New potatoes are any variety of potato that has been harvested early. Typically they are early to mid varieties of potato harvested in 50 to 90 days from planting. Because they are harvested early, new potatoes, also called baby potatoes, are not fully mature and are smaller.
New Potatoes have thin skin, so be nice to them. They do not need to be peeled and people that typically do not like leaving the skin on their potatoes may find they don’t mind the tender skin on new potatoes. If you want to remove the you should be able to simply rub it off with your hands.
New potatoes are typically sweeter and higher in moisture content because their sugar has not been converted to starch yet. They are typically a waxy potato that hold their shape well after cooking making them good for using in soups or potato salads.
Best Potato Varieties for New Potatoes
Any early or mid season potato can be grown and harvested as a new potato but there are certain varieties that are definitely worth having early in the season.
- Yukon Gold – The well known and popular Yukon Gold. It’s medium starch content makes it a good all-purpose potato in the kitchen. It’s one of my personal favorites and a great choice to have as a first potato of the year.
- Dark Red Norland – Another extremely popular choice for new potatoes is the Dark Red Norland Potato. Commonly referred to as baby reds, this variety produces consistent and decent sized new potatoes. It has thin waxy red skin with yellow flesh and is considered an excellent choice for boiling.
- Huckleberry Gold’s – Huckleberry Gold’s are a beautiful potato with purple skin and golden flesh. They are extremely frost resistant so a great choice to plant as an early potato. They’ve also been found to have a low glycemic index, a rare quality in potatoes, and a high amount of antioxidants.
- Amarosa Fingerling – The Amarosa Fingerling has a wine colored exterior and a pinkinsh red flesh that keeps its color during cooking. The Amarosa is a heavy yielding potato and is great for baking, roasting, grilling, and can be fried up into pink chips. It is a mid season potato so it will probably not be your earliest new potato.
- Adirondack Blue – The Adirondack Blue as the name suggests has a blue skin and flesh with a purple tint. The potato keeps its color even after being cooked making it a favorite for colorful plating dishes. The same substance, anthocyanins, that gives blueberries their color and high level of antioxidants are present in the Adirondack potato.
- Carola – Carola potatoes is another yellow potato and a good alternative to a Yukon Gold. It comes in about two week laters than Yukon Gold but has the same golden interior and all purpose qualities
- Red Pontiac – The Red Pontiac is another great choice for new potatoes. This variety is praised for it’s adaptability and ease of growing as well as for it’s consistent yields and flavor. It has red skin and white flesh.
How to Harvest New Potatoes
New potatoes can be harvested from the time the potatoes have flowered and on with a general time being 2-3 weeks after flowering. If you have a variety of potato that doesn’t flower you can figure somewhere in the 8-10 week range for an early variety.
The best way to dig new potatoes out to minimize damage to the plant is by hand. If your soil is soft this will be easy but if it’s not you may need to use tools. If you do use tools try to dig at least a foot away from the plant and gain access from the side.
After you gain access to the tubers from the side use your hands to pull them away from the roots. After seeing the size of the new potatoes you can decide whether you want to harvest the whole plant or allow some of the potatoes to continue to grow. If you decide you want some to continue to grow just fill the hole back up.
Storing new potatoes doesn’t make much sense as you could just leave them in the ground to grow bigger if you don’t plan to use them right away but if you do want to store them here’s a few ways to do it.
New potatoes should be stored in a cool dark place. If you can store them in complete dark and a temperature of around 40-50 degrees they should last for a month or two.
If you can’t store new potatoes in a cold temperature plan on using them within a week of harvest. New potatoes have thin skin and don’t store as well as potatoes that have matured and toughen up towards the end of the plants life cycle.
After harvesting new potatoes brush off dirt but do not wash them until you are ready to use them. If the potatoes do get wet dry them well.
Recipes for New Potatoes
Here are some recipes that are centered around new potatoes. If you can’t find new potatoes yellow, red, or fingerling potato varieties make for the best substitutes.
Roasted New Potatoes With Parmesean and Fresh Herbs – This is a very simple and quick recipe good for yellow or red varieties, or any variety that does well roasting.
Bacon Wrapped New Potatoes – This recipe calls for bacon wrapped new potatoes to be cooked on the grill and served with a toothpick in it. Sprinkled with a powdered ranch dressing mix and served with bbq sauce and ranch on the side this one’s sure to be a hit.
Potato Salad with Smoked Sausage – A hearty potato salad with pieces of smoked sausage, new potatoes, and garden veggies topped with a flavorful salad dressing.
Lemon Horseradish New Potatoes – This recipe has a tangy flavorful sauce to accompany the new potatoes.
Syracuse Salt Potatoes – Here’s a simple dish with a long history that calls for new potatoes to be boiled in salt water and then covered in butter.
Please comment below with any thoughts or experiences you have with new potatoes!