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 timeΒ 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: 12/16/12Β 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.



  1. 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?

    1. I have no idea where the name Jo Jo comes from! I’ve always loved them though. Next time you go into Smith’s Marketplace go to the deli counter…. You’ll see these there!

        1. Do it, the recipes I found online all contain butter, some contain parmesan and most involve deep frying. I do think it’s a west thing…..

  2. 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.” πŸ™‚

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

    1. 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 πŸ™‚

  3. 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!!

    1. 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

      1. Made these last night and they we SO GOOD! I love how they get all crunchy crispy on the outside – I didn’t get a chance to make the ranch but that is next on my list!!!

  4. 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…

      1. Merry Christmas to you too, my friend! Love you much and think you of you a lot. And yes, Matt is his name…and he is amazing. I am madly in love ❀

        1. So, so happy for you, I’ve been feeling the love radiating from your posts babe, I knew the stars would align! Now you have a job and a man! Woot! xx

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

      1. 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.


        1. Sweet potatoes would be fantastic with this recipe! I love Dr. Barnard too. Have you seen his book the cancer survivor’s guide? I have it in a pdf format, I’ll see if I can email you a copy.

          1. No I have never heard of it. Yes, please email — that would be great. As someone who has had 3 bouts of cancer, I can use all the help I can get.

  6. 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!

  7. 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 πŸ™‚

    1. 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!

      1. I am doing great πŸ™‚ 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:)

  8. 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!

  9. 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!!

    1. The ranch is pretty good, but it’s not hidden valley πŸ˜‰ it tastes better the next day.

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

  10. 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 πŸ™‚

    1. WOOHOO! Let me know what you think babe. I want some of those sloppy joes! I’m too Christmas’d out to cook. We’re going out tonight πŸ™‚ HUNGRY!

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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!

      1. I made this recipe and my family LOVED them. We’ll probably have them again very soon as the kids are askin’ for ’em. YUM!

  14. 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.

    1. 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…

            1. I made these last night and used nothing in place of the oil and they were delish! I will use some kind of liquid next time in place of the oil but good to know I can leave it out – thanks for the great ideas!!

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