Different Types of Potatoes: Your Guide to the Potato Rainbow

sweet, white, and purple potatoes
Sweet, white, and purple potatoes

When it comes to picking our carbs, we can never say no to a potato. Whether we’re feasting on tater tots at a diner, mashing up Russets at home, or adding potatoes to our sautés and salads, we’re truly potato people at heart. With so many types of potatoes to love, it’s impossible to get tired of eating them.

The potato doesn’t start at the French fry and end at the loaded baked potato. Check out a local farm stand and you’ll find dozens of types of potatoes in every color. Every time we visit a potato vendor, we’re struck again by the immense variety. The colors, shapes, sizes, and textures range from waxy little fingerlings to sweet orange yams that make us yearn for Thanksgiving.

List of Types of Potato Varieties

Multicolored Baby Potatoes

Multicolored Baby Potatoes

These tri-colored, tiny potatoes are both delicious and adorable. They have thin skins and a waxy interior. They’re well-suited for roasting or boiling, but their waxy flesh isn’t ideal for mashing. The thin skin doesn’t need to be peeled if you’re roasting or boiling, which makes preparation easy. We love using these tiny potatoes to make incredible salads. Simply boil them, toss with a tarragon and cornichon dressing, and eat warm with a dinner like our Chicken Paillard and Tomato Salad.

Purple Potatoes

Purple Potatoes

Purple potatoes are a type of fingerling potato native to South America. Their flesh is fluffy, starchy, and moist, with a medium-thin skin. They’re rich in antioxidants, and have an earthy and slightly nutty flavor. We love them roasted or smashed. They’re the perfect side dish to serve them up with similarly earthy Brussels sprouts and crispy chicken legs in this fantastic fall chicken dish.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Golds are known for their thin skin and golden interior. These popular potatoes can range in size from pretty teeny, to nearly baked-potato size. If you’re looking for bite-sized pieces, you can always cut down a large one. Yukon Gold potatoes work in a wide variety of recipes. They’re excellent roasted, smashed, or tossed with a creamy dressing in dishes like Trout with Creamy Potato Salad and Wilted Spinach.

Heirloom Fingerling Potatoes

Heirloom Fingerling Potatoes

Some of our favorite heirloom fingerling potatoes have whimisical names like “Russian banana potatoes,” or “red thumbs,” but that’s not the only reason we like them. Because of the thin skin, you can peel heirloom fingerlings easily after boiling. That’s how we prepare them for our Potato-Pepper Hash.

types of fingerling potatoes

Baby Red Potatoes

baby red potato

These little red cuties are white as snow in the inside with a beautiful bright red skin that doesn’t need to be peeled off in most preparations. Like Yukon Golds, these are really versatile. We especially love them crisped up, as in our Flat Iron Steaks with Artichoke and Potato Hash.

Russet Potato

russet potato

Russet potatoes, the hero of the potato family, are widely known. If you close your eyes and picture a potato, we bet you’re seeing a Russet. They’re popular for a reason. Nothing replaces their fluffy, starchy interiors when you’re making mashed potatoes or potato wedges to go with one of our homemade burgers. For creamy mashed potatoes, we recommend peeling your russets, but if you crisp it in the oven, the skin can be delicious.

Types of Sweet Potatoes

Garnet sweet potatoes

There are actually several varieties of the classic sweet potato—sometimes conversationally referred to as yams. Garnet sweet potatoes are one of our favorite types of potatoes. Garnets are hearty and full of vitamins, and contain a good bit of protein. When roasted, they cook up sweet and fluffy. We like to peel and chop them, then sauté with other ingredients like onions and orzo in Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Orzo Risotto.

Japanese Sweet Potato

japanese sweet potato

Japanese sweet potatoes have a dark reddish purple skin and bright white flesh. They’re sweeter and starchier than orange sweet potatoes, and just as delicious when roasted, steamed, or baked. We love slicing them into wedges or rounds and roasting in s very hot oven with just a little salt and olive oil. The edges with caramelize, creating the perfect sweet and savory snack or side dish.

Jewel Sweet Potato

sweet potato

Jewel sweet potatoes are widely available in supermarkets. They have orange/brown skin and bright orange flesh. They’re well-suited for both boiling and baking, and they’re the variety we reach for when we’re roasting up sweet potato fries.

Purple Sweet Potato

Purple sweet potato (right)

This purple sweet potato, also known as Okinawan sweet potato, isn’t even a member of the potato family—it’s part of the same family as morning glory, or water spinach. The plant is native to the Americas and landed in Japan sometime in the 1500s. It grew so well there that it became popular in many Japanese dishes and now can be found throughout Asia and the Pacific. We pair it with Five-Spice Pork Chops in this popular recent dinner.

Find all of these potato recipes, and more!, in the Blue Apron cookbook.