This cheesy oven roasted potatoes recipe combines three types of cheese and is topped with crispy toasted panko breadcrumbs.
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Cheesy oven roasted potatoes are a nice change from traditional mashed potatoes. Red skinned potatoes are thinly sliced, layered in a skillet, the topped with three types of cheese and crispy and buttery Panko breadcrumbs.
Choosing the Right Potato for Roasting
There are dozens of varieties of potatoes out there. Some of the most common types you may be familiar with are Russet, Yukon Gold, fingerling, and red-skinned varieties. Despite its name, sweet potatoes aren’t actually a potato at all.
Starchy potatoes such as Russet are great for baking, frying and mashing, but don’t hold up so well when roasted. For that, you want to go with a waxy, less starchy potato such as fingerling or red-skinned potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are kind of universal, in that they will fit the bill for both. Red-skinned and fingerling potatoes have a thin skin that you can eat. No peeling means less work for you!
When choosing a potato, look for firm potatoes with no blemishes or bruises. Stay away from potatoes that are wrinkled, starting to sprout, smell unusual or have green spots on them.
Choosing the Right Cheese
For this recipe, I chose three varieties of cheese — fontina, Parmesan and blue cheese. Fontina is a soft, cow’s milk cheese with a mild taste. Its flavor is close to that of Gruyère, provolone, and Gouda and each of those can be substituted if Fontina is not available where you live.
If you’ve ever eaten Italian food, then you are familiar with hard, salty Parmesan cheese. Blue cheese is a cow’s milk cheese that contains veins of blue mold. It’s perfectly safe to eat, though it isn’t recommended for pregnant women. Other substitutions would include Gorgonzola or Danish Blue cheese. Blue cheese has a strong pungent flavor that’s not for everyone. If the flavor of blue cheese turns you off, consider leaving it out or subbing it with feta cheese.
How are Panko breadcrumbs different than regular breadcrumbs?
I prefer to use regular breadcrumbs for recipes that require a binding agent, such as meatloaf or meatballs. But when it comes to a toasty, crispy topping, I always opt for Panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are a type of Japanese breadcrumbs that are lighter and crispier than regular breadcrumbs.
They really retain their crunchy texture, even when baked, which is why I love to use it as a topping for this recipe. You can typically find Panko breadcrumbs in the spice and baking aisle right next to regular breadcrums.
How to Make Cheesy Oven Roasted Potatoes
Step one. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees while you prep for the rest of the recipe.
Step two. Bring a large stock pot of lightly salted water to a boil. We are going to parboil the potatoes, which means we are going to start the cooking process, but not cook them all the way through. This ensures that the potatoes will be tender when the casserole finally comes out of the oven.
It’s really important to salt your water. As the potatoes boil, they will absorb the salty water and gain flavor.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, slice your redskinned potatoes into 1/4-inch slices. You can absolutely do this using a sharp chef’s knife, but I prefer to use a mandoline slicer because it’s faster and ensures I get even, uniform slices.
Once the water has come to a boil, add the sliced potatoes to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and boil for about 10 minutes. You want the potatoes to be slightly tender, but again, not cooked all the way though.
Step three. In a small skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add three cloves of minced garlic and cook just until you can start to smell the aroma of the garlic. Add the garlic to the potatoes, along with the cheeses. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
Step four. You can cook this in a greased 8 x 8 x 2 inch casserole dish or like I did, in a greased 10-inch cast iron skillet. Arrange the sliced potatoes evenly around the dish or skillet. Pour the buttermilk over the potatoes.
Step five. Melt three tablespoons of butter, then mix the butter with 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top of the potatoes.
Step six. Bake the potatoes for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. If the breadcrumbs begin to brown too quickly, loosely cover the top of the casserole with foil and continue baking.
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Cheesy Roasted Potato Bake
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme crushed
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 4 ounces fontina cheese shredded (1 cup)
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese finely shredded (1 cup)
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup panko Japanese-style bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, over medium heat. Slice potatoes into ¼-inch slices. Add potatoes to pot and parboil for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly tender. Drain potatoes and return to pot.
- In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and add the garlic. Sauté until tender and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add garlic to potatoes along with cheeses and salt and pepper. Gently stir potatoes to combine ingredients.
- Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 inch casserole dish. Evenly spread potatoes in the dish. Pour buttermilk over mixture.
- Melt remaining three tablespoons of butter and mix with panko breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. Spread breadcrumbs over top of potatoes.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. If breadcrumb topping begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover pan with foil.