Smashed potatoes are one of the best ways to prepare fancy roasted potatoes. Smashed potatoes are boiled, smashed, and then roasted until golden and ultra-crispy. The final result is a hash-brown-like potato that is creamy on the inside with a crispy golden exterior.
My smashed potatoes are served topped with fresh basil pesto for a delicious and flavorful finish. Pesto is an incredibly underrated and underutilized topping for potatoes. The creaminess really helps to balance the crispiness.
You can skip the pesto altogether and simply season the potatoes with coarse sea salt for a more traditional finish. Smashed potatoes are also great topped with sour cream and chopped chives.
Tips for Smashed Potatoes
- While you can use a potato masher to smash the potatoes, a flat-bottomed glass or mason jar works best. A potato masher tends to get stuck in the potatoes and leaves them mangled.
- Flatter/smaller smashed potatoes are crispier while a thicker smash will have a meatier and fluffier center. Pictured in this recipe are thinner/more pulverized potatoes, they can be eaten like a potato chip.
- I prefer baby dutch or baby yukon potatoes. They’re usually gold in color and slightly larger than a golf ball. You can also use small gold/yellow potatoes.
- Larger potatoes require more space on the baking sheet and will take longer to cook in the oven.
- Start potatoes in cold salted water and bring them to a boil. The saltwater will help to season the potatoes as they cook.
- Cook potatoes until fork tender. This will make smashing potatoes easier.
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- Sweet potato fries
Crispy smashed baby potatoes topped with homemade basil pesto.
- 12 small gold/yellow potatoes, baby Yukon or baby dutch potatoes
- 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- Fresh basil pesto, for topping
- Alternate topping: sour cream and chopped chives
Homemade basil pesto
- 3 loosely packed cups of basil leaves, about 2.5 ounces
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the pesto
- Combine all pesto ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend/pulse until mixed and smooth.
- With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until combined. Pesto should not be too soupy or fine. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Cover with plastic wrap seated directly on top of the surface to prevent browning/air exposure.
For the potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add potatoes to a large pot. Fill with cool water to cover by 1-2 inches. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set a timer for 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork-tender.
- Strain potatoes through a colander and let steam dry for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle a little oil over a large baking sheet. place potatoes in 4 rows of three. Using the bottom of a glass or mason jar, smash each potato to desired thickness. For very crispy potatoes, smash thinner to 1/4 inch thick, for thicker fluffier potatoes, smash to about 1/2-3/4 inches thick.
- Drizzle each potato with a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are golden and crispy around the edges. There is no need to flip potatoes.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle each potato with a little pesto just before serving. Alternatively, simply season potatoes with sea salt or a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives.
I used baby dutch potatoes for this recipe. You can also use baby Yukon potatoes or small gold/yellow potatoes. Ideally, you don’t want anything smaller than a golf ball. Larger potatoes may take longer to cook.
Keywords: smashed potatoes, pesto smashed potatoes