Poor Man’s Potatoes

(Patatas a lo Pobre)

Vegan | Gluten-free | Easy one-pot recipe

A large earthenware dish of Poor Man's Potaties sits on a kitchen counter beside a chopping board with some fresh bread, garlic cloves, and fresh sprigs of Thyme

Poor Man’s Potatoes (Patatas a lo Pobre) is a super easy vegetarian recipe that uses just 6 humble ingredients to make an incredibly warming meal. Best of all, it’s cheap and really easy to prepare in just 10 minutes! Here’s how…

Easy Dinner Recipe | Spanish | Mediterranean Recipe | One-Pot | Healthy Recipe | Dairy-Free | Made in an Hour | Main Meal | Side Dish | Vegan | Vegetarian

Serving:

6 people

Ready in:

55 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Bread

About Poor Man’s Potatoes

Poor Man’s Potatoes is a fantastic recipe that uses just 6 ingredients to make a delicious vegan meal. Best of all, every ingredient is easy to find and super cheap, making this one-pot-wonder a savior for anyone who’s looking for a tasty meal on a tight budget!

Feel free to experiment with ingredients too, as substituting pumpkin or radish for potatoes works really well. For the carnivorous looking for a more hearty meal, throw in some chorizo or chunks of Morcilla and you’re good to go! 

vegetables for Poor Man's potatoes are laid out on a chopping board

Poor Man’s Potatoes Ingredients List

While it’s traditional to use 6 ingredients to make Poor Man’s Potatoes, you can really make this recipe with anything that can be thrown in the pot. I’ve made this dish roasting pumpkin instead of potato, and it works really well with scalloped radish too. 

In fact, any roastable vegetable is fair game and makes for a fantastic vegan meal that’s worthy of a few slices of fresh bread for an enthusiastic mop of the delicious oil.

6 basic ingredient for Poor Man’s Potatoes:

  • Potatoes 
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Equipment needed

1 large baking tray 20cm x 30cm (7 x 12 inches), either a metal tray or earthenware dish is fine, just make sure it has a lip of around 2-3 inches tall.

The Legacy of Poor Man’s Potatoes (Patatas a lo Pobre)

The name (‘Patatas a lo Pobre’ in Spanish) summons imagery of Spanish shepherds congregating around a log fire as a pot of Patatas a lo Pobre slowly bubbles away amongst a thin blue plume of smoke that hazes the distant valleys. 

Romantic imagery aside, this dish is not considered ‘light’ and is more so a nod to when Spanish cooking was simple, ingredients were basic, and often hard to come by. A time when Spanish cooking used hardy ingredients merely out of necessity, and when Spanish cooks strived to create something utterly delicious with the little that they had

Today, this dish is served throughout Spain, particularly in the cooler months, where it is not uncommon to find it cooked on open wood-burning stoves. It’s often found bubbling away in large cast-iron frying pans, but the recipe works perfectly well when baked in a large metal or earthenware baking tray in the oven.

A flock of sheep graze as the shepherd tends gazes over hazy mountains in the background.
A chopping board of ingredients sits on a kitchen bench and awaits a chef

Experimentation with ingredients

Poor Man’s Potatoes is my go-to dish when I’m looking for a warming meal and have little veg left in the pantry that could resemble much of a meal. The recipe is completely versatile and can be made with pretty much anything that you can roast

Experimenting is a great way to use up that odd root veg that’s been hanging around, while sampling with some flavors you’ll find in many traditional Spanish recipes.

If you’re looking to add some more depth and flavor to this dish, experimentation is key! 

For a meat infusion, add a little chorizo or a few chunks of morcilla and this will add a rich and rounded flavor of the meat with the roasted veg. Finish it off with a few eggs on top in the last few minutes of cooking and you’ve got a delicious meal

To keep things vegan, use some sweet paprika, a few bay leaves, and a few wedges of lemon all thrown into the pot. The paprika helps caramelize the onions and garlic, the bay leaves bring a lovely warm flavor and aroma, and the wedges of lemon bring a lovely tang that finishes this dish perfectly.

In this recipe, we’re going to make this exact vegan-friendly version of Poor Man’s Potatoes, and it takes just 10 minutes to prepare! Let’s go!

A large earthenware dish sits filled with poor mans potatoes beside a few sprigs of rosemary and ssome garlic

Ingredients

Method (step-by-step)

  • 800 grams (2 pounds) of waxy potatoes (Desirée potatoes are ideal)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 red or white onions 
  • 6-12 garlic cloves (whole, unpeeled)
  • 8 tablespoons (4 fl. oz.) of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 gram of sweet paprika
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of Thyme (approx 2 grams)
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • Salt and pepper (for seasoning)

    Method (step-by-step)

    • First, heat the oven to 220°C/428°F or around mark 8 on a gas oven. 
    • Chop up all the veggies into inch cubes or slices. 
    • Add the bay leaves, paprika, and olive oil, and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper (to taste).
    • Use a wooden spoon (or your hands) to mix all of the ingredients together, ensuring that everything has a good coating of the olive oil and seasoning. 
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and give everything a good stir with a spoon and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and the potatoes become golden. The onions should have been slightly caramelized.

    Poor Man’s Potatoes is best served with a few generous chunks of fresh bread and washed down with a nice cool glass of dry Spanish red wine such as a Rioja. 

    A large earthenware dish of Poor Mans Potaties sits on a kitchen counter beside a chopping board with some fresh bread garlic cloves and fresh sprigs of Thyme

    Poor Mans Potatoes (Vegetarian recipe)

    Byron
    Poor Man’s Potatoes is a fantastic recipe that uses just 6 ingredients to make a delicious vegan meal. Best of all, every ingredient is easy to find and super cheap, making this one-pot-wonder a savior for anyone who’s looking for a tasty meal on a tight budget!
    Feel free to experiment with ingredients too, as substituting pumpkin or radish for potatoes works really well. For the carnivorous looking for a more hearty meal, throw in some chorizo or chunks of Morcilla and you're good to go! 
    5 from 5 votes
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 45 mins
    Total Time 55 mins
    Course dinner, Main Course, Side Dish, vegan, vegetarian
    Cuisine healthy, Mediterranean, spanish, vegan, vegetarian
    Servings 6 people
    Calories 293 kcal

    Equipment

    • 1 large baking tray 20cm x 30cm (7 x 12 inches), either a metal tray or earthenware dish is fine, just make sure it has a lip of around 2-3 inches tall.

    Ingredients

    • 800 grams 2 pounds of waxy potatoes (Desirée potatoes are ideal)
    • 2 red peppers
    • 3 red or white onions
    • 6-12 garlic cloves whole, unpeeled
    • 8 tablespoons 4 fl. oz. of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 gram of sweet paprika
    • 6 bay leaves
    • 2 sprigs of Thyme approx 2 grams
    • 1 lemon cut into wedges
    • Salt and pepper for seasoning

    Instructions
     

    • First, heat the oven to 220°C/428°F or around mark 8 on a gas oven.
      An oven gauge turned up to 210c
    • Chop up all the veggies into inch sized cubes or slices.
      vegetables for Poor Mans potatoes are laid out on a chopping board
    • Finally, add the bay leaves, paprika, and olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper (to taste). Use a wooden spoon (or your hands) to mix all of the ingredients together, ensuring that everything has a good coating of the olive oil and seasoning.
      Veggie are chopped and lay in an earthenware oven dish waiting to be baked
    • Once the oven has reached cooking temperature, put the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and give everything a good stir with a spoon and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and the potatoes become golden. The onions should have been slightly caramelized.
      A large earthenware dish sits filled with poor mans potatoes beside a few sprigs of rosemary and ssome garlic

    Video

    Nutrition

    Serving: 300gCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 28.2gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2.7gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 4.1gCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword Cheap, easy, meal, mediterranean, Poor Man's Potatoes, Potatoes, spain, spanish, Spanish cuisine, vegan, vegan meal, vegetarian, vegetarian meal

    Poor Man’s Potatoes – Tips and FAQs

    How long does this recipe take to make?

    • Prep time: 10 minutes
    • Cook time: 50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 Hour

    Is this recipe healthy?

    Yes, a 150 g serving of Poor Man’s Potatoes provides:

    • 293 Calories
    • 4g Protein
    • 1.6g Dietary fiber
    • 28.3g Carbohydrates
    • 19g Fat (2.7 Saturated fats)
    • 0g Cholesterol

    Is this recipe vegan?

    Yes, it is. It is meat-free, dairy-free, and is perfect as a vegan dinner or side dish.

    Is this recipe easy to make?

    Yes, with only 10 minutes of prep work, this is an easy dinner or side option. We’ve included a step-by-step recipe guide above. 

    Best potatoes to use for Poor Man’s Potatoes?

    Waxy potatoes such as Desiree or Yukon Gold Potatoes both work well for this recipe.

    What goes with Poor Man’s Potatoes?

    This recipe is an excellent main all on its own. It’s also great as a side dish and can be served alongside meat, chicken, or fish dishes.

    Nutrition & Diet

    Poor Man’s Potatoes

    This is a very traditional dish from an entirely different era in Spain where ‘diets’ were rarely (if ever) considered and more so enacted due to more dire circumstances. 

    This dish at its most core ingredients uses a lot of olive oil and potentially salt (depending on how liberal you are with it) and combines a high carbohydrate count with almost a kilogram of potatoes. Like everything, moderation is key and this meal is ideal as a side dish with some roasted fish, meat, or a vegetarian dish.

    • Protein 8% 8%
    • Carbs 10% 10%
    • Total Fat 24% 24%
    A small earthenware dish is filled with Poor Man's Potatoes, a Classic Spanish Recipe that's quick and cheap to make

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