How to Grow Purple Potatoes and Recipes

Sliced Purple Potatoes

Growing Purple Potato Varieties

Potatoes are loved by people around the world. They are extremely versatile in cooking so many ways, in all kinds of ethnic cuisine. Purple colored potatoes are a great way to add unique color and texture to food, adding a greater appeal and interest. These can also be grown in your own container garden as well.

Purple Colored Potato Varieties:

Purple Majesty – This potato is purple inside and out, bred to be a fry potato, and does well baked or boiled. This variety has nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as others, and is an early to mid season potato.

Purple Viking – This variety has true purple skin with pinkish red marbled throughout. The inside flesh is a pure white. It excels as a mashed potato for its unique texture and taste, and also does very well in salads. It is an early season variety.

Purple Peruvian – This is a late season variety, with purple skin and flesh and many eyes on the tubers. This grows well in Northern hemisphere and does wonderfully fried or roasted.

Purple Cowhorn – A late season variety with pointed tips, dark-purple skin and dry, mealy, white flesh. Excellent resistant to common scab and late bright, however it can be low yielding.

A Crotte D'ours (Bear Poop) – Pale purple skin, white flesh, with a long kidney type shape, hence it’s nickname.

Lion’s Paw – ‘Puma Maqui’ in Spanish, this potato is known for its great flavor and unique shape. It has purple skin, with the flesh being a white cortex with a purple center.

Michigan Purple - has an attractive purple skin. This selection has high yield potential and low incidence of defects. It is a mid-season bearer.

Vitelette - Cylindrical oval shaped variety with purple skin and flesh.

Potatoes can be pre-sprouted before planting, which is commonly done in Europe, but not much in the U.S. for some reason. The reasons for doing so are quicker maturity of the potatoes, heavier yields, and the development of stronger sprouts that are not broken off so easily.

To Pre-Spout Seed Potatoes

Get some flats, or open top crates and fill with potting soil. Cut the seed potatoes so each section has at least one eye. Place the cut potatoes with the seed end up, in the soil. Put the flats in a warm (70 degree) place and medium level light. Do these a couple weeks before you plan to plant outdoors. Potatoes do best with a soil PH of 5.0 – 7.5 range.

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Purple Potato Recipes

Purple Potato, Mushrooms & Onions 

  • 6  Purple potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
  • 1 T, olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon 

Heat 1 T. olive oil and sauté the onions and mushrooms about 5 minutes, until just tender and the onions become translucent.  Put into a bowl. 

Heat 2 T. olive oil (in the previously used pan) and fry the purple potato wedges until browned, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the onions and mushrooms back to the pan, then add the remaining ingredients.

Purple Potato Gratin


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 lbs purple potatoes unpeeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup shallot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour and cook about 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring until thickened.  Mix in cheddar cheese, salt and pepper until fully melted, then set aside. 

Sauté the shallots in olive oil until tender and caramelized, put aside in a bowl.

Brown the bacon in the same skillet, until just cooked, not crispy.  Cut into smaller pieces. 

Grease a shallow baking pan, and layer half the potatoes.  Add the shallots, then layer the remaining purple potatoes over top.  Pour the cheese gratin sauce completely over the potatoes.  Top with bacon and grated parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

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