Herb Garlic Smashed Potatoes are super crisp on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside! You will love them as a side or an appetizer.
(This recipe was first published in November 2018 and has been updated with new instructions and images)
Smashed potato fans, this one is for you! This crispy herb garlic smashed potatoes are just as good as my recipe for crispiest baked potatoes. What's not to love about potatoes that are crisp on the outside, super tender and flavorful on the inside, and are baked, not fried!?
I'll let you in on a secret for making these herb-garlic smashed potatoes super crispy - baking soda is the secret ingredient here! By adding baking soda to the water, you increase the pH level of the water (making it alkaline). This causes the potatoes to break down easily. Once the potatoes are cooked, you can smash them using a fork. Once these potatoes are baked, the exterior crisps up beautifully.
Why make these smashed potatoes
- Super crisp on the outside, all thanks to the addition of a secret ingredient
- Baked or air-fried and not deep-fried!
- Super flavorful, with herb garlic and parmesan topping
List of Ingredients
For these herb garlic smashed potatoes, we will need:
- Baby potatoes ( Yukon Gold or red), skin-on, rinsed well
- Baking Soda
- Butter (or use olive oil)
- Herbs - use any combination of fresh or dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.
- Grated Parmesan (optional)
To make herb garlic smashed potatoes, the baby potatoes are first parcooked in either the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, with a little salt and baking soda. After then become tender, they are then smashed, and baked in the oven until golden brown. Here is how you make them:
Option 1 - Par-cook the potatoes in the Instant Pot
- In your Instant Pot, add the baby potatoes, along with enough water to cover the potatoes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of baking soda.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, perform a quick release of pressure. Open the lid of the IP, and drain the potatoes, keeping them aside to cool
Option 2 - Par-cook the potatoes on the stovetop
- If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook the baby potatoes on the stovetop in a large pot of water with added salt and baking soda, for 20 minutes. This will partially cook the potatoes, making them tender.
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool.
How to air fry or bake smashed potatoes
Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, transfer them to a tray or chopping board.
Smash the potatoes, using a fork, then drizzle over some melted butter mixed with grated garlic, chopped parsley, and thyme.
Option 1 - Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
To make herb garlic smashed potatoes in the Air Fryer, transfer the smashed potatoes into an Air Fryer and air-fry them at 400F for 10 minutes in the Air Fryer basket. If your Air Fryer needs peheating, make sure you preheat it before adding the potatoes.
Make sure you place the potatoes in a single layer and do not overlap the smashed potatoes. Air Fry in batches is necessary. After 10 minutes, the potatoes will turn golden brown and crispy. If you like crispier smashed potatoes, air fry for 5 minutes further.
Option 2 - In the oven
To bake the smashed potatoes in the oven, bake in a baking tray bake at 400 F (200 C) for 15 minutes, or until the outside starts to brown and crisp up slightly.
After the air frying or baking cycle is complete, take out the smashed potatoes, and sprinkle a little grated parmesan on top. The parmesan will melt in the residual heat of the potatoes. Serve immediately!
Baking soda will help improve the crispness of the potatoes - add 1/2 tsp of baking soda for par-cooking 1 lb. potatoes
Air Fry in a single layer - Make sure you place the potatoes in a single layer and do not overlap the smashed potatoes. Air Fry in batches is necessary.
Use any variety of potatoes that you like, preferably baby potatoes, Yukon gold, or red potatoes.
Topping variations - You can adjust the seasoning for the smashed potato toppings, for a spicier version, add 1 tsp cayenne or black pepper.
More easy potato recipes
Herb Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- 1 lb baby potatoes cleaned, skins left on
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (see notes)
- Enough water to cover the potatoes
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon fresh or dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes optional
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 F
Instant Pot Method:
- Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Add the salt and the baking soda and mix.
- Put on the lid of the IP, and with the vent in 'sealing' position, switch to 'Pressure Cook' (Manual) mode, in 'High' setting. Set the time for 5 minutes. Let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes. Once cooked, let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes. Then, turn the vent to release steam (Quick Release).
- Open the lid and take out the potatoes with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen towels and transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper or foil. Let the potatoes cool down.
Stove Top Method:
- Add potatoes to a pot on the stove top. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes.Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil, reduce heat and bring to a simmer for 15 mins. The pottaoes should be easily pierced by a fork.
- Take out potatoes, drain and let them cool.
- As the potatoes are cooling, mix together the melted butter, garlic, chili flakes and herbs.
- Once the potatoes are cooled, smash the potatoes gently with a fork ,and drizzle over the butter-garlic-chili-herb mixture generously.
Air Frying Instructions
- Transfer the potatoes into a preheated Air Fryer basket or tray. Air fry at 400 F for 10 minutes. Once the airfrying cycle is complete, check for crispness and air fry for 5 more minutes if needed.
- Bake in the oven at 400 F for 15 minutes, until the tops have crisped and lightly browned.
- Take out the baked or air-fried potatoes and sprinkle grated parmesan over the potatoes. Serve immediately.
- Use around half a teaspoon of baking soda for two quarts of water when cooking the potatoes. Increase the amount of baking soda and salt if you want to increase the number of potatoes.
- For a vegan option, replace butter with olive oil and skip the parmesan. Air Fry in a single layer - Make sure you place the potatoes in a single layer and do not overlap the smashed potatoes. Air Fry in batches is necessary.
- Use any variety of potatoes that you like, preferably baby potatoes, Yukon gold, or red potatoes.
- Topping variations - You can adjust the seasoning for the smashed potato toppings, for a spicier version, add 1 tsp cayenne or black pepper.