Learn how to make smashed potatoes for the ultimate side dish. The spuds are cooked two ways to yield creamy centers with a crispy surface.
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Roasted potatoes are one of the best ways to enjoy a simple spud. However, if you’re a fan of extra crunch, try this method to get more crispiness out of each piece. Grab your favorite type of waxy potato. It’s time to get smashing!
It starts with boiling the small-sized potatoes until they are tender, then flattening them out. This increases the surface area, giving more opportunity for the skin to crisp up in the hot pan. A little bit of fat on the outside makes them fry in the oven. Add flavorful seasonings to bump up the taste. Once you try this simple crispy smashed potatoes recipe, you may enjoy them just as much as french fries.
Select small waxy potatoes about 1 ½ to 2 inches in size. If they are too large, the skin won’t keep the potato together when you smash them. This is due to more flesh, and they will fall apart. Two pounds will yield between 18 to 20 pieces.
Waxy potatoes are less starchy, so they hold their shape better than mealy ones. The skins are thinner, so you don’t have to peel. Plus, they add an extra crisp texture. I use an equal mix of mini red and gold potatoes. Yukon golds are creamy and buttery, whereas reds are lighter in texture with a hint of sweetness.
Boil the potatoes
Scrub and rinse the potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. They need to be pre-cooked in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until they pierce easily with a paring knife or fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain and let them sit for about 5 minutes in the colander. The steam’s heat will help to dry the surface. You want the skin to be moisture-free so that it crisps up faster in the oven.
Smash the potatoes
Add the cooked potatoes to a large rimmed sheet pan. Toss them with olive oil to coat the surface. Spread them out on the pan, then work one by one to flatten the potatoes gently. You have different options for smashing the spuds.
Use the bottom of a measuring cup, glass cup, large fork, or potato masher. I find it helpful when you can see it flatten and know when to stop. Flatten to about ½ inch in thickness. Don’t press too hard, or they will fall apart.
Before roasting the smashed potatoes, drizzle on some extra olive oil. The fat will help the surface brown and crisp and allow the seasonings to stick on. Make a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Sprinkle on top of each spud for a savory taste. Don’t use fresh minced garlic because it will burn in the oven. However, you could use garlic-infused olive oil or herb-infused to add a wonderful aroma.
Crisp the potatoes
Roast the potatoes in a 400ºF (2000C) oven for 45 to 50 minutes. The surface should be golden brown and crisp. Because you don’t flip the potatoes, the bottoms become super crispy. Allow them to sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before serving to dry further.
Don’t leave them there too long, or they will start to steam and become soggy underneath. Garnish with fresh herbs like chopped parsley, dill, tarragon, or basil. I like to add extra freshly cracked black pepper for a boost of spiciness.
Serve this with
- Ribeye steak or prime rib
- Pan-fried pork chops
- Ranch dressing
- Chimichurri sauce
- Buffalo chicken sliders
- Green goddess dressing
Frequently asked questions
Look for the largest spud in the pot. Use the tip of a knife to pierce into the center. If there is little resistance and it slices easily into the flesh, it’s ready to smash.
Avoid using potatoes that are larger than 2 inches in size. When there is a greater ratio of flesh, there isn’t enough skin to hold the spud together. Slowly smash them. If you press too hard, they will crumble apart.
Both recipes boil the potatoes first to tenderize the flesh to be light and tender. Smashed potatoes use waxy potatoes, leaving the skin on. Each one is flattened, then roasted until the surface and bottom are crispy. Mashed potatoes are crushed flesh mixed with milk, butter, salt, and pepper until creamy.
What is the best spud for smashed potatoes?
Small, thin-skinned, waxy potatoes are the best for boiling, pressing, and roasting until crispy. The flesh contains less starch, so it holds its structure better than mealy potatoes like Russets. I recommend Yukon Gold for its buttery, sweet, and creamy taste. Red bliss works well too, a mixture is even better!
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- Cook the Potatoes – In a large pot, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and stir to dissolve. Scrub and wash the potatoes then add them to the pot. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Dry the Potatoes – Drain the potatoes in a colander, and let them sit and dry for 5 minutes. If needed, dry them with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
- Heat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
- Smash the Potatoes – Transfer the potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and spread to coat. Use a potato masher, the bottom of a cup, or a large fork, to gently smash the potatoes. Keep them in one piece, about ½ inch thick.
- Season – Evenly drizzle the surface of the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Sprinkle on top of each potato.
- Bake – Bake until the surface is golden brown and crispy, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving to make them crunchier.
- To Serve – Garnish with parsley and serve while still hot and crispy.
- Potato Size: Select potatoes about 1 ½ to 2 inches in size.
- Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Reheating: Microwave on high setting in 30-second increments until hot. To make the potatoes crispy, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil them on the lower-middle rack for a few minutes.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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