Can you eat half-cooked potatoes?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat half-cooked potatoes?” with an in-depth analysis of potatoes, the risks of eating half-cooked potatoes, and the good side of half-cooked potatoes and how to safely consume potatoes. 

Can you eat half-cooked potatoes?

No, you can not eat half-cooked potatoes. Potatoes when not fully cooked can lead to digestive problems. Also, it may contain harmful substances that can only be killed by cooking the potatoes thoroughly. 

The risks of eating half-cooked potatoes

Although half-cooked potatoes are not inevitably naturally poisonous, there are plenty of reasons why eating a half-cooked potato is not a great option for your body and even your tastebuds. Along with their sharp taste and starchy, powdery texture, half-cooked potatoes are not good for the digestive system and have the potential to induce more severe health problems.

Digestive problems

The first risk is associated with the kind of carbohydrates found in potatoes. Though carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for the human body, the human digestive systems are not well equipped to break down raw starches, also identified as resistant starches. 

The starches found in potatoes remain essentially indigestible before they are cooked, and provide minimum nutritional benefit.

When these starchy carbohydrates are cooked, they undergo a process termed gelation, during which their starch molecules become absorbable for the human body. 

Although trying to digest raw starches will not cause you any permanent harm to the body, the half-cooked potato will progress through the digestive tract with very little breakdown, possibly leading to an increase in uncomfortable cramping, bloating, and flatulence.


Half-cooked potatoes have also been observed to contain antinutrients, which tend to inhibit the enzyme activity in the body, causing consumption of other foods very challenging. But, these antinutrients are significantly decreased during cooking, and essentially exist in the potato skin.

Toxic compounds 

Another risk associated with eating half-cooked potatoes is a toxic compound called solanine, which can lead to headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, and also death in severe cases.

Although most completely matured potatoes contain only a little, harmless amount of solanine, all potato plants consist of a fraction of self-defensive compounds that mostly originate in the components of the plant that are exposed to sunlight. 

While all potatoes grow completely underground, making them safe to eat, those that have been exposed to sunlight or stored for extended periods will start to turn green or grow sprouts, indicating that there is an addition in these toxic compounds.


Half-cooked potatoes also have glycoalkaloids that would be toxic if they are ingested in excessive quantities. They could result in cell disruption, dizziness, digestion issues,  diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, along with increased sensitivity and itchiness. 

It can also lead to the development of confusion, headaches, flushing, and fevers. In some extreme cases, it might lead to death.

When potatoes are cooked, heated in a microwave, boiled or baked, the concentration of glycoalkaloids are reduced, making the potatoes safe to eat.

The good side of half-cooked potatoes

Potatoes have a certain amount of raw starch that our body is not able to digest. This starch is not absorbed or processed in the small intestines and rather dissolves in the large intestines. It is a good source of food for the healthy bacteria that resides in the gut.

The healthy bacteria, also recognised as a good microbiome, is associated with the decrease of risk of certain diseases, for instance, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, as well as fibromyalgia.

Well-cooked potatoes are not a great source of this starch as the heat will break down the raw starch.

How to safely half-cooked consume potatoes

As with all raw vegetables, extra care must be taken to eliminate any external pathogens, that could otherwise lead to foodborne illnesses, before consumption, especially since no heat source is being applied to destroy these harmful organisms. 

As potatoes have soil on their skin if you do choose to eat a potato raw, make sure to wash it thoroughly and properly stripped to prevent the ingestion of any bacteria from the soil.

To re-cook half-cooked potatoes: 

  • Add a fraction of cream or milk to the half-cooked potatoes and cook them for a while on low flame till the lumps are completely soft.
  • For the cut or uncut potatoes, simmer them in a container of water for 12 to 15 minutes. The time required for boiling alters with the size of the potatoes.
  • Another possibility is to microwave the half-cooked potatoes, which keeps them in their initial shape without getting lodged unless in large numbers. If they are still hot after cooking, they take less time to cook completely.
  • You can also add half-cooked potatoes to other recipes, for instance, you can bake a potato pizza. 

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you eat moldy potatoes?

Is sweet potato bad for you?

How to store potatoes in the fridge?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat half-cooked potatoes?” with an in-depth analysis of potatoes, the risks of eating half-cooked potatoes, and the good side of half-cooked potatoes and how to safely consume potatoes.