Made with just 5 ingredients with one pot in just under an hour, this traditional Greek potato stew (πατάτες γιαχνί) is rustic potato perfection. Red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, sweet red onions, minced garlic and yellow potatoes simmered in olive oil combine to create one of the simplest, most authentic and amazingly delicious Greek dishes you will ever enjoy!
I’ve found that yellow potatoes work very well in this recipe and much better than, say, red potatoes which just seem to fall apart here. You need a heartier potato that’s able to soak up all the amazing flavors of the sauce while still remaining intact. And I recommend peeling your potatoes with this recipe. Leaving the peels on takes away from the finished dish for me but you’re welcome to keep them on if you prefer. Thick slices of potato are my favorite and really give you a meal as opposed to just a side dish, though you can certainly serve it either way- I love a side of patates yiahni with Chickpea fritters (revithokeftedes)!
It’s important to remember that because there are just a few ordinary ingredients in this recipe, you need to make sure they’re the best quality. Ripe, juicy tomatoes and Greek olive oil are must haves in addition to fresh (not dried) parsley which brings such a brightness to this hearty potato dish. I use chopped fresh tomatoes because they make for a sweet and light tomato sauce but in a pinch you can use canned whole peeled tomatoes. If you do go with canned, drain off as much of the liquid as possible before chopping. Do not go with crushed or pureed tomatoes as your sauce will be much heavier and not nearly as light as it should be.
After sautéing the red onions and garlic, add the salt and pepper, tomato paste dissolved in water and chopped tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook down for about 10 minutes before adding the potatoes and remaining water. Add the chopped parsley about 2 minutes before adding the potatoes to help flavor the sauce; then once you add the potatoes, they’ll just soak up every drop of the yummy goodness!
Add your thick sliced potatoes and remaining water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Make sure not to over cook as the potatoes will begin to fall apart. They’ll still be super delicious but just not as pretty so I recommend you test them at the 35 minute mark.
- 3 lbs yellow potatoes (approx 6 cups thick slices)
- 3 cups sliced red onions (about 3/4 of large onion)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic (approx 4 large cloves)
- 3/4 cup Greek olive oil
- 3 chopped large tomatoes (approx 2 1/2 pounds or 3 1/2 cups)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water (in addition to the 5 cups below)
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp Greek sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a larger pot (at least 6 quart size), sauté red onions in olive oil over low heat until almost soft. Add garlic and sauté another 3-4 minutes until garlic is soft, careful not to burn.
Add salt, pepper, tomato paste dissolved in water and chopped tomatoes. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, adding parsley when you get to 8 minutes or so. Tomatoes should have begun to cook down and be pretty soft at this point.
Add thick slices of potato and remaining water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Check potatoes at 35 minutes for doneness.
Allow potato stew to sit, covered, off the heat for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy from the stove or at room temperature.
Make ahead and serve as a fantastic hot summer night’s dinner when you don’t want to cook or reheat something! Patates yiahni is a winner any time of year – kali orexi! Kiki 🙂
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