You won’t believe the different types of potatoes and the countless potato varieties that exist all the over the world to this day. For cooking purposes, we can say that there are basically six main types: yellow, red, Russet, white, fingerling and blue. Each type has certain characteristics which allow them to be used for specific cooking methods.

In addition, you can take advantage of their different colors to create dishes with interesting beauty. Before you grab the first potato you come across, keep in mind that by choosing the right type you have completed the first step for making a good potato recipe. The versatility of potatoes allows them to be cooked for breakfast, lunch and then dinner.

It is important to know what type of potatoes you should use when baking and boiling. For example, if you want to add potatoes to soups or stews you should use red, yellow or blue potatoes. They are lower in starch and it means that when boiling they will not fall apart.

Potatoes for baking purposes are high in starch and when they are done, the texture is very soft. They should not be confused with sweet potatoes which are another vegetable.

Next you will find some of the most common varieties of potatoes (which are among the nightshade vegetables) and the best ways to cook them.

The 6 types of potatoes and what you can do with them:

Yellow Potatoes

yellow type of spuds

You guessed it, they are potatoes with a yellow color. They have a golden skin and interior. They are a bit smaller than Russets but have a natural tendency to have a higher amount of nutrients. They are known to be a superior quality variety that can be used for most recipes.

They have a lower starch texture than the Russet but can still be used for any dish requiring Russets without affecting the result. They are considered “all purpose”, which means that you can use them to cook easy potato recipes like mashed or baked potatoes. Sadly, the drawback with this type is they tend to rot faster than Russets.

Red Potatoes

red spuds

Red potatoes as you may imagine have a red skin, unlike the yellow varieties and most of them have white flesh. The red variety has a firm waxy texture, which makes them perfect for soups and delicious potato salads. They have a pretty good quality but tend to get damaged with ease.

When you buy them, be prepared to use them as fast as you can as they last even less than yellow ones. Some people love to cook these potatoes with the skin but if you plan to do that wash them very thoroughly.


Russet potatoes are very popular, also known as Idaho Potatoes. They are among the most common types of potatoes. The Russet variety has a brown, tough skin with white flesh and is very high in starch. Normally they are bigger than the yellow and red types.

The Russets also last longer than yellow and red ones when kept on the proper conditions (dark, cool and dry storage area). They are considered “less fancy” than yellow and red ones but personally I love mashed potatoes so they are in the top of my list. Russets are great to cook mashed potatoes and also are good for baking.

white spuds

The white potato has a somewhat similar appearance to the Russet potato. They have a light “brown” skin but are smaller with a rounder shape. The skin is also thinner than the Russet. The white potato variety is more of a general purpose potato similar to the yellow type (not too starchy not too waxy).

These types of potatoes get damaged very easily and I personally have noticed they get diseases more often than all other types so if you want to use them keep that in mind.

fingerling spuds

The fingerling potato is another popular variety. They are called “fingerling” due to their shape resembling fingers. These potatoes are very small compared to the other varieties and can be a bit pricey. If you want to prepare a fancy potato dish they will come in handy.

Their skin comes in several different colors like yellow or purple and their flesh can also vary the same way. The skin is typically thin, which makes it easy for people to cook them without peeling. They are not the preferred type to create big meals but they can do the trick if you need a side dish.

blue potatoes

They are among the most curious types of potatoes. Their color is due their high antioxidant content. This gives them an edge over other potato varieties in terms of nutrition. In other words you could say they provide slightly more health benefits than the others.

Blue potatoes are ideal if you want to create eye catching dishes. Their color can do wonders especially when used in potato salads. Believe me they will stir a lot more curiosity than traditional recipes using white flesh potatoes. Their starch (info) content is considered medium, which means they can be cooked in most ways without a problem.