Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Smashed potatoes are like mashed potatoes, but the potatoes are not peeled and they are mashed very lightly.  These potatoes are incredibly tender on the inside yet amazingly crisp on the outside.  Smashed Potatoes are kind of a lazy way to make mashed potatoes!   Lazy way or not – they are very easy to make and very delicious!   Smashing them is also an excellent way to get butter and herbs into all of the nooks and crannies of the potato, while still retaining the potato’s texture.

This recipe and dinner menu were generously shared with my by Linda Sandberg of Newberg, OR.  Linda belongs to a Gourmet Dinner Group that delights in making wonderful foods that they share together.  Check out A Night of Comfort (Updated Comfort Food Dinner) which includes this recipe.

Learn about Potato Hints, Tips, and Information, Sweet Potato Tips, and History of Potatoes.

Smashed Potatoes


Smashed Potatoes Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smashed Potatoes Recipe
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
  • 2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled and scrubbed*
  • Salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped (optional)
  1. In a large pot, add whole potatoes and cover with 1-inch cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and the bay leaf.  Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until a paring knife can be inserted into the potatoes with no resistance, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.  Remove from heat.

  2. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside.  Then drain potatoes of remaining water; discard the water and bay leaf.  Return cooked potatoes to the pot and allow potatoes to stay in the pot, uncovered, until surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

  3. While potatoes are drying, whisk the melted butter and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated.  Add the 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chives (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  

  4. Using a rubber spatula or back of a wood spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break the skins.  Fold in the butter/cream cheese mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain.  NOTE: Add more reserved cooking water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are slightly looser than desired.  The potatoes will thicken slightly with standing.  Adjust salt and pepper, if desired.

  5. Place in a serving bowl and serve immediately.

  6. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe Notes

* New potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes may be substituted, but the red skins of the Red Bliss potatoes give a wonderful contrast.  Try to purchase potato of equal size.  If only large potatoes are available, increase the cooking time by approximately 10 minutes.


Source:  Smashed Potatoes recipe and photo by Erika Bruce of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, November/December 2004.


Potatoes    Side Dishes   

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