This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclaimer.
Enjoy these simple and crispy Smashed Potatoes topped with kale pesto as a vegan-friendly side dish or appetizer!
Guys I made pesto smashed potatoes and they’re just as amazing as I’d always hoped they’d be. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside—ugh, so good.
WHAT ARE SMASHED POTATOES?
It's not unlikely for someone to confuse smashed potatoes with mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are made with milk and butter and then mashed with a potato masher until smooth. Smashed potatoes are potatoes that you smash--literally--with a fork before roasting in the oven. Doing so makes the potatoes nice and crispy.
HOW TO MAKE SMASHED POTATOES
- Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan over the stove until they're soft. While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the pesto (instructions below).
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water then place them on a baking sheet. Use a fork to "smash" down on them.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes or until the potato skins are crispy.
For whatever reason, I opted to add shredded parmesan to my kale pesto recipe. Yes, yes the one I use for everythingggg—I don’t know why, but I felt like it needed a little oomph, so cheese was (clearly) the answer. If you want to keep this recipe vegan, just omit the cheese.
TIPS FOR MAKING PESTO SMASHED POTATOES
- Use store-bought pesto. Ok this is a tad controversial, but if you're looking to make the recipe even faster, store-bought pesto is the way to go. I LOVE the Dellalo brand pesto. If you do buy store-bought pesto, it won't be kale pesto, so keep that in mind.
- Use smaller potatoes vs. russet potatoes. Russet potatoes will take forever to cook, so opt for medium-small size potatoes.
Pesto Smashed Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Place potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil; boil until potatoes are cooked.
- While potatoes are cooking, make the pesto.
- Combine all pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined; set aside.
- Once potatoes are cooked, drain them and then place them on two separate baking sheets.
- Use a fork or potato masher to carefully smash the potatoes.
- Brush each potato with a bit of olive oil (I like to pour the olive oil in a ramekin and use a marinade brush for this), and then sprinkle each one with salt and pepper.
- Place baking sheets in the oven and bake the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, or until the potato skins become crispy.
- Top each potato with a spoonful of pesto and enjoy!