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Rosemary-Butter Roasted Little Potatoes

Rosemary butter roasted little potatoes are the side dish everyone will want seconds of, so make double! Bright rosemary tossed on tender roasted potatoes and rolled in melted butter breathes fresh life in to the humble spud.

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a bowl of little potatoes with rosemary and butter

You’ve baked. You’ve boiled. You’ve fried.

But have you rosemary-buttered?

I had no idea what I was missing until I made these great little roasted potatoes. When the herbs and butter are tossed on golden brown, crispy potatoes something magical happens and people clean their plates.

Smashed just a bit, the potatoes release their fluffy interior–giving more space to season–so your potatoes have even better flavor with less effort.

What little potatoes are best for roasting?

You’ll find little potatoes in many varieties. The most common are Yukon gold or baby red or white. You may even see them labeled as “new potatoes”. Russet potatoes–the big brown ones you buy for baking or in a big bag–aren’t usually sold in their little form.

Most of the small ones in the grocery store are a more “waxy” variety but that’s fine in this case.

Waxy potatoes simply have more starch and if you had chosen to mash them–they can get gluey and thick very quickly.

And since you won’t be whipping these in a mixer, they hold up great to roasting.

What you’ll need for this recipe

  • Little potatoes–any kind or color is fine. About 1.5 pounds.
  • Avocado oil or any high heat oil you prefer. I don’t recommend olive oil here.
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Melted butter. Use real butter and not margarine or tub butter.

Other optional flavorings

Some people love garlic here but fresh will burn in the oven during roasting so use garlic powder if you want the flavor.

Parmesan cheese is also great sprinkled on before roasting. It adds saltiness and will get crispy on the potatoes.

Want some spice? Try red pepper flakes.

a baking tray with roasted potatoes and a spatula

The key to evenly cooked little potatoes

It’s pretty tough to get all potatoes to roast evenly in the oven without a bit of pre cooking. I do a steam in the microwave to get mine just fork tender (not falling apart) but you can also do this on the stovetop if you would prefer. One of these days I’d love to get rid of the microwave altogether.

Add the little potatoes to a bowl with a bit of water in the bottom and cover the bowl with a microwave safe plate or lid and steam the potatoes, stirring them halfway through. Take them out when a fork just manages to pierce them.

Precooking them means all they need to do in the oven is get crispy and golden.

Should potatoes be soaked before roasting?

No it’s not necessary. It’s just one more step to take up your time and won’t make that much difference in the end.

a bowl of steamed potatoes with a fork in one

How to finish roasted little potatoes

Transfer your potatoes to a baking tray and give them room to spread out so they get beautiful golden brown as they roast. Use the bottom of a glass or jar to flatten them just slightly. This helps the fluffy inside of the potato expose itself so you can season all parts of the potato more effectively.

a hand pressing down on steamed potatoes on a baking tray

Once all the potatoes have had a little press down, drizzle them with avocado oil and salt. You can use olive oil if you want to–I’ve just learned that heating olive oil can turn it toxic really quickly so I avoid it now. Don’t use melted butter on your potatoes yet either. It will burn in the high heat of the oven.

a baking tray with smashed potatoes that have avocado oil, salt and pepper

Use a high heat oven to really blast your potatoes to the land of golden and crispy fast. I estimate about 20 minutes in the oven but if yours runs hot, you may only need 12 or 15. Just keep an eye on them and bring them out when they are nice and golden all over.

Then while the pan is still screaming hot, add the butter and rosemary and toss to coat. You may need a bit more salt, but you can taste them after they have cooled enough not to burn your mouth. Or just do what I do and peel the inside of your mouth off by eating them when they’re hot.

a bowl of little potatoes with rosemary and butter

Troubleshooting tip: Why your potatoes didn’t get crispy

Listen to me carefully, Smalls. The two most common reasons your potatoes don’t crisp are:

  1. They are too close together on the pan. If you need to, use two so everyone has ample space.
  2. Your pan had sides that were too high. High sided pans like those on roasting pans can be at least two inches tall and those high sides hold in steam. Make sure your baking sheet has a low rim–just enough to keep drips from spilling over so steam can escape.

How to store roasted potatoes

I’d be shocked if you even have any to store, but okay. Place them in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to a week. You can re warm them in a skillet, the oven or the microwave. I think they would even freeze well too.

Recipe ideas to serve with roasted potatoes

These potatoes are great with so many main dishes! Try:

a bowl of little potatoes with rosemary and butter

Rosemary-Butter Roasted Little Potatoes

Tender little potatoes tossed in rosemary and butter make the perfect side dish.
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Steam Time 12 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1.5 pounds little potatoes about 2" in diameter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with the water and cover with a plate or safe lid. Microwave until the potatoes are fork tender–about 12 minutes total, but check yours at about 6 minutes and go from there.
  • Once the potatoes are just tender but not falling apart, drain the water and transfer them to the baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass or jar to flatten them slightly.
  • Toss with avocado oil and salt and bake until golden on the edges–about 15 to 20 minutes. Check yours at 12 minutes and go from there.
  • Once golden brown, remove from the oven and pour over the butter and rosemary and toss while the potatoes are still hot. Serve warm.


Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 688mgPotassium: 783mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 304IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
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Course Side Dish

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.