Would you look at those crisp and golden potatoes? Tell me you don’t want to eat those puppies straight off the pan. Yeah, I know you do. I do, too. These crispy smashed potatoes are best when they’re hot and fresh, so right off the pan is actually the best serving method.
Smashed potatoes are fun for brunch or dinner. They’re also perfect any time you get a hankering for some crispy potatoes, but want something a little more redeeming than French fries. They go great with hearty salads, too, when salad-for-dinner feels too austere.
These smashed potatoes are a fun way to use up the bag of potatoes in your pantry. They’re gluten free and vegan, too, for all to enjoy.
Smashed potatoes aren’t the quickest potato option around (you’ll boil them until tender, then smash and bake), but they are not difficult to make. Will you try them this weekend?
How to Make the Best Smashed Potatoes
Choose small potatoes, rather than large. You can use this technique on potatoes of any size (even Russet potatoes!) but for crispy potatoes, choose potatoes around the size of a golf ball or two.
Smaller potatoes are usually available in red or yellow varieties. Both are delicious, but the red potato skins have more flavor, so the reds were my favorite.
Use a large baking sheet. In my dream world, everyone owns a half-sheet pan (affiliate link), because that’s what us recipe testers are always baking on. You need a large baking surface to accommodate all the potatoes, while leaving a little breathing room around each one. If necessary, use two pans instead.
Brush the baking sheet with olive oil. I generally use parchment paper for its non-stick surface and easy clean-up factor, but baking the potatoes against an oiled baking sheet makes them even more crispy. It’s worth the clean-up, if you ask me.
Add a little garlic and onion powder. These are my secret ingredients when I’m working with potatoes. They add a subtle savory note that sends potatoes over the top! They’re especially great when you’re baking potatoes, since you run the risk of burning your garlic in the oven (burnt garlic is the worst flavor).
- 2 pounds small-to-medium red or yellow potatoes
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, chives and/or green onion
- To prepare the potatoes, scrub them clean if dirty and rinse under running water. Remove and discard any nubby sprouting areas. Place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.
- Fill the pot with water until the potatoes are submerged and covered by 1 inch of additional water. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and continue cooking until the potatoes are very easily pierced through by a fork (smaller potatoes are done around 20 minutes, and medium around 25 minutes).
- While the potatoes cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over a large, rimmed baking sheet. Brush the oil so it’s evenly distributed over the sheet.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them in a large colander and let them cool for about 5 minutes, until they can be handled safely.
- Evenly distribute the potatoes over the prepared baking sheet, and use a potato masher or a serving fork to gently smash each potato to a height of about ½ inch. (Thinner potatoes are more crispy.)
- Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the smashed potatoes. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt over the potatoes. Finally, sprinkle them lightly with freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake until the potatoes are nice and golden on the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle them with chopped fresh herbs, and serve hot.