Traditional recipes

How to Dice a Potato

How to Dice a Potato

Learn how the pros quickly and easily dice a potato

Aurelie Jouan

Save your potato scraps; they can be used for soups and purées.

Even though potatoes are round, they can quickly and easily be diced into to perfectly even pieces. Here’s how:

Start by peeling the potato to remove the skin. Discard the skin or save it for another use. Then, slice a small amount from each side of the potato so that it has a long, rectangular shape.

Trim the ends of the potato so that it is flat on all sides. Discard the trimmings or save them for another use.

Cut thick slices from the potato. For a medium dice, cut slices that are about ½-inch thick. For a small dice, cut slices that are about ¼-inch thick.

Then, lay the slices flat on your cutting board and cut them lengthwise into strips that are as wide as the slice is thick. So, for a medium dice, cut the slice into ½-inch-wide strips. For a small dice, cut the slice into ¼-inch-wide strips.

Finally, cut across the strips (at ½-inch or ¼-inch intervals) to produce either a medium or small dice.

Julie Ruggirello is The Daily Meal's Recipe Editor. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.


How to Freeze Potatoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s everything you need to know about freezing whole, cubed, mashed, French-fried, and shredded potatoes.

Don&apost toss your excess potatoes! It&aposs much more practical and economical to freeze them for later use. It&aposs easier than you think to perfectly freeze potatoes, but you do need to follow a few simple instructions. Here&aposs what you need to know about freezing potatoes whether they&aposre whole, cubed, mashed, French-fried, or shredded:


Diced, Chopped, Minced, & More: A Visual Guide to Six Basic Knife Cuts

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference is between “chopped”, “diced”, “minced”, and other cuts in a recipe, you aren’t alone. Knife cuts can be so confusing that we’ve compiled a visual guide to some of the most common.

Run a search for “knife cuts,” and you’ll find lots of tutorials on fancy French knife techniques, with terms like “tourné” and “parmentier” thrown around. But for everyday home cooking, those terms are pretty much useless. Here are the basic cuts and shapes you’re more likely to see in cookbook, online, and magazine recipes so you can put those knife skills to good use.

Learn How to Handle a Knife with This Animated GIF Tutorial

You can only listen to and read someone talk about how to properly wield a kitchen knife so many…

Large Dice

A large dice typically refers to a vegetable or item cut into 3/4-inch squares. This is also the cut I use when a recipe calls for something large to be chopped (e.g., chopped potatoes). You might see this cut used for everything from onions to watermelon.

Medium Dice

A medium dice calls for cutting ingredients into squares with 1/2-inch sides. If a recipe specifies a dice without a modifier (e.g., “diced tomatoes,” without elaborating as to whether they should be small, medium, or large), the medium dice is what I’ll aim for. A lot of recipes call for diced tomatoes, though beets, bell peppers, and cucumbers aren’t uncommon, either.

Small Dice

A small dice usually refers to an ingredient cut into 1/4-inch cubes. If you see, let’s say, “1 cup celery, diced small” in the ingredient list, this is the cut to aim for. A lot of recipes start with a base of sautéed celery, carrots, onions, or bell peppers diced small.

Brunoise

This is one of the few fancy French terms that you’ll see hear chefs and experts use when they talk about cuts. Even smaller than a small dice, a brunoise (pronounced “brew-NWAHZ”) is a square cut with sides that are approximately 1/8-inch in length. Although less common than the rest of the cuts, the brunoise is often used as the garnish for an item, especially a soup like a consommé.

Julienne

The starting point for the brunoise cut comes out of something fancy-sounding called the julienne, which is really just a cut of long matchsticks that have a thickness of approximately 1/8 of an inch. You might see a julienne cut atop a recipe like Chinese-style steamed fish or Southeast Asian papaya salad.

Chiffonade

A chiffonade is similar cut that’s applied to vegetable leaves. Simply stack the leaves, roll them tightly, and slice the leaves perpendicular to the roll, creating thin strips. The most frequently chiffonaded vegetable is basil it’s used as a garnish for a number of tomato and basil combinations, from salads to pastas.

Mince

Smaller than a brunoise is a mince. If a brunoise is 1/8 of an inch, then a mince is approximately half that size, closer to 1/16th of an inch. But because it’s so fine, it also tends to be less precise. Garlic is the most commonly minced ingredient.

Keep in mind that the smaller the knife cut for a pungent ingredient (like garlic, shallot, and onion), the more distributed it will become, and the stronger it will taste. So if you don’t want your marinara sauce to taste heavily of garlic, opt for a whole clove, slivers, or even a dice, rather than a finer cut like a mince.


Do You Need to Cut Out Potato Eyes?

You can leave in the eyes if they’re just pinpricks. Anything larger (like proto-sprouts) you should address.

Did you know the divot at the tip of a vegetable peeler is specially designed to dig out the eyes of a potato? So handy!


Step 1: Slice a strip off, lengthwise, so the potato sits flat on the cutting surface. Sometimes a peeled potato will create a small, flat edge.

Step 2: Slice the potato into uniform pieces, while holding it with your non-cutting hand. Slice thinly for a smaller dice and thicker for a chunkier dice.

Step 3: Cut each round into sticks, or “batons”. You can cut each round one at a time, or in a stack.

Step 4: Turn the batons 90 degrees and cut across the shorter side into cubes. This step can also be done in the stack, or one round a time.

Once you’re done dicing, be prepared to use your potatoes right away or place them in a covered bowl with cold water to keep them from browning.


Diced Potatoes on the Grill

Now that warm-weather grilling season is here in Michigan, I thought I’d focus a little more on BBQ/grilling side dishes. Here’s one my dad used to make when he grilled in the backyard. I’ve added to it but the principal of cooking the diced potatoes in foil is the same as when he did it back when I was a kid. It’s a great-tasting side that’ll go with anything you’re grilling or barbequing. Simple, and a nice change of pace over plain old whole potatoes wrapped in foil and grilled.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium-sized potatoes, skin-on, washed and scrubbed
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • Sweet red, orange or yellow peppers (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Special Utensils:

Pull out a long piece of foil from the roll. I usually pull out a 3-foot long piece and fold it in half for extra strength. Dice up the potatoes into around one-inch squares. I leave the skins on, but you could peel the potatoes first if you like. Dice up the onion and peppers (if you’re using peppers) and add it all to the foil sheet. Then drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Grab both ends of the foil sheet and kind of roll the potato mixture back and forth to help distribute the spices. oil. etc. This is what it should look like at this point:

Now take the top and bottom of the foil sheet and wrap it together carefully, rolling the top of the seam down to make a good semi-airtight seal. Do the same with the sides. Get the charcoal going or turn the gas burners up on one side. Now here’s the trick to making the potatoes really good– lay the foil package right on top of the heating-up coals, or put them where the gas flame is the hottest. Turn over at regular intervals. The idea is to brown the potatoes just enough to carmelize them and increase the flavors, to get that hash brown flavor– not enough heat and all you’ll get are steamed potatoes.

Get the potatoes sizzling away nicely on the high heat first, and when you start to grill you can back off on the heat to the potatoes. By the time your BBQ is ready you should be able to open a perfectly cooked pouch of potatoes. Enjoy!


Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating! Cancel reply

Thank you for the recipe the potatoes taste delicious!

Support @ Minimalist Baker says

Yay! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

Hi,
Nowhere in the recipe or the notes do you mention how big/small to cut the potato pieces. I imagine that this does affect both the cooking time and the degree of doneness/crispness. They appear from your picture to be about 3/8″ thick slices rather than 1/2″-5/8″ cubes. Can you specify the size/thickness of the potato pieces? Thanks!

Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

Hi! We will add that to clarify, but yes – 3/8″ is about right!

Thanks for this recipe. I have been looking for a good roasted potatoes recipe.

Question, do you peel the Yukon potatoes?

Support @ Minimalist Baker says

These potatoes are delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

Support @ Minimalist Baker says

Thanks for sharing, Jeannette! xo

These are AMAZING! Seriously – I don’t know what it is about the combo, but they are phenomenal. I ate basically an entire pan by myself. My housemate had a few and kept asking me how I made them. Thank you for these tips! I will probably make them again tomorrow, lol. :)

Support @ Minimalist Baker says

Whoop! We’re so glad you both enjoyed them! Thanks for the lovely review =)

These are now my hands-down, go-to recipe for roast potatoes. They are so easy and simple but absolutely perfect. I was on the search for a recipe for my favourite type of roast potatoes, and these are it! I won’t be searching any more. I’ve been using this recipe over and over again and everyone loves it. Thanks for sharing!

Support @ Minimalist Baker says

Whoop! We’re so glad to hear it, Sarah! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

hi hi many thanks for your wonderful recipees. Here is a question that i can’t find any google support with and i think its the reason my baking doesn’t always come out right. You give the temperature of the oven — so thats fine. But what setting should the oven be on? The fancy new ovens come with so many settings and for sure i don’t know the difference between them. For example : fan and heat? Just fan (which is heated air)? Just top heat? Lower heat? etc etc. It would be so helpful to know this for all recipees, but very grateful if you could start with this and/or give some tips as to general guidelines? Many many thanks.

Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

So, fan and heat is usually “convection,” which I like to use often. But for our recipes we usually assume people don’t have convection so unless stated otherwise, it’s always just “bake” or “roast” without a fan setting. If you do have convection, feel free to use it, just know that it tends to cook your food faster and get it crispier.

There were delicious! They came out perfectly. I added garlic powder, onion powder and dehydrated chives since I didn’t have fresh rosemary. We devoured them. Thank you. Now I need to make a scrambled tofu to go with them!


How to Dice Potatoes

Step #1

Peel the sweet potato with a vegetable peeler.

Step #2

Cut off the ends with a classic chef’s knife.

Step #3

Slice off the sides of the potato to square it.

Try to get it as square as possible without wasting your potato. It’s okay if it is not a perfect square.

Step #4

Make 1/2 inch slices through your potato. You can either eye-ball it or use a ruler.

Continue to cut all the potato. These are called batonnets.

Step #5

Turn the batonnets and cut into 1/2 inch slices, these are your medium diced sweet potatoes.


Perfect Pan Fried Potatoes

A lot of pan fried potatoes (or crispy breakfast taters) take wayyy longer than they should. You're first asked to boil the potatoes then chop and fry them. We can hardly think of anything more annoying. Especially if you're feeling lazy, hungover, or rushed&mdashor all of the above. The truth is, you don't need to pre-cook the potatoes at all. You just need to slice 'em thin and choose the best oils. plural! Below are our top tips for pan-fried potato perfection.

THE BEST COOKING OIL

As much as we love butter, it burns too quickly over high heat, which is necessary for optimal crispiness. Olive oil is only a little bit better. The solution: mixing EVOO with vegetable oil (or another neutral oil with a high smoking point).

THE BEST KIND OF POTATO

Baby Yukon gold if you can! Or another creamy variety. While russets would work, they're super starchy, which can lead to soggy-ish results. (It's why so many French fry recipes ask you to soak the potatoes in water first.)

THE CORRECT WAY TO ADD HERBS AND SPICES

You can use whatever spices you'd like&mdashchili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, taco seasoning, even coriander&mdashin a ton of different combinations, but don't add them too soon! Dried spices can burn very easily. We like to add them during the last couple minutes of cooking.

The case is different for herbs. If you're using heartier stemmed herbs, like rosemary or thyme, it's fine to add them at the beginning of the cooking process. Things like chives, parsley, or basil, should be used at the last minute, lest you want them wilted and sad.


French Potato Salad

This French red potato salad is incredibly tasty: the sum of its parts equal something much greater than the whole. The red potatoes are salty, tangy, and moist, mixed with just the right amount of salty capers and savory minced shallot. It’s one of those salad recipes where you can’t help but sneak bites while you’re making it: it’s just that good! This one is an adaptation of Julia Child’s classic French potato salad recipe.


Easy Cheesy Potatoes (Funeral Potatoes)

In our family, this dish is known as Cheesy Potatoes. But it seems to be more known as Funeral Potatoes out and about in the general world, seemingly because the dish is often served at traditional after-funeral meals. But whatever you call it, one thing's for sure about this dish -- it's pure comfort food deliciousness at its best.

Cheesy Potatoes have always been a cookout staple in our family. It's truly just not a cookout without them. And it doesn't matter what the main dish of the meal is -- burgers, dogs, chicken, pork tenderloin, or steak, -- these easy Cheesy Potatoes go beautifully with them all.

But we don't relegate this creamy deliciousness to just cookouts. It makes frequent appearances at many other family gatherings too, and on our everyday dinner table quite often as well.

Since this recipe takes advantage of frozen hash brown potatoes and just a few other pantry staple ingredients, it's pretty no-hassle in its prep. Which I love. Chop an onion, stir together its simple ingredients, and have the casserole ready for the oven with less than 15 minutes of hands-on prep time.

And Cheesy Potatoes' characteristic Corn Flakes topping? Well, that adds just the perfect little crunch to the creamy cheesy potato deliciousness below.

Our Cheesy Potatoes recipe used the diced variety of frozen hash brown potatoes. Just thaw them before mixing with the casserole's other ingredients, and you're good to go. So super easy!

Look for diced hash brown potatoes in the freezer cases at the grocery store.

I have seen other Funeral Potatoes recipes that use shredded frozen hash browns instead, and that works too. We just prefer the texture of the diced hash browns better.

To whip up a pan of creamy Cheesy Potatoes, combine the thawed hash brown potatoes with sour cream, a can of cream of chicken soup, a finely chopped onion, a good dose of shredded cheddar cheese, melted butter, and some salt and pepper.

We recommend mild or medium cheddar for this recipe, and Longhorn cheddar works well, too.

The recipe calls for a full tablespoon of salt, which may seem like a lot. But that salt's got a lot of potatoes -- which are pretty bland-flavored on their own -- to season. It truly does take that much salt to fully season all those potatoes.

That being said, cut the salt back a little if you'd like to suit your personal taste.

And that's all there is to it to whip up a pan full of these Easy Cheesy Potatoes. Pretty simple, right?

Loaded with creamy cheesy deliciousness, this simple little potatoes dish is always a crowd-pleasing favorite. They're the perfect comfort food casserole for potlucks, cookouts, family gatherings, and any everyday meal.