Golden crispy smashed potatoes with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese — need I say more? This may be the best way ever to make potatoes!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Air Fryer Potatoes — crispy with hardly any oil!
- Stovetop Scalloped Potatoes (so easy!)
- Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
- The Best Potato Salad
- How to Make Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes — the easiest way to make mashed potatoes!
- Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Paprika or Dill Roasted Potatoes with Lemon
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Brown Butter Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- 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
- 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.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray. Place potatoes on a baking sheet.
- Using bottom of a small glass, jar, or potato masher, press down on potatoes to smash them into flat patties.
- In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Brush butter mixture over potatoes and then sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake until bottoms of potatoes are beginning to crisp and tops are golden, 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
- 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.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.