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Smashed red potatoes are a fantastic potato side dish, with crispy edges and creamy centers. Make this recipe to replace mashed potatoes!
For me there is nothing better as a side dish with a meal than potatoes, especially baked potatoes with crispy skin and edges like in my hasselback potatoes or in this recipe.
But let me tell ya, change can be a very good thing. One time, I was boiling red potatoes for pesto potato salad, but I had cooked too many. So, I decided to turn them into quasi tater tots.
They went into a frying pan with butter and olive oil. After pan frying, I added freshly crushed garlic and some fresh chopped rosemary. The edges were crispy and the little red potatoes were ultra creamy and delicious.
As much as I loved it, that side dish took a while to make, so I found a simpler way to make it!
Smashed red potatoes
You’ll start by boiling the potatoes first. You could even cook them in a microwave if you’re in a big hurry.
Then, you’ll oil up a foiled-lined sheet pan, crush the spuds to a chunky mass, and anoint each with olive oil, and some seasonings. To finish the dish, those baby reds will go into a 450° F. oven to create the crispy, crunchy, craveable edges.
Choosing the spuds
The best choice for making smashed red potatoes is the smaller sized reds. I like the ones that are roughly the size of a golf ball.
Keep in mind, there’s a tiny variety, known as baby reds (or little reds). You can use them, but some of them are so small that you may have trouble preventing them from burning in the hot oven. Just use your best judgement here.
I keep things simple with an all purpose seasoning salt and black pepper, but let your creativity shine! Here are few ideas of ways to season your smashed taters:
- Tex Mex or Southwest style– Chimayo chile powder, coarse kosher salt, cumin, and cilantro
- Taco– Use homemade chili seasoning and coarse kosher salt
- Mediterranean– Oregano, rosemary, cumin, and coriander
- Cheese– Load your red potatoes with butter, bacon bits and shredded cheese.
Tips for the best smashed red potatoes
- Space them out on the pan.
If you crowd the potatoes too closely, the heat won’t reach the edges. When that happens, you end up steaming them, preventing the crispy, crunchy edges that make this red potato side dish so special.
- Line the pan with foil, then brush with olive oil.
Roasting red potatoes with oil makes them even more crispy. The foil makes for easy clean up; just fold it up and toss it out!
- Use ground/dried spices rather than fresh, unless they’re for garnish.
The oven needs to be 450°F. for roasting. Fresh garlic and fresh herbs will likely burn under that high heat. Use ground spices like garlic powder, dried parsley, etc. If you want to use fresh herbs, add them as a garnish after the smashed red potatoes come out of the oven.
There’s no mention online naming the genius behind smashing a potato rather than mashing it. All we know for sure is that potatoes have always been a favorite side dish in Germany, France, and the United States.
Smashed red potatoes are perfect when you have a lot of red potatoes to use, especially smaller ones. The smaller the potato, the better the flavor is. Even better, you’ll be able to fit more of them on a baking sheet.
No, actually red potatoes are perfect for mashing! Unlike high starch potatoes like Russets, red potatoes are creamy and tender, without the pasty consistency of their high starch cousins.
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Oct. 17, 2013, was last updated with new content on Nov. 3, 2021.
Smashed Red Potatoes
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley or rosemary minced
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook them until they are fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes.
- Drain potatoes when done and allow them to cool slightly until you can safely handle them.
- Generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan lined with foil, and set the potatoes in rows. Use a fork, potato masher, or bottom of a cup to gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes. You want these rustic and chunky; the thinner you smash them, the crispier they'll become.
- Drizzle the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- Place them on the top rack of the oven, and bake them for 30-35 minutes, or until crispy, crunchy, and golden brown.
- Sprinkle with minced parsley, rosemary or seasonings of choice and serve warm.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.