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 🙂
Order Nisteia Magazine Now!
56 full-color pages, 25 detailed recipes with gorgeous photos, 4 feature articles and perfect binding
Dedicated to celebrating the simplicity and beauty of authentic, traditional Greek vegan food.
This is on my menu planner for next week after the local farmer’s market in Agios Nikolaos on Wednesday
Oh how I miss that market!!! I need to get back to Crete..
I recently came across this website. I made this recipe today and all my carnivore family loved it. It was amazing. Can’t wait to try lots of other recipes on the site. This could be my favourite vegan recipe site ever. Do you have plans to make a recipe book or does a book already exist? Would love to buy it.
The water didn’t cook off as I’d hoped it would, but all of the onions gave it a really sweet taste. I think some lemon juice might be a good addition. Good recipe.
Are others having trouble finding Greek oregano, olive oil and sea salt? Would having other types be ok to make this …or just don’t bother? Think I will try it anyway!!! May comment on my results.
Hi Sheila! I recommend Greek olive oil, oregano and sea salt because they are very high quality – moreso than say, a blend of olive oils or regular table salt or oregano that’s been sitting in a jar forever on a supermarket shelf. Feel free to make substitutions that you feel would still maintain good quality while being a bit more practical if Greek products aren’t readily available, Kiki 🙂
Is 5 cups of water a lot? Will it cook off? I can’t wait to try this!
Alexis, I find that the amount of water differs slightly with what kind of potatoes I use. For nice, thick slices of yellow potatoes the 5 cups works very well. Lighter, less dense potatoes like red often need up to a cup less water. Whichever potatoes you use, the water should not cook off entirely – you want to end up with from 1-2 cups of a light sauce. Each servings would be plated with approximately 1/3 cup of sauce. Sauce isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for here but the only one that coming up right now 🙂 do hope you try them, they’re wonderful! Kiki
People are mentioning fresh Greek oregano in the comment , but I am not seeing it listed in the ingredient list … Am I just missing it ?
Julia, I think the oregano is added to the list because many other recipes on The Greek Vegan call for Greek oregano. I may be biased but I think Greek oregano, sea salt and olive oil are the best so I always use and recommend them 🙂 To clarify, there is no oregano, fresh/Greek/otherwise in this recipe! Kiki xx
Thanks ! I did make the recipe as written ( well I cut back on the oil a little ) and it was /is delicious!!
couldn’t agree more 🙂
Could this be made in a crock pot? What would you recommend for timing?
Cindy, I’ve never tried it in a crock pot myself and so have no advice to give unfortunately! The recipe as it is cooks all in one pot and is done in less than an hour so maybe give the stovetop version a try? Sorry not to be of more help, Kiki xx
How many people does this recipe serve? I’m wanting to make enough to feed at least 20 people.
Andrea, this recipe feeds 4 generously and 6 well. for potato recipes, I usually approximate portions of 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per person (mashed/boiled/stewed) and it always works out well. hope this helps! Kiki 🙂
We tried the recipe today it came out very delicious, we just cut back on the oil, thank you Kiki, we
have tried different recopies from your website and it always works out well.
The world is one small planet…this dish is hugely popular in India…it’s called aaloo dum…simple ingredients..yet superb taste make it a favourite for everyone