As a child, I always wanted to become a chef. Especially one who had a cooking show on the Food Network, like Rachel Ray or The Pioneer Woman. I would spend hours at my pretend kitchen with all my plastic foods. My dad, whether he liked it or not, got roped into playing kitchen with me all day long. It was a full-service operation where I served as the waitress, cashier, and behind-the-scenes chef. To finish the meal, I would make a paper receipt by hand and make sure customers paid with one of my plastic credit cards that I got from a pretend cash register toy. 

Once I got older, my dad started to show me around a real kitchen. Cooking started to become one of our favorite things to do together, and we would make meals almost every night. Even though I am away at college now, we still update each other on the food we had through the day and what we are making for dinner.  

Returning to school after fall break, I was feeling homesick and missing my dad. I decided to make one of our favorite dishes, "Smashed Taters" to cure the homesickness. These are more commonly known as smashed potatoes, but smashed taters is what we called them in my family.

Crispy Smashed Taters is an easy recipe for beginner cooks or those who have limited access to cooking materials - these were made in a communal kitchen on Saint Louis University's campus with just a few kitchen tools and an oven. They're perfect for a hearty snack, a big-game hors-d'œuvre, or as the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal!

This recipe is just in time for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving meals! They are quick to make (only 1 hour!) and can be enjoyed by everyone. I will always choose Crispy Smashed Taters over Mashed Potatoes any day. If you like this recipe, you can check out more recipes by Saint Louis University Spoon members here.

Crispy Smashed Taters

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:50 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr
  • Servings:5
  • Easy


  • 3 Pounds Yellow and Red Baby Potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic
  • Chili Powder or Red Pepper Flake
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese optional
Niav Maloney
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 425 ° F.

  • Step 2

    Wash potatoes and drop in a pot of boiling water. Add a dash of salt.

  • Step 3

    Boil potatoes for 25-30 minutes. Potatoes should be cooked-through and fork-tender.

  • Step 4

    After draining potatoes, place them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

  • Step 5

    Using a potato-masher (or using that back of a large spoon) lightly smash each potato. Ensure that you do not smash them to thin.

    Niav Maloney
  • Step 6

    Cook potatoes for 30-35 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown. If you want them extra crispy, broil them for 2-3 minutes.

  • Step 7

    After removing from the oven, drizzle with melted butter and season to taste with any or all seasonings listed above. If adding the optional cheese, do it while the potatoes are warm to make sure it melts.

  • Step 8

    Take photos and then enjoy!

    Niav Maloney