I first made this potato dish when I was at the River Café. I will never forget just how much of it we used to sell alongside grilled and marinated butterflied leg of lamb with salsa verde. It was a match made in heaven.–Theo Randall

A roasting pan filled with balsamic roasted potatoes and red onions and garlic

Balsamic Roasted Potatoes

5 / 5 votes
The potatoes and onions absorb all the vinegar and become sticky and irresistible. I've added salty pancetta, as it gives the dish a richer flavor, but it’s not essential if you don’t eat pork.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories295 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 pound 12 ounces red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/4 inch (3cm) pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 (1 lb) red onions, cut into eighths
  • 3 1/2 ounces store-bought or homemade pancetta
  • Scant 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (not lemon thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • To a large saucepan, add the potatoes. Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Place over a high heat, bring to a boil, then add the garlic cloves and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the potatoes and the garlic in a , and leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, onions, and pancetta. Cook until the onions have softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and thyme, increase the heat and cook until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and dump the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Add the blanched potatoes and garlic to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Coat the base of a roasting pan with the oil. Tip in the potato mixture and roast for 15 minutes. Give the pan a shake so that the balsamic and butter coats the potatoes and onions. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and everything is beginning to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes more.
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven and, using a spoon, toss the potatoes around the pan to soak up all the juices. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve immediately.


How can I prevent my potatoes from sprouting?

There’s nothing worse than potatoes that have sprouted so much they look like they could walk away.  The key to preventing your potatoes from sprouting is to keep them dry, cool, and in the dark. Any kind of moisture will trigger sprouting as will warm temps and light. So store them in a dark, cool place, such as a cupboard that’s away from the stove and oven.
Many cooks store potatoes with or near onions, but they’ll actually encourage sprouting. So will bananas and some other fruits. Apples, on the other hand, with the ethylene gas they give off, will prevent them from sprouting.

How long can I store my potatoes?

By storing potatoes in a paper bag in a cool, dry, and dark spot in your kitchen, you can keep them fresh for up to two weeks. If you have a cool dark spot in your basement, potatoes can last up to two to three months. (Papa Leite wintered over his homegrown potatoes in the cellar bulkhead with nary a sprout.)

Adapted From

The Italian Deli Cookbook

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 295 kcalCarbohydrates: 26 gProtein: 5 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 37 mgSodium: 327 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 5 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Theo Randall. Photo © 2021 Lizzie Mayson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe for balsamic roasted potatoes belongs in the “memorable side dish” category, most definitely. The potatoes were crispy and caramelized on the outside, soft in the middle, and each and every bite coated in the rich combination of butter, salty pancetta, and syrupy balsamic vinegar. I served these flavorful, caramelized potatoes alongside roasted mahi mahi fillets with a basil-oregano salsa verde, and a simple red leaf salad with grated carrots and feta cheese.

I am a fan of anything made with good balsamic vinegar so I was drawn to this recipe for balsamic roasted potatoes as soon as I read it. The sauce of balsamic vinegar, onion, pancetta, and thyme was delicious but a little greasy. I will reduce the butter by half the next time I make the dish. This sauce is versatile and could be used with other roasted veggies and different herbs. I served this with grilled chicken and a green salad and it was enjoyed by all.

This recipe for balsamic roasted potatoes is a quick and satisfying side dish with a delicious balsamic flavor. The onions become so lusciously melty that they almost outshine the potatoes! I skipped the pancetta and it wasn’t missed. I served this with baked chicken thighs, so I set the oven at 350°F convection roast and the potatoes were done in 35 minutes. Next time I’ll season with a little more salt. The balsamic and thyme played very well together, and it was a simple, satisfying supper. I’ll have to try it with the lamb, and it would be excellent with steak as well.

Delicious and super flavorful, these balsamic roasted potatoes are THE ideal side dish. I love them for summer dinners since they taste equally as lovely at room temperature as fresh out of the oven, and alongside almost anything. They complemented our grilled chicken thighs beautifully. I roasted the dish in our oven earlier in the day so the kitchen could cool down before our guests arrived. I plan on making this dish regularly all year round.

The balsamic glazed onions and garlic are delectable. It’s one of those things where you want every bite of potato to include a bit of onion. I did not get a ton of caramelization but I think it is because my pan was pretty loaded. My onion quarters were large so I think I had some steam action going on. Next time, I would divide the potato/onion mixture between two sheet pans and increase the oven heat to 425. I would also double the number of garlic cloves. My pancetta was pre-prepped in small dice, so the smoky flavor was a bit lost. I’d probably skip the pancetta next time-not a big deal. So nice that the dish is delicious with or without the pork. In general, just make sure your onion/garlic additions are proportionate to your potatoes and don’t crowd your pan. Can’t wait to make the dish again!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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