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Fried Potatoes with Garlic & Thyme

My best pan fried potatoes with garlic and thyme are one of my favourite easy potato side dishes. I like to use new potatoes, leaving the skin on the potatoes, and sauteing in olive oil until crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy in the centre.

A cast iron skillet set on a wooden trivet, filled with fried potatoes in a garlic and thyme butter, garnished with fresh herbs.

With these easy fried potatoes I add butter, garlic and thyme towards the end of the cook to add extra layers of flavour to really elevate the dish. Pan fried potatoes are one of my favourite potato sides as they are easy to cook and taste great.

For the best fried potatoes I’ve used new season Jersey Royals. I love the earthiness of a Jersey Royal and make the most of them for the short time they are on our supermarket shelves. However, year round you can make these with any variety of new or salad potato.

Of course hailing from Scotland as I do, I would call these fried tatties, I don’t think I’ve ever called them sauteed potatoes in my own home. Whatever you call them, these pan fried potatoes are utterly delicious and a great alternative to a simple boiled potato.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The perfect balance of flavours earthy potatoes with rich butter and a burst of fresh herbs with the garlic and thyme.
  • Using a few basic ingredients you have an easy potato side dish that can be cooked and ready to enjoy in just 20 minutes.
  • Feed a crowd as this recipe is easily doubled up.
  • This potato recipe is gluten free, and you can make it dairy free and vegan by leaving out the butter.

Recipe ingredients

Fried potato recipe ingredients set out individually.
  • Potatoes – I’ve used Jersey Royal potatoes in this recipe, as I love the earthy flavour. However, they are not in season very long, so the rest of the year I make this potato dish with any variety of new or salad potato.
  • Oil – I like to saute the potatoes in olive oil, you could also use sunflower or rapeseed oil. Don’t be tempted to use extra virgin olive oil, whilst it has a great nutty flavour it has a very low burn temperature that’s not suited to sauteeing.
  • Butter – I use salted or unsalted butter, towards the end of the cook to add depth of flavour to the potatoes, along with the garlic and thyme. For a dairy free version of this dish, replace the butter with a dairy free alternative, or leave it out of the dish entirely and just saute the herbs in the olive oil.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic has the best flavour and is added to the dish for the last 2 minutes of the cook, along with the butter.
  • Fresh Thyme – Adds great flavour to the potatoes and pairs really well with the potatoes and garlic used in this dish.
  • Seasoning – I season the potatoes with sea salt whilst they are boiling, and also add a little extra at the end of the cook. I also like to add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed black pepper to the potatoes before serving.

How to fry potatoes in oil

  • Scrub the new potatoes, washing them but leaving the skin on. Cut the potatoes into even bite-sized chunks.
  • Place the potatoes into a large saucepan, along with a teaspoon of sea salt. Cover with boiling water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a sieve. Set aside and allow the potatoes to steam dry for 5 minutes.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Now add the par-boiled potatoes and cook until golden and crispy all over, and the centre of the potatoes have softened. This will take 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.

TOP TIP: If you want super crispy potatoes you can stop cooking at this stage here and just add the crushed garlic and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  • Add the butter to the frying pan, along with the crushed garlic and thyme leaves. Season with black pepper and additional sea salt to taste.
  • Toss the potatoes in the seasoned butter for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and serve.

Recipe variations

  • I’ve used new season Jersey royals in this recipe as they have great flavour and I like to make the most of them when they are around. However, you can make this potato dish all year round using any variety of new or salad potato.
  • If using larger, floury potatoes you may wish to remove the skin. Once peeled and cut, it’s also worth soaking floury potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes as this will remove some of the starches, allowing the potatoes to crisp up better. I find you don’t need to do this with waxy new potatoes.
  • I’ve used garlic and thyme in this recipe, but you can flavour the butter with any other fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, sage.
  • You can also add some spices to the potatoes towards the end of the cook, at the same time as you would the garlic and thyme. For example, you could add smoked paprika, ground cumin, whole cumin seeds or fennel seeds.
A cast iron skillet set on a wooden trivet, filled with fried potatoes in a garlic and thyme butter, garnished with fresh herbs.

Serving suggestions

This versatile side dish can be served alongside a variety of main dishes. I serve them with everything from roast chicken at a weekend, to beef burgers when I have the barbecue on. Try them with my Roast Pork Belly, slow cooked Paprika Beef, or my Creamy Chicken in Tarragon Sauce.

Useful hints and tips

  1. Always season potatoes with salt while you boil them as this will really improve the flavour of the finished dish. Only adding salt afterward won’t give the same level of seasoning.
  2. For super crispy skinned potatoes don’t add the butter as it can soften the skins a little. Instead add the garlic and thyme to the seasoned oil, cook for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
  3. For dairy free or vegan diners swap the butter for a dairy free alternative, or leave the butter out entirely and add the garlic and thyme leaves to the oil instead.
  4. Allergy advice: gluten free, egg free, soya free and nut free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice go to Allergy UK.
A cast iron skillet filled with fried potatoes in a garlic and thyme butter, garnished with fresh herbs.

FAQs

Is it necessary to boil potatoes before frying?

Whilst it’s not strictly necessary to boil the potatoes first, it does speed up the cooking process and result in a lovely soft centred potato. However, it’s entirely down to choice and if you prefer you can just saute the potatoes, just ensure you adjust the cooking times.

Should potatoes be dried before frying?

Once I’ve parboiled the potatoes I like to steam dry them in a sieve for 5 minutes which removes any excess moisture before frying them.

Is it better to fry potatoes in butter or oil?

I like to use both, I start off my frying the potatoes in oil as it has a higher burn temperature than butter. I then add butter towards the end of the cook as butter adds to the flavour.

How to store leftover fried potatoes?

Once cooled, leftover potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Then all you need to do is heat them up in a frying pan until warmed through.

As they have such great flavour, I also like to add leftover fried potatoes to frittata’s or to make a hash style dish.

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Pinnable image with recipe title and a cast iron skillet filled with fried potatoes in a garlic and thyme butter, garnished with fresh herbs.

Additional recipe suggestions

If you like this recipe then try some of my favourite potato side recipes:

If you are looking to change things up a bit, have a look at my Best Potato Side Dishes post. It’s full of useful hints and tips, along with all my favourite potato side recipes.

A cast iron skillet set on a wooden trivet, filled with fried potatoes in a garlic and thyme butter, garnished with fresh herbs.

Fried Potatoes with Garlic & Thyme

Pan fried potatoes with garlic and thyme are an easy potato side dish. Use new potatoes, leaving the skin, saute in olive oil until crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy in the centre, then finish with butter, garlic and thyme.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 210kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • medium saucepan
  • Large sieve or colander
  • Cast iron or non-stick skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 kg new potatoes (scrubbed, skin on)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (plus extra for seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves (remove leaves from stem and discard stem)
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Scrub the new potatoes, washing them but leaving the skin on. Cut the potatoes into even bite-sized chunks.
  • Place the potatoes into a large saucepan, along with a teaspoon of sea salt. Cover with boiling water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a sieve. Set aside and allow the potatoes to steam dry for 5 minutes.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Now add the par-boiled potatoes and cook until golden and crispy all over, and the centre of the potatoes have softened. This will take 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  • Add the butter to the frying pan, along with the crushed garlic and thyme leaves. Season with black pepper and additional sea salt to taste.
  • Toss the potatoes in the seasoned butter for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

Potatoes: I’ve used new season Jersey royals in this recipe as they have great flavour and I like to make the most of them when they are around. However, you can make this potato dish all year round using any variety of new potato.
Herbs: I’ve used garlic and thyme in this recipe, but you can flavour the butter with any other fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, sage.
Crispy Potatoes: For crispy skinned potatoes don’t add the butter. Instead add the garlic and thyme to the seasoned oil, cook for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
Nutrition Facts
Fried Potatoes with Garlic & Thyme
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 436mg19%
Potassium 718mg21%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 186IU4%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Canape, Starter, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine : British
Keyword : best fried potatoes, best pan fried potatoes, easy fried potatoes, fried tatties, pan fried potatoes, sauteed potatoes
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