These air fryer smashed potatoes have a seriously satisfying crunch! The potatoes are boiled, smashed, and cooked in the air fryer, giving you a delicious and easy snack or side dish. Oven roasted instructions included.
But these air fryer smashed potatoes are truly something special. Using a handful of ingredients and the magic of the air fryer, humble potatoes are transformed into a crispy, fluffy batch of smashed buds in no time. Not to mention, the seasoning, toppings, and dipping sauce options are endless!
Why this recipe works
- Only 4 ingredients! Besides the potatoes, all this recipe calls for are a few simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
- Air fried perfection. I absolutely love my air fryer because it gives me flawlessly crispy potatoes with a heavenly golden crust every time.
- Crowd-pleasing snack or side. A platter of butter-brushed smashed potatoes always ‘wows’ my family and friends during dinner parties and game days.
- Versatile. This perfect side dish is all about simplicity, which gives you plenty of room to put your own spin on it. Season the potatoes with different seasonings, toppings, and dipping sauces. Whether you’re craving something savory, spicy, or even cheesy, there’s a variation for that!
The beauty of this crispy smashed potato recipe lies in its simplicity, and as mentioned above, it calls for only 4 ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Potatoes. I used creamer potatoes. Their thin and tender skins, creamy texture, and small size make them perfect for smashing. New potatoes (AKA baby potatoes) and fingerling potatoes also work well.
- Salt. I find that boiling potatoes in salted water seasons them from the inside out without relying solely on herbs and spices. Don’t skip it!
- Butter and olive oil. Yes, you need both! Coating the potatoes in a butter AND olive oil mixture not only makes them tastier but also creates a crispy, golden crust. Use vegan butter here to keep this dish dairy free.
How to make smashed potatoes in air fryer
Like many of my other air fryer recipes, the circulating dry heat in the air fryer works its magic to crisp the boiled and smashed potatoes to perfection in less time than it typically takes in the oven.
Step 1 – Boil the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot with salted cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set them aside to cool slightly.
Step 2 – Smash. Place the boiled potatoes on a cutting board and gently press down on each one until they’re slightly flattened and cracked open but still mostly intact.
Step 3 – Season. Stir the melted butter and olive oil in a bowl. Dip each potato into the mixture, coating all sides.
Step 4 – Air fry. Place the potatoes in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry until they’re crispy. Enjoy!
Can I bake them?
No worries if you don’t own an air fryer! After boiling, smashing, and coating the potatoes in melted butter and olive oil, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the smashed potatoes in a 425°F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until they’re crispy and golden brown, flipping halfway.
Recipe tips and variations
- Don’t over-boil the potatoes. I found that boiling waxy creamer potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes was the sweet spot for fork tender, never mushy results.
- Dry potatoes = crispy potatoes. After boiling and draining the water, pat the potatoes completely dry with a paper towel. Dry potatoes will become crispier in the air fryer.
- Smash with care. I used the bottom of a heavy flat-bottomed cup to flatten the potatoes, but a potato masher will also do the trick. Try to flatten each potato to about ½-inch thick but don’t worry if they’re not perfect.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. The smashed potatoes should be cooked in a single layer in the air fryer basket. In testing, I found that potatoes that were touching or overlapping cooked unevenly and didn’t become crispy. If your air fryer is too small to fit all of the potatoes, cook them in batches instead.
- Play with the seasonings. After brushing them with oil and butter, season the potatoes with minced garlic cloves or garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, lemon zest, and/or dried or fresh herbs, like rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill, and/or parsley.
- Make them cheesy! A topping of grated parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast is always tasty.
- Give them a kick. Season the potatoes with a dusting of chili powder or a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle kick of heat.
To store: After the leftover smashed potatoes have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F, place the potatoes in a single layer in the basket, and air fry for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they’re hot and crispy again.
Frequently asked questions
To make mashed potatoes, potatoes are boiled until they’re very soft, then mashed with butter and cream until they’re smooth and creamy.
The whole potatoes are still boiled to make smashed potatoes but afterward, they’re pressed flat, then baked or fried. This way, the potatoes are still intact but have an incredibly crispy crust and a fluffy, tender interior.
Par-boiling the potatoes makes them tender enough to flatten, but it’s not the only way. Instead, you can steam or microwave the potatoes until they’re soft enough to smash.
This can happen if you boil the potatoes for too long. Remember to boil them only until they’re just fork tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).
For a truly impressive dish, I’ll top the platter of potatoes with a dollop of sour cream, chopped bacon, chives, and grated cheddar cheese. Then I’ll pop them under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese and watch as my family and friends’ eyes widen and mouths water!
Otherwise, I like to serve the crispy potatoes with a platter of dipping sauces. Spicy mayo, cheese sauce, ranch dressing, garlic yogurt sauce, ketchup, and hot honey sauce are all fantastic choices.
More potatoes in the air fryer to try
- Air Fryer potato wedges
- Air fryer sweet potato fries
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air fryer baked potato
- Air fryer baked sweet potato
Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
- In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with water. Add one tablespoon of salt and place over high heat. Boil until fork tender.
- Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
- Place the cooked potatoes on a cutting board. Use a flat-bottomed cup or potato masher to gently press down on each potato until it's slightly flattened and cracks open.
- In a bowl, mix together the melted butter and olive oil. Dip each smashed potato into the butter-oil mixture, ensuring they are well-coated on all sides. Season with salt.
- Air fry potatoes in a single layer for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
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