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Wonderful easy Make-Ahead Roasted Rosemary Potatoes for 50

Oven Roasted Potatoes

What’s not to like.

There’s no peeling, and just a bit of chopping.  You can make this up to 2 days in advance.  It re-heats beautifully. And the ultimate test of a great large group recipe?  I’ve had several people say, “Wow.  I’m going to make a smaller version of this for my family.”


You’ll be using two large (13 x 20 x 3) aluminum roasting pans for each batch to serve 50.  Here’s what they look like in one of the pans fresh from the oven.

Potatoes for a Large Group

You can also make these for a smaller crowd (like your family) on a sheet pan just as easily like I’ve done below.  They are FANTASTIC.  (Disclosure: I really love, love potatoes, so I’m not even remotely a fair judge.  But rumor has it, these are very good.)    The Family-sized recipe follows the Potatoes for 50 recipe.

Potatoes for a Large Group

I first made this recipe for the 150 person cast and crew of our church’s production of Savior of the World.  Three of us each made one batch (one batch uses two aluminum roasting pans) to serve 50.  That means for 150 servings we had 6 large (20 x 13 x 2) disposable aluminum pans full of potatoes.  You can use a different size pan as long as you don’t use a deeper pan which will increase the cooking time.  If you are making more than 2 pans in one oven it will also increase the cooking time by about 15 – 20 minutes.

Multiple members of the cast and crew came back for seconds on the potatoes and when we were done there were none left.

Mission accomplished.

The seasonings make the potatoes!

The biggest problem most people have with potatoes, especially potatoes for a crowd, is they under-season them.  Potatoes take a lot of seasoning to really taste good.  In my large group recipe, I call for:

  • 1 tablespoon dried, chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

for each pan of potatoes.  Don’t worry, that’s not too much.

You can certainly use white or yellow onions if sweet are not available.  Often white or yellow onions are smaller than the sweet onions, so I’d pick up 3-4 more if you’re using white or yellow.

Pin for Later

Megs Breakfast Casserole

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Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes for 50


4.8 from 5 votes
Roasted Potatoes and Onions
Roasted Potatoes and Onions for a Crowd
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Yield: 50 (4 to 5 oz.) servings 

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 50 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 11 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (or other yellow potatoes) cut in 1-inch chunks or wedges
  • 10 large onions , chop in large pieces, (you can use white, yellow or sweet)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil to coat vegetables - Divided between 2 pans
  • 4 tablespoons dried rosemary rough chopped - Divided between 2 pans
  • 4 tablespoons Kosher salt - Divided between 2 pans
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder - Divided between 2 pans
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper - Divided between 2 pans
Special Equipment
  • 2 (13 x 20 x 3 inch) aluminum roasting pans - These are sold as Steam Table pans – Full Size
  1. Chop unpeeled potatoes and onions into large (1 inch sized) pieces.  

  2. Divide chopped potatoes and onions between 2 large aluminum roasting pans. Pour 1/4 cup oil over each pan of vegetables.  Toss the vegetables to coat them with the oil.

  3. Sprinkle each pan of potatoes with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss again to distribute seasonings.  Roast at 350 degrees for an hour. Stir the vegetables two or three times during the hour.  The vegetables are done when an inserted fork meets with no resistance.

  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated.  When ready to serve: reheat, UNCOVERED, in a roaster oven on high until hot (about 15 - 30 minutes), stirring several times - - - then REDUCE HEAT to low to hold for up to 2 hours.  


Family-sized Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

4.8 from 5 votes
Roasted Potatoes
Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes - Family Sized
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes cut in 1-inch chunks or wedges
  • 2 large sweet onions chopped in large pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. Place a rimmed sheet pan in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a large bowl.  Peel and chop the onions in large pieces and add to the potatoes.

  3. Add the oil to the bowl with the potatoes and onions and toss until the vegetables are well coated.  Evenly sprinkle with the salt, pepper and rosemary and toss again to evenly distribute the seasonings.

  4. Carefully pour the vegetables onto the sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer.  At 15 minutes and again at 30 minutes, stir with a spatula to change sides of vegetables in contact with hot pan.

  5. Roast in the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are fork tender, brown and crisp.  Remove the potatoes from the oven, season with salt to taste and serve hot.

Here’s some additional large group potato recipes.

Hash Browns for a large crowd

And everything you need for a successful Potato Bar.

Potato Bar for a large crowd

Another great choice is my family Potato Salad recipe.  It’s wonderful!

Potato Salad for a crowd


  1. Laura

    The guidance and recipe is greatly appreciated. I made this with 60 pounds of potatoes. I served 140 people, we had lots leftover, but I thought the quantity called for in the recipe may have not been enough.
    Excellent recipe, although I did increase the amount spice used and could have used more. The rosemary was delicious though.
    Thank you again. The potatoes were a big hit at the wedding.

  2. Kim

    I am planning to make this for a brunch. You mention 2 different sized pans for the recipe for 50 servings. Should we be roasting in two 11 x 9 x 2 1/2 inch pans or in two 13 x 20 x 3 aluminum roasting pans?

    • Betsy Edwards

      For the large group recipe use two 13 x 20 x 3 aluminum roasting pans. These are sold as Steam Table pans – Full Size. Anything roughly this size will do.

  3. Yvonne

    I have a quick question. You mention that the potatoes can be prepared ahead and then reheated in an uncovered roaster. Does the whole 50 servings go in at once or do you have to reheat them 1 tray quantity at a time? Also what size roaster do you recommend?

    • Betsy Edwards

      Hi Yvonne,
      It will depend on the size of your roaster oven. I fill mine about 3/4 full with the potatoes, which gives me room to stir them. My favorite roaster oven is the Nesco 18 quart. Most or all of your potatoes should fit in it with room to stir. The main reason I like it is that it uses a ‘Circle of Heat’ heating element that wraps around on the side for moist, even cooking. It keeps the food from burning on the bottom, (which can easily happen with heavy dense food items and a cooking element on the bottom of a roaster oven). The automatic temperature control maintains even cooking temperatures from 200 degrees to 450 degrees. I liked it so well I bought 2!
      Here’s my Amazon affiliate link to it if you’re interested. Stop back in and let me know how your even turns out!

  4. Christy

    Does the oil & spices need to be cut in half since there are two pans for the recipe? Or are those measurements meant to be for (1) pan?

    • Betsy Edwards

      Hi Cristy,
      The biggest problem most people have with potatoes, especially potatoes for a crowd, is they under-season them.  Potatoes take a lot of seasoning to really taste good.  For each pan, you’ll want:

      1 tablespoon dried, chopped rosemary
      1 tablespoon kosher salt
      1 tablespoon garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon black pepper
      for each pan of potatoes. 
      Don’t worry, that’s not too much. I’ve updated the recipe to make that more clear! Thanks for the question.

  5. Tara C

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. The potatoes were DEE-LISH. I made them for church for our Easter brunch. Everyone loved them.

  6. cooper

    How do you reheat them in the oven? Not a slow cooker. How long and covered or uncovered?

    • Betsy Edwards

      How many are you serving? It will impact my answer somewhat.

      • Frank Smith

        I am looking to prepare this same for about 40 servings, and I had the same question about reheating in a conventional oven.

        • Betsy Edwards

          Hi Frank,
          Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been on vacation. I have not tried re-heating them in an conventional oven, but this recipe is so popular I’ll try it shortly and post the specific results. In the meantime, I’d try this – but please keep in mind it is an estimate on my part: Heat your oven to 400 degrees, keep potatoes in the disposable aluminum roasting pan and cover them with foil. Re-roast them until they’re warm all the way through, I’m guessing from room temperature this will take about 20 – 30 minutes. If the potatoes have been in the refrigerator, I’d plan on 30 – 40 minutes. Once they are hot, I’d remove the foil and roast for another 5 – 10 to crisp up.

  7. Diane

    Really great recipe. Thank you

  8. Betsy Edwards

    Hi Ann,
    I’ve made these potatoes quite a few times (in this 1″ chunk format) and assigned them out to others as well. Everybody really likes these potatoes with folks often coming back for seconds. I’ve never tried them cut in half in a large electronic roaster, but I believe they would do fine. There are about 27-30 potatoes in a 10-pound bag of No. 1 potatoes. These should all fit in your roaster oven just fine. A half potato will cook in a regular oven at 400°F for about 30-40 minutes. Depending on your roaster oven I’m guessing it and will probably take between an 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook stacked and cut in halves.

    If I was going to cut them in half and cook them in a roaster oven, I would do the following:
    1. Make sure the inside surface of the roaster is well greased.
    2. Set your electric roaster to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the prepped potato halves, making sure the potatoes don’t touch the sides so they don’t stick. Also don’t wrap them in foil to bake as this just steams the potato, makes the skin soggy and slows down the cooking process.
    3. Replace the roaster oven cover and set a timer for 1 hour (they may need up to an additional 30 – 45 minutes).
    4. Start testing them with a knife at the 1 hour mark. Once the internal temperature of the potato reaches 210 degrees F or a knife can be inserted with no resistance, they’re done.

    According to Dr Potato with the Idaho Potato Commission ( 29 WHOLE potatoes will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes in a roaster. Since I don’t know the exact time for the half potatoes, if we’re off on the time, it would certainly impact your serving schedule one way or the other (under-done potatoes which are nasty or not eating on time, which is also unacceptable – especially if you’re serving a large group).

    BUT (good news) – one of the characteristics I strive for in all my Large Group recipes is its ability to hold without impacting the quality – and I know from experience these potatoes hold REALLY well. SO – – – what I would do is to assume they are going to take the full 1 hour and 45 minutes and start cooking them 2 hours before you’re due to serve them. That way in case they DO take the full 1 hour 45 minutes, you have plenty of time. If they take less than that, no problem! Simply remove the lid, REDUCE the roaster to LOW (200-225) and and let them sit uncovered, checking on them every 15-20 minutes.

    One other option: These can be made (in the chunk version) up to 2 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. When ready to serve reheat, UNCOVERED, in a roaster oven on high until hot (about 15 – 30 minutes), stirring several times – – – then REDUCE HEAT to low to hold for up to 2 hours.

    Here’s a couple links which may be helpful if you’re serving a large group:

    I’d really love to hear how it turns out!
    Best wishes,

  9. Ann Plumb

    Could you make this in a large electric roaster? They would be stacked on one another. I would like to just cut them in half,so how would you adjust the cooking time?


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