Recipes

lemon potatoes

Is this a good place to admit that I almost never ate potatoes growing up? I tell my Russian husband this and he’s baffled. Mashed? No. Roasted? No. Fries, only at restaurants. Tater tots, from the freezer on a too-rare occasion. Baked potatoes were definitely a dinner menu item and I don’t think anyone had anything against potatoes, just not a strong pull towards them. Needless to say, if the archives here are any indication, my kids will not be saying the same. And yet despite the gratins, the crispy crumbled, the melting, the brown butter mash, the kugel, twice-baked and the Anna, I still crave potatoes in ways I have yet finetuned a recipe for, and this brought me to a surge of lemon potato studies over the winter.


all you will needchunky wedgesready to roastadd broth and lemon juice

Greek lemon potatoes (patates lemonates) are a classic for good reason: crispy edges, tender interiors, and steeped with lemon. They’re often served plain or a side with roast lamb, chicken, or another big Sunday meal. Typically, Russets (or Maris Piper in the UK) are used, and they’re often parboiled before roasting with, garlic, oregano, and olive oil are always present. Some have an added spoonful of semolina for extra crisp. I tried them all. They were all delicious. But I realized what I was yearning for in a lemon potato was closer to the roast-braise infusion of melting or fondant potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes, no par-boil, and a puddle of broth and lemon juice added in the last third of roasting time. This method yields so much flavor and richness, the potatoes seem to almost melt all while staying crisp at the edges. The pan juices reduce to a sticky, intensely flavored concentration. These might not be the most traditional, but I find them sunny and perfect.

lemon potatoes

Previously

6 months ago: Corn Coconut Soup
1 year ago: Ultimate Banana Bread
2 year ago: Essential French Onion Soup
3 years ago: Asparagus and Egg Salad with Walnuts and Mint
4 years ago: Cornbread Waffles and Mushroom Tartines
5 years ago: Sesame Soba and Ribboned Omelet Salad and Apricot Hazelnut Brown Butter Hamantaschen
6 years ago: The Consolation Prize (A Mocktail) and Baked Chickpeas with Pita Chips and Yogurt
7 years ago: Whole-Grain Cinnamon Swirl Bread
8 years ago: Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini
9 years ago: Soft Eggs with Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toast Soldiers
10 years ago: Spaetzle
11 years ago: Irish Soda Bread Scones and Spinach and Chickpeas
12 years ago: Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Sauce and Bialys
13 years ago: Caramel Walnut Banana Upside Down Cake and Swiss Easter Rice Tart
14 years ago: Mixed Berry Pavlova

Lemon Potatoes

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

Listen, it wouldn’t be a Smitten Kitchen recipe without at least one dose of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-show in these photos, but today, as a treat, there are two: I tested these with different potatoes including the more traditional Russets (shown here) and while they’re all great, I vastly prefer these with creamier Yukon gold potatoes. Use what you’ve got, but if you can get golden, waxier potatoes, these are even better. I also prefer to roast them in a metal, not white or stoneware, baking dish or rimmed baking sheet — it goes faster, gets more crisp, and sticks less. Regardless, use what you’ve got and you’re in for a treat.

  • 2 pounds yukon gold (ideally) or russet potatoes (see note), peeled and quartered lengthwise into thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, minced or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Finely grated zest and juice of two lemons (about 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 cup broth, chicken or vegetable
  • Chopped fresh parsley or dill, plus additional lemon slices or wedges, to finish

    Heat oven to 475°F.

    In a 9×13-inch rimmed sheet pan or deeper baking dish (ideally stainless steel, coated, or stoneware, not glass*) toss potatoes with olive oil, oregano, salt, zest, and pepper evenly to coat. If using butter, dot it over. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are well-browned underneath. Use a thin spatula** to turn potatoes over, sprinkle in garlic cloves, and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until mostly browned underneath on the second side. Pour in broth and lemon juice all over and return to the oven a final time for 15 minutes, or until potatoes and garlic cloves are tender and liquids have reduced to a very thin puddle. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving (any remaining liquid will absorb), sprinkle with herbs, and serve with additional lemon wedges.

  • As a few, sadly, have learned the hard way, glass can break when faced with a big temperature change, such as pouring the cold broth and lemon juice into the very hot pan near the end. If you only have glass to roast in, warm the broth before pouring it in, then, once it’s in, cold or room temperature lemon juice is fine to add next.
  • this spatula is my forever go-to

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story, a TikTok, or a Reel demo of this recipe, too.

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105 comments on lemon potatoes

  1. JenH

    Loooove lemon potatoes! If I wanted to make these for Easter, which involves an hour long drive – should I do the first 2 roasts, and then finish at the destination with the broth/lemon before serving?

    1. Laura Gatzos

      Hi Jenh,

      I’ve made a similar recipe and they heat really well as a finished product. I wouldn’t think that you would need to divide up the cooking time.

      We frequently make more than we need at a holiday meal, and when we reheat the leftovers the next day, we find that the potatoes retain their flavor and texture nicely.

      Deb may also offer some advice, but this is my experience after nearly 17 years of marriage to a Greek man. :-)

        1. Natasha Griffiths

          Had these for our Easter dinner and they were super nice (and extremely lemony!). I would say that each stage took maybe 5 minutes longer than the stated time. Serves closer to four than six, at least if you are as greedy as my family!

      1. Renee

        Do you think it’s necessary to peel them? I’m fact, in your last photo, it almost looks like some aren’t peeled.

        1. Kat

          I made them tonight without peeling and they were perfect. In fact, the only thing wrong is that I should have tripled the recipe! Anyway, leaving the peels on works just fine.

  2. Kim

    Just about to go to the store for hummingbird cake ingredients, and now I’ve added Yukon golds to my list! I already know these potatoes will be fabulous. I’m a lemon girl! I even have the spatula because you told us to get it ages ago for the crispy fried eggs. It is indeed a forever go-to. Speaking of lemon…I made the crispy chicken cutlets for the second time last night. Anyone reading…do it! Makes the best chicken sandwich ever Squeezing lemon over them takes them over the top. And make the sauce with Mayo, grainy mustard and hot sauce (I used a squeeze of harissa from the tube).

  3. Laura

    Your recipe is spot-on with my Greek in-law’s recipe! I’ve started making these potatoes annually when I host Greek Orthodox Easter, as well as for other celebratory meals, and they are always a hit. I’ll give your recipe a try!

    I will say that for most Greek cooking that I do, I stick with dried oregano, rather than using fresh. When I’ve used fresh oregano, my husband complains the flavor isn’t quite what he remembers as a kid, when his mom and his Yiayia used the dried stuff (the Costco-sized container of oregano that’s a constant fixture in my in-law’s pantry confirms this). I can appreciate the nostalgia associated with the taste of comfort food, so I am happy to oblige.

  4. Maggie

    I can’t stand lemon in desserts but LOVE it in savory dishes so this will be on my table very soon. Also, my youngest won’t eat anything potato except a tater tot. He is my punishment for being a picky eater. Hopefully his taste buds will grow up right along with him like mine did!

  5. Victoria McCollum

    Oh yum. I used to go to a produce stand run by a Greek family. One day the patriarch was eating his lunch outside. It smelled so good and I asked him for the recipe. It was basically yours but pieces of chicken were roasted with the potatoes and garlic and lemon. The potatoes not only had the fresh lemon and garlic creaminess but the fat from the chicken added to the crispy crusts. So good.

    1. Katerina, Athens

      Spot on. I was about to write this when I saw your comment.ROAST YOUR CHICKEN/LAMB WITH THE POTATOES!! And use white wine instead of water in the pan. You can thank us Greeks later…😊

      1. Emily L

        Okay, I need just a bit more info on this. Wine instead of water? And thighs/breasts? Which works best? I need this in my life, stat.

        Deb, thank you for a recipe I’m dying to make! You hit my cravings AGAIN and I am so grateful for your blog.

  6. Kelly

    Are these inspired by Taverna Kyclades? Because they have the best lemon potatoes ever, and even though I’ve tried greasing the staff multiple times, I can’t get a recipe out of them. These look fantastic though.

    1. deb

      I’ve actually never had them there, but I live close enough to one that I should. They are inspired by Greek lemon potatoes in general, so I bet it’s close.

  7. deb

    I fixed two mistakes in the recipe — sorry! — 1. You want to use two lemons, not one. 2. You don’t need to mix in a bowl, just in the baking pan. You can watch a recipe demo here!

  8. Marianne Porter

    I understand, really. My husband is as Irish American as they come, and he finds my indifference to potatoes … disturbing.

    1. Deanna

      If I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, he turns into Samwise Gamgee, “ Po-ta-toes! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.”

      He usually ends up disappointed.

      1. Megan Rasila

        I’ve been told that when I was 2, when asked what I wanted to eat (for any meal) “potatoes”. For an entire year. I still love them. There are family jokes about everyone else getting their potatoes before I get mine.

  9. Chelsea

    delicious! I made these for my parents since I’m off work today. There is one single piece of potato left on the baking sheet since no one wanted the blame of being the one to eat the last piece.

  10. Heather

    I’m trying to print this because it looks amazing, but the recipe is getting cut oddly. Does anyone else have this issue or is it just me?

  11. eliza

    This looks so delicious and so perfect as a side for our lamb dinner! But I already bought a pound of red potatoes….. Do you think I could use them here?

  12. Greek here! 👋 Love your take on this traditional side of ours. From experience, if you find yourself not quite achieving that high standard of your yiayia’s dish or a tavern in the greek islands, it’s the olive oil.

    Lots of oil. Like, LOTS AND LOTS of oil. If you show a Greek grandmother that you measure oil by the tablespoons she’ll probably scoff and kick you out of her kitchen (been there). My mother always adds so much olive oil that I whimper a little – but her potatoes always end up amazing, never oily, zingy from the lemon and mustard. Almost like a potato confit.

    1. Btw I can attest – in Greece we always dry our oregano, I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh oregano in a dish. But that’s only if you go for authenticity – if you love fresh oregano best, you do you!

  13. Marie M.C.

    I haven’t had a chance to try this recipe yet but I wanted to share my tip for getting the most juice out of your lemons/limes. Cut them in half then nuke them in the microwave for 35 seconds. If you want zest — zest them before nuking them. Squeeze them using this squeezer — I get no money recommending this product. I just know it’s the best. Plus the one I have has lasted about 20 years, https://www.amazon.com/Last-Lemon-Squeezer-Yellow-Green/dp/B089XC5F6H/ref=asc_df_B089XC5F6H/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=492117641666&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5196407806813256043&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031961&hvtargid=pla-1156237028110&psc=1

  14. Joanna

    Another Greek here – the method our family uses is to add all of the liquid at the beginning. It roasts out and you still get the little crispy ends with more flavor absorbed into the potatoes. Using Yukon golds you get more of a crispy roasted potato (which I love in other contexts) but I’m a purist when it comes to fluffier russets in traditional lemon potatoes!

  15. Maria

    I wanted to makes something like this for Easter, so thank you for your recipe which came just in time. However, I could not find “Yukon Gold” at the market, but I found “Gold Potatoes.” Are they the same?

  16. Bonnie Rotenberg

    Ohhhh this is one of my favourite ways of making potatoes!!!!Growing up in Toronto we had and still have a very vibrant Greek community and this dish reminds me of the traditional Greek restaurants on the Danforth and going into the open kitchen and choosing your favourite dishes.
    As we are in lockdown I think I will make this tonight.
    Thank you for the reminder of other times,
    Bonnie

  17. Tee

    Made them tonight with yukon golds. Think I would like them without the garlic to let the lemon shine on it’s own, with some nice flakey salt.

  18. Whalin

    My grocery order subbed teeny tiny mixed baby potatoes (gold red blue) for my Yukon potatoes. Think I could still attempt this? And by teeny tiny I mean like the size of half a Brussels sprout of the tip of a thumb.

    1. Terri

      From what I read, yes and yes. EVOO isn’t recommended for temps greater than 350 but refined, pure grade olive oil is. Deb’s recipe calls for olive oil, but not EVOO. I use refined olive oil for frying and roasting, and save my lovely EVOO’s for dressing, dipping and finishing.

      Here’s the article I sourced for my comments:

      https://www.vitalchoice.com/article/can-extra-virgin-olive-oil-stand-your-kitchen-s-heat#:~:text=EVOO%20is%20very%20safe%20for%20cooking%E2%80%A6%20within%20reason&text=Most%20common%20cooking%20oils%20%E2%80%93%20such,sensitive%20omega%2D6%20fatty%20acids.

  19. (Faith) Bledsoe

    Love your work and your recipes! And I often struggle to find the print button, on the rare occasion that I need to print a recipe. Can’t find one at all here. Can someone direct me?

    And can’t wait to try these potatoes for Easter lunch!

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template. We will definitely make it easier to find when we next redesign.

  20. Eliza

    YUM! Super easy and perfect for our Easter brunch. The biggest potato lover in our house didnt love them though but she enjoyed them. I think I will make them again but lighten the lemon a bit.

  21. Kate

    Used this technique with a mix of parsnip and turnip (low carb family member) and it was delicious. (I recommend a quick steam before the roast or a little more broth in the last step since these tend to be firmer the potatoes).

  22. Mickey2942

    Delicious! We had them for dinner. I did “cheat” a bit by putting them in the IP for 5 minutes, and on the barbecue to finish.

  23. Athena Barnjak

    I’m Greek , and needless to say, I was very excited to make these. I used Yukons, and they came out fantastic. Served them with grilled meats for a really satisfying meal. Thanks, Deb!

  24. Jane

    So happy you posted this recipe. I have made a recipe similar called Greek roasted potatoes but that recipe uses a lot more olive oil. Glad to see this recipe using a lot less. The key ingredient is the chicken broth. Who would of known?!
    Thanks for this!

  25. Naomi

    I was halfway through making this and everything was looking delicious. Then I poured in the lemon juice and chicken stock as directed and my pyrex dish and my yummy potatoes exploded in the oven. I think there is something about the temperature change between the hot pan and the room temp liquids. Did anyone else have this problem? How can I fix it? I want to try again because it looked so good right before the explosion. I might try just adding the juice and stock at the beginning. Suggestions?

    1. Fran

      Yes, Pyrex explodes with drastic changes in temperature. If you insist on using glass, another commenter mentioned putting all liquid in at the beginning or you could try heating the liquid so you’re not adding cold liquid to a hot pan. Honestly though I’d just use a different pan

    2. deb

      Oh no! That is terrible news; I’m so sorry. I never roast in glass so hadn’t even considered this. I will make a note in the recipe to avoid using glass or to first warm the liquid. :(

    3. Erica

      I had problems with a porcelain baker, too, even with the oven only at 450 *and* just-heated stock–the second the liquid hit, there was an ominous cracking. (A hairline fracture that didn’t spread all the way, thankfully.) The potatoes were very good, but I’m reluctantly attaching a mental “beware!” to this recipe.

  26. Bea

    This recipe sounds delicious! What would be a good vegetarian main dish to serve with the potatoes? Looking for one of your egg dishes now!

      1. Bea

        Thank you! You are so kind! I’ve been meaning to make that chickpea recipe. This will be dinner tonight with the lemon potatoes.

  27. JP—Seattle

    I made these last night with a mix of red and sweet potatoes (red is what I had for regular potatoes, and my wife prefers sweet potatoes or yams over regular). A couple of the sweet potato pieces got a little too done (my fault; I should’ve adjusted temp or time given the different potato but didn’t) but we just picked those out and devoured the rest. Extremely good!

  28. Sally

    I made these and added more lemon juice and butter etc and added cauliflower florets. OMG I was disappointed there were no leftover! Served warm almost at room temperature. Loved it

  29. Lynda Handley

    Thank you for this recipe, Deb. I served the lemon potatoes with slow roasted shoulder of lamb and they offset the richness of the meat perfectly. Definitely, a keeper.
    Lynda

  30. Tessa

    I am making these potatoes right now. My oven is smoking like crazy! Should I have used a different oil than olive? Is anyone else experiencing this?

  31. Karen

    Whenever I use a metal pan I always line it with parchment paper. Would that make these less crispy? Should I just put the potatoes directly on? Are you using a non-stick metal pan or not? I’m always afraid of scraping off the coating on a non-stick pan. Can you also comment on what kind of olive oil you use? Not extra virgin? I am afraid of getting a lot of smoke at this temperature.

    1. deb

      Nonstick should be fine, I usually prefer stainless steel. It will definitely crisp less with parchment. I use a basic olive oil for high heat roasting. I think it’s called extra-virgin but I’m skeptical, based on the price.

  32. Anna

    Made this today to go with “First Contact Day salmon” (the Vulcans will meet us April 5 2063, per Star Trek) and I found it to be absolutely delicious. The potatoes nearly melt and the chicken broth adds a great savory flavor. Since my potatoes were quite small I only halved instead of quartered.

    Oddly, my husband insisted that these tasted spicy- maybe he got a big bite of garlic? My assessment was savory, tangy, and creamy.

  33. This looks delicious, thanks for this great recipe! I have made the Lebanese-Arabic version called batata harra which uses coriander instead of oregano, but the same lemony taste. Will try your version now!

  34. Elena Varipatis Baker

    I am Greek and LOVE lemon potatoes. I have searched and searched for the perfect recipe. I finally found one a few years ago, but predictably don’t know from whence it was sourced and have been unable to replicate it. This one, though. BLISS! And NOW I know where to find it the next time I have a hankering! I ate them over a bed of arugula with some sauteed mushrooms and some Israeli feta and it was everything.

  35. Northeastern food fanatic

    I had 1 lb of Yukon Golds and 1 lb of fingerlings in the house and decided to use both as a taste test. They were equally tasty.

    I used half the amount of lemon zest and juice and half the amount of broth (vegetable stock) with the possibility of adding more, but didn’t. To us that was plenty of liquid and lemon flavor.

  36. I had to laugh about Russian husband baffled with not-eating potatoes as a kid, so true!!! In Soviet Union we ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Potatoes were everything!!!

  37. JP

    I made a half recipe with Russet potatoes last night and for some reason, at the first turning, they really stuck to the pan. Stuck again, at the second turning. I did a lot of desperate scraping so they were certainly not pretty by the time I was done. Furthermore, because I had them finished about half an hour before we could eat them, they were not even very crisp by then. Flavor was good, but I have to say, I was surprised that they did not turn out as well as I thought they would. Easy enough recipe to follow, it just did not work for me. Sigh!

    1. deb

      What kind of pan did you use? My Russets definitely didn’t want to let go of the white dish, but I had more luck with metal. In general, if they’re not releasing, they need more time, but I also found in a white dish that they just take longer to get nicely brown too.

  38. MN

    We’ve made this several times this week already- so good! On the last batch, after the first 20 minutes of cooking, I added a few thick stalks of cut up asparagus from our garden, and then continued the recipe as written. It was really delicious, I think it might be great with other green veggies, too. Thanks!

  39. Elizabeth

    I made these potatoes for Easter and they were delicious! Note – I did not peel the Yukon Golds before slicing, it saved a step and did not detract from the rich taste. I will definitely add this to our menu list!

  40. Ioanna

    There’s no getting a recipe out of a Greek mother, aunt, or Yiayia. You say that you want the recipe but they just show up with a pan already prepared. Besides, they don’t do recipes. Now I have measurements! They were delicious, thank you!

  41. Amy

    OMG these were ridiculously good! So good there was almost nothing left of the 2 lbs of potatoes, and there were only two of us! We had them with asparagus and swordfish neck – if you haven’t had that pleasure yet, run right out and get yourself some from your favorite fish guy. Consider the neck tip my gift to you, after all these years of such fabulous recipes : ) .

  42. Potatoes are one of the main ingredients in our country’s cuisine. I eat them a lot. But never tried it with a lemon. That looks so delicious, I have to give a try. Thanks for the recipe!

  43. Emily SG

    These are great. Not super fussy but delicious. Will definitely make this recipe again, possibly experimenting with the herbs. Can imagine that dill would be nice.

  44. Suzanne Jones

    I didn’t read the other comments, because I am coming to this recipe a bit late. Let me just say that I love Greek lemon potatoes to an insane degree after eating them in a Greek restaurant in Chicago years ago. I have tried many recipes, but even without trying your recipe yet I can see that it is wonderful. THANKS! I feel vindicated in my weirdly fierce love for this dish.

  45. Sarah L.

    Just had these for dinner, and they were glorious. Used baby yellow potatoes, didn’t peel them, just halved them, and Meyer lemons (cause that’s what I had). Definitely going in the regular rotation. Thanks, Deb, for another beautiful recipe.

  46. Fahreen

    Gosh, this recipe was BOMB! I made about 4lbs of potatoes – used thin skinned gold buttery creamy potatoes and left the skin on. Doubled the recipe and it was spot on! Served with Persian koobideh kebabs and a greek salad.
    Thank you for another hit recipe.

    1. Amy

      How many people did your 4 pounds serve? I am hosting 12 here Saturday and wondering if doubling will be enough. 3 little kids and 3 big kids (hungry teenagers) and the rest adults. Thanks!

      1. Sally

        I doubled it and it would not of fed 12people. I would 4times the recipe. If there r leftovers they r wonderful. Great at room temperature

  47. AP

    So amazing! I served these on a bed of arugula as a side dish for pesto pasta. I used avocado oil because of the high temperature of the oven. The lemon flavor goes really well with peppery arugula!

  48. Anna

    These were 10/10 *chef’s kiss* – I made them for a small dinner party tonight and they were probably the best thing on the menu. I followed the recipe exactly, and they turned out fabulous. So creamy and lemony. I can’t believe how much olive oil is involved, but it’s worth every calorie. I will absolutely be making these again.

  49. Jennie

    These potatoes are FANTASTIC! I made them for Easter dinner a couple of weeks ago and everyone loved them. I made them again tonight & they were even better! This is a new go-to for our family. Thank you!

  50. lee

    incredible!!! making them for the second time in as many weeks. used water because i didn’t have broth, worked great.

  51. Amy G

    These look great! I’m going to try them for our Mother’s Day feast as something different. If I wanted to double this recipe (or basically, use a full 5-lb bag), would that be best done in two separate pans? Anyone try a method for doubling? I wonder if a large turkey roasting pan would work and be large enough for a big batch??

    1. Sallyn

      Please call the company they should replace it and send it no charge. I make these wonderful potatoes in my cheap selection of pans and have never had a problem. I usually roast/bake things on high heat as not to steam but roast.