Red, white, and fingerling potatoes on black surface with salt
Red Potatoes Vs. White: What's The Distinction?
Add potatoes are tasty and versatile, but if you find a recipe that calls specifically for red or white potatoes, here’s what you need to know before using them interchangeably.
The main difference between the two breeds is that red potatoes are waxier while white potatoes are starchier, and these unique textures work best in different dishes.
Red potatoes get their color from anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties. They're great for using unpeeled, as they hold their shape while giving you some extra nutrients.
However, not all potatoes with red skin, like fingerling potatoes, are classified as “red potatoes.” True red potatoes include Pontiac, Chieftain, Norland, and Red Bliss breeds.
White potatoes have a higher starch content, making them fluffy and soft rather than waxy and firm. They include the Kennebeck, Cascade, White Rose, Lady Rosetta breeds.
While both are high in potassium and vitamin C, red potatoes have more antioxidants in their skin and fewer carbohydrates, while white potatoes have fewer sugars.
In general, red potatoes are best for dishes that require intact potatoes, such as potato salads. Their sugar content also helps them crisp up when roasted, grilled, or pan-fried.
White potatoes are best for cooking techniques that don’t rely on firm texture, such as baking, boiling, frying, and steaming, along with dishes like mashed potatoes.