If you've never had smashed potatoes, you're missing out! These crispy garlic air fryer smashed potatoes are fluffy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. They do take a bit longer than popping frozen fries into the oven, but trust me, it'll be worth your time! I've also included oven instructions, just in case.
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe, but I'll list the top three below:
- Air fryer and baked versions: I love making air fryer smashed potatoes, but once in a while I want to make a large batch, so I use the oven. I've included instructions here for both ways!
- Vegan and gluten-free: These potatoes are a great side for many dietary restrictions since they're vegan and gluten-free (unless you top with cheese!)
- Simple ingredients, easy recipe: This recipe needs very basic ingredients and involves smashing some potatoes, spicing them up and roasting them. Easy!
- Ready in under an hour: Regardless of whether you bake or air-fry, this recipe is ready in an hour, making it a perfect snack for all occasions!
📋 Ingredients and notes
These smashed potatoes are simple but rustic. You'll need a pound of potatoes of small or medium size (or baby potatoes!), olive oil, turmeric, garlic powder, red chili powder.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Choosing the right potatoes: I like Yukon Gold baby potatoes but you can also use red potatoes for something more "meaty" (the skins are also more flavorful). In terms of size, going for smaller potatoes will help make each piece a delectable, bite-sized snack. If you have medium sized potatoes, just chop them up so you can get the perfect bite! Totally okay to use tricolor medleys - but make sure you're watching the darker ones at the end so they don't end up burning.
- Extra crispiness: If you have some chickpea flour on hand, grab that as well for the crispiest smashed potatoes you'll ever make!
- Adjusting spice and flavor: The turmeric adds a beautiful golden color, while the red chili powder gives it a tangy kick (but you can tone it down if you want a less spicier version or use cayenne or paprika instead).
📖 Make Baked or Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes!
Preheat oven or air fryer and precook the potatoes
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Similar to making mashed potatoes, you will start by parboiling the potatoes (no need to peel them!) I recommend rinsing the potatoes and then throwing them in a pot of fresh cold water and bringing them to a boil. If you are using medium sized potatoes (like I am) - quarter them so they're the right size!
Alternatively, just throw the potatoes in the air fryer for 15 minutes to precook it until the potatoes are fork tender.
This process typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You'll know they're cooked when you insert a fork and it goes straight through. Drain the potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes in a mixing bowl.
Prepare the seasoning
While the potatoes are cooling down, add turmeric, red chili powder, and garlic powder to olive oil and give it a good whisk. We're going to coat the potatoes with this seasoned oil before we pop them into the oven.
Note that I use Kashmiri red chili powder, which is quite potent - however, you can adjust this spice level to your taste!
Pour all the seasoned oil into the mixing bowl with the potatoes and give it a good toss to coat all the potatoes evenly.
Make baked smashed potatoes
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet with sufficient spacing between them. Using a large fork or a cup, smash the potatoes flat (thinly) in a crisscross pattern so you can get a nice crispy texture once you bake them. Drizzle remaining seasoned oil on the potatoes to your liking.
Make air fryer smashed potatoes
Similar to baking, using a large fork or a cup, smash the potatoes flat (thinly) in a crisscross pattern. Place the potatoes evenly in the air fryer basket, leaving sufficient room besides the potatoes. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need to roast the potatoes in batches.
Bake or air-fry to perfection!
I typically recommend cooking the potatoes at 425°F for about 25 minutes, but this timing will depend a bit on your oven or air fryer. I suggest taking a peek at the 15 minute mark to see how the potatoes are faring and flipping them so each side can get a nice crispy layer on the outside. Once they're nice and golden brown, your potatoes are done!
You can choose to just eat the potatoes as is, garnish with just more salt, pepper and/or fresh herbs (e.g. parsley) to keep it vegan or you can add a bit of fresh grated cheese! Delicious regardless of what you choose at this stage.
👩🏽🍳Top Tips and Troubleshooting FAQs
You'll want to follow these five tips to make sure that you make the perfect air fryer smashed potatoes each time!
- Salt your cooking water or boil your potatoes in broth! Or better yet, just skip the parboiling altogether and just throw your potatoes in the air fryer to precook until they're fork tender.
- Use baby potatoes or quarter larger potatoes! That way, you can make sure it's the right size and uniformly distributed.
- Use Yukon gold or red potatoes! Yukon potatoes tend to be smoother and have a great neutral flavor but red potatoes have a stronger flavor.
- Make sure you don't overcrowd the basket - you'll want evenly spaced potatoes for proper airflow. You don't need to flip the potatoes halfway through, but I do recommend shaking the basket if you can!
- Watch your roast times! Roasting times depend on the air fryer so I suggest checking in 5 minute increments to make sure the crispiness is to your desired levels! Basket-style air fryers tend to cook slightly faster than tray-style or oven-style air fryers. This recipe has been tested using a Breville Smart Oven, a Cosori 6 Qt, and Nuwave!
Yes, I always recommend precooking potatoes so they're fork tender before you air fry them. Otherwise you won't be able to smash them! However, if you're using baby potatoes, it's super easy to just pop them into the air fryer first to precook them (so no more extra pots!)
Yes! Roasting times really depend on a lot of factors, including the type and make of air fryers (or ovens). I've generally found that basket-style air fryers (e.g., my favorite Cosori) tend to cook a bit faster than oven or tray-style air fryers (e.g., Breville Smart Oven). I suggest you check on the potatoes in two minute increments after the halfway mark to make sure the potatoes are crispy but not burnt.
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in the air fryer. Parchment paper is OK too, but wax paper cannot be used in the air fryer. However, I strongly recommend not using foil or parchment paper because air fryers work by circulating air around the food and add a solid layer can really cut off the airflow, which can impact the recipe.
🍴 Serving & storage suggestions
The recipe as written is vegan, but if you're vegetarian, you can add some parmesan on the potatoes. You can also top with some finely cut up scallions and/or fresh herbs. You want them creamier? Add a dollop of vegan sour cream for a punch of flavor.
I typically serve these by themselves, but I love recommending two great dipping options: spicy ketchup (add a few red pepper flakes and/or habanero hot sauce) or a spicy aioli (add habanero hot sauce to vegan mayo).
Store smashed potatoes
To store the smashed potatoes after they're roasted, wrap them up tightly with plastic wrap and then place them in the fridge. They should be okay for a couple of days this way. Once you're ready to eat them again, just pop them in the oven or air fryer at 350F for 5 to 10 minutes until crispy again. I don't recommend microwaving them because that makes them mushy!
Make smashed potatoes ahead of time
You can make these crispy smashed potatoes ahead of time! To do that, boil the potatoes, smash it, and then wrap it with plastic wrap around the entire baking sheet tightly and then throwing it in the fridge, ideally the night before you need to make them.
This is particularly helpful when you're meal-prepping for a large family meal the next day, or for occasions like Thanksgiving when you have a ton of stuff going on. Then, 40 minutes before eating, remove from fridge and proceed with the rest of the steps.
If you liked this recipe, check out my other amazing potato recipes:
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Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- 1 lb potatoes, See notes for potato types.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt, adjust to taste!
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, prefer using powder vs. fresh garlic (latter burns)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F (or oven to 425°F, and use a roast setting if available)
- Wash and dry potatoes thoroughly (because you'll eat the skin too!). If you're using medium sized potatoes, quarter them. If using small (golf ball or smaller sized) potatoes, use them as-is. You can precook the potatoes one of two ways: Parboil: Cover the potatoes with salted water with a teaspoon of turmeric in a large pot, and cook on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes to boil the potatoes. Check after 15 minutes. Air Fry: Add the potatoes to the air fryer and cook for 15-20 minutes at 400ºF or until the potatoes are fully cooked! If a fork passes easily through the potatoes, they are done. If not, cook until they're done! Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water if parboiling, cool them completely, and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
- Add a teaspoon each of garlic powder and red chili powder to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well using a fork. I prefer mixing them before sprinkling on the potatoes since they coat better this way. See next step if you prefer to season separately!
- Whisk the olive oil mixture once more and pour half of it on the potatoes and coat them well using your hands or a fork. If using an air fryer, you can pour all the oil on potatoes. Alternative: If you don't want to make an oil mixture, start by pouring half the olive oil on the potatoes and coat them well. Then add the spices and make sure the potatoes are fully coated.
Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
- Transfer the potatoes into the air fryer basket or sheet with sufficient spacing.
- Using a fork or a masher (or even a glass) - smash the potatoes softly. You want to make sure the skin loosens and breaks, and the smashed potato is about ½ an inch thick. If you have any seasoned oil left, brush it on the potatoes.
- Air fry for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through to your desired crispiness!
Oven Baked Smashed Potatoes
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Using a fork or a masher (or even a glass) - smash the potatoes softly. You want to make sure the skin loosens and breaks, and the end potato is about ½ an inch thick. See pictures in post for details! Drizzle the remaining oil on top to your liking.
- Bake the smashed potatoes for about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Grab one fresh out of the air fryer or oven, or top with fresh herbs (parsley) or fresh grated vegan or vegetarian cheese of your choice!
- Choice of Potatoes: I prefer using baby gold potatoes in this recipe, however red potatoes also work quite well. Ideally, you want potatoes the size of golf balls.
- If you're not able to find baby potatoes, simply halve or quarter the larger potatoes so you can still get the right thickness.
- Roasting Times: Roast times really depend on the air fryer (or oven) you're using, I suggest checking in 5 minute increments to make sure the crispiness is to your desired levels! Typically, I've found that basket-style air fryers tend to cook slightly faster than tray-style or oven-style air fryers. This recipe has been tested using a Breville Smart Oven, a Cosori 6 Qt, and Nuwave!
- Season with fresh ingredients after roasting: I tend to use dry spices before roasting, but I wouldn't suggest using fresh herbs or fresh garlic before you air fry or bake the potatoes - they burn in the oven and the taste is really bitter! Instead, top the smashed potatoes with fresh herbs or cheese after they're out of the oven or air fryer.
Note: This recipe was originally published April 12, 2020 and updated on 10 September 2022 to include more tips and better visuals and instructions. Original visuals can be found below.
Ingredients for making smashed potatoes in air fryer:
How to boil your potatoes if you're not using baby potatoes:
How to make the seasoning mix for the smashed potatoes:
Toss and coat the potatoes before smashing:
Checking on the smashed potatoes in your oven: