Weekend Recipe: Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes
Photo: Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

The mashed potato is a thing of wonder, but to do it right is generally too much to ask on the average workday. Luckily our friends at America's Test Kitchen have devised this perfect compromise: no peeling; excellent flavor.

The recipe calls for Red Bliss potatoes of no more than two inches in diameter. The size of the potatoes is more important than the type, here -- baby Yukon Golds or other waxy potatoes would work, too. Enjoy!

Smashed Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes, (about 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled and scrubbed
Table salt
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
½ cup cream cheese, (4 ounces), at room temperature
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, (optional)

Story continues below


White potatoes can be used instead of Red Bliss, but their skins lack the rosy color of Red Bliss skins. Try to get potatoes of equal size; if that's not possible, test the larger potatoes for doneness. If only larger potatoes are available, increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. Check for doneness with a paring knife.

1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance, 35 to 45 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot, discard bay, and allow potatoes to stand in pot, uncovered, until surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

2. While potatoes dry, whisk melted butter and softened cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chives (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula or back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break skins. Fold in butter/cream cheese mixture until most of liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until potatoes are slightly looser than desired (potatoes will thicken slightly with standing). Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

TO DOUBLE: The Smashed Potatoes recipe and variation can easily be doubled to serve 8 to 12. To accommodate the increased volume, you will need to cook the potatoes in a Dutch oven or stockpot instead of the specified saucepan. Depending on pot size, the cooking time will increase by 5 to 10 minutes.

Want recipes and food news emailed directly to you? Sign up for the Food newsletter here!


We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading