These Smashed Potatoes (Air Fryer) take a classic roasted potato to the next level. They are parboiled to bring out the starches resulting in an extra crispy exterior. Finished with garlic parmesan herb butter, these potatoes are full of flavor & super easy to make.
These air fryer smashed potatoes are one of my favorite easy side dishes, along with my Oven Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Easy Mexican Potatoes and Red Skin Mashed Potatoes.
For a more decadent cheesy side, try my Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole or my small batch Air Fryer Scalloped Potatoes with two kinds of cheese.
- Simple air fryer side dish recipe
- Super crispy smashed potatoes
- Garlic herb parmesan butter
- Perfect accompaniment to any protein
- Peewee Potatoes: These are a variety of potatoes that are very small (about 1 inch). They have yellow, red, or purple skin. I found mine at Whole Foods. They are the perfect size for smashed potatoes. Any baby or creamer potato will work. Larger yukon gold or red potatoes can be used, you will just need to quarter or half them depending on their size.
- Olive Oil: Swap for avocado oil.
- Parmesan: Swap for asiago or pecorino romano.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- COSORI Air Fryer Max XL: With over 60,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars, this is one of the best air fryers on the market. The price point is great and the basket is a good size.
- 2 Pack Black Kitchen Tongs: Silicone tongs that will not ruin the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket.
- Duralex Mixing Bowl Set: My favorite set of mixing bowls that I use daily.
- Parboil the potatoes.
- Smash them & air fry.
- Finish the smashed potatoes with garlic parmesan herb butter.
Step by Step
Step 1: Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot. Add enough water to completely cover the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil over medium high (or high) heat. Boil for 11-13 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato. Do not overcook. Drain the water.
Step 2: In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes and olive oil.
TIP - Do not overcook the potatoes. If the potatoes are boiling for too long, they will begin to fall apart and be too difficult to work with.
TIP - Once the potatoes are boiled, be gentle with them so they do not completely fall apart. Do not over smash them or you will not be able to transfer them easily.
Step 3: On a large baking sheet or cutting board, one by one, gently smash the potatoes with the bottom of a flat glass.
Step 4: Transfer the smashed potatoes to the air fryer basket in a single layer. (Cook in batches if needed.)
Step 5: Air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Step 6: While the potatoes are air frying, combine the butter, parmesan, garlic, italian seasoning, and salt in a small bowl. Once the potatoes are done, brush the butter mixture on each potato while they are still hot.
TIP - Cook in batches if needed. You do not want to overlap the potatoes or they will not get crispy. Serve each batch as they finish or hold them in the oven at 200-225 degrees.
Make Ahead & Storage
- Make Ahead: Follow the recipe as stated through step 3. Cover the smashed potatoes and store in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the potatoes from the fridge 15-30 minute before proceeding to step 4.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover air fryer smashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: Reheat in the air fryer at 350 from 5-7 minutes or until heated through. You can aslo reheat them in the oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Freezer: You can follow the make ahead instructions as stated. (Do not roast.) After the potatoes have cooled in the fridge overnight, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 4-6 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or bag and store in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- Reheating: Thaw potatoes overnight in the fridge or bake from frozen. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until crispy and finish with the butter mixture.
- Be sure to salt the water. The recipe calls for a whole tablespoon (not teaspoon) of salt for boiling the potatoes. This prevents them from tasting bland.
- Be gentle with the potatoes. To avoid the potatoes falling apart, be gentle when tossing them in olive oil and smashing them. Use the cup to press them flat but do not push down all the way.
- Use oil. The oil helps the potatoes get crispy. You can also spray them with spray oil as needed if they look dry.
- Cook in batches. To ensure super crispy smashed potatoes, you do not want to stack the potatoes in the air fryer basket. Be sure the potatoes are placed in a single layer. As the potatoes finish air frying, transfer them to a baking sheet. Hold them in the oven at 200-225 degrees while the rest of the potatoes air fry. Finish all of the potatoes right before serving with the butter mixture.
- You can easily double this recipe. To feed a crowd, double this recipe and use the oven holding technique mentioned above.
- Oven: Follow the recipe as stated through step 3. Place the smashed potatoes directly on a greased metal baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until crispy. After baking, brush with the butter mixture.
- Dairy-free: Omit the parmesan cheese. See instructions for the vegan option below if you want to omit butter.
- Vegan: Use vegan butter or omit the butter and replace it with half the amount of olive oil. Omit the parmesan cheese or use a dairy free alternative. If you omit the butter, warm the olive oil on the stove or in the microwave before combining it with garlic and spices.
- Spices: You can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic (1 clove = ⅛ teaspoon). Try adding a ¼ teaspoon of paprika, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, lemon pepper or any of your favorite spices.
These potatoes are great on their own but you can definitely pair them with a sauce.
- Try this lemon garlic aioli that I serve with air fryer sweet potato cubes
- Mayo or sour cream
- Horseradish sauce
- Pesto aioli (mix a little pesto into mayo)
- Spicy mayo
You can serve these air fryer smashed potatoes as an appetizer or as a side to dish to:
- Grilled steak, chicken, pork, fish or any protein
- Air fryer chicken fried steak or brats
- Hamburger, chicken tender, or hot dogs
- Garlic parmesan wings
My favorite way to smash them is with a glass cup. You can use a plastic cup, measuring cup, small plate, or even a fork. Anything with a flat bottom will work.
Soaking raw potatoes in cold water before boiling prevents the potatoes from sticking and removes excess starches. This helps the potatoes get extra crispy. This recipe uses the parboiling technique instead because the potatoes have to be tender enough to smash.
It depends on the type of potato you are making. Pre-cooking the potatoes results in a crispier potato with a fluffy inside. You can pre-cook them in the microwave or by parboiling them like this recipe does.
It is likely that the air fryer basket is over crowded or the potatoes were not cooked long enough or at a high enough heat.
Mashed potatoes are more of a potato puree. Mashed potatoes are often mixed with milk, butter, sour cream, and spices. Smashed potatoes are more like a roasted crispy potato patty.
Smashed Potatoes (Air Fryer)
- 1 Tablespoon salt, for boiling water
- 1 pound peewee potatoes, washed*
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil*
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese*
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- fresh chopped herbs
- more parmesan cheese
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot. Add enough water to completely cover the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil over medium high (or high) heat. Boil for 11-13 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato. Do not overcook. Drain the water.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes and olive oil.
- On a large baking sheet or cutting board, one by one, gently smash the potatoes with the bottom of a flat glass.
- Transfer the smashed potatoes to the air fryer basket in a single layer. (Cook in batches if needed.)
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the potatoes are air frying, combine the butter, parmesan, garlic, italian seasoning, and salt in a small bowl. Once the potatoes are done, brush the butter mixture on each potato while they are still hot.
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