easy roasted garlic potatoes is how crispy they are. There are two key parts of the recipe that come together to make this happen. The first is cooking in a super hot oven. At 400 degrees F, the heat will caramelize the outside of the diced potato, creating a delicious crust. This is a good reason to use garlic powder instead of the fresh stuff – minced garlic would definitely burn at this high heat!
The second secret comes from using the right type of potato. You might have heard of waxy and starchy potato varieties. The waxy varieties include Yukon golds and red-skinned potatoes. These potatoes are delicious and perfect for soups, potato salads, and any other application where you want them to hold their shape and structure. When it comes to crispy skin, though, they just don’t crisp up as well as the starchy varieties.
Idaho Potatoes (aka Russet Potatoes)
Idaho potatoes are a starchy potato and might also be called a russet potato. This type of potato has a higher starch content than the waxy varieties, which means that they break down more easily. This makes them ideal for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, or fried potatoes.
In the case of breakfast potatoes, the starches on the outside will convert to sugars and caramelize, giving us a nice crunch. The inside of the potato will remain fluffy and soft so you have the perfect textural contrast. They turn out perfect, every time!
When you’re prepping the potatoes, you’ll want to make sure you store them in a bowl filled with cold water. This not only keeps the potato from discoloring (known as oxidizing), but it will also wash off the excess starch from the potato’s surface. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of starch left in the potato to crisp up nicely.
Quick, Easy, Delicious
If you don’t want to put the elbow grease into chopping potatoes, you can also use frozen diced potatoes. We like the flavor that fresh potatoes brings but, nutritionally, freezing potatoes doesn’t destroy any of their nutrients. In fact, some professional chefs swear that frozen potatoes crisp up better and absorb less oil than fresh potatoes. Just make sure you check the ingredients list to be sure there’s no added salt or chemicals.
Now that we got you started with simple breakfast recipes, it’s time to make some perfect poached eggs to go alongside our amazing potatoes! Add a vegetable side (or toss veggies in with the potatoes to make a hash) and you’ll have a quick, easy, and well-balanced breakfast.
Which vegetable side is your favorite for breakfast? What’s your favorite way to enjoy breakfast potatoes? Let us know in the comments!
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 101 | Total Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 188mg | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 2g | SmartPoints: 3
- 3 cups Idaho potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat the potatoes in all seasonings and oil. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove and stir the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minute more or until lightly browned.
- Serve and enjoy!
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