Two popular potato varieties are Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes. Not all potatoes are the same causing many people to ask about their differences. Let’s answer, what’s the difference between Yukon Gold potatoes and Russet potatoes?
Yukon Gold potatoes are smaller and rounder than the larger Russet potato which has a more oval shape. Russet potatoes have a brown skin with a white flesh. Yukon Gold potatoes have a light tan to yellow skin with a yellow flesh. Russet potatoes have a thicker, tougher skin and taste starchier than Yukon Gold potatoes.
This article will do a side-by-side comparison of their nutrients. In addition, I’ll examine their tastes, textures, cooking methods, costs and whether one can substitute for the other.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Yukon Gold Potato vs Russet Potato Nutritional Content
You may have heard certain potatoes are higher in some nutrients than others. This may be true to a certain extent. There are some similarities and differences. Therefore, let’s take a look at the nutrients contained in each potato.
The following table is a side-by-side comparison of the nutrients contained in Yukon Gold potatoes and Russet potatoes:
|Yukon Gold Potato Raw (100 g)||Russet Potato Raw (100 g)|
|Protein||2.03 g||2.14 g|
|Carbohydrates||17.5 g||18.1 g|
|Fiber||1.4 g||1.3 g|
|Fat||0.05 g||0.08 g|
|Sugar||0.68 g||0.62 g|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||1 IU|
|Beta-carotene||0 mcg||0 mcg|
|Vitamin C||18.2 mg||5.7 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.13 mg||0.34 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||11 mcg||14 mcg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.07 mg||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.02 mg||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.08 mg||1.04 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||0.3 mg||0.3 mg|
|Magnesium||16 mg||23 mg|
|Phosphorous||41 mg||55 mg|
|Potassium||419 mg||417 mg|
|Iron||0.73 mg||0.86 mg|
|Copper||0.05 mg||0.10 mg|
|Calcium||14 mg||13 mg|
|Zinc||0.2 mg||0.3 mg|
|Manganese||0.15 mg||0.15 mg|
Both of these potatoes provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. At first glance it may be difficult to determine which potato is healthier. Let’s answer, what’s healthier, Yukon Gold Potatoes or Russet potatoes?
Yukon Gold potatoes are healthier than Russet potatoes due to its higher percentage of vitamin C. Yukon Gold contains a little over three times the number of vitamin C per 100 grams than Russet potatoes. Yukon Gold provides 18.2 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, and Russet potatoes provide 5.7 mg.
The vitamin C is what gives the Yukon Gold potato the slight edge over the Russet potato. All the other vitamins and minerals are very similar between the two potatoes, and most people can’t go wrong choosing either one.
If you want to try a low-carb diet, you may want to look for alternatives to potatoes altogether.
Keto Bread Tip: Great News! Did you know, you don’t have to give up your favorite bread, pizza or sandwiches to follow a 100% Keto diet. Find out more in the KetoBreads website by clicking here, Keto Breads.
Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes Taste and Texture
Due to a slightly different color flesh and skin color, it’s easy to think they don’t taste the same. Let’s examine the taste and texture of a Yukon Gold potato and Russet potato.
Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes have a mild, unsweet flavor. Yukon Gold is more buttery and less starchy than Russet potatoes. Both are creamy but Russet potatoes have a thicker and tougher skin to chew after cooked.
What does a Yukon Gold potato taste like? Yukon Gold potatoes have a mild and slightly buttery flavor. Yukon Gold is less starchy than other potatoes and are creamy and moist.
What does Russet potatoes taste like? Russet potatoes have a neutral, mild flavor which is unsweet. There’s a starchy undertone and the flesh is creamy. If you eat the skin, russet’s skin is thicker than other potatoes.
Can You Substitute Yukon Gold Potatoes for Russet Potatoes?
Yukon Gold potatoes can substitute for Russet potatoes when making mashed potatoes, scalloped or adding potatoes to a soup. Russet potatoes can substitute for Yukon Gold when cooking French fries or scalloped potatoes. Both potatoes can substitute for each other when cooking baked potatoes.
Don’t substitute Russet potatoes for Yukon Gold in a soup because Russet are too starchy and don’t hold their shape when boiled.
Which is better for mashed potatoes russet or Yukon gold? Yukon Gold potatoes are better for mashed potatoes due to their slight buttery flavor and moist flesh when cooked properly and mashed.
What are Yukon Gold Potatoes best for?
Use Yukon Gold potatoes for the following:
- Soups containing potatoes
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked potatoes
- Crispy roasted potatoes
- Scalloped potatoes
Use Russet potatoes for the following:
- Baked potato
- Mashed potatoes
- French fries
- Scalloped potatoes
If you’re interested about how sweet potatoes held up against pumpkin for health and nutrition, check out my article, Pumpkin vs Sweet Potato: A Complete Comparison.
Do Yukon Gold potatoes cook faster than Russet? Yukon Gold potatoes cook faster than Russet due to their smaller size. Boiling times for whole Yukon Gold potatoes is 15 to 20 minutes and 25 to 30 minutes for Russet potatoes.
There are a few things you should consider before substituting these potatoes with each other.
- Increased cooking times is recommended when substituting Russet for Yukon Gold potatoes. This is due to their larger size.
- If you’re substituting Yukon Gold for Russet, remember shortening the cooking time.
- The quantity of potato called for doesn’t change when substituting one potato for the other.
Fried potatoes might include the following types of dishes:
- Fried potato slices and onions.
- French fries.
- Corned beef hash.
Yukon gold potatoes are going to be your best bet for these dishes, as they hold up better than Russet potatoes do. Also, the inside flesh is creamy when cooked, making the food taste so much better.
Find out how plantains and potatoes compared in taste and texture in my article, Plantain vs Potato – Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Casserole dishes like scalloped potatoes or Au Gratin potatoes are better suited to Russet potatoes. This is because when Russet potatoes are heated for a longer time, they tend to fall apart due to the higher starch content.
When you boil Russet potatoes, the starch breaks down and creates a creamy and fluffy texture. Au gratin and scalloped potatoes are perhaps best when slightly creamy and chewy, making them better options.
Many international cuisines use several common ingredients, including:
- Several types of meat
- Several different grains
If you notice, potatoes are one of these common ingredients throughout the world. But what type of potatoes are best for international cuisine? For dishes where you want the potatoes to stand up to the cooking process, you’ll want the Yukon Gold potato.
Indian cuisine, for example, uses them in many dishes and the waxier, the better. Due to the natural yellow color, they go well with Yukon Gold potatoes.
Find out how white sweet potatoes compared to sweet potatoes in my article, White Sweet Potato vs. Sweet Potato: What’s The Difference?
Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes Costs
With the rising prices of food, the cost of potatoes certainly matters to most people. The price may sway your decision about which potato to use. Therefore, which costs more, Yukon Gold potatoes or russet potatoes?
Yukon Gold potatoes and Russet potatoes have a similar price. Both potatoes average cost is $0.99 per pound for loose, large potatoes.
I checked Shoprite supermarket for the prices of Yukon Gold and russet potatoes:
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- $0.96 per pound
- Russet potatoes
- $0.99 per pound
I also checked Walmart for Yukon Gold and Russet potato prices but only found Russet:
- Russet potatoes
- $0.98 per pound
I then checked Stop & Shop:
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- $0.99 per pound
- Russet potatoes
- $1.26 each
Yukon Gold potatoes and Russets are easy to find on Amazon. Check their variety and current price, potatoes.
Find out how cassava compared to potatoes in my article, Cassava vs. Potato: Are They The Same? Let’s Compare.
How to Store Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes
How to properly store potatoes may make a difference when choosing one over the other. If you have both and routinely buy one or the other, you’ll want to know how to store them for longevity and quality.
Therefore, how do you store Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes?
Store Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes in a dark place away from heat. Both potatoes should be kept out of the refrigerator. A humid basement or root cellar is the best area. They should be kept in a burlap bag or ventilated container and stored between 55°F and 60°F.
Storing potatoes in a refrigerator can change the cell structure, make the center of the potato hard and diminish the flavor. If you don’t have a cool basement, be sure to store them in a ventilated place, away from heat and light.
Find out if Russet potatoes and Idaho potatoes are the same in my article, Idaho vs Russet Potatoes – Are They The Same? Let’s Compare
Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potato Alternatives
When you’re on a low-carb diet, most potatoes are off the menu because they are almost pure starch. While most people doing this type of diet swear by cauliflower as a perfect substitute for potatoes, it doesn’t have the same consistency and can be a disappointing experience.
Here are some better alternatives for Russet potatoes:
- Daikon radish
- Celery root
Many of these can be used as fries or in dishes like Au gratin or scalloped “potatoes.” But if you want something to replace mashed potatoes, you might try parsnips, which are related to carrots.
Here are some Yukon Gold potato Alternatives:
- Red Bliss potatoes
- Inca Gold potatoes
- Fingerlings potatoes
- Katahdin potatoes
- Carola potatoes
- Dutch Cream potatoes
- Russet potatoes
Find out how Russet potatoes compared to red potatoes in my article, Red Potatoes vs Russet Potatoes: The Differences.
Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes Glycemic Index
Knowing the glycemic index of potatoes is important especially if blood sugar levels are a concern. Blood sugar levels are an important thing people should be aware of, diabetic or not.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale measuring how fast a particular food raises the blood sugar in the blood 6. Blood sugar spikes can lead to health complications with the kidneys, nerves, heart and eyes 7.
Foods on the GI scale are categorized as:
- Low-GI foods: 55 or under
- Medium-GI foods: 56-69
- High-GI foods: 70 or over
How blood sugars levels are affected:
- Foods with a glycemic index 70 or more cause a more quicker spike in blood sugar levels.
- Foods with a glycemic index 56 to 69 cause a moderate spike in blood sugar levels.
- Foods with a glycemic index 55 or less cause a slow spike in blood sugar levels.
Now we know what GI is, and how it affects blood sugar, let’s answer, does Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes have higher GI?
Yukon Gold potatoes and Russet potatoes have a similar medium to high GI depending on the cooking method used. A boiled russet potato has a GI of 54, and a boiled Yukon Gold has a GI of 58.
Russet, Yukon Gold and other white potatoes all have different GI scores. In addition to how a potato is cooked, the heat of the potato when eaten affects the GI.
A study published in the Journal of the Diabetic Association found boiled potatoes eaten cold had a GI score of 56. When eaten hot the boiled potato had a GI score of 89 8.
To achieve the lowest potato glycemic number possible, eat a cold, boiled sweet potato.
Find out how potato and rice nutritional values compared in my article, Potato vs. Rice Nutrition: Which is Better?
Health Benefits of Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes
Gut Health and Digestion
Russet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes both contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber remains in the digestive tract and provides gut related health benefits. Fiber rich diets have been linked to regular bowel movements and a lower risk of colon cancer 9.
Russet potatoes provide 417 mg of potassium and Yukon Gold potatoes 419 mg. Potassium helps the body get rid of excess sodium reducing fluid build-up. These help keep systolic and diastolic blood pressure lower 10.
According to Harvard Health, a number of studies have shown a connection between low potassium levels and high blood pressure 11.
The more potassium, the more sodium your body will lose. Consuming too much sodium or not enough potassium throws off the delicate balance the kidneys need to remove the excess water 12.
The B vitamins provided by Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes include the following:
- B1 (thiamin)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B9 (folate)
B vitamins help support the following:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Red blood cells.
- Energy levels.
- Brain function.
- Nerve function.
A lack of B vitamins has been associated with oxidative stress and neural inflammation.
In a study released in 2018 32 healthy adults were given B vitamin supplementation for six months. The results indicated preliminary evidence B vitamin supplementation reduced oxidative stress and inflammation 13.
Find out how turnips compared to potatoes in my article, Turnip vs. Potato: What’s The Difference? Let’s Compare.
Read Next – More Potato vs Food Articles!
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- Nutrition Value: Potatoes, raw, flesh and skin, russet
- USDA: Yukon Gold Potatoes, Yukon Gold
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- USDA: Potatoes, Russet, Flesh and skin, baked
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- USDA: Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- University of Florida: University of Florida Potato Variety Trials Spotlight: Yukon Gold