Grilled Potatoes and Onions

CATEGORIES: Grill, Kate, Potatoes

So if any of you are fans of Modern Family, you probably know about Phil and Claire’s ongoing silent feud about the broken stair, right? And the fact that it never gets fixed? Well, the “broken stair” in my house is the hole in our deck that used to contain a dead tree until my husband cut the tree down, so it was a hole full of spiky dead tree branches. This afternoon, I went out on the deck with my brother-in-law and, after cautioning him about the hole, I walked backwards right into said hole. This resulted in a nice, tree branch-inflicting stab wound on my hamstring right as I was about to snap a picture of my ice cream that was set to go today. By the time it had been determined that I wouldn’t die from this painful and highly embarassing incident, my light was gone. This is a roundabout way of telling y’all that I’ll have to save my dad’s favorite Tutti Fruitti ice cream for another day. The upside is that I get to highlight an older recipe inspired by my dad. The other upside is that it took my husband about an hour after my spill into the depths of hell (okay, that might be a little dramatic) to fix the deck. A true miracle, right?

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Oh, man. I love these things. My dad is Captain Dutch Oven (that’s his actual superhero name) and I grew up eating delicious, smokey things cooked outside. However, as much as I love Dutch Ovening, it’s rarely practical or efficient to spend several hours heating up charcoal brickettes and cooking in the Dutch oven. While there’s no substitution for the real thing, these come pretty dang close, thanks to a special ingredient.

One day, I walked into Williams-Sonoma not knowing that my life would be changed forever. And no, I’m not overly dramatic. They gave me a sample of potatoes they’d been cooking and they tasted JUST like the Dutch oven potatoes I’d grown up eating. The secret? Smoked paprika .

Paprika itself is very mild; it’s basically dried, ground sweet red peppers. Well, with smoked paprika, the peppers are smoked on some kind of flavorful wood before they’re dried and ground, adding an incredible sweet, natural smokey flavor (not like that artificial-tasting hickory flavor powder stuff). However, at Williams-Sonoma, it was about $15 for a little can of the stuff, imported straight from Spain. Scratch that; I went to the grocery store and found some in the spice aisle. In fact, the bottle pictured is huge and it was about $3 at Sam’s club.  Whatever you do, though, don’t leave it out; it adds awesome bacon-y flavor, sans the fat and the inherent ickiness of steamed bacon.

Anyway, give these a try at all of your summer barbecues! I honestly think if I had to pick a last meal, it would be straight from the grill; some of my happiest memories include grilled meat, potatoes and onions, corn on the cob, and lots of cold watermelon on warm summer nights.

Grilled Potatoes and Onions

1 potato per person (any kind of potatoes work; for the sake of sentimentality, I’m partial to Russetts, although red and Yukon Gold potatoes are so smooth and delicious)
1/2 small onion per person (the one pictured is a little large because I used some onions in the corn)
1 Tbsp. butter per person, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. salt per person
Freshly-ground black pepper
Smoked paprika
Aluminum foil

Tear sheets (1 per person) of aluminum foil into about 16″ pieces. Fold each in half into a sqaure-ish and set aside.

Preheat grill. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/8-1/4″ thick
Slice onions about 1/8″ thick

Place 1 potato in the middle of each foil square and dot with butter pieces

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then sprinkle generously with smoked paprika. Remember, paprika is super mild, so it’s hard to add too much. Top each pile with onions.

Fold edges in and secure tightly. It’s important to get a good seal because the moisture will cook the potatoes and onions and you want all those yummy juices, so if it seems like there’s not quite enough foil, wrap packet in another layer.

Turn heat on grill to low. Place each packet on the grill. Close lid for 15 minutes. Turn and allow to cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully open each packet

(or, even better, let each person open their own packet–hey, less work for you, right??)

These can also be cooked in the oven at 400 for about 15-20 minutes (just check on them to see how they’re doing) or in a panini press for about the same amount of time.


  1. Thanks for this wonderful sounding recipes. Making my mouth water. Easy prepare and cleanup. Perfect. Going on the menu!

  2. I'm so glad to see this on the sidebar–hopefully more people will see it. I loved this recipe and make it all the time–I can't believe how awesome the smoked paprika makes these potatoes. So easy and awesome–good job, Kate.

  3. I’ve never used smoked paprika. These potatoes were wonderful. I usually leave the grilling to my husband, but I did these all by myself. Thanks!

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