Why you’ll love them
Well hello there crispy, crunchy parmesan smashed potatoes. These smashed roasted potatoes are incredibly delicious and fun to make too. They have the perfect combination of fluffy potato insides and crunchy outsides – just like your favourite roast potatoes – but the skin adds more texture and parmesan, rosemary and onion powder add extra flavour.
So, why would you want to smash a potato anyway? Well, smashing potatoes gives them all these little edges and crags and bits that get super crunchy and delicious when they roast.
What makes these parmesan smashed potatoes even better is where the parmesan is. You could just sprinkle it on top and get great parmesan flavour but these ones have the parmesan on the bottom and it results in this crispy layer of parmesan underneath that both adds to the crunchy texture and tastes so good.
Try a little crispy prosciutto crumbled over the top at the end too.
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Ingredients you’ll need
With a few basic ingredients, some fresh herbs and punchy parmesan, you’ll have a seriously delicious treat.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
Which potatoes to use for smashed potatoes
First and foremost, use baby potatoes simply because they cook quicker. You can use larger potatoes too but again, cooking time will increase. Baby potatoes have some other advantages too. Personally, I think it gives you the best ratio of fluffy tater to crispy outside. The other upside is the skin on baby potatoes is fairly thin, so it adds a nice texture but isn’t as chewy as older potatoes.
My favourites are baby Royal Blue potatoes; Royal Blues are a starchy potato with loads of buttery flavour. Starch is great for roast potatoes so you get that fluffy inside and all the fluffy edges get nice and crunchy. However, the starch in potatoes develops more the older / larger they get, so really you can just use any baby potato in this recipe in their place. If you aren’t sure, stick to what would be considered the all-rounder and you can check with your grocer on this.
- Parmesan: Do yourself a favour and stick to the real thing. Grab a block of parmesan / Parmigiano Reggiano and finely shred it yourself. A block really goes a long way so you’ll have heaps left for more dishes and the flavour is so much better.
- The smashed potato seasoning: These parmesan and rosemary smashed potatoes have a simple seasoning of fresh rosemary (again, fresh is best here), sea salt flakes and onion powder. A simple combo which adds such great flavour. Feel free to add some black pepper to taste too. You could also use fresh thyme in place of the rosemary.
- Oil: With all the flavour covered, we just need a little oil to help them cook up nice and crispy. You can use a plain vegetable oil like I do or use olive oil for a more prominant oil flavour.
How to make smashed potatoes
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
There’s a technique to smashing potatoes – you don’t want to smash them so thin that they’re just dried up crunchy bits of chip but you don’t want them so thick that they’re too soft and don’t have enough crunch. I find the perfect thickness to be around 8mm (⅓ inch) thick. It gives the perfect amount of fluffy, soft potato inside with all the crave worthy crunch on the outside.
- Boil the potatoes: The first step is to boil the potatoes until they’re fork tender.
- Drain and steam: Drain the potatoes through a colander and sit that on top of the empty saucepan. This will allow the potatoes to steam and dry.
- Add the flavour: Now, tip the potatoes back into the saucepan and add the oil, rosemary, salt and onion powder. Mix it really well so everything is well dispersed.
- Layer it up: The layering simply refers to sprinkling the parmesan all over the baking sheet then placing the potatoes evenly over the top.
- Smash those taters! Grab a fork and gently press down on the centre of each potato until they “smash” open. Don’t squish them down too much and don’t worry if some pieces break off – they’ll get extra golden and crispy.
- Bake: Now bake those smashed up potatoes until golden brown and crispy.
The #1 secret to crispy smashed potatoes
As with all cooking techniques, there’s a little science to getting perfectly crispy potatoes with fluffy centres. The most important one, is steaming the potatoes just using their residual heat. It’s much easier than it sounds and exactly how I get my roast potatoes so crunchy too.
Steaming the boiled potatoes takes no extra equipment or cooking process, just 5-10 minutes. Once you’ve drained the potatoes just let them sit in the colander for 5 minutes and the steam coming off them will allow them to dry. Do this again, once you’ve smashed them open.
Steam = moisture escaping = extra crunchy edges
How to serve smashed potatoes
Smashed potatoes are the ultimate side dish but they’re also great on their own, finger food style with a dip like my ranch dip. Yum. Add some crispy bacon to make them even more amazing.
When you serve them up, you can top your smashed potatoes with some more fresh rosemary or some finely chopped fresh parsley.
Parmesan smashed potatoes are definitely best served fresh but leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can boil the potatoes and flavour them up to 24 hours ahead of time, then bake them when you’re ready.
You can make these up to the point of putting them into the oven a day ahead of time. Get them onto the baking tray with all the parmesan, seasonings and fat added. Cover the tray well in plastic wrap or aluminium foil and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Take them out of the fridge 30-45 minutes prior to baking.
Since this recipe uses baby potatoes, I find a fork works fine but you can use the base of a mug or glass too. Steer away from a potato masher as bits of the potato just get stuck in it and it’s hard to pull it out again without destroying your potatoes.
I find the sweet spot is around 8mm/⅓ inch. This gives the perfect ratio of soft, fluffy inside to crunchy edges.
You may have over-boiled the potatoes so they break open too easily or maybe you’ve just been a bit too vigorous when smashing them. Not to worry, they’re still not only edible but those little bits that break off get extra crunchy.
No. Smashed potatoes are whole or large pieces of potatoes that are boiled or steamed then pressed down on until they break open. Mashed potatoes go further and the potatoes are continually mashed using a potato masher until smooth and creamy. Mashed potatoes also has the addition of butter and milk or cream.
Did you try this parmesan smashed potatoes recipe?
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- 1 kg baby potatoes
- 3 sprigs rosemary (about 10cm/4in long)
- ½ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavoured vegetable oil (notes 1)
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder (notes 2)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Large sheet pan (or 2 medium)
- Place potatoes into a large pot of salted water. Bring it to a boil over high heat and cook for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes through a colander then sit the colander on top of the saucepan so they steam dry for 5 minutes.
- While that’s happening, strip the rosemary leaves of the stalks. Keep ⅓ of them whole and roughly chop the rest.
- Line a large baking sheet with a layer of aluminium foil then a layer of baking paper (this will help to keep the pan clean so you don’t need to wash it). Preheat the oven to 210C (190C fan forced) / 410F.
- Scatter the parmesan all over the tray.
- Tip the potatoes back into the saucepan and add the rosemary, oil, salt and onion powder. Stir well to coat all over.
- Spoon the potatoes over the parmesan about an inch apart then use a fork to gently press down until they crack and crush a bit – you still want them to be about 8mm/⅓inch thick.
- Let them sit for another 5 minutes to just steam and dry (this helps get nice crispy bits).
- Bake 40-50 minutes on the middle oven rack until crunchy and golden brown.
- Serve immediatley, shredding over a little extra parmesan if you want.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- Onion powder: You can swap the onion powder for garlic powder or, if you want a fresher onion flavour, scatter over some sliced spring onions (scallions/green onions) at the end.
- Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
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