Roasted Smashed Potatoes smothered in garlic herb butter and Parmesan are one of the most delicious sides on the planet and SO easy – you don’t even have to peel the potatoes! This recipe uses a foolproof technique for the crispiest potatoes, without any burnt herbs, that readers call, “Crack’d Potatoes, as they are that addicting.” These Smashed Potatoes are the perfect PREP AHEAD friendly side (instructions included) to any meal or an irresistible finger party food!
Potatoes and salt are one of the most beautiful combinations on the planet. Add in some butter and herbs and you might have THE most beautiful flavor combination on the planet.
To season the potatoes, we want plenty of salt along with a generous amount of dried garlic and herbs. I don’t suggest fresh garlic or fresh herbs as they can burn at high temperatures and leave you with unsightly bitter, black bits.
Instead, we infuse our melted butter with salt, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme and pepper. The garlic herb butter seeps into the fleshy potatoes and drizzles down the skin to create buttery bliss.
But it gets better…
Once the garlic smashed potatoes are golden, we add about ¼ cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese. The salty, nutty Parmesan is the crowning glory on our crispy buttery – now cheesy, morsels.
For the Parmesan, make sure you use FRESHLY, finely grated Parmesan, otherwise the chees won’t melt successfully or taste as irresistible. I find ¼ cup Parmesan to be the ideal amount, but feel free to use as little as 2 tablespoons or as much as ¾ cup – it is totally up to you how cheesy you like your Smashed Potatoes.
Seasoning Before Roasting Smash Potatoes
- Salt: Potatoes and salt are one of the most beautiful combinations on the planet! This recipe calls for regular table salt.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter or the potatoes will be too salty, or reduce the salt in the recipe. The garlic herb butter seeps into the fleshy potatoes and drizzles down the skin to create buttery bliss.
- Garlic: Use garlic powder for this recipe. I don’t suggest fresh garlic because it can burn and become bitter.
- Herbs: Again, dried herbs are best otherwise the high roasting temperature will leave you with unsightly bitter, black bits. Instead, the melted butter is infused with dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme and pepper.
- Parmesan: Once the garlic smashed potatoes are golden, we add about ¼ cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese. Take care to use FRESHLY, finely grated Parmesan, otherwise the cheese won’t melt successfully or taste as irresistible
Toppings After Baking Smash Potatoes
Garnish the smashed potatoes simply with fresh green onions or chives, or get elaborate with any toppings you would add to baked potatoes or make it a meal by adding meat! Here are some ideas:
- Aromatics: Chives, green onions, parsley
- Dips: sour cream, Greek yogurt, tzatziki, French onion dip, spinach artichoke dip
- Dressings: ranch, blue cheese dressing, cilantro lime dressing, avocado ranch
- Meat: bacon, BBQ pulled pork, carnitas, carne asada
- Chicken: Greek chicken, Mexican chicken, buffalo chicken, chipotle chickee, lemon chicken, barbecue chicken
- Veggies: petite peas, tomatoes, roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, roasted bell peppers
It really is that easy, but here is a breakdown of all the steps so you will be a crispy Smashed Potatoes master (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
STEP 1: WASH POTATOES
Even though we are going to be boiling the potatoes, we don’t want them boiling in dirty water!
STEP 2: BOIL POTATOES
Next, you want to add your potatoes to a large pot and fill with cold water. We don’t want to add the potatoes to boiling water because they will not cook evenly – you’ll likely end up with overcooked mushy outsides and under cooked insides. By bringing the water to a boil with the potatoes, we get evenly cooked potatoes every time.
Cook your potatoes until fork tender – you might want to poke a few potatoes to ensure they are all cooked. It is okay if the potatoes split while testing for doneness or even while cooking because we are going to smash them anyway.
STEP 3: DRY POTATOES
Add your potatoes to a colander to drain. Pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. It is imperative that the skins be dry in order to achieve crispy potatoes. The dryer the potatoes – the crispier the smashed potatoes!
STEP 4: OIL AND SALT POTATOES
I am the only smashed potato recipe I’ve seen that oils and salts the outside of the smashed potatoes – and it makes a WORLD of difference! Just like you oil and salt the outside of Twice Baked Potatoes, we want to envelop the entire potato in deliciousness – not just the tops. The oil and salt also promote crispy skins that butter alone cannot.
STEP 5: SMASH POTATOES
You can use whatever is handy to smash the potatoes – a potato masher, fork or back of a glass, etc. When you smash the potatoes, be gentle – you want to push slowly so the skin splits but the rest of the potato stays intact.
I have found ½” seems to be the right thickness. Keep in mind, thinner potatoes will be crispier because more of the potato skin is in contact with the hot baking sheet, whereas, thicker potatoes will be fluffier and not as crispy all over – your call!
STEP 6: BUTTER POTATOES
Drizzle potatoes evenly with herb butter mixture. If your potatoes are raised in the middle, it helps to push in the center with your finger, so the butter pools into the potatoes instead of off of them.
If you have extra butter after you’ve spooned it over all of the potatoes, wait a few minutes for the potatoes to absorb the butter then coat again.
STEP 7: BAKE POTATOES
Bake potatoes for 30-40 minutes depending on size. You want the skin to be deeply golden which means crispier skins. Once the potatoes look done, add Parmesan and continue to bake until melted, about 2 minutes.
STEP 8: EAT SMASHD POTATOES!
Let the Smashed potatoes cool for 5 minutes or so, garnish with chives and dig in!
To make ahead: Follow the recipe through flattening the potatoes. Let the potatoes cool completely, then cover the pan tightly with foil, or better yet, wrap the entire tray in plastic wrap a couple times. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
You can also grate the Parmesan cheese and make the herb butter ahead of time and refrigerate. The herb butter will harden in the refrigerator, so simply microwave it when ready to use.
Now all that’s left to complete your crispy Smashed Red Potatoes is to drizzle on the butter and bake!
- add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, because creamy + crunchy is always a good idea.
- And bacon is always a good idea.
- You can also swap the Parmesan for cheddar, mozzarella or even brie.
- Get creative with the toppings such as broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms or even chicken or ground beef.
- Swap out the flavor profile and add some lemon and kick up the oregano.
- Swap the seasonings for ranch seasoning and use cheddar instead of Parmesan.
- Use Mexican seasonings, pepper jack or cheddar, tomatoes, avocados and/or dollops of sour cream, guacamole and green onions.
- Dip in ranch, ketchup or barbecue sauce (although they don’t need it!)
- And anything else you can dream up!
- Use waxy potatoes: this Smashed Potatoes recipe will not work with starchy potatoes, like Russet potatoes, because the skin won’t crisp up. Instead, only use small waxy potatoes such as red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.
- Use freshly grated Parmesan: it melts much better and tastes far superior!
- Select uniform potatoes: the size is up to you based on the crispy skin to fluffy inside you prefer, but keep it uniform so the potatoes cook evenly.
- Don’t use fresh garlic: it is likely to burn leaving you with bitter, black bits.
- Add potatoes to cold water and then bring to a boil: this helps the potatoes cook evenly
- Cook your potatoes until fork tender: the more tender the potatoes, the easier they will be to smash.
- Dry the potatoes well after cooking: the dryer the potatoes, the crispier the Smashed Potatoes!
- Don’t ignore the outside of the potatoes: oiling and salting the outside of the potatoes promotes crispier skin and adds flavor.
- Don’t break the potatoes in half: press gently and slowly to split the top of the potato but not the bottom!
- Bake the potatoes long enough: look for deeply golden potato skins which means crispy skins!
Smash Potatoes Recipe Storage
What to Serve with this Smash Potatoes Recipe
- Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- Baked Ham with Cider Maple Glaze
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Nashville Hot Chicken
- Oven “Fried” Chicken
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
- Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
- Beef Brisket Sandwiches
- Spice Rubbed Steaks with Herb Butter
- Pan Seared Steak with Balsamic Herb Cream Sauce
- Mom’s Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
- Anything and EVERYTHING!
How to Make Smashed Roasted FAQs
Yes! If you need a gluten free side for your family or entertaining, then this easy Smashed Potato Recipe is for you! Or if you just want to impress EVERYONE!
Smashed potatoes may fall apart for the following reasons:
You use the wrong potato such as Russets. Take care to use only baby red or baby Yukon gold potatoes which don’t fall apart as easily.
The potatoes are initially overboiled. They should be fork tender but not falling apart.
The potatoes aren’t dried before roasting. If the potato skins are wet, the won’t crisp up and the potatoes are more likely to fall apart.
The potatoes are smashed too thin. Keep to about ½-inch” thickness, otherwise the potatoes are too fragile.
The potatoes are roasted long enough. The smashed potatoes should be roasted until the bottoms are golden and crisp, which creates a firmer, more stable potato.
Roast potatoes may not get crispy if they are not properly dried before roasting, if the oven temperature is too low, or if there’s not enough fat/oil for roasting. To achieve crispy roast potatoes, ensure the potatoes are thoroughly dried after boiling, use a sufficiently high oven temperature, and coat them generously in oil before roasting.
No 425°F is not too hot for potatoes, but rather the perfect temperature to ensure a crispy exterior and a tender interior. At this temperature, the high heat helps create a golden and crisp outer layer while allowing the potatoes to cook through in a reasonable amount of time. It also encourages the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that contributes to the browning and development of rich flavors.
More like this Smashed Potatoes Recipe:
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Herb Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Gruyere and Ham Potato Stacks
- Roasted Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows and Pecans
- Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries
- Mexican French Fries with Salsa Ketchup
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Tools Used in This Recipe
How to Make Smashed Potatoes
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- 2-3 tablespoons chopped chives
- sour cream optional
- Boil potatoes: Add potatoes to a large pot and fill with water to about 2-inches above potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook (covered) for 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Prep: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet (half sheet) with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Dry and oil potatoes: Drain and rinse potatoes in cool water. Pat dry (for crispy skins) and add potatoes to a large microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle potatoes with 1 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to evenly coat.
- Smash potatoes. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Using a potato masher, fork or back of a glass, gently smash the potatoes to about 1/2-inch thickness. *MAKE AHEAD: If making ahead, stop at this point, let potatoes cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate.
- Add butter: To the same bowl you tossed the potatoes in oil (don’t wipe out) add butter and melt in the microwave. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and all remaining seasonings. Drizzle potatoes evenly with butter mixture. If you have extra, wait a few minutes for the potatoes to absorb the butter then coat again.
- Roast: Bake potatoes at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes (depending on size) or until deeply golden. Add Parmesan and continue to bake until melted, about 2 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
POTATO SIZEI stick with potatoes about the size of a golf ball. You can use smaller or larger potatoes and adjust the cooking time accordingly – and your expectations. Small potatoes will emerge crispier all over because there is a greater ratio of crispy skin to fluffy inside. Larger potatoes will still get crispy, but have a larger ratio of fluffy inside to crispy skin. Both are delicious – just different!
- Follow the recipe through flattening the potatoes.
- Let the potatoes cool completely, then cover the pan tightly with foil, or better yet, wrap the entire tray in plastic wrap a couple times.
- Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- You can also grate the Parmesan cheese and make the herb butter ahead of time and refrigerate. The herb butter will harden in the refrigerator, so simply microwave it when ready to use.
- Now all that’s left to complete your crispy Smashed Red Potatoes is to drizzle on the butter and bake!
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