With crispy, golden brown edges and soft, creamy insides, these Whole30 Roasted Greek Potatoes are sure to be a new family favourite side dish. They’re garlicky, lemony and irresistibly delicious. Not to mention the fact that they’re very easy to prepare!
The Secrets to Perfect Whole30 Roasted Greek Potatoes
There are a few things I’ve learned over the course of making these roasted Greek potatoes time and time again. If you’ll indulge me, I’d very much like to share my findings with you. Because friends don’t let friends make non-delicious potatoes.
Roast in Stages
You’ll notice that in this recipe, the potatoes are roasted in 3 stages. First with the oil and seasonings, then with the stock and lastly with the lemon juice. This is important and it largely has to do with technique.
The first stage, roasting with oil and seasonings, does 3 things. It allows the garlic to mellow out in flavour and infuse the oil. It gives the oregano a chance to bloom, releasing its essential oils. And, lastly, it gives the potatoes a head start on the browning process, which will ultimately result in better textured finished product.
The second stage, roasting with chicken stock, adds flavour and also gives the potatoes a chance to absorb moisture, resulting in a creamier and juicier center. The stock also cooks down to a gravy, which I discuss in a bit more detail below.
The third stage is when you’ll want to add the lemon juice. Not before! Here’s why…
Add Lemon Juice at the End
Just take a bite of any Greek-style roasted potato and you’ll be lovingly greeted with a bright, citrusy kiss of lemony flavour. Along with the garlic and oregano, lemon is one of the defining flavours and what makes roasted Greek potatoes so delicious.
While the lemon juice itself is not exactly a secret ingredient, the order in which it is added to the potatoes is. Most recipes call for adding lemon juice to the potatoes at the very beginning, which is a bit of a mistake. The acid in the lemon juice will actually cause the potatoes to toughen as they cook. This is probably why a lot of people scratch their heads when the potatoes are still firm after 1 hour in the oven.
Instead, try adding the lemon juice near the end, once the potatoes have already softened. This way, you’ll still get the amazing lemony flavour and those soft, creamy centers.
Go Big Or Go Home
If you cut the potatoes too small, they’ll loose their texture, crumble and fall apart. Instead, try cutting the potatoes in half or quarters at most. This way, they’ll retain their shape and texture.
Plenty of Stock
There’s a time and place for super crispy roasted potatoes and, I’m sorry to say this ain’t it. One of the great joys of these Greek-style roasted potatoes is the play between the golden-brown edges and the brothy gravy they’re cooked in. If super crispy is what you’re after, you can try these Garlic and Thyme Roasted Potatoes (https://cookprimalgourmet.com/garlic-thyme-potatoes).
As mentioned above, I like adding chicken stock to the potatoes mid-roast. As they cook, the potatoes will absorb moisture, making them creamy in the middle, and the natural starch in the potatoes will thicken the liquid in the process. At the same time, the stock is simultaneously reducing in the oven as moisture evaporates, which results in the most amazing gravy-like sauce that can be spooned back over the potatoes before serving. The gravy is also incredible when spooned over some rice pilaf, a common accompaniment to any Greek meal.
One thing I like to add to these Whole30 Roasted Greek Potatoes is a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. I stir it into the stock so that it easily distributes in the pan. The tomato paste adds a bit of body and flavour to the dish, but mostly I add it for some colour. You can omit the tomato paste for a clear finished product, but I encourage you to try it once.
What you Need for these Greek Potatoes
Roasting Dish: A stainless-steel, ceramic or glass roasting dish will all work here. You can even use a carbon-steel roasting dish. Look for one that is at least 3-inches deep so that it can hold the appropriate amount of stock.
Yellow or white potatoes: either will work here. Sometimes I peel the skins, sometimes I don’t. Usually it’s a matter of whether or not my potatoes are in good shape. If they are bruised, I peel them.
Garlic: and plenty of it. For 3.5 pounds of potatoes, I use 6 cloves. I would call this a conservative number.
Lemon Juice: freshly-squeezed is always best. Remember to add it to the potatoes near the end of the cooking process.
Oregano: dried oregano works just fine here. If you can get your hands on fresh, you can definitely use that as well. Keep in mind that fresh is not as strong as dry, so you’ll need to use about 2-3 times as much for a similar amount of flavour.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: not only will this add the best flavour, it will also add colour. Don’t be stingy with it either. I use a 1/3 cup for around 3.5 pounds of potatoes.
Chicken Stock: this is ideal for its flavour and colour. Vegetable stock works too. For best results, and to keep things Whole30, use homemade stock. Otherwise, look for a packaged version that is made with compliant ingredients. I would avoid bone broth here because it will likely overpower the dish.
Tomato Paste: I like adding this for body and colour. But it can be omitted if you don’t have it or are avoiding nightshades.
Whole30 Roasted Greek Potatoes
- 3.5 pounds yellow potatoes – peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Juice of one large lemon around 2 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a large roasting dish, combine the potatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread into a single layer. Transfer to the oven and roast until the oil is sizzling and the garlic is golden, 20 minutes.
- In a jar or bowl, combine the stock and tomato paste and stir until no longer clumpy. Carefully add the stock mixture to the potatoes and gently stir to coat. Return the potatoes to the oven, raise the heat to 425F and roast until the liquid has reduced by ¼, 20 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice to the potatoes and stir through to combine. Roast until the edges of the potatoes are golden brown, they are fork-tender, and the liquid has reduced by another ¼, 20 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as desired. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.