I had a soup recipe that asked me to chop up onions, carrots, and potatoes and then saute them together until soft. However, when I tried, the potatoes ended up sticking to the bottom and burning despite how much I stirred.

Is it possible to saute potatoes without using so much oil you're basically frying them?

  • 1
    What type of pan/pot are you using? What heat? Are you using oil, butter, broth? The more information the better we can help!
    – colejkeene
    Jan 8, 2013 at 14:12
  • My grandmother always used and a hot iron skillet and corn oil for potatoes - but she was basically making them "crisply golden brown" not saute so lower heat sounds like the trick Jan 8, 2013 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


Well, sautéing within itself is the process of frying in hot oil. So I'm not sure how you would actually sauté potatoes in hot oil without actually frying them.

If your potatoes are sticking to the bottom of the pan, then you're not using enough oil to fry them in.

It's difficult to give you any specific advice on this without actually knowing what what you're trying to make and what you're trying to achieve, what the next stage of the recipe is or how the potatoes are meant to be treated.

Do you liquidise this into a soup or are the potatoes meant to float around in the soup whole?

Here's a couple of thoughts on how you might get round this -

  • Sauté them in a non-stick pan. You won't find the potatoes will stick so easily in a non-stick pan. Then add the contents of this into a larger pot to continue your recipe.

  • Sauté just the carrots and onions in the pot and sauté the potatoes separately and add them later.

  • Par boil the potatoes, part sauté the onions and carrots and add the par boiled potatoes to the pan with the onions and carrots to sauté the potatoes before they have a chance to stick to the bottom of the pan.

  • The potatoes are meant to float in the soup whole. Basically the next step is to add the broth, tomatoes, and spices and simmer. Also, I view sauteing as a softening process and frying as a crisping process (typically with batter) but yes, you are correct and I am technically frying them. Perhaps I should have said "deep fry".
    – Pace
    Jan 9, 2013 at 0:13
  • @pace Okay, then I would try sautéeing them separately from the carrots and onions and adding them back in towards the end of cooking. Jan 9, 2013 at 16:39
  • instead of stirring, have you tried shaking the pan popcorn-style? schnitzel has to keep moving too or catches. Also rinsing and drying potato to remove starch covering. I very much agree with above 'potato separately'
    – Pat Sommer
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:54

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