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Duchess Potatoes: the French side dish recipe for traditional, beautiful pomme duchesse

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Duchess potatoes are small, fluffy flakes of mashed potatoes enriched with parmesan cheese, eggs, butter, a pinch of nutmeg and baked until browned on top. Also called pomme duchesse, it is a French side dish which pipes potatoes to create its typical decorative swirls, instead of serving classic mashed potatoes.

They're perfect to amaze family and friends at a special dinner, especially around the fall and winter holidays. With a buttery flavor, duchess potatoes are super crispy and brown on the outside and incredibly soft, creamy on the inside.

Quick and easy to make, you don't even need cream for this version. Simply boil the potatoes and reduce them into a coarse puree with a potato masher, without working them for a long time. Then mix them with the other ingredients and collect the mixture in a pastry bag with a star-shaped nozzle, to obtain some pretty tufts to bake in the oven. The result is morsels golden on the outside and very soft at the heart.

Duchess potatoes are the perfect side dish for meat-based dishes, but they can be accompanied by any main course. So let’s find out how to make duchess potatoes by following our recipe step by step.

What are Duchess Potatoes?

Duchess potatoes are an easy, fancy, bite-sized side dish that you can also enjoy as appetizer. Quick and easy, it's made with butter, potatoes, parmesan, eggs and nutmeg.

It is still unclear why this recipe is called in this way. It is said the duchess potatoes were probably made for a British duchess who visited France, hence the name duchess potatoes.

What are the best Potatoes to use for Duchess Potatoes?

Use floury potatoes with yellow or red flesh such as Yukon Golds, or Russet potatoes.

Can you make Duchess Potatoes ahead of time?

You can also make duchess potatoes a day in advance and bake them a few minutes before serving them.

Can you make Duchess Potatoes without Pastry Bag?

If you don't have a pastry bag or sac-à-poche, you can place the mashed potatoes in a plastic bag with a top cut off.

Can you make Duchess Potatoes without Eggs?

Don't leave out eggs when you make duchess potatoes. They're essential for the texture as they bind the potatoes with other ingredients.


If you don't have a potato masher, you can use a potato ricer.

You can garnish the potatoes as you want by sprinkling fresh herbs or extra parmesan cheese flakes.

To further accentuate the contrast of textures, you can also brush the duchess potatoes with beaten egg yolk before cooking.

For loaded duchess potatoes, you can bacon or sausage crumble while you mash the potatoes.

For fluffier duchess potatoes, you can also add a little bit of cream.

How to store Duchess Potatoes

You can store the duchess potatoes in the refrigerator, in a special airtight container, for 2-3 days.

Can you freeze Duchess Potatoes?

Once baked, you can freeze duchess potatoes for 1-2 months. Before serving, take them out of the freezer and place them directly in the oven for about 10 minutes at 180°C/355°F.

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How to make Duchess Potatoes

Boil the yellow flesh potatoes in boiling, lightly salted water for about 40 minutes.

Drain the yellow flesh potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes.

Remove the peel.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher directly in a bowl.

Add the butter and nutmeg, then mix well.

Add the grated parmesan cheese.

Mix thoroughly.

Also add the eggs.

Mix everything until you have a homogeneous mixture.

Collect the mixture in a pastry bag with a large star-shaped nozzle.

Stop a few centimeters from the edge so as to be able to close it without letting the mixture out.

Butter one or more oven dishes 12.

Make tufts of about 5 centimeters in diameter, well spaced.

Continue until the mixture is all used up and using, if necessary, more oven dishes.

Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

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