These Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Pesto are soft and tender on the inside with perfectly crispy edges. Served with a savory homemade pesto sauce, they make an easy, healthy and delicious side dish or appetizer for any occasion. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and Whole30 compliant.
An Easy Vegan Potato Recipe
Looking for a simple abd flavorful side dish for game day or appetizers for the holidays? These Crispy Smashed Potatoes are easy to make and a fun twist on regular roasted potatoes.
Plus, they are simple to customize and work well with vegan or Whole 30 diets. If your family is craving healthy comfort food, they are sure to fall in love with this dish as soon as they smell the potatoes in the oven. You won’t find a healthier potato recipe with this much flavor.
What Are Smashed Potatoes?
Smashed potatoes are the tasty middle ground between mashed and baked potatoes. With crispy skins and fluffy interiors, this is one of my favorite potato recipes! The pesto sauce goes perfectly with the crispy potatoes. This recipe is sure to steal the spotlight away from your main dish. It’s also a great healthy snack option.
What is Pesto Sauce?
Pesto sauce is a savory condiment that typically goes on pizza and pasta. It’s made with crushed pine nuts, basil, other seasonings and sometimes parmesan cheese. The vegan version in this recipe is a glorious companion for these potatoes. If you’re not vegan, feel free to use regular parmesan in your pesto sauce. Either way, it’ll be super yummy and flavorful.
Pesto sauce is also a great source of calcium and antioxidants. It contains healthy fats and can even normalize your blood pressure! This easy homemade sauce will certainly compliment other dishes, too.
This recipe uses simple, natural ingredients that will keep you feeling healthy and energized. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baby Potatoes – you can use baby Yukon potatoes or mini red potatoes
- Fresh Basil: Basil is the main ingredient for your pesto sauce.
- Walnuts OR Pine Nuts
- Nutritional Yeast: You could also use vegan parmesan, or regular parmesan if you’re not dairy-free / vegan.
- Avocado Oil: This oil contains healthy fats that are good for your heart and skin! You can also use extra-virgin olive oil as well.
How to Make Smashed Potatoes
- Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F
- Boil Potatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the baby potatoes. Leave on a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and tender.
- Make Pesto: Place all the ingredients, minus the olive oil, into a food processor. Blitz until the nuts have broken down, then pour the oil in and continue pulsing until smooth. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper.
- Prepare Potatoes for Baking: Line a large baking [an (you may need 2). Drain the potatoes and place them onto the tray. Drizzle with some oil, coarse salt and pepper and toss until they are all coated.
- Smash Potatoes: Here comes the fun part! Use a glass with a flat bottom to press down on the potatoes until they’re smashed. Be careful not to push down too hard or they will fall apart.
- Bake & Serve: Cook the potatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve them with the pesto on the side or drizzled on top!
Tips for the Best Smashed Potatoes
- Don’t Use Large Potatoes: Smaller is definitely better for this recipe. If you use bigger potatoes, they won’t get as crispy.
- Smash Carefully: If you put too much pressure on the potatoes, you might cause them to break apart. If this happens, your potatoes won’t get that crispy-soft combination.
- Let Potatoes Dry for Maximum Crispiness: After you smash the potatoes, let them sit for a bit before putting them in the oven to make them come out even more crispy.
If you’re making smashed potatoes as a snack, enjoy them with one of these easy and healthy smoothies.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have any leftovers, store the potatoes and the pesto separately in the refrigerator, both covered. The pesto will stay good for about a week, but you’ll want to eat the potatoes within 3 or 4 days. Reheat them in the oven at 350°F until they’re hot.
There’s no need to reheat the pesto sauce, because you don’t want the oil to separate. It will heat up on its own when you add it to the potatoes or any other warm dish!
More potato recipes:
Whole30 Sweet Potato Hash
These Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Pesto are soft on the inside and served with a savory homemade pesto sauce. This easy side dish recipe is healthy and delicious!
- 2 lbs baby potatoes
- 1 tbsp oil , we used avocado oil but extra-virgin olive oil works too
- Coarse sea salt + cracked black pepper , to taste
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup walnuts OR pine nuts
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil , we used avocado oil but extra-virgin olive oil works too
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the baby potatoes. Leave on a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and tender.
Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place all the ingredients, minus the oil into a food processor. Pulse until the nuts have broken down, then pour the oil in and continue pulsing until smooth. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper.
Line a large baking sheet (you may need 2). Drain the potatoes and place them onto the tray. Drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until they are all coated.
Use a glass with a flat bottom to press down the potatoes until smashed. Be careful not to push too hard down or they will fall apart.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.
Serve with pesto on the side or drizzle on top!