Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and easy to make, using only potatoes, crème fraîche, and thyme. A classic side dish suitable for any time of the year.

A white serving bowls filled with smashed potatoes and garnished with thyme sprigs on a wooden board.

Simple and fast, rich and delicious, this smashed potatoes recipe is a classic dish on the dinner table, where they’re comfortable sitting alongside and sopping up the juice or sauce of a meat, fowl, even a vegetarian main dish. The smashed style leaves chunks for an appealing texture–and makes preparing them a heck of a lot easier than mashing them until smooth.–Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan

*What kind of potatoes should I use?

Author Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan explains that you can use any waxy potato for this dish, including fingerlings, Yukon golds, Yellow Finns, or any of many other waxy spuds (read: not russets) that you’ll find at the store or farmers’ market. And, notes Gillingham-Ryan, “Because the potatoes are ‘smashed’ with their skins on,” says Gillingham-Ryan, “I often use at least two different colors to create a contrast.” It’s not a must, but it certainly works.

Smashed Potatoes

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
4/5 - 1 reviews
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Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and place them in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes or so.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the warm pan. Add the crème frâiche and chopped thyme and smash with a potato masher or fork until the potatoes are almost but not quite ready to break apart. 

Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the thyme sprigs, and serve right away. Originally published April 03, 2012.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These smashed potatoes are fabulous! I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, which have a natural buttery taste on their own.

The potatoes cook up smooth and creamy, with just enough bite from the smashing to make them satisfying. The thyme is just right—not too herby, with a nice, aromatic flavor. The crème fraîche adds not only silky texture, but a lovely tang of flavor that elevates these potatoes from busy weeknight fare to formal weekend dinner status. The recipe is easy to follow and works exactly as written. This one is a keeper.

If you love sour cream and chives on your baked potato, think of this recipe as the French-y version of the familiar combination. It’s a satisfying side dish that’s quicker than baked potatoes, and easier than classic mashed potatoes (for which you need to warm milk in a separate pan).


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  1. This decadent side dish comes together with ease and requires only 4 simple ingredients! For me, the best way to describe these creamy potatoes is as a deconstructed mashed potatoes; all of the elements of a creamy mash, but the potatoes are halved and not mashed. The fresh thyme pairs beautifully with the tender potatoes and the creme fraiche. I would also like to try a mix of dill and parsley sometime soon! A lovely side dish for a barbecue roast chicken or even a traditional meatloaf.

  2. Yes! These were so much like baked potatoes that I tried the recipe. Delicious as described. But, for me, the best part was the leftovers (I doubled the recipe). They weren’t quite as “saucy” the next day, but I added a little mayo and some sliced green onions and turned them into a creamy, thyme-y potato salad. Excellent. I had planned to have them with a sandwich or something, but they were so good that I ended up eating only that. 😉 I still have some left, and I think I’ll throw in some diced apple and some olives for day three…I thought about smashing the apple, too, for consistencies sake, but I think I’d be scraping bits of apple off the walls for days if I did that. Heh.

    1. ruthie, I love what you did with the leftovers! Thanks for sharing your tricks, they sound fab. As I read what you wrote, I was thinking that if I had leftovers, I’d do what my mom did with leftover mashed potatoes and form them into cakes and sizzle them up in a skillet. Looks like there’s some smashed spuds in my very near future….

      1. Ooh, yes! We do that, too. But these are chunky enough (at least mine were) to be considered potato salad, once they were cold. I love leftover potatoes. ;’)

  3. Olá, o cozinheiro. I think I can jump in here and explain things a bit. Smashed potatoes are a chunky version of puré de batatas. They’re meant to be a a side dish; they don’t act like batatas à murro, which are great for sopping up juices, gravies, etc. So they’re traditionally boiled, not baked, because they’re not meant to absorb more liquid.

  4. Batatas à murro–literally “punched potatoes”–is a classic Portuguese way of serving potatoes. It is interesting to see how recipes transmute across continents, how the garlic is replaced by creme fraiche. I am surprised that having been boiled instead of baked and with the extra addition of creme fraiche that they would not have too much moisture content to do the job of soaking up the gravy or sauce.

    Punched Potatoes

    1. O, love the “punched potatoes” thing. It’s charming as well as pleasingly literal. I feel like so much nuance tends to get lost in English. And all our testers found the creme fraiche to be quite a lovely addition. It’s thick enough, I think, so as not to create problems of mushiness or goopiness. Thanks for chiming in…

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