You may already be familiar with Yukon Gold potatoes, but relatively speaking, they’re fairly new on the market. They were released for sale in 1980, which is really not that long ago. Their color, flavor and texture are a bit different that than of a standard white potato, so you may be wondering what to do with them. Below is a lot of information that will hopefully answer all your questions about these beauties in the potato arena. If you haven’t tried a Yukon Gold, let me urge you to go for it! They’re a real treat.
Yukon Gold Potatoes 101 – The Basics
About Yukon Gold Potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes are classified as Solanum tuberosum. They are a cross between a North American white potato and a wild South American yellow-fleshed one. They were first bred in Canada in the 1960s and were released for sale in 1980. They were named for the gold-rush country by the Yukon River. Yukon Gold potatoes are available year-round. They are grown in Canada and the Midwest and Western regions of the United States.
Yukon Golds have a smooth, thin, light brown skin that is relatively free of eyes giving it a uniform texture and shape. The flesh is yellow to gold in color, firm, moist, and waxy. They have a medium starch content. Cooked Yukon Gold potatoes have a creamy and tender consistency with a rich, buttery flavor. These potatoes are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways including both wet and dry cooking methods. Yukon Golds are considered to be an “all-purpose” potato.
Many people have shied away from eating potatoes in recent years because of their carbohydrate content. However, when eaten in moderation and with their skins intact, the fiber and nutrients in potatoes makes them a good addition to a healthful diet.
Yukon Gold potatoes have about twice the Vitamin C as white potatoes, yielding about 45% of the recommended daily value. They are also good sources of Vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. They are naturally fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free. A medium Yukon Gold potato has about 100 calories. Research has shown that including Yukon Golds in your diet may help you to sleep better and reduce your risk for heart disease.
How to Select Yukon Gold Potatoes
Choose firm potatoes with no wrinkles, bruises, or soft spots. Avoid those with a greenish tinge. This indicates they were exposed to too much light and developed the toxin solanine. Small amounts of green area can be cut off before using the potato. If more than half of the potato is green, throw it out. The solanine may cause intestinal upset and is actually toxic in large doses.
How to Store Yukon Gold Potatoes
Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place in an open paper bag. Keep them away from heat sources. Do not store in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature will promote the starches to turn to sugar. Also, do not store them near onions, as the gases released will cause the potatoes to age faster. Do not wash them until you are ready to use them. They should keep well for up to two weeks.
How to Preserve Yukon Gold Potatoes
Cooked and mashed Yukon Golds can be frozen. Pack in a sealed container with 1/2 inch headspace and freeze for up to one year. Reheat in the microwave, or over low heat in a saucepan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or water, while stirring constantly.
The traditional blanching method is also a good way to freeze Yukon Gold potatoes. First wash them well, and remove the peel if desired (it is not mandatory to peel them). Cut the potatoes into desired size pieces (from hash brown size to large chunks) and blanch them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Immediately transfer them to an ice water bath for 3 to 5 minutes, until completely cooled. Drain well and place them in air-tight freezer containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 10 to 12 months.
You may also freeze the blanched pieces separately by placing them in a single layer on a baking tray that was coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tray in the freezer until the pieces are frozen, then transfer them to an air-tight container or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Return them to the freezer.
For best results, use frozen potatoes within a month, but they may keep in the freezer for up to a year. When you want to use the potatoes, use them frozen or only partially thaw them in the refrigerator.
Complete instructions for freezing potatoes that are prepared in various ways can be found on this website: https://tastessence.com/best-ways-to-freeze-potatoes
How to Prepare Yukon Gold Potatoes
When you’re ready to use your Yukon Golds, simply give them a good scrub under running water. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife. It is not mandatory to peel them, but you can if desired. Once the potatoes are cut, use them right away. If that’s not possible, place them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown. Adding a little lemon juice or vinegar to the water will also help to keep them from discoloring. Do not soak the potatoes for more than two hours.
Cooking/Serving Ideas Using Yukon Gold Potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes are strong enough to be used for Hasselback potatoes, fluffy enough for being mashed, and creamy enough for a rich yet crispy roasted potato. Yukon Golds can be used in any recipe calling for red potatoes (but not vice versa). They can be mashed, used in soups, stews, chowders, and casseroles, roasted, grilled, fried, sautéed, steamed, boiled, microwaved, and baked.
Quick tips for using Yukon Gold potatoes:
* Potatoes cooked with their peel on will be more flavorful, will hold their shape better, and will absorb less water. Also, the peel is easier to remove once the potato is cooked.
* When boiling potatoes, place them in the pot with cold water. If placed in a pot of boiling water, they will not heat evenly and the outside will be cooked before the inside of the potato is done.
* Make a simple soup by cooking Yukon Gold potatoes in chicken or vegetable broth with leafy greens such as kale, Swiss chard or spinach, and sautéed garlic and onions.
* Use leftover baked potatoes for quick hash browns the next day.
* Cut leftover baked potatoes into ½-inch slices. Brush with oil or melted butter and sprinkle with seasonings of choice. Bake at 425°F for 35 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Call them done when golden brown.
* For easy garlic mashed potatoes, cook them with several peeled cloves of garlic. Mash the garlic along with the potatoes and season as usual.
* For rich mashed potatoes, add evaporated milk instead of whole milk.
* Dress up mashed potatoes by adding in some chopped broccoli and cheddar cheese.
* Do something a little different with your mashed potatoes. Drizzle some pesto on top. Or dress them up with some herbs, such as scallions, parsley and thyme.
* For easy roasted potatoes, cut potatoes into large chunks. Coat with olive oil and/or melted butter, and season as desired. Roast at 375°F for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning them often, until golden brown outside and tender inside.
* Use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken soups and stews.
* Use leftover mashed potatoes to make potato patties. Mix about 2 cups mashed potatoes with 1 or 2 eggs, ¼ cup flour or bread crumbs, and seasonings of choice (i.e. salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cheese). Form into patties and fry in a small amount of fat in a skillet. Optional topping: sour cream.
* Use baked potatoes for mashing, rather than boiling them. They will have more flavor and will be less watery.
Herbs/Spices That Go Well With Yukon Gold Potatoes
Basil, bay leaf, capers, caraway seeds, cardamom, cayenne, chervil, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder and curry spices, dill, fenugreek, garam masala, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lovage, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, sage, salt, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric
Other Foods That Go Well With Yukon Gold Potatoes
Proteins, Nuts, Seeds: Bacon, beans (fava), beef, cashews, chickpeas, egg, lamb, lentils, peas, pine nuts, poultry, seafood, tahini, walnuts
Vegetables: Arugula, asparagus, beans (green), bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chiles, chives, eggplant, fennel, greens (i.e. collards, mustard, salad), kale, leeks, mushrooms, okra, olives, onions, parsnips, peas (split), ramps, rutabagas, scallions, shallots, sorrel, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, truffles, turnips, vegetables (root), watercress
Fruit: Apples, coconut, lemon
Grains and Grain Products: Corn, pasta, quinoa, spelt
Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, buttermilk, cheese, coconut cream, cream, crème fraiche, milk (dairy and non-dairy), sour cream, yogurt
Other: Lavender, mayonnaise, oil, pesto, stock (vegetable), vinegar, wine
Yukon Gold potatoes have been used in: Baked goods, casseroles, curries, French cuisine, gratins, Indian cuisine, potato cakes/potato pancakes, salads (i.e. egg, green, potato), skordalia (a thick Greek garlic and potato sauce or spread), soups, stews, stuffed baked potatoes
Suggested Flavor Combos:
Combine Yukon Gold potatoes with…
Butternut squash + sage
Cauliflower + leeks
Cheddar cheese + chiles + corn
Cream + garlic + thyme
Garlic + lemon + olive oil + parsley
Garlic + olive oil
Herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme) + lemon
Seasoned Yukon Gold Wedges https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/seasoned-yukon-gold-wedges/
Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries Recipe https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/sheet-pan-flank-steak-greens-and-yukon-gold-fries-recipe
Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes https://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/easy-oven-roasted-potatoes-recipe/#wprm-recipe-container-14025
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-leg-of-lamb-with-yukon-gold-potatoes-357256
Crisp Garlic Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/crisp-garlic-yukon-gold-potatoes-326188
Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/yukon-gold-potatoes-jacques-pepin-style-recipe-1950875
Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes https://www.feastingathome.com/rosemary-garlic-hasselback-potatoes/
Pan-Fried Yukon Gold Potatoes with Paprika https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/pan-fried-yukon-gold-potatoes-with-paprika
Melt in Your Mouth Potatoes https://letsdishrecipes.com/2016/09/melt-in-your-mouth-potatoes.html
Hasselback Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.thanksgiving.com/celebrate/st-patricks-day/hasselback-yukon-gold-potatoes/
Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.