Extra crispy, crushed potatoes with smooth and buttery centers that are dripping with garlic and herb infused oil – these smashed potatoes are easy to make and will make it on your favorite sides list.
Are you tired of the same old mashed potatoes or even plain roasted potatoes? Check out their leveled-up cousin, the smashed potato. This is my go-to side dish for every dinner party because they have the best of both worlds crispy roasted skin and soft, buttery centers. They’re so tasty, they don’t even need gravy to shine.
This very western dish will give you roasted smashed potatoes drizzled with a flavorful and easy butter, garlic and herb infused oil sauce.
Type of potatoes to use
Hands down, the best type of potatoes to use for smashed potatoes are yukon gold potatoes. These types of potatoes are part of the “yellow potato” family and have a waxy flesh that crisps in the oven and a buttery, moist center. They’re great for various recipes too, from smooth mashed potatoes to crisp smashed potatoes.
I’ve made this smashed potato recipe over dozens of times and have tried russet, red potatoes, and more, but yukon gold potatoes have a better structure and smoother texture inside. I’ve found that sometimes grocery stores will generally label potatoes by color or if they’re a russet potato.
For example, I’ve tried different “yellow” potatoes at Trader Joe’s and they’ve given me different types of outcomes. However, if you’re in a pinch and can’t find yukon gold potatoes, it would be best to choose another type of “yellow” potato because they can have similar cooked textures over using russet or other potatoes. Just make sure to pick medium to smaller (but not tiny fingerling) sized potatoes, this is easier for smashing and keeping the shape intact.
Ingredients and tools
Other ingredients for this smashed potato recipe include butter (of course), garlic oil (which I’ll describe later), fragrant herbs like oregano and thyme, and salt and pepper. These ingredients are totally customizable and you can modify them based on your preference.
While smashed potatoes calls for a basic pot of water to boil then a sheet pan for roasting the potatoes, I also like to use a metal spatula or turner to help smash the potatoes down and flip them at the halfway point of roasting. I also like using a potato masher on top of the metal turner for leverage pressing down (since the turner is very thin and you don’t want to burn your hands from the heat that passes through from the potatoes).
The thin, but wide and flexible metal turner is great for smashing the potatoes to an even thickness and it also allows you to flip a whole smashed potato without losing some valuable pieces falling off when turning.
If you don’t have a metal turner, you can also use the back of a wooden spoon to carefully smash the potatoes too. I would still recommend using any spatula to help turn the potatoes though.
The garlic oil
Next to lots of butter, garlic oil is my second favorite ingredient in this recipe. It’s got fat to help crisp the potatoes, but the garlic infused flavor gives it an extra oomph in any recipe. And by any recipe, I really do mean any recipe. For example, I brown it to add it to fried eggs, sinangag (Filipino garlic fried rice), roasted vegetables, and everything in between.
I make it a habit to make a full batch (aka 12 oz worth of garlic oil) every month by peeling garlic, adding them into a food processor to mince, and combining all the garlic and a good heap of vegetable oil into a jar. Anytime a recipe calls for garlic (or let’s be honest, oil), I reach for this garlic infused oil because it adds more flavor to any meal. I keep it in my refrigerator and it lasts for about one month.
This recipe below scales the garlic oil down so it’s just enough for the amount of potatoes we’ll use. However, if you just want to make a large jar of this you can too. Literally just fill the 12 oz jar with 50-75% of garlic, and add oil so it covers by an inch then let it sit in the fridge to infuse. Make sure you only use clean spoons when using this so the jar can keep well in the fridge for up to a month.
Pre boiling the potatoes
For this recipe, it’s incredibly necessary to fully cook your potatoes by boiling them. It’s easier to smash the potatoes when they are soft and cooked. I’ve tried to par-boil them previously and ended up with hard potatoes that broke into separate pieces.
Also, if you’ve already fully boiled them in the pot, you don’t have to worry about having some pieces of potato that aren’t cooked in the oven. The yukon gold potatoes are very forgiving when over boiling or baking, so this gives me peace of mind.
Why and how to smash them for ultra-crispy results
After boiling the potatoes, you get to do the most fun part—smashing! While some people might question, why smash when you can just roast them whole? By smashing the potatoes, you create a wider surface area and more ridges or edges to the potatoes; This along with some buttery garlic, herb infused oil on top makes for ultra-crispy potato skins in the oven while it roasts at high temperatures.
Before you even begin smashing or placing the potatoes on the sheet pan, I would recommend brushing on the butter garlic, herb oil and sprinkle half the salt to make sure the underside of the potatoes get lots of flavor.
My technique to get evenly smashed potatoes is using a metal turner (the ones that you see chefs at hamburger places use to flatten and turn meat patties). If you don’t have one of these you can also use a regular spatula.
I brush a little of the garlic oil on the underside of the turner to prevent it from sticking to the potatoes, then center the turner over one potato and use a potato masher (or the other end of a wooden spoon) to push the turner down evenly across the crushed potato. I stop mashing at about ½ an inch thickness and carefully slide the turner off the potato to keep it intact.
Modifying this recipe to your taste
What’s great about this recipe is that you can modify this recipe based on your taste or dietary restrictions. I’ve made this recipe using different herbs like rosemary, parsley, and more. You can also add cheese on top right before you pull it out of oven, or add some chopped onions about 10 minutes before finishing to add some more veggies.
For those of you who want to refrain from eating dairy, you can also try substituting the butter with more vegetable oil in addition to the garlic oil as the fat component—it will taste a bit different, but will still crisp up in the oven.
You can even add some spice to the buttery liquid-like chile pepper flakes or paprika. Honestly, the add-ons or adjustments are endless. It’s a lot of fun to test new types of variations.
Ultra Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- 2 lb yukon gold potatoes medium sized (optional yellow potatoes)
- 10 c water
- 3 tbsp salt
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Butter garlic sauce
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 3 tbsp garlic oil from above
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- sheet pan
- spatula, metal turner, or wooden spoon
- brush (or spoon)
- Clean potatoes under running water and brush off dirt.
- Add water into a large pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes carefully and make sure there’s enough water to fully cover the potatoes.
- Continue to boil until potatoes are tender and are pierced with a fork (about 30-45 minutes depending on potato size).
- While your potatoes are boiling, make the garlic oil. Peel all the garlic cloves and add them into a food processor. Pulse until all the garlic pieces are minced. You can also use a garlic press to mince the garlic. If you don’t have either, you can use a knife to mince the garlic into very tiny pieces.
- In a mason jar or a glass airtight container, add the minced garlic and top with vegetable oil.
- Marinate the garlic in the oil for at least 30 minutes to infuse.
Butter garlic sauce & assembly
- Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
- Combine the melted butter, garlic oil, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl and whisk until incorporated.
- Brush on about 1/3 of the butter garlic sauce directly onto the sheet pan and sprinkle ¼ tsp salt on top.
- Transfer the potatoes onto the brushed sheet leaving about 2 inches in between each potato. Brush a little oil on the underside of the metal turner to prevent sticking. Center the turner on top of one potato and gently use another tool (like a potato masher or an end of a wooden spoon) to press down on the turner to carefully crush the potato evenly to a ½ inch thickness. Carefully slide off the turner to keep the shape of the potato intact. Repeat with all the potatoes.
- Brush another 1/3 of the butter garlic sauce on top of the smashed potatoes generously. Sprinkle on ¼ tsp salt on top of the potatoes.
- Place sheet pan in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. At this half way point, use a spatula to carefully flip the potatoes. Brush the last 1/3 of the butter garlic sauce over the potatoes and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
- The potatoes should be golden brown and crispy on the top, but not burned. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.