Crispy on the outside and buttery-soft on the inside, these baby mashed potatoes with pesto sauce make a delicious vegetarian appetizer or side dish.
Smashed potatoes are potatoes that you boil, mash until almost flat, and then roast them in the oven until golden brown and crisp.
There are a multitude of ways to prepare potatoes, but mashed potatoes might be my favorite. It’s crispy brown edges for me.
Starchy mashed potatoes are an ideal vehicle for your favorite dip. One that goes especially well is the basil pesto sauce, which I drizzle on top of the finished potatoes for this recipe.
It’s a good combination.
- Little Golden Potatoes (also called Little Golden Potatoes)
- Grapeseed oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- Salt and pepper
- Pesto sauce (homemade or purchased)
First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet to roast the potatoes.
The next step is to boil the potatoes. Clean the potatoes (leave the skin on) and add them to a large pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
You want the potatoes to be tender and tender so they are easier to mash. Don’t be afraid to boil the potatoes longer if they don’t feel soft enough after 30 minutes.
Once the potatoes are boiled, drain the water and spread the cooked potatoes out on a baking sheet.
Next, use the bottom of a jar to mash the potatoes until they are about a half-inch thick. (If you don’t have a jar, you can also use a heavy glass, potato masher, or the back of a fork to mash the potatoes.)
Next, drizzle oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Then, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp around the edges.
Cooking time can vary a bit depending on the size of your potatoes. See how the potatoes look compared to the exact time in the recipe.
Once the mashed potatoes are golden and crisp, remove them from the oven and pour the pesto sauce on top.
Transfer the finished potatoes to a serving plate, or just let them all serve right off the baking sheet. No need to get fancy here!
How to make pesto sauce
You can find pre-made pesto sauce at most grocery stores. Look near the jarred pasta sauces for shelf-stable pesto, or in the refrigerated pasta section for fresh pasta.
It is also very easy to make your own pesto at home. You will only need a blender or a food processor.
All great pesto sauces start with green herbs. I like to use a mix of fresh basil and parsley, along with a handful of spinach. Most pesto sauces also include lemon, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts or walnuts.
A lot of Parmesan is also made from animal rennet, so be sure to look for a vegetarian Parmesan if this is important to you.
You can make the pesto sauce vegan and dairy-free by substituting nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese.
If you’re looking for a recipe, try my 5-minute pecan pesto.
In this recipe I serve these smashed baby potatoes with pesto, but there are plenty of sauce options if you fancy something different.
Here are some potential dips to serve with mashed potatoes:
advance and storage
I like to roast mashed potatoes just before serving, but if you plan ahead, you can take care of the boiling step up to three days in advance.
Drain the boiled potatoes and allow them to cool completely. (But don’t leave them out for more than two hours.)
Transfer the boiled potatoes to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
On the day of, preheat the oven to 450º F, spread the boiled potatoes out on a baking sheet, and follow the rest of the recipe instructions as written.
If you have leftovers, let them cool completely before putting them in the fridge, too. (Again, don’t leave them out for more than two hours.)
Store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat them in the oven for the best texture.
- Baby gold potatoes are my favorite, but you can substitute other types of potatoes for this recipe. Try baby red potatoes for similar results. Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the size of the potatoes you use.
- Use whatever cooking oil you want. I prefer grapeseed oil because it has a neutral flavor and stands up to high heat.
Recipes to serve with broken baby potatoes
Smashed Potatoes Frequently Asked Questions
Baby gold potatoes work great for mashed potatoes because they are crisp on the outside and have a creamy, buttery texture on the inside.
The basic recipe for mashed potatoes is gluten-free. Be sure to serve them with a gluten-free sauce if necessary.
You can boil the potatoes up to 3 days in advance. Drain and allow potatoes to cool completely. (But don’t leave them out for more than two hours.) Store the boiled potatoes in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to grill and serve.
Let leftovers cool completely (but don’t leave them out for more than two hours) and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat the mashed potatoes in the oven for the best texture.
Smashed Baby Potatoes with Pesto Sauce
Shredded golden potatoes are roasted until crisp and served with pesto sauce.
Servings: 4 people
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet.
Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
Drain the potatoes and spread them out on the baking sheet.
Use the bottom of a jar to mash the potatoes until they are about a half-inch thick.
Drizzle oil over potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp around the edges.
Remove from the oven and pour the pesto sauce over the potatoes.
Storage: Let leftovers cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven.
Vegetarian Option: Use a pesto sauce made with vegetarian Parmesan cheese.
Vegan option: Use a vegan/dairy-free pesto sauce to make this vegan recipe. (Substitute Parmesan cheese for the nutritional yeast if you’re making your own.)
Service: 3potatoes | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.7gram | Protein: 5gram | Fat: 19.9gram | Saturated fat: 2.9gram | Polyunsaturated fat: 9gram | monosaturated fat: 7gram | Sodium: 460milligrams | Potassium: 786.4milligrams | Fiber: 4.1gram | Sugar: 2gram | Vitamin A: 41UI | Vitamin C: 33.5milligrams | Calcium: 73.6milligrams | Iron: 1.7milligrams