I hate to break it to you, French fries, but you have a contender. Crispy on the outside, creamy in the center, smashed potatoes are the new kids in town that are giving fries a run for their money. Because time is money. And so is effort.
These potatoes deliver tons of crunch and flavor with ease: Boil small potatoes until tender, briefly cool them, flatten them, douse them with olive oil, and bake. That doesn’t sound hard, does it? Because it’s not!
In fact, smashed potatoes have been around for a long time, but they’re having a comeback, and no wonder. They’re irresistible! I challenge you not to eat more than your fair share before they get to the table. Serve them as a side dish, snack, or for breakfast along with eggs (sorry home fries, these have you beat.)
The Best Potatoes for Smashed Potatoes
The best potatoes for smashing are small red or yellow potatoes. Sometimes called creamers or baby potatoes, red potatoes have a thin skin and pale flesh, while yellow potatoes are similar to Yukon golds, with thin golden skin and yellow flesh. Both are ideal for this recipe. Their flesh is more waxy than starchy because of its high water content and they hold their shape during cooking.
The Secret Is Cooking Them Twice
Smashed potatoes are cooked twice: first on top of the stove, and then in the oven.
To cook potatoes evenly when you boil them, always start with cold water. If you plunge them into boiling water, the outside will cook faster than the inside, which results in uneven texture. Starting with cold water allows the potatoes to come up to temperature gradually. Cook them until the tip of a knife or a skewer shows no resistance when the potatoes are pierced. Let them cool briefly and smash them.
To ensure extra crispy potatoes, heat the baking sheets in the oven first. Resist lining the sheets with parchment; the hot oil on the baking sheets gives the potatoes the best crunch.
How to Serve Smashed Potatoes
There are plenty of ways to gussy up these potatoes, but a bit of flaky sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper highlight the sublime simplicity of these spuds. You could also embellish them with sour cream, chives, chopped fresh herbs like parsley or rosemary, Parmesan, or other grated cheese.
More Potatoes Hot from the Oven
- Crispy Hasselback Potatoes
- Potato Confit
- Roasted Potatoes With Asparagus and Lemon-Mustard Dressing
- One-Pan Paprika Chicken With Potatoes and Tomatoes
- Crash Potatoes With Hot Smoked Salmon
Pre-cook the potatoes:
In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and cover them with cold water by 1 inch.
Bring the water to a boil over high and add the salt. Adjust the heat to a steady simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. (The exact time depends on the size of your potatoes, so start checking at the 15 minute mark.)
Preheat the oven:
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place 2 rimmed baking sheets in the oven.
Drain and cool the potatoes briefly:
Drain the potatoes in a colander. Line a baking sheet with a dish towel and spread the potatoes over it for 5 to 10 minutes to dry and cool.
Press the potatoes:
When the potatoes are cool enough to touch, set each potato on a cutting board or plate and press them with the heel of your hand to flatten them (or use the bottom of a dry 1-cup measuring cup.) You want to flatten them to about 1/4-inch thick without breaking them into too many pieces.
Bake the potatoes:
Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon oil. Wearing oven mitts, tilt the pans so the oil spreads over the baking sheets.
Arrange the potatoes over the two baking sheets, spreading them so they are not touching each other. Brush with as much of the remaining oil as you like using a basting brush and sprinkle with flaky salt.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste and serve hot.
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