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Simple Parsley Potatoes With Zest

Zesty, buttery parsley potatoes are a perfect side dish for any grilled or roasted chicken, meat, fish or seafood. Easy, packed with flavor and made in about 20 minutes.

Use the recipe as a guideline. There’s really no need to measure carefully. And, as always, there are several variations you can try.

parsley potatoes with zest in white bowl

What to expect

  1. Herby, zesty, buttery boiled potatoes.
  2. Five simple ingredients – potatoes, butter, parsley, lemon, salt.
  3. A super easy side dish for weeknights or company.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

fingerling potatoes, parsley, lemon, butter, salt

Here are the ingredients you need along with a few substitutions and variations.

Potatoes: I prefer to use fingerling (pictured) or baby potatoes – red, yellow or white. You can also use Yukon gold potatoes cut into smaller pieces. All these types of potatoes tend to be creamy when cooked which is how I like them.

Herbs: I use curly parsley. Flat leaf parsley is fine too. Variations: Other great choices are cilantro, chives or dill. Keep in mind some people really don’t like cilantro. Feel free to garnish with finely chopped green onions.

Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine. If using salted butter, reduce the amount of extra salt you use. Variations: You can substitute the butter with olive oil or a butter substitute. And reduce the amount used if you’re counting calories and fat.

Lemon: I just use lemon zest, but you can certainly add a splash of lemon juice as well.

Step by step instructions

Scroll down to the bottom to see the full recipe.

cut up potatoes, zest, salt, chopped parsley
Prep: Wash and cut the potatoes into even pieces. Chop the parsley leaves. Zest the lemon.
cut potatoes with water in pot
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Add salt.
potatoes boiling in pot
Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and boil gently, partially covered, about 8-12 minutes (depending on size of pieces) or until fork tender.
cooked potatoes drained in pot
Drain potatoes in a colander and place back into the pot.
parsley zest butter and salt on top of cooked potatoes in pot
Add fresh parsley, lemon zest and butter. Gently toss and add salt (and pepper if you like) to taste.
parsley potatoes in white bowl
Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.
two parsley potatoes on spoon

Tip

When boiling potatoes, start with cold water. This ensures more even cooking and less chance of mushy potatoes.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to store potatoes?

Store potatoes in a cool, dark place, NOT the fridge. They will last about 1 week.

What is the best way to boil potatoes?

Start boiling potatoes with cold salted water for even cooking. Heat to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Leave the cover off or cover the pot partially.

Are potatoes healthy?

Potatoes have some good health benefits. Yes, they have a lot of carbs, but they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. According to the Cleveland Clinic, one medium cooked russet potato with skin contains 25% of daily potassium, 35% of daily vitamin C, 30% of daily vitamin B6, four grams of dietary fiber, five grams of protein and 110 calories.

How much potatoes do I need per serving?

Figure 1/3 to 1/2 pound of potatoes per person, depending on who you are serving and how many other dishes you’re serving at the same time.

Shortcuts

  • Buying pre-washed and scrubbed baby potatoes will save a couple of minutes.
  • Reduce time to boil the potatoes by cutting them into smaller pieces. But not smaller that 1 inch/2.5 cm or they may fall apart.

Make ahead

Make the parsley potatoes recipe several hours or even a day or two ahead. Reheat the dish in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, covered, stirring in between.

Store leftover parsley potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Note that the parsley will turn a duller green if kept in the fridge and reheated with the potatoes. The flavors will still be great though. You can keep the parsley brighter by adding it after reheating.

parsley potatoes with zest in white bowl

If you love potatoes, try…

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parsley potatoes with zest in white bowl
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5 from 4 votes

Simple Parsley Potatoes With Zest

Buttery, zesty parsley potatoes are a great side dish for any grilled or roasted chicken, meat, fish or seafood. Easy, packed with flavor and made in about 20 minutes.
Prep Time8 hours 8 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half (or quarters if larger), Note 1
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (for salted water when boiling potatoes)

Toppings/Garnish

  • 3 tablespoons soft salted or unsalted butter, Note 2
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, Note 3 remove larger stems before chopping
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste) if butter is salted, use less added salt

Instructions

  • BOIL THE POTATOES: Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Use just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boil over high heat, lower to medium heat and cook the potatoes on a gentle boil until easily pierced with a fork, about 8-12 minutes (depending on the size of the potato pieces). Drain and put potatoes back in the pot.
  • ADD PARSLEY AND OTHER GARNISH: Add butter, zest and soft butter on top of the potatoes. Gently mix to coat potatoes evenly. The butter will melt on the hot potatoes. Taste, then add as much salt as needed (and black pepper if you like). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  1. Type of potato to use:
    • I generally use baby potatoes (also called new potatoes). They can be red, white or yellow. If the baby potatoes are on the larger side, cut them in quarters instead of halves. You can buy pre-washed baby potatoes in a bag to save a minute or two. 
    • You can substitute baby potatoes with other waxy potatoes with thin skins such as Yukon gold potatoes or fingerling potatoes. Just cut these larger potatoes into small pieces. No need to peel them. 
    • I don’t suggest using russet potatoes as they don’t hold their shape as well and need to be peeled.
  2. Butter options:
    • Salted or unsalted butter is fine. If using salted butter, reduce the amount of extra salt you use.
    • Variations: You can substitute the butter with olive oil or a butter substitute. And reduce the amount used if you’re counting calories and fat. Olive oil will have a different flavor than the rich taste of butter, but the fresh flavor of parsley will still shine through. 
  3. Parsley and other herb options:
    •  I use curly parsley. Flat-leaf parsley (also called Italian parsley) is fine too.
    • Other good choices for fresh herbs are cilantro, chives or dill. Keep in mind some people really don’t like cilantro.
    • Feel free to garnish with finely chopped green onions. 
    • I don’t suggest using dried herbs for this dish. Fresh is best.
  4. Make Ahead:
    • Make the parsley potatoes recipe several hours or even a day or two ahead. Reheat the dish in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, covered, stirring in between.
    • Store leftover parsley potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
    • Note that the parsley will turn a duller green if kept in the fridge and reheated with the potatoes. The flavors will still be great though. You can keep the parsley brighter by adding it after reheating.
Keep in mind you can vary the amount of parsley, lemon and butter to your taste. Use the recipe as a guideline.
Nutritional information is estimated based on a nutrition calculator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 687IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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