Salt Potatoes

Syracuse Salt Potatoes are new or small potatoes cooked in salty water and then served with butter and fresh herbs. They’re delightfully salty on the outside and really creamy on the inside. They are a wonderful side dish to so many things.

Salt Potatoes

Salt potatoes are a classic in Upstate New York, and are especially loved during the summer months. As the gardens start to grow and the little baby potatoes are harvested, it’s the perfect time to bring out the salt, cook these potatoes and serve them with fresh garden herbs.

Water that is heavily salted boils a lot faster, which means the potatoes are extra creamy on the inside. They cook through fairly quickly because the water boils so fast and because the potatoes are small. With the astonishing amount of salt, you would expect the potatoes to be uber salty, but they actually aren’t. The outside of the potatoes have a salty exterior, but as you bite into the potatoes, they’re not salty in the least. The cooked potatoes have an ashy white coating from the abundance of salt that they cooked in, and give these potatoes their signature look. Served with melted butter and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, you won’t be disappointed in the delicious favorite of Central New Yorkers. 

I grew up in about an hour from Syracuse, and there are so many wonderful recipes from this great part of this country that are my favorites to this day. These Salt Potatoes are at the top of the list. Another regional favorite from Central NY is the delicious pasta dish Chicken Riggies, it’s flavorful, creamy and spicy.

What Are Salt Potatoes?

Syracuse, NY has a history of producing salt for a long time. Instead of a sandwich, the mine workers would bring a portion of small potatoes wrapped in newspaper or a small bag and cook them in the available salty water. These salty, creamy potatoes which started out as a cheap and convenient lunch staple, soon became a regional favorite.

Ingredients:

  • new or small potatoes (red, white or yellow)
    • it’s really important to use small whole potatoes, with the skin on. If you peel or cut the potatoes, they will be incredibly salty. Also, choose potatoes that are approximately the same size, so they cook at the same time.
  • water
  • table/sea salt or kosher salt
  • melted butter, to pour over the potatoes when serving
  • ground black pepper
  • fresh herbs – dill, chives or parsley, minced
Ingredients For Salt Potatoes

How To Make Salt Potatoes

  1. Scrub the potatoes. It’s very important to keep the potatoes whole and not peel them.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and pour in the water and add the salt.
  3. Cook the potatoes. Bring the potatoes to a boil in the covered pot and cook until the potatoes can be pierced with a paring knife or fork, 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
  5. Serve. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them. Pour the melted butter over the potatoes, sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with fresh herbs.

What to Serve With Salt Potatoes:

Salt Potatoes with fresh herbs
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Salt Potatoes

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  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lbs small potatoes, red, white or yellow
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups table salt or 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/21 stick (1/41/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh herbs – dill, chives or parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Scrub the potatoes. It’s very important to keep the potatoes whole and not peel them. If you peel or cut the potatoes, they will be incredibly salty. Also, choose potatoes that are approximately the same size, so they cook at the same time. Place them in a large pot and pour in the water and add the salt.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil in the covered pot and cook until the potatoes can be pierced with a paring knife or fork, 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them. Pour the melted butter over the potatoes, sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with fresh herbs.

Notes

If you have any leftover potatoes, they are absolutely delicious pan fried. I like them so much, I purposely make extra potatoes, just so I can have leftovers to crisp up to golden brown perfection in a skillet the next day.

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This is an updated version of the Salt Potatoes recipe that was published originally on May 5, 2014. The recipe is the same; I updated the photos, added a video and clarified the instructions.

22 Comments

  • Anna @ Happy Medley

    Salt potatoes are perfect for summer grilling and with any kind of meat… Thanks for the recipe

  • Mariya

    My uncle told me this recipe a year ago he said they always cooked them this way in ukraine. I wanted to try it but then forgot about it.I never knew that here this is a known recipe also. That’s amazing! Thank you for sharing, I really should try it now lol

  • Sasha

    Wow I can’t believe using that much salt doesn’t result in salty potatoes. What an interesting concept. I would also add some crushed garlic to that butter šŸ˜‰

    • olgak7

      Isn’t it incredible! It always shocks me every time I do them and pour in the salt. It seems like the potatoes will be inedible. But, once you take a bite, you’ll see that they’re not salty at all. Actually, when I pan fry the leftovers the next day and cut them up into smaller pieces, I actually add a little bit more salt. Crushed garlic will be great here. I add it myself sometimes too.

  • Milana

    Oh how I enjoy salt potatoes!! Those were the days, when mom would prepare the potatoes with the cold soup- haladnik. lol I don’t know how to spell it haha
    But thanks for the awesome recipe with beautiful step-by-step pictures Olga!

  • Ellis

    My brother recommended I may like this website.
    He was totally right. This submit truly made my day.
    You cann’t believe just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    This recipe is such a give away that someone grew up in CNY – I’m from Syracuse! I introduced them to my in-laws who thought they were the best thing ever. Now that I live in Michigan I get excited whenever I see something from “home”.

  • Healing Tomato

    This is a great recipe. I lived in NYC and went upstate quite often, especially to the Adirondacks. This was a common dish which always made me wonder how they got the salty and creamy mixture. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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