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21 Dec 2021

Aunt Bessie's vs supermarket roast potatoes: which spud topped our Christmas taste test?

Find out if big-brand roasties are worth splurging on this festive season
Roast potatoes cooking

No roast dinner is complete without a piping-hot pile of roasties. But do you need to pay a premium for perfect potatoes this Christmas? 

To find out, our consumer panel blind-tasted Aunt Bessie's and Bannisters frozen roast potatoes alongside nine cheaper supermarket own-label options.

Just one widely available roastie was judged good enough to be named a Best Buy. But our great-value runner-up wasn't far off on flavour and was one of the cheapest on test.

Keep scrolling to find out which roast potatoes are worth picking up this festive season - and the ones to avoid. We also share some tasty leftover recipes in the hope that no Best Buy spuds will go to waste.

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Best Buy roast potatoes - and our top value pick

Aunt Bessie's and Aldi roast potatoes

Big-brand Aunt Bessie's produced the top-scoring roast potatoes this year, after rating well for flavour, texture, aroma and appearance.

Their golden colour and tasty flavour impressed our panel, as did their crispy exterior and soft fluffy potato centre.

Aunt Bessie's are sold at most big supermarkets so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a pack, but at £2.38 per kg they are also one of the most expensive roast potatoes on test.

Meanwhile, Aldi's ultra-cheap roasties scored slightly lower but their delicious flavour and crispy texture was still a hit with our tasters. Plus, they only cost 75p per kg which is great news if you're catering for a crowd this Christmas.

To see the full rankings and for tips on how to season frozen roasties, see our guide to the best roast potatoes.

Which roast potatoes came last in our taste test?

Lidl and Morrisons roast potatoes high res

Unfortunately, not all supermarket roasties impressed on the day. In fact, our panel found little to admire in Lidl and Morrisons' spuds, leaving them sitting at the bottom of the ranking.

Lidl's Harvest Basket roast potatoes were let down by their pale colour and weak flavour, but it was Morrisons' soggy texture that really disappointed.

At just 75p per kg, Lidl's roasties were joint-cheapest on test, but fortunately our great value pick from Aldi costs exactly the same.

See all of our Christmas-themed round-ups, including the best champagne and the best mince pies.

How we found the best roast potatoes

Roast potatoes

We tested 11 brands of roast potatoes including Aunt Bessie's and Bannisters as well as supermarket own-label options from Tesco, Aldi and Asda.

We cooked the roast potatoes according to pack instructions and served them blind to a panel of 66 tasters to rate.

They assessed them in a private booth, rating the taste, texture, appearance and aroma of each one.

The best brand achieved an overall score of 72%, while the worst got just 51%.

Still not sure what to serve for dessert this Christmas? See our guide to the best Christmas pudding.

What to do with leftover roast potatoes

leftover potatoes

To breathe life into leftover Christmas roast potatoes - and keep them crispy - you should always fry them. Chuck in some extra herbs and spices and you're good to go.

But if that doesn't take your fancy, see some more leftover recipe ideas below:

  • Bubble and squeak. Squash your roast potatoes, mix in some cabbage, sprouts and leftover turkey and fry in a pan. Jamie Oliver's bubble and squeak recipe also suggests serving with fried eggs and piccalilli.
  • Spanish-style tortilla. Your spare spuds could be the base of an omelette or spanish-style tortilla. See Nigella Lawson's easy to follow Spanish omelette recipe.
  • Cheesy gratin. Filled with cream and cheese, this is a slightly more indulgent dish but it's great for using up leftover veg. See Mary Berry's vegetable gratin recipe.
  • Boxing Day Pie. If you've got a ton of turkey left after Christmas, pair it with some leftover roasties, stuffing and some flaky pastry for a delicious Boxing Day pie. See Nigella Lawson's turkey and potato pie recipe.
  • Christmas Pizza. Give your pizza a festive twist by topping it with your leftover roasties, shredded turkey or ham and chunks of stuffing.

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