Golden crispy smashed potatoes with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese — need I say more? This may be the best way ever to make potatoes!

Crispy smashed potatoes on a sheet pan, sprinkled with parmesan and fresh parsley.

You’re gonna love these potatoes! We can barely wait until the timer goes off before snatching these succulent little morsels right off the pan. Hot, hot, hot, but so, so good!  

A smashed potato being lifted off a sheet pan with a wooden handled fork.

About these crispy smashed potatoes

Preparing crispy smashed potatoes is a two step process. The potatoes need to be boiled before you can smash and bake them. It’d be pretty impossible to smash raw potatoes. You’d need a hammer or something and the results wouldn’t be pretty, although I guess it could be therapeutic if you were feeling hostile or frustrated. Just kidding. Sort of. 

Moving on. Boil small whole potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re fork tender. Larger potatoes will take a little longer than small ones. Try not to cook the potatoes until they’re falling apart. Drain and cool slightly so you can handle them. 

Meanwhile, preheat your oven so it’s nice and hot. A hot oven equals crispy potatoes. 

Melt butter, and mix in garlic, fresh parsley, cheese, salt, and pepper. Now you’re ready to smash the potatoes.

I’m not sure “smash” is really the right word to describe this process. It’s really more like squashing them flat. Use bottom of a heavy glass or jar, a potato masher, or the heel of your hand. Press down until the potatoes are flattened slightly. The skins will crack and split and the potatoes will be smushed. You don’t need to pound them (or maybe you do, depending on what kind of day you’re having). 

Spread the potatoes on a sheet pan, brush them lovingly with the butter mixture (they just got smashed, after all!) and roast them in the hot oven until they’re nice and golden, crispy on the bottom and delicious all the way through. 

Close up of a crispy smashed potato on a sheet pan with others.

What’s the difference between mashed potatoes and smashed potatoes?

Just one little letter “s”! That letter makes a world of difference in potatoes, though. Mashed potatoes are generally peeled, cooked, and mashed with a mixer, ricer, or masher and lots of butter and milk, until they are creamy and smooth. Smashed potatoes, on the other hand, are teeny potatoes that are smashed just once so that they are still whole, but squashed flat, and baked to a crispy golden brown. 

What you need

  • Potatoes: Baby potatoes that are one to two inches in diameter
  • Butter: Both unsalted and salted will work for this recipe.
  • Garlic: We recommend fresh garlic for this recipe!
  • Parsley: Again, fresh is best here because it gives a pop of freshness to an otherwise rich recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Because everything is better with cheese, right? Buy the pre-grated if you want to save some time. Pecorino would also be tasty.
Overhead view of a sheet pan full of potatoes that have been smashed and roasted until crispy.

How to make this recipe your own

Since there are only five ingredients in this recipe, not counting salt and pepper, changing any one of the ingredients will make your smashed potatoes uniquely your own. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use a different type of potato. Yukon gold, baby red, purple, fingerling, or any small potato will work and each variety has unique characteristics.
  • Substitute olive oil for butter, or use a combination.
  • To make this recipe vegan, omit the Parmesan cheese and use olive oil instead of butter.
  • Experiment with garlic. I like minced garlic but you may prefer garlic powder and/or onion powder. Add as much as you like!
  • Try different herbs. Minced fresh rosemary is fantastic, and so is sage.
  • Sprinkle the potatoes with a little chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, or any spice blend you like.
  • Looking for a one pan dinner? Try chicken thighs with smashed potatoes and green beans, roasted in the oven on just one sheet pan.
Potatoes on a metal sheet pan that have been smashed and roasted.

Storage and Reheating Tips

For maximum crispiness, smashed potatoes are best eaten right away. If you have leftovers or want to make them ahead, reheat the potatoes in your air fryer or toaster oven to crisp them back up. They’ll keep up to four days in the fridge.

Another make ahead tip: Boil the potatoes a day ahead, cool, and refrigerate them. When you’re ready, proceed with the smashing and baking. 

Close up overhead view of a smashed potato with garlic butter, parmesan, and parsley.

More spuds!

Potatoes go with almost anything, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No wonder there are so many ways to prepare them! Here’s a few more recipes that I’m sure you’ll love:

Golden brown potato smashed on sheet pan, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Butter and Parmesan

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Golden crispy smashed potatoes with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese -- need I say more? This may be the best way ever to make potatoes!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus some for boiling
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water and add about 1 tablespoon salt. Cover pan and bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are fork tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool until cool enough to handle. 
  2. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray. Place potatoes on a baking sheet.
  3. Using bottom of a small glass, jar, or potato masher, press down on potatoes to smash them into flat patties. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Brush butter mixture over potatoes and then sprinkle with Parmesan. 
  6. Bake until bottoms of potatoes are beginning to crisp and tops are golden, 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

    • For maximum crispiness, smashed potatoes are best eaten right away. If you have leftovers or want to make them ahead, reheat the potatoes in your air fryer or toaster oven to crisp them back up. They'll keep up to four days in the fridge.
    • Make ahead tip: Boil the potatoes a day ahead, cool, and refrigerate them. When you're ready, proceed with the smashing and baking. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 397mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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