The festive season is well and truly here and for those who are perhaps a bit behind on prep for Christmas dinner, worry not.
If you’re planning on a whole feast for guests, the reality is that doing it all yourself can be a bit much to handle.
That’s why there’s no shame in picking up a few store-bought items along the way.
So if you’re looking to serve your turkey with a side of roast potatoes, here are the best and worst supermarket options available for Christmas.
My first impression of these roast potatoes was that they looked lovely and crispy, especially for frozen roast potatoes.
However, that’s unfortunately where the good things to say about them ends.
They had to be turned a few times throughout cooking – as is to be expected – which left them crispy and well cooked, but they had almost no fluffiness or flavour despite the promised beef dripping – especially disappointing for being Asda’s “Extra Special” range.
Having left the Lidl roast potatoes in the oven for five minutes longer than the instructions called for, I was left disappointed by the colour on these tatties despite turning them throughout cooking.
They were pale and slightly smaller than others I had already sampled and I had braced for disappointment.
However, Lidl’s offering left me pleasantly surprised. They were certainly worse looking than many of their supermarket roast potato rivals, but they tasted much better than many of the others on this list and still managed to be crispy despite first impressions.
If these were paired with a tasty turkey and some gravy the only thing that would give away their freezer aisle origin is their appearance, not their taste.
The first chilled roast potatoes on this list, it’s worth noting that these items come with a closer use by date than any frozen variety.
This wasn’t to their detriment, however, when the large pack came with two chunky blocks of beef dripping to melt over the potatoes while they were in the oven for maximum crispness.
The instructions did provide options when it came to cooking, as you can either bake them in the foil tray or, as M&S recommend, decant them onto a preheated baking sheet.
I followed their instructions and preheated a baking tray, cooking them for 50 minutes and turning once throughout.
By far, these were the best supermarket roast potatoes I had tried. They had a little but of everything you’d like in a roast potato: crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and with nice flavour from the beef dripping.
With practically the same cooking instructions, price and size between these goose fat roast potatoes and the beef dripping variety, one may question how different they really are.
The answer is not very. But that’s not a bad thing.
Instead of leaving the beef dripping blocks to melt across the potatoes, you instead cut the sachet of goose fat to help turn these tatties into perfect roasties.
Once again following the brand’s instructions to cook on a preheated baking tray, they also boasted good texture; both fluffy and crispy. The only area in which they fell behind was flavour, lacking that extra lift the beef dripping provided.
Another chilled roast potato option is from Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range.
The chunky Maris Piper roast potatoes looked promising, and the crispy coating and goose fat seemed to be smeared around the inside of the packet.
They were to be cooked on a preheated baking tray and turned once halfway through the 50 minute cook time, and when turning I could see the golden colour forming around the tattie.
But once out of the oven they didn’t live up to my “Taste the Difference” expectations. Despite managing to capture the crisp outer layer, they weren’t fluffy inside, and Sainsbury’s ended up being another supermarket with roast potatoes which had no real taste to them.
While the majority of options on this list met the image in my head of what a perfect roast potato looks like – golden, crispy, delicious potato chunks – these ones didn’t.
Baby potatoes with skins still on, the Crunchy Mini Roast Potatoes were coated with a rosemary and parsley dressing as well as a garlic-infused oil.
Given their size, the cook time on these featured an unsurprisingly shorter cooking time – particularly if you decanted them as I did.
The flavour was there with these potatoes and they were genuinely tasty and cooked well on the inside, but there was no crispness to them at all; they were just soft.
Like the M&S chilled potatoes, these could either be cooked in their foil trays or decanted onto a preheated baking tray, which is how I chose to cook them.
These Tesco potatoes also had blocks of beef dripping included and some seasoning scattered across them.
They were to be turned after 20 minutes of cooking time for around 50 minutes, which left them with a crunchy exterior.
But there was, once again, no fluffy inside to these potatoes. While overall decent, they didn’t come close to the flavour of the equivalent M&S roast potatoes despite their similarities.
In addition to their chilled items, Tesco also offers frozen beef dripping roast potatoes.
They were, visually, almost identical to the Asda Extra Special roast potatoes but I hoped that they wouldn’t taste the same.
This wasn’t the case, and they were indeed very similar to the Asda frozen potatoes with nice crispy outer layer but not much else going on.
Rounding out Tesco’s chilled offerings is the Maris piper roast potatoes with goose fat.
Visibly fluffy looking with a coating for crunch and greasy goose fat, these potatoes had the longest cook time of any other at 70 minutes.
Even following the instructions mine ended up slightly dark, but definitely crispy. They were fluffy on the inside and they had the best mix of elements of any Tesco roast potato, including flavour.