Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the vacations I had with my family. Camping, river running, Redwood Forest, trips down to Mexico, California and then up the coast. We always had a good time and never missed out on great adventures. Somehow, we often left my little brother Morgan behind and had to turn around (sometimes a half an hour or more later) to go back and get him. As an adult, Morgan chose a career in the Marine Corps (No man gets left behind).

One particular trip our big ol’ Chevy Suburban broke down and we ended up spending the weekend in some po-dunk town in Southern Utah instead of our Lehman Cave destination. We still made it fun however, we ate at the local diner, did some skateboarding at the local park and razzed each other. Inevitably during our road trips we would stop and get gasoline at the Truck Stops, where we would almost always get Jo Jo potatoes and dip them in ranch dressing. This version tastes a lot like the original, without any nasty deep frying.

Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

  • 8 red potatoes (small-ish) sliced into 8 wedges each
  • 2 T. safflower or other neutral tasting oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C. arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca starch (I’ve tried all 3 with only slightly different results)
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 1/2 t. celery salt or 1 t. sea salt and 1/2 t. celery seeds
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. mustard powder

Method: Get out your rimmed baking sheet and Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the baking sheet heating up in there too. Slice the potatoes into wedges (as described above). Toss the potatoes in the liquid ingredients, then add the dry ingredients and spices. Toss until evenly distributed. The potatoes may stick together so pull them apart if they do. Carefully remove hot baking sheet and dump the seasoned potatoes onto it in a single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through the cook time¬†until golden and cooked through. Serve with Vegan Ranch. You can also use russet (brown) potatoes for this recipe, but they’ll take 15 minutes longer to bake.

I dipped these in a homemade low-fat vegan ranch dressing

Vegan Ranch

Dip it!

Update: 12/16/12 Another Happy Herbivore Abroad Cookbook Giveaway is going on over at An Unrefined Vegan today. Go over there and enter for another chance to win! Today is also the last day to enter my contest.


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Filed under Appetizers, Side Dishes, Snackage, Uncategorized, Vegan

114 responses to “Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

  1. damn that looks tasty! Wish I had a high speed blender, then i could whip up that dressing in a instant!

  2. I’m a big fan of homemade ranch dressing. So much healthier and tastier than anything you can find in the store. Your version looks delicious!

  3. We ate so many jo jo potatoes growing up. Makes me happy just to think about them. I’m going to have to try your ranch dressing. It sounds delicious!

  4. These look amazing! Can not wait to give it a try! and what a nice story :)
    Thank you.

  5. Ahhh, hot baking pan! Very clever. I can vouch for the dressing and I plan on being able to vouch for the taters very soon! For those of us who are embarrassingly ignorant, where does the name Jo Jo come from?

  6. Wow Somer! Talk about comfort food! These look perfect for holiday potlucks. Ive never made my own ranch but this looks easy enough. Thanks!

  7. Sometimes it’s the failed vacations that are the most memorable. It sounds like you and your family made the best of things! That’s too funny that your brother went on to live the mantra, “No man left behind.” :)

    I can’t wait to make these potatoes! I’ve pinned them and need them in my life ASAP!

    • Yes! Cadry, they are too fun to miss out on! Poor Morgan, he’s one tough cookie! I wish I was joking, but seriously can’t count the number of times we left him while on vacation. I think he was always lingering in the candy isle and because there were 9 of us kids, we often forgot to do a head count. He’s the baby of the family :)

  8. Oil free – aah, definitely catches the attention ! I would love to try this out. Thanks for sharing such recipes :)

  9. Somer exaggerates about leaving Morgan behind saying she can’t count the number of times….. I am sure it was less than 12.

  10. That looks wonderful! Cheryl will want these for brunch this weekend.

  11. Aw yeah! This is what I’m talking about! These look killer and will be made ASAP in my kitchen. Thanks Somer!

  12. Those look amazing! Just wanted to stop by and tell you I nominated for the Liebster Award because I love your blog!

  13. Jo-Jo potatoes, I like! I named my new truck Jo-Jo!!!

  14. Hahaha.. poor Morgan! Love your version of Ranch.. these would be addicting I’m sure!

  15. Brunch solved for Sunday! Thank you Somer!

  16. Oh gosh leaving your little brother behind that is hilarious….probably not for him at the time! Jusst printed out this recipe and am absolutely making these tonight!!

    • Poor Morgan, he was the shortest of the bunch (just being the little guy that he was) and we must have missed him behind the racks of candy or something. I’m sure he’s still traumatized! You are so awesome Heather. Hope you like these as much as I do! xx

  17. Yup, it’s official. You are a genius. I have been meaning to make a ranch dressing too. You are inspiring to get my butt in gear. And these potatoes! Oh my goodness…If I made these for Matt, he would demand 12 lbs of them! Making…

  18. I could dive right in – look so crispy, tasty and delicious!!! And that dressing!
    Have a great weekend :-)

  19. This looks awesome Somer – so good! Love this story too – I can just picture all of you in the diner digging in :) That ranch dressing looks YUMMO!

  20. GiRRL_Earth

    Next time call me up for dinner! :-}

    • Deal! This was an after school snack, but is lovely as a dinner side :)

      • GiRRL_Earth

        You have the BEST recipes!

        Ok, I made a modified version of these yesterday. Rather than red bliss I used sweet potatoes — and instead of your dipping sauce, I made my standard Tahini Dressings. The potatoes were yummy – I couldn’t stop eating them!!!

        p.s. I just received from Amazon Dr. Neal Barnards book on Reversing Diabetes. I do not have diabetes but he was on PBS last week, speaking about diabetes, obesity etc… and it really had an impact on me. I don’t eat/add any additional sugar in my diet but Diabetes runs in my family so whatever I can do to prevent that from happening to me – I will. Granted, I’m already a step ahead by being a vegan but according to Dr. Barnard, there is more we can do.

  21. That’s a keeper, actually anything potato is

  22. Vibrant Bean

    We have similar stories of childhood road trips, too funny!! These look so delish, definitely going to make my potato loving bf happy. Thanks for sharing!

  23. those are some gorgeous delicious potatoes and that ranch looks like a must must must make! i need some of these tomorrow. this month i have been passing on the recipes to hubbs.. and he is doing a great job in the kitchen! he loves following recipes to the t :)

    • Ah, sweet of the hubs! Mine is rarely in the kitchen. I hope you’re feeling all right my dear. Glad he is taking good care of you. BTW, I’ve still gotta order some cocoa butter to make your chocolate! I can’t get it out of my mind!

      • I am doing great :) I need all the energy for the other activities, travel and such, so hubbs shares the kitchen work. he has 10 times more energy, so as well use some:)

  24. OMG that looks sooooooo freaking yum! I am expecting my groceries to be delivered home in the next hour and I know just what I’ll be doing with the baby potatoes in them. NOM!

  25. I like your recipe! I’II will try to do .

  26. I can’t wait to try these! And the story about your brother joining the Marines so he’s never left behind is too funny..

  27. Hi Somer. I so miss blogging and am very, very, VERY behind. I can’t seem to get the time to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a stretch. But I always pop in here to see what you’re up to.

    Vegan Ranch? Really?? My 2nd son will be most delighted if I can find him a substitute. Copying this link to my “Recipes” folder. Can’t wait!!

    • The ranch is pretty good, but it’s not hidden valley ;) it tastes better the next day.

      I envy you, I need a blog break. Taking one over Christmas for a week or so….

  28. I have never tried ranch dressing and it looks like that sad state of affairs is just about to be rectified! What amazing looking spuds Somer! Steve will love them and so will I…now we just have to stop Earl and Bezial from stealing them from our plates :)

  29. Those look incredible, I am going to try them soon!!!! Thanks for following my blog by the way.

  30. These look incredible! And addicitive. Geeze!

  31. Is there really anything better than roasted potatoes? I don’t think so :) Especially with a cashew based ranch sauce. Awesome girl!

  32. Making these tonight, sister! Pairing them with my veggie sloppy joes. Is it dinner yet???? ;)

  33. Omg Somer this is the ultimate comfort food! I love potatoes and ranch dressing?! Looks amazingly delicious. Is there anything to sub with the tofu though…I don’t like tofu and hubby can’t eat it. Maybe more cashews or maybe even some potatoes to thicken it up?? I’ll have to try it. I want it bad!

  34. Yum!!! got to try it soon:)

  35. Vegan ranch!! Yes, please!! I love this!

  36. I will be making this!!! Thank you!!
    Gooo Morgan!! :-)

  37. hsw

    The potatoes look great and allergy friendly since one can use tapioca starch in the mixture. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  39. Holy cow! I almost never find recipes I can eat online, because I’m both a celiac (wheat-free) and allergic to dairy. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! I’ll be trying it out tomorrow night!

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  45. Kimbre

    How long does the dressing stay good for?

  46. Misty thompson

    This is the first recipe I made of yours and absolutely impressed omni hub. He adores potato and things. He was surprised this was baked. Wish no oil but by far worth a try over ad over.

    • So glad he liked these!

      Yeah, you’ll notice my site is pretty much low oil. I omit it where I can, but I haven’t eliminated it entirely from my diet. I don’t know if I will or if I’ll stay on this track. I know it’s not great for you, but neither is sugar. Moderation…

  47. Tracy

    What would you suggest instead of oil for the potatoes?

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