Crispy Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 8, 2022
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History says that potatoes are a poor man’s food, but even in their simplest form, I believe they’re the true definition of comfort – regardless of how much is in your bank account . They can be made a thousand different ways, across hundreds of cultures, and with slight twists that turn them into luxury.

As I’ve been cooking my way through The Clever Cookbook, written by my talented friend Emilie, I’ve fallen in love with her genius way of making flavorful fingerling potatoes, using an almost magical garlic-herb compound butter (which now resides in my refrigerator at all times, just waiting to turn pantry staples into something incredible). I love to make them as a side dish to these Sweet and Spicy Ribs.

Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes from The Clever Cookbook
Herb Garlic Butter
Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes.

Emilie’s beautiful blog, The Clever Carrot, captured me several years ago. Her recipes are wholesome and tasteful, with a nod towards health and importance of sharing meals with her family. I love her approach to cooking, mixing seasonal ingredients and fresh flavors with tips and strategies that give you the ability to fit homemade meals into a busy life. I appreciate that so much, because even though I don’t have kids, my days can get a bit chaotic. And to tell you the truth, after cooking and photographing for much of the day, sometimes the last thing I want to do is have to reinvent the wheel for dinner, or a snack.

In the book you’ll find basics that you can make ahead of time, then use them to turn simple ingredients into weeknight masterpieces. Take for instance her Triple Duty Chicken Stock becoming One Pot Creamy Orzo with Asparagus, Basic Tomato Sauce leading the way to 20 minute Skillet Baked Shrimp & Feta, and a Crumble Topping that can be used for fruits of all seasons.

And infused butter – also known as compound butter, like this Garlic-Herb version that transforms fingerling potatoes into the ultimate comfort dish. It’s a brilliant shortcut.

Crispy Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes {gluten-free}
Golden Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes

Emilie instructs you to “steam” the potatoes on the stovetop with the butter and a bit of water (also known as braising), which works incredibly well to infuse them while their insides cook until perfectly tender and creamy. (Don’t roast the potatoes even if you’re tempted!) I altered the recipe just a bit in terms of technique, cutting the potatoes in half and steaming them, then searing in a cast-iron skillet when they were cooked through to get that tempting golden brown crust. If you’re pressed for time and don’t want to bother with cutting & searing, you can certainly leave them whole and cook them in the butter until you can pierce with a fork. Just know that this will take a bit longer for them to cook, but it will be “hands off” time. 

After making this dish a few times, I’ve put it into my “crowd-pleasing recipe” arsenal because literally, as soon as I mention the word garlic butter & potatoes in the same sentence, ears quickly perk up. They’re incredible, the perfect side dish, and you can even turn them into a lovely vegetarian breakfast with a soft-boiled egg.

Crispy Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes {gluten-free}
Crispy Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes {gluten-free}
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Golden Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes

Crispy Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes are cooked on the stovetop in garlic butter until golden brown and crispy, then tossed with fresh herbs. They're a delicious side dish!
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Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



Garlic Herb Butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Fingerling Potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons of the garlic herb compound butter divided
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes all similar in size, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or basil


For the butter:

  • Add butter, garlic and salt to a food processor. Process until smooth. Use a spatula to add the butter to a bowl, then stir in the parsley.
  • To make tablespoon sized portions, using a mini ice cream or cookie dough scoop and portion the butter onto a parchment lined tray. Freeze until solid, about 15 minutes and then transfer to airtight container. You can freeze for up to 3 months and use as needed.

To make potatoes:

  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the garlic butter over low heat in a large dutch oven. Add potatoes and water. Season with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, stirring to coat.
  • Place the lid on top and steam for about 30-40 minutes, then check with a fork. Have a peek inside every 10 or so minutes, and stir, checking to make sure potatoes aren’t browning too fast. Time needed to cook until tender will vary depending on size.
  • When potatoes are just tender, and when inserting a paring knife into the center of a potato it comes out easily, they’re ready. Take them off the heat.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of garlic butter to a large cast-iron skillet and bring to medium high heat. Sear potatoes in batches, until golden brown and crispy. Season with extra salt and pepper, then top with fresh parsley.

Did you make this?

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February 28, 2016


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  1. David P

    if you only use 3 Tbls for “steaming” and on 1 Tbls for browning – what do you do with the rest of the butter in this recipe i.e. 2 sticks = 16 Tbls thus, 12 Tbls???? -david

    • amandapaa

      Hi David! You make the compound (garlic) butter with the two sticks of butter. Then when ready to make the potatoes, the recipes says 4 tablespoons of the garlic butter. So you then use 3 tablespoons of that 4 when steaming, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the 4 at the end.

  2. Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    These are the most gorgeous potatoes Amanda! And yes, there is totally something magical about garlic. It just makes everything better.

    • amandapaa

      Aw, thanks so much Karen! Garlic, butter, potatoes…. these are the simple things that make life better. :)

  3. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    Lovely cookbook and delicious recipe! I am so with you on potatoes…they are so versatile, hearty, and comforting! I love the technique you used on them here…that golden crust is calling to me. Paired with compound butter, it doesn’t get any better! xoxo

  4. Linda | The Baker Who Kerns

    Oh my goodness I am sooo excited for the Clever Carrot Cookbook! I am sure it is going to filled with so many awesome wholesome recipes! Potatoes are that vegetable that I know you are suppose to avoid but there is something so comforting about them and this recipe totally proves that! Totally want to go and get some fingerling potatoes tomorrow!

  5. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    These sound incredible!! I’ve been eyeing up her book on Amazon, so I think it just got bumped up a little bit. Can’t wait to try out this recipe.

  6. Mel @ The Refreshanista

    Oh my gosh, looks delicious! I love potatoes so I’m always looking for new ways to eat them. That garlic butter looks perfect!

    • amandapaa

      The garlic herb butter is so great on a loaf of french bread too!

  7. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    Potatoes are awesome. I’ve been violently ill lately (we think I might have ulcerative colitis or Chron’s on top of everything else) :P and potatoes are one of the only things that is keeping my belly happy. They are so warm, simple and comforting. Can’t wait to get my hands on that cookbook and try this recipe out. Pinned!

  8. Lily | Kale & Caramel

    My ears are perked!! These sound incredible. Love that compound butter action :).

    • amandapaa

      butta’, baby. ;)

  9. Emilie @ The Clever Carrot

    I just love what you’ve done here! Looks so scrumptious, Amanda! Thank you! You made me laugh when you said “as soon as I mention the word garlic butter & potatoes in the same sentence, ears quickly perk up.” SO TRUE. Don’t be surprised if I show up at your place for dinner tonight. xoxo

    • amandapaa

      Totally a pleasure to cook from your book Emilie! The pages are already fairly stained. :) So proud of you! xo

  10. Shelley | Sevengrams

    Stunning photos Amanda — kind of makes me want to jump into that butter… just perfect!

  11. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Fingerlings are my go-to potato. I think there is something alluring about their odd shape (hooray for ugly produce!). When I’m preparing veggies in my kitchen, I tend to just go into auto-pilot and roast the heck out of everything. But I’ll resist temptation and try this method instead. And that butter tho….!!!