These crispy smashed potatoes are a perfect appetizer or side dish for your next party. These are loaded up with melted cheese, green onions, sour cream, and optional red pepper flakes for a little kick.
To save time, par-boil and smash the potatoes the day before you plan to serve them. Cover, refrigerate, and finish them just before serving.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- 🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
- 🥔 What kind of potatoes are best for smashed potatoes?
- 🔪 Recommended Equipment
- 🔨 What's the best way to smash potatoes?
- 🙋♀️ Can I roast smashed potatoes in the air fryer?
- 💡Loaded Smashed Potato Topping Ideas
- 📆 Can I make this dish ahead?
- Crispy Loaded Smashed Potatoes
This easy loaded smashed potatoes appetizer will be a hit at your next party, and best of all, you can make part of it ahead. Although, it's so easy, you really don't need to. This winner will be a hit with everyone, including the kids, and can be customized with its toppings to suit any food preferences or sensitivities.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- They're super easy to make, and you can par-boil the potatoes in advance if that works better for your schedule.
- If you use small potatoes, these loaded smashed potatoes are a fabulous appetizer for any party from game day gatherings to summer BBQs.
- The whole family will love them, even picky eater kids.
- Very flexible for whatever toppings work for you and your crowd.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Baby yellow potatoes - baby potatoes are the perfect size, and yellow potatoes hold together better when smashes versus russet potatoes. Baby red potatoes work fine too. (See additional information in the next section.)
- Cheddar cheese - I prefer to shred the cheese myself as it melts better than pre-shredded cheese. Either regular cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese work equally well.
- Green onions - also called scallions.
- Sour cream - use either full fat, or low fat sour cream. Mexican crema also works well.
- Dried pepper flakes - I use Aleppo pepper flakes, which have moderate heat, but feel free to use standard red pepper flakes for more kick.
🥔 What kind of potatoes are best for smashed potatoes?
Both the size and type of potato are important to making the best smashed potatoes.
Smaller potatoes are far better IMO than large or even medium sized potatoes. This is because with larger potatoes, there's less skin as a ratio to the inside of the potato. Therefore, when you smash a larger potato, it won't hold together as well, and you end up with a lot of loose potato.
Yukon or gold potatoes are waxy in comparison to fluffy russets, and hold together very well when smashed. This is important when transferring them to a serving dish, and adding toppings. Red potatoes are also on the waxy side, and do fine as well. Do not use russet potatoes.
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
Having the right equipment for recipes makes prepping soooo much easier. If you want more fuss-free prepping and cooking, check out my updated list of favorite kitchen tools and equipment.
🔨 What's the best way to smash potatoes?
- Once the potatoes are par-boiled, you're ready to smash them. Here are a few tips:
- Arrange them on a sheet pan you'll use for roasting them before smashing. You can either put them directly on a baking pan or on parchment paper.
- Don't completely flatten. Smash with enough pressure to open up the potato and reveal in the insides of the potato. I try to smash them roughly 50%. This amount still holds together very well, but reveals a fair amount of the potato to crisp it up.
- Use a potato masher, the bottom of coffee cup if it's completely flat, or measuring cup. Don't use a fork, as it's too small to evenly smash the potatoes.
🙋♀️ Can I roast smashed potatoes in the air fryer?
I've roasted smashed potatoes in both the oven and air fryer very successfully, and prefer the air fryer for getting them crispy on both sides. Plus the air fryer, as for cooking anything, is faster than using the oven.
The photo above shows them in the basket of my air fryer, roasted to a golden brown.
💡Loaded Smashed Potato Topping Ideas
There are so many ways to dress up these loaded smashed potatoes, you may want to consider setting out little bowls of toppings so people can load them up with what they want. A smashed potato bar!
Here are some of my favorite toppings.
- Swap out the sour cream for BBQ sauce or Ranch dressing.
- For a heartier approach, top each smash potato with some homemade chili or canned.
- Thinly sliced jalapeños, or keep it mild and use pickled jalapeños.
- Instead of green onions, top the smashed potatoes with chives or caramelized onions.
- Use other kinds of cheeses in place of cheddar, such as Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or Blue cheese. It should be a type of cheese that melts well.
- Make or purchase some basil pesto or sun dried tomato pesto.
- Your favorite salsa.
- Spinach dip.
- Refried beans using either black beans or pinto beans.
📆 Can I make this dish ahead?
Yes, I often do this. Par-boil the potatoes up to 2 days before, and arrange on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Smash the potatoes, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
Bring to room temperature while the oven or air-fryer heat up, lightly salt and pepper, and roast according to the directions. Add the toppings you want just before serving.
Crispy Loaded Smashed Potatoes
- Preheat a conventional oven to 450˚F or the air fryer to 425˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place potatoes in a Dutch oven or other large pot and cover with cold, well-salted water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
- Arrange the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. While the potatoes are still warm, gently smash each potato until flattened but still in one piece. Use either a potato masher, the flat bottom of a coffee cup or measuring cup to do this. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Slide into the oven or transfer to the basket of an air fryer, and slide into the air fryer.Roast until the potatoes are golden brown with crispy edges, about 25 - 30 minutes in the oven, or about 15 minutes in the air fryer.
- Sprinkle the tops of each potato with a little shredded cheese, and return to the oven or air fryer to melt the cheese, about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Transfer the crispy smashed potatoes to a serving plate, and top each potato with sour cream, green onions, and an optional light dusting of mild chile flakes.Serve immediately.