Thanks to the Employee Council at Pocono Medical Center for this helpful and beneficial information about purple potatoes. This fall & winter these gems will be available at the market. Pick some up when you see them and try one of the recipes below! Purple potatoes can be a healthy addition to your diet.

Purple potatoes are a type of potato popular in South America, with their origins in Peru and Bolivia. These potatoes have many uses and a striking purple color that can brighten up any dish. Besides adding color to your table, these potatoes can be beneficial to your health due to their abundance of antioxidants.


Purple potatoes are a variety of potato with a purple-colored skin and flesh. There are several different types of purple potatoes such as Purple Majesty, Purple Viking and Purple Peruvian. When sold commercially, these potatoes are often the size of a golf ball, though if left to reach full maturity they can grow to a larger oblong shape. Purple potatoes are available year-round and are typically dry and starchy with a slight earthy and nutty flavor.

Nutritional Value

Purple potatoes are very similar to the popular Russet potatoes in nutritional value. One-half cup of purple potatoes contains 70 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein and no fat. One-half cup of Russet potatoes contains 66 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein and no fat. The one significant difference between purple potatoes and Russet potatoes is the antioxidant content; purple potatoes contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. Anthocyanin is a pigment that creates the purple color in the potatoes and also acts as an antioxidant.

Health Benefits

All potatoes are naturally high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. But the extra antioxidants in purple potatoes make them even more effective than other potato varieties. A study conducted by the USDA among overweight participants suffering from hypertension reported that consuming six to eight golf ball-sized purple potatoes twice daily for one month reduced blood pressure by an average of 4 percent. These antioxidants also strengthen your immune system and can help prevent certain heart diseases and cancers.


Purple potatoes have a medium-starchy texture, making them versatile and suitable in most recipes that call for potatoes. Used in potato salads, they can give a pop of color to a typically bland-looking dish. These potatoes will keep their shape when baked but also mash and blend well after boiling for use in mashed potatoes and soups. Purple potatoes have a delicate skin which contains many of the beneficial nutrients. This skin should be kept on when cooking to gain the maximum nutritional benefit.

Purple Potatoes with Rosemary and Olives

Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 30 min
Servings: 4

• 1 pound baby purple potatoes, scrubbed
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
• 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut into thin slivers
Fast. Easy. Delicious. Made in 30 minutes or less!

Directions: Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches; season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until a paring knife just pierces through the potatoes, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the oil and rosemary in a small skillet. Heat over medium heat until the rosemary sizzles; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and then remove from the heat and let stand. Drain the potatoes. When cool enough to handle, use a thin-bladed sharp knife to cut each in quarters. Very gently toss with the rosemary oil and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Purple Potato Salad

Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 20 min
Servings: 6 to 8

• 2 pounds small purple potatoes
• 1 purple onion, diced
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 lemon, juiced
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until fork tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain, then rinse in cold water, and cut in quarters. Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl and toss with onion, celery, dill, and parsley. In another bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, cayenne, vinegar, and lemon. Check seasoning. Add the dressing to the vegetable mixture. Toss gently to coat taking care not to mash the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.