Give new potatoes a chance!
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A pile of potatoes on a table top
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You've seen them listed on menus, in grocery stores, and called for in recipes, but what are new potatoes exactly? Hint: They're not just the freshest potatoes on your shelf, nor are they a specific variety. Instead, it's all in the harvest.

What Are New Potatoes?

New potatoes are potatoes that are dug up early in the season—they're softer, with wispier skins, and smoother, often creamier textures than their adult counterparts, yet they're mature enough to eat and taste delicious. Any potato can be a new potato, as long as it's harvested at the right time. And just because a potato is small, doesn't mean it's a new potato—creamers, fingerlings, red potatoes, and more may be bred to be smaller in size, but are harvested at full maturity—like a cherry tomato compared to a beefsteak.

Unlike winter potatoes, which are often larger, heartier, starchier, and have skins worthy of a deep fry, these are gentle, adolescent potatoes perfect for pairing with lighter summer fare. Here's everything you need to know about eating and enjoying new potatoes.

New Potato Nutrition Benefits

Since they haven't developed fully, new potatoes have a lower nutrient content than their more mature counterparts. This is, in part, because they have yet to absorb all those good soil vitamins and minerals. Still, new potatoes have some nutrition benefits—they are low in fat and are a good source of vitamin B1, as well as other B vitamins, which are essential to human cell function as well as brain and energy levels.

New potatoes are also naturally creamy and rich, so they can be cooked with less of the fats and salts that often transform potatoes from a nutritious source of fiber to a more caloric treat. Potato skins are also packed with calcium and B vitamins, and since new potato skins are easiest to eat, you're getting an extra nutrient boost with these guys.

How to Cook With New Potatoes

Because new potatoes have smoother skins, they're often easier to clean (not as much clingy dirt!) and the skins are wonderful to eat. Nearly every recipe that calls for potatoes can be made with new potatoes, unless you're relying on the skin to hold up (like in a twice-baked potato). Some people also might not enjoy new potatoes in mashed potatoes because they are less starchy and can end up gooey. That said, new potatoes are versatile and delicious in many forms—boiled, roasted, fried, and cut up to add to soups and stews. They're also good in cold potato salads, thinly sliced into chips, grated into hash browns (skin on!) and more.

How to Store New Potatoes

As with most potatoes, you'll want to store new potatoes away from light and heat. Keep them in a basket or drawer in your pantry, assuming it's dry, and away from other produce which can release gases that can cause new potatoes to ripen or spoil quickly (like onions).

How Long Do New Potatoes Stay Good For?

Once new potatoes are dug up, their ripening accelerates. But don't worry, there will always be new potatoes based on time of harvest. They'll stay fresh in the pantry for about three weeks, but if you notice wrinkles forming on the skin or little eyes starting to develop, it's time to move them to the fridge, where they should stay good for up to three months. Still, once your potato starts to show signs of aging, the best thing you can do is cook it up.

New Potato Recipes

Ready to start cooking with new potatoes? Check out some of the new potato recipes below to get better acquainted with these tasty spuds!

Melting Potatoes
Credit: Antonis Achilleos

1 Melting Potatoes

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Try this Pinterest-famous recipe with new potatoes for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth side dish.

Garlic-Roasted Potatoes
Credit: Greg DuPree

2 Garlic Roasted Potatoes

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These quick, set-it-and-forget-it garlic roasted potatoes are the perfect accoutrement to any Italian meal or grilled meat—they soak up juices, pan sauces, and marinara oh so well. Better than garlic bread? You'll see.

Garlic Herb Potato Salad
Credit: Greg DuPree

3 Garlic and Herb Potato Salad

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New potatoes are soft and excellent in potato salads, especially this herbaceous, mayo-free version. Serve it warm, at room temperature, or cold and you'll get rave reviews at your next picnic.

RELATED: The 9 Commandments for Cooking Perfectly Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Salt-and-Vinegar Roasted Potatoes Recipe
Credit: Victor Protasio

4 Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

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Like a chip but creamier and definitely not deep fried, these acidic, salty and crave-worthy potatoes are almost too good to be true. And yet, you're making them, eating them, and loving them.

Cod and Clam Chowder Recipe
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

5 Cod and Clam Chowder

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This decadent chowder is the perfect pot in which to add diced new potatoes, which will reward the eater with a creamy pop each time a piece gets spooned up with this excellent seafood soup.