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Crispy on the outside and meltingly creamy within, Fondant Potatoes (pommes de terre fondantes) are a classic French side dish that’s restaurant worthy but easy to make at home.

Fondant Potatoes in a cast iron skillet

Potatoes are delicious just about any way you cook them – it’s hard to get them wrong. But extraordinary potatoes? Ones that make your eyes roll up with pleasure and invite you to take another bite, those are harder to achieve. Fondant potatoes are just that. The starchy root vegetable elevated to perfection. Chefs often call these ‘melting potatoes,’ and once you taste them, you’ll understand why.

Ingredients You Need to Make Fondant Potatoes

Fondant Potatoes Ingredients on a white marble board
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: Look for 4, long cylindrical potatoes of similar size.
  • Avocado Oil: Or other high heat vegetable oil.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted.
  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
  • Fresh Thyme Sprigs: Plus more fresh thyme leaves for optional garnish.
  • Garlic Cloves: 4 large cloves or more.
  • Chicken Broth: Or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of this dish.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper: ideally freshly ground

Making perfect fondant potatoes is as straightforward as starting them in a heavy skillet and finishing them in the oven, but the method matters here. And so does the type of potato.

Russet Potatoes vs. Yukon Gold Potatoes

Russet potatoes are commonly used for these, but there’s a better way. Russets are so starchy that you need to soak them beforehand. Using Yukon Gold potatoes solves this problem. They strike the perfect balance between starchy and waxy, so you can cook them without soaking. (For a traditional look, I chose to peel mine, but that’s optional. The skins are so thin that you’ll barely notice them, so leave them intact if you prefer.) 

Fondant Potatoes in a cast iron skillet photographed from above

How to Skip Clarifying the Butter

Butter is an essential flavor in classic pommes de terre fondantes. But the problem with butter is that it burns easily, if you don’t clarify it first. That’s why some recipes include that step. In this recipe, you’ll brown the potatoes in high heat avocado oil before adding the butter. It works beautifully and skips the added step of making clarified butter.

Recipe Options

  • I’ve called for sprigs of both fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, but you can use one or the other if you prefer. 
  • If you’re a garlic lover, add more lightly smashed cloves. They get buttery soft and deeply flavorful. Serve them with the potatoes or enjoy them yourself as a cook’s treat!

FAQ

Can you reheat fondant potatoes?

Yes. Reheat potatoes and leftover sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat until hot, flipping occasionally to heat evenly. Add more stock to thin leftover sauce as needed. Or slice or chop leftover potatoes; pan fry in a little oil until crisp. Whichever method you choose, check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed; serve hot.

What are the best potatoes for fondant potatoes?

Yukon Gold potatoes are ideal because of their creamy texture, buttery flavor and that they don’t require soaking.

Melting Potatoes vs Fondant Potatoes

These names are used interchangeably for the French side dish, Pommes de Terre Fondantes.

What goes well with Fondant Potatoes?

Fondant potatoes are dinner party and date night perfect (as are another French favorite, Lyonnaise Potatoes). Pair them with almost any fish, seafood, or meaty main like:

With just a few simple ingredients and the right technique, you’ll end with lovely golden and creamy potatoes. But be careful, it’s a side dish that’s so good it might steal the spotlight at the table.

How to Make Fondant Potatoes

Cut rounded ends off of potatoes and peel then cut crosswise into ~2-inch cylinders.

Heat avocado oil in a cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottom, oven-safe skillet), arrange potatoes cut side down in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip potatoes with tongs; season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on the other side, 10-12 minutes total. 

browning both sides of potato halves

Add butter to pan and swirl until melted. Add chicken broth and place fresh herb sprigs and garlic cloves around potatoes; spoon sauce over potatoes. Transfer to an oven preheated to 400˚F and cook until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve in skillet or arranged on platter, basted with sauce and garnished with fresh thyme leaves.

Recipe Video

Fondant Potatoes

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Calories: 300
Servings: 4 people
Chefs call these buttery, herbaceous potatoes "melting potatoes" for very good reason: they absolutely melt in your mouth!

Ingredients  

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other high heat oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme plus fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 4 large garlic cloves lightly smashed and peeled
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Slice ends off of potatoes and peel. Cut each potato crosswise into ~2-inch cylinders.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet (or other oven safe skillet) over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add potatoes in a single layer, leaving a little room between each one and season with salt and pepper. Let cook until golden brown on one side, 5-6 minutes (check at 4 minutes and reduce heat if potatoes are browning too quickly). With tongs, flip each potato, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on the other side, 5-6 minutes more. Scatter butter pieces around potatoes and gently swirl pan to distribute as it melts and foams. Add chicken broth and sprigs of rosemary and thyme along with smashed garlic cloves to pan; bring to boil. Spoon broth mixture over potatoes.
  • Transfer skillet to preheated oven and bake until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot in skillet or transfer to serving platter. Spoon pan sauce over potatoes and garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired.

Notes

  1. Serve the tender, roasted garlic cloves along with the potatoes or eat them yourself – cook’s treat!

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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34 Comments

  1. Amber says:

    5 stars
    These potatoes are delicious and so easy to make! I found 4 good sized yukon gold potatoes left in the pantry and I love to try new recipes. I looked up ideas and this recipe did not disappoint. I can’t wait to plan a dinner party and share with friends. Thank you! Yummy!!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love to hear this, Amber! So glad you enjoyed these.

  2. Debby Nolen says:

    5 stars
    Can you clarify how high up on the potatoes the broth mixture should sit before placing in the oven? I know you have 2/3 of a cup, but that depends on the size of your skillet. Thank you.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Debby! I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet, but a 12-inch would also work. Feel free to splash in more broth in the beginning or even later in the cooking process if you feel the broth is evaporating too quickly.

  3. Tracy says:

    5 stars
    Love these potatoes! My family ate them all without leaving me one!! That means I’ll be making this recipe a lot.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful, Tracy! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know!

  4. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    I might be the only person on the planet that doesn’t love potatoes. Having said that, I had several Yukon golds in the house and wanted to find a new way to prepare them. I made them for family dinner on a Sunday.

    They were absolutely stellar. They were so good, in fact, that my husband requested them again ASAP and my daughter who only got leftovers when she got home from work begged me to make them again so that she could try them fresh out of the oven.

    It’s Wednesday, and I’m making them again tonight – and even I am excited to have them again.

    Excellent recipe, can’t wait to peruse your site some more. As a side note, I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe exactly as written but I did with this one and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      What a fun and thoughtful comment, Amanda. Thank you so much! I’m so glad to hear that these were such a hit with you and your family.

  5. Jana says:

    Marissa thank you for the beautifully detailed recipe. Two questions: if I don’t have an oven safe skillet could I transfer them at some point to a baking dish? Also, these should not be covered, correct?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      My pleasure, Jana! Yes, the potatoes are uncovered. I have not transferred them from the skillet to a baking dish, but it should work. It may take a bit longer for the potatoes to finish cooking.