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Can I use yellow potatoes instead of Yukon Gold?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can substitute yellow potatoes for Yukon Gold potatoes in most recipes. While the two varieties have some differences, they can generally be used interchangeably in cooking. The main considerations are that yellow potatoes tend to be starchier, less moist, and have a milder flavor than Yukon Golds. You may need to adjust cooking times or liquid amounts slightly to account for the variations in moisture content. Overall, yellow potatoes make a fine substitute in mashed potatoes, soups, stews, roasted potatoes, potato salads and most other dishes calling for Yukon Golds.

Comparing Yukon Gold and Yellow Potatoes

Yukon Gold and yellow potatoes are both medium starch all-purpose potatoes. However, there are some key differences:


– Yukon Gold potatoes have thin, smooth yellow skin and yellow flesh.

– Yellow potatoes (also sometimes called American yellow potatoes) have light tan to golden skin with yellow flesh.


– Yukon Golds have a creamy, smooth, moist texture.

– Yellow potatoes tend to be slightly drier and more starchy or fluffy in texture.


– Yukon Gold potatoes are prized for their rich flavor described as almost buttery or nutty.

– Yellow potatoes have a milder flavor that is less sweet and rich than Yukon Golds.

Characteristic Yukon Gold Yellow Potato
Appearance Thin, smooth yellow skin and flesh Light tan to golden skin, yellow flesh
Texture Creamy, smooth, moist Slightly drier and fluffier
Flavor Rich, buttery, sweet nutty flavor Milder, less sweet flavor

Cooking Considerations

When substituting yellow potatoes for Yukon Golds, keep these tips in mind:

Moisture Content

Since yellow potatoes tend to be drier, you may need to slightly increase the amount of liquid used in recipes like soups, stews or mashes to achieve the ideal consistency. Add liquid gradually and adjust to your desired texture.

Cooking Time

The starchier flesh of yellow potatoes may take slightly longer to become tender. Add a few extra minutes to the cooking time and check for doneness with a fork.


To complement the milder flavor of yellow potatoes, consider adding more butter, herbs, garlic or other flavor boosters to dishes. Extra richness from dairy or stock can also help replicate the distinctive Yukon Gold taste.


Dishes like mashed or roasted yellow potatoes may end up with a slightly lighter yellow or pale gold color versus the richer golden yellow hues of Yukon Golds. Embrace the lighter tones or add a shake of turmeric or pinch of annatto powder to deepen the color if desired.

Dishes You Can Make with Yellow Potatoes

Here are some classic recipes that work well using yellow potatoes as a substitute for Yukon Golds:

Mashed Potatoes

For creamier mashes, use starchy Russet potatoes along with yellow potatoes. Increase milk, butter and seasonings to boost the flavor.

Potato Salad

Yellow potatoes hold their shape well in potato salads. Boost tangy, creamy dressings with lots of fresh herbs, garlic, mustard or spices.

Scalloped or Au Gratin Potatoes

The mild flavor of yellow potatoes pairs nicely with cheese in gratin dishes. Cook a bit longer for extra tender potatoes.


The slightly dry texture of yellow potatoes helps thicken potato soups nicely. Go bold on flavor with bacon, cream, cheese and herbs.

Roasted Potatoes

High heat roasting caramelizes and crisps yellow potato wedges beautifully. Toss in oil and top generously with spices and herbs.

Hash browns

Grate yellow potatoes for diner-style home fries. Cook over high heat in butter or oil until browned and crispy.

Potato Pancakes

Grate yellow potatoes, squeeze out moisture and blend with egg and flour for easy latkes or röstis. Pan fry until golden.

Shepherd’s Pie

The fluffy texture of mashed yellow potatoes provides a comforting topping for the meaty filling.

Potato Skins

Scoop yellow potatoes and top with cheese, bacon and chives for a classic game day appetizer.

Storage and Availability

Both Yukon Gold and yellow potatoes are common varieties available year-round. Choose firm potatoes without sprouts or green patches. Store in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks. Yellow potatoes are more prone to greening if exposed to light, so store them in a darker area. With proper storage, the subtle flavor and texture variations between the two types will not impact most recipes.


Yellow potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes have very similar nutritional profiles. Both provide an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and fiber. The table below shows some of the key nutritional details per 1 medium baked potato (4.3 oz / 120g):

Nutrient Yellow Potato Yukon Gold Potato
Calories 105 110
Carbs 24g 26g
Fiber 2g 2g
Protein 3g 3g
Vitamin C 40% DV 45% DV
Potassium 41% DV 42% DV
Iron 7% DV 5% DV

DV = Daily Value

Both potato varieties are fat-free, sodium free and cholesterol free. The small variances in certain vitamins and minerals are negligible, so the two types of potatoes can be considered nutritional equals.

Price Differences

Yellow potatoes tend to cost slightly less per pound than Yukon Golds. However, prices fluctuate depending on the season and availability in your area. Often, the cost difference is minimal enough that it should not be a deciding factor. Opt for the potato that best suits your recipe needs and is freshest at your grocery store.


While Yukon Gold potatoes offer exceptional flavor and texture, yellow potatoes can serve as versatile substitutes in most recipes calling for Yukon Golds. Adjust seasonings and cooking times as needed to allow for the starchier, milder flavor of yellow potatoes. When used in dishes that highlight their strengths, such as roasted, mashed or fried potatoes, the result will be a quality finished plate that saves a bit of money versus using premium Yukon Golds. With a little tweaking, yellow potatoes can be an excellent money-saving swap.