What Is Yukon Gold Potato?

Buying, Cooking, and Recipes

A skillet filled with roasted Yukon Gold potatoes
4kodiak / Getty Images

The yellow-fleshed Yukon Gold potato is a great all-purpose potato, suitable for mashing, roasting, boiling, frying, and sautéing. When it comes to texture, this potato falls between the starchy russet and waxy red potato and has a naturally buttery flavor. Developed in Ontario, Canada, in the 1960s, the Yukon Gold potato now grows in other potato-growing regions, including Idaho.

What Is Yukon Gold Potato?

A Yukon Gold potato is a cross between a wild South American yellow potato and a North American white potato. Other gold-flesh potatoes are generally available from July through April, but Yukon Gold has a shorter availability season, usually from August through February. Its rosy pink eyes distinguish it from other thin-skinned yellow-flesh potatoes. It typically costs a bit more than standard white potatoes, russets, red potatoes, and other common gold potatoes, though generally less than fingerlings and other specialty varieties.

How to Cook With Yukon Gold Potato

Lightly scrub potatoes just prior to using them; do not wash potatoes before storing them as this introduces extra moisture and can hasten rot. The thin skin on Yukon Gold potato comes off easily, whether it's peeled before or after cooking. Leave it in its jacket when baking, steaming, or boiling, which prevents the flesh from crumbling when chopping or slicing the potato for use in a recipe. Peel it before proceeding with a recipe, or leave the skin intact for a more rustic and nutritious presentation.

What Does It Taste Like?

The concentrated flavor of buttery Yukon Gold potato means it tastes delicious, even with little seasoning. The flavor may even be described as a bit vegetal and slightly sweet.

Yukon Gold Potato Recipes

The versatility of Yukon Gold potato means it can substitute it for nearly any other potato in almost any dish. It holds together like red and other waxy potatoes, making it suitable for salads, but as mashers, it's on par with russets. Choose Yukon Gold when a dish would benefit from the pretty yellow color.

Where to Buy Yukon Gold Potato?

Yukon Gold potato is widely available at nearly any grocery store, health food store, or online grocery retailer. Make sure to look for packaging or signage that specifies Yukon Gold to distinguish it from other varieties of yellow-flesh potatoes. The potato may be packaged in 5- or 10-pound bags, or loose in bulk bins. Select potatoes that feel firm to the touch, with no bruised or bald spots, cuts, sprouts, or green areas. One potato with a soft spot or damaged area hastens the deterioration of the rest.

Potatoes grow easily in backyard gardens, too. The seeds from garden centers or online retailers are actual potatoes cultivated specifically as seed potatoes for planting.

Storage

Since they have slightly higher sugar content, gold potatoes do not store as well as russets. They need a cold environment, 40 F to 50 F, with an optimum 90 percent humidity. Storage below 33 F turns the starches into sugar. Store Yukon Gold potato in a paper bag (preferable) or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable crisper drawer, away from onions, and use within several weeks. Or put the potato in a well-ventilated cold-storage area such as a root cellar, being careful to protect it from any light source.

Exposure to light turns potatoes green, resulting in bitterness. A chemical called solanine causes this discoloration, and can also lead to intestinal discomfort. When the level of solanine exceeds as little as 0.01 percent, potatoes can become toxic. It's OK to cut off small green areas and use the rest of the potato, but if more than half the flesh looks green, toss it.

Store leftover cooked potatoes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. Another option: Freeze mashed gold potatoes in a sealed container with 1/2 inch of headspace; for best results, use them within three months. Reheat thawed mashed potatoes in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or water, while stirring constantly.

Nutrition and Benefits

A half-cup serving of cooked Yukon Gold contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. For a light 70 calories, it provides 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Keep in mind, though, that added butter, salt, and other seasonings can quickly escalate the fat and calories. With 32 percent per serving, Yukon Gold delivers more vitamin C than standard baking potatoes and is similarly high in potassium. Eat the nutritious and high-in-fiber skin to capture the greatest benefits.