How to ParBoil Potatoes

by katerina on October 10, 2007

Because potatoes take awhile to cook it is sometimes useful to give them a bit of a head start, and that is where parboiling comes in. Once they have parboiled they have many uses. I put them in salads, fry them up for hash browns or cut them in thin slices and put them on pizza.

How to Parboil Potatoes:

Cover the potatoes with room temperature water and bring to a light boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes (about 15 for a large potato). Take potatoes off the heat and immerse in cool water. Let cool before you handle them. This works best with boiling potatoes.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

ejm October 15, 2007 at 2:24 pm

We always parboil unpeeled yukon gold (baking) potatoes before oven roasting them – drizzling the parboiled potatoes with olive oil and sprinkling with seasalt. Sometimes we add onions and/or garlic and/or fresh herbs too. Delicious!


P.S. Found you through Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging (2nd anniv)


Katerina June 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I don't actually do that this often, but it sounds delicious!


Anonymous August 31, 2009 at 6:07 pm

The real mystery here is; what would possess someone to put potato on pizza?


Katerina August 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm

lol, a terrible affliction and addiction to carbs?

I really like thin slices of potatoes on pizza!


Mandy November 25, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Yes, Potatoes on Pizza is wonderful!! That's why I needed to know how to parboil them : )


CynthiaSC January 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

It would be helpful to have a calculator to see if 10 pounds of potatoes would still take only 15 minutes after boiling. We are making sausage with them today. Happy New Year!


Sarah February 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Steak fries are great on pizza! My favorite pizzeria in the town I grew up in had an Italian Hot Dog Pizza. Hotdogs, onions, peppers and steak fries- yum!


Evan May 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm

potatoes on pizza is VERY Italian, when I traveled there last, they had thinly sliced potatoes on pizza dough with rosemary baked until the potato was golden and crispy, I ate a slice almost everyday on the way home from the job I was doing there.


Melodie March 4, 2011 at 12:20 am

What does parboiling before frying do to the potatoes?I have never heard of doing both.Interesting.


katerina March 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

Melodie – it cooks them through so it doesn’t take as long when you are frying them! You can get them nice and crispy on the outside quickly and you don’t have to wait for the middle to finish cooking.


Adrian March 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Speaking of potatoes on pizza, when I lived in South Korea one of the more popular pizza orders there is called the “goh-gu-mah pizza,” which is a pizza topped with creamy sweet potatoes. I know it sounds strange but it ended up being one of my favs!


katerina March 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Adrian – that sounds good! I just google a korea sweet potato and apparently it is less sweet and has a chestnut like flavour. Neat!


viki September 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

sorry i may be dumb but it doesnt actually say anywhere if you cut the potatoes up before you parboil or if you just do it whole??


katerina September 27, 2011 at 10:51 am

You don’t cut them up first. You do this whole, and you can cut them up afterwards.


Teresa December 29, 2011 at 2:50 am

I had never heard of parboiling potatoes before! Fantastic! You guys inspired me to experiment… I parboiled diced potatoes in salted water, then let them cool for ten minutes. I then put them in a ziplock bag filled with a a drizzle of oil rosemary and chives, shook it about to make sure the potatoes were thoroughly coated and roasted them. I also tried the same with pumpkin but instead of salt in the water, I added honey, and shook it about with oil and finely chopped lemongrass. My version of sweet and sour potato!


katerina December 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

Fun! Thanks for the ideas Teresa.


Scott January 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Why isn’t this just called boiling potatoes? What’s the “par” for? It’s not like 10-15 minutes is much shorter than the regular amount of time to boil them.


katerina January 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

The idea is parboiling = partial boiling.


Michael March 7, 2012 at 7:41 am

Are any vitamins or nutrients lost using this process?


katerina March 8, 2012 at 9:14 am

Michael, I honestly am not sure. Because you are only cooking them the minimum amount I should think not much.


Michelle April 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

Oh, yes! I love chunks of potato on pizza. I had it the first time living in South Korea…yummy! Sometimes I get the urge to get a Hot-n-Ready pizza from the local pizza place and potato wedges from the local chicken place and then eat the wedges on top of the pizza with ranch dressing on top. Parboiling will help me come up with a potato pizza version at home


Chef Eben August 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

Potatoes will boil whole or cut in to any size or shape. Most of the usable nutrients found in potatoes are in the skin. So yes, much of value is lost. Thanks for the fun.


Ali January 2, 2013 at 1:21 am

very helpful, thanks!
how long will parboiled potatoes keep in the fridge/freezer?
The idea is to boil some, and store for use over the week.


katerina January 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Potatoes are actually quite perishable so I would be conservative – maybe 2-3 days? You will find different answers if you google. Also make sure you cool and refrigerate quickly!


ghostman May 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I boiled mine in salt water, cooked them in olive oil until the turned golden brown, seasoned with basil and onion powder.


benzo September 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Hint: use an apple divider (the one you push down on) to instantly cut up the parboiled potatoes, then pan fry in olive oil for 10min – the best wedges you will ever eat!


katerina September 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Great tip!


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