Enjoy crispy, yet healthier potato smashers with these Garlic Smashed Air Fryer Potatoes.
This recipe was originally published on January 16, 2020. It was updated with new photos, recipe notes, and recipe refinements on April 20, 2021.
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Crispy, buttery, and crispy Garlic Smashed Air Fryer potatoes with a delicious parmesan cheese topping. Serve these potatoes with burgers, grilled chicken, baked salmon, or your other favorite main dishes.
GUYS! I finally got an air fryer! Like most things in life (I'm looking at you, settling down, getting my career act together, liking potatoes, and almost any technological innovation), I figure it's better late to the party than never.
And once I'm finally there, I go into overdrive making up for all my lost time and fully embracing all my "oh, so this is why people have been raving about this!" moments.
And not only did I just get an air fryer, but I got the Ninja Foodi Tendercrisp: an air fryer and pressure cooker in one.
That's right. If you're looking for me, you're going to need to come with either a million in cash or an armload of dark chocolate to get me out of this kitchen. Otherwise, I have over 4 years of cooking devices to catch up on.
And catching up I've been doing with this air fryer roast potatoes recipe. After a quick run through the pressure cooker, I smashed the tender potatoes and fried them in the air fryer to create a crispy and crunchy smashed potato treat.
A treat so satisfying and addictive that it belied how easy they were to make and how much healthier they were than their deep-fried cousins. (Side note: if you don't have a pressure cooker or Instapot, this recipe is still for you! I include directions on how to boil the potatoes for the same end result).
And so, with every subsequent batch, I'll be checking off the boxes of catching up on air-frying, pressure cooking, and enjoying potatoes. Meaning, that hopefully someday soon I'll emerge from the kitchen without the aid of piles of cash or chocolate, but of course, I'll come out for that, too.
Here at Mae's Menu, we have a variety of readers: those who are more experienced in the kitchen and want to zip straight through to the recipe and those who want to learn more about the dish, potential substitutions, and more.
To skip straight to the recipe, just click "Jump to Recipe" at the top left of this post. To browse the post quickly, just click the headings in the table of contents below.
Table of contents
- These crispy air fryer baby potatoes are...
- How to make these air fryer smashed potatoes:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- How to boil the potatoes:
- How to saute garlic without burning it:
- Dietary adaptations:
- How to bake these smashed potatoes:
- Serving suggestions:
- Dipping sauces:
- Customizing air fryer potatoes:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Other delicious air fryer recipes to check out:
- Other tasty potato recipes you'll love:
These crispy air fryer baby potatoes are...
They're a perfect gluten-free side dish to take any meal to the next level!
- Baby golden potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Crushed red pepper or fresh rosemary (optional)
- Baby red potatoes - these won't hold together as well when smashed, but they will still have great flavor
- Oil - avocado oil can substitute for the olive oil
- Cheese - shredded parmesan cheese or other types of shredded or grated hard cheese (asiago, romano, etc.) can work in place of the grated parmesan cheese
- Butter - ghee or clarified butter can work in place of the unsalted butter, as can vegan butter
How to make these air fryer smashed potatoes:
- Boil the potatoes in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop (see directions below)
- Drain the potatoes and let cool briefly.
- Spread half of the olive oil on a large baking sheet. Please the potatoes on top.
- Using the bottom of a drinking cup, smash the potatoes until flattened to ¼-inch thick.
- Season the potatoes with salt and turn the potatoes in the oil until covered.
- Gently place the potatoes in the air fryer. Air fry for 14 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through the cooking time if cooking in an air fryer basket.
- During the last 4-5 minutes of air frying: saute garlic in the remaining oil and butter mixture until golden brown.
- Gently move the air-fried potatoes to a mixing bowl. Pour the garlic oil over the potatoes and very gently turn in the oil until covered.
- Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the potatoes and serve hot!
- Salt the potato boiling water - this imparts a great flavor into the interior of the potatoes
- Season both sides of the potatoes - salt makes the flavor of these potatoes shine. Salt both sides of the potatoes as you flip them in olive oil.
- Smashing the potatoes - I recommend using the bottom of a drinking glass to easily smash the potatoes. You can also smash them with a large fork, however.
- Gently turn the potatoes - these potatoes are cooked the easiest in an air fryer fitted with a rack. You can also cook them in a basket, though you will need to gently turn throughout cooking and/or cook in batches so they cook evenly and crisp up the best.
How to boil the potatoes:
- In a pressure cooker or Instant Pot: add the potatoes to the cooking pot the pressure cooker. Add cold water to cover and add 1 teaspoon salt. Lock in the pressure cooker lid and pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. Quick-release the pressure and your potatoes are ready for the next step.
- On the stovetop: add the potatoes to a saucepan or dutch oven and cover with 1-inch cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for 20-21 minutes, or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork but still hold their shape.
How to saute garlic without burning it:
Garlic can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly, so it's important to watch the temperature of your oil and butter when sauteing it.
Start the oil on low to medium-low heat and inch the heat up if needed. Stir the garlic non-stop as you cook it. As soon as the garlic starts to turn golden remove the pan from the heat, continuing to stir it until it stops cooking.
- Dairy-free: to make this recipe dairy-free, substitute vegan butter or ghee and vegan parmesan cheese for the dairy butter and parmesan cheese.
- Vegan: substitute vegan butter or additional olive oil and vegan parmesan cheese for the dairy butter and parmesan cheese.
How to bake these smashed potatoes:
Don't have an air fryer? No problem. You can easily bake these crispy smashed potatoes.
Just smash and season your potatoes and directed and bake them at 425 for 19-22 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy around the edges. Continue with the rest of the recipe as directed.
These potatoes are so versatile! I love serving them as an appetizer or as a side dish with any of the below dishes and more:
These garlic smashed potatoes are delish on their own, but you can also serve them with your favorite dips. Here are some of my recommendations:
Customizing air fryer potatoes:
In the recipe, I recommend red pepper flakes or fresh rosemary as a topping. You can make these potatoes your own by seasoning them with any of your other favorite seasonings, though. Fresh thyme, dried basil, or minced chives are all delicious.
- Refrigeration - these potatoes last covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing - leftover potatoes do not freeze well.
- Reheating - for best results, reheat the potatoes in an air fryer at 375 for 3-5 minutes or in the oven at 375 degrees for 5-8 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Air fryer
- Instant Pot or stockpot
- Large cookie sheet
- Small skillet
- Heat-safe spatula or turner
- Wooden saute paddle
Other delicious air fryer recipes to check out:
- Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Air Fryer Green Beans with Lemon
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Tater Tots
Other tasty potato recipes you'll love:
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes (with no oil or butter!)
- Sweet Potato Souffle
- Twice-Baked Mashed Potato Casserole
- Diced Hash Browns
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower & Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup
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Crispy smashed baby potatoes with a delicious garlic parmesan topping.
- 1 ½ lbs golden baby tomatoes, boiled and drained (see directions in the notes below)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees for 3-5 minutes.
2. Spread 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil on a large cookie sheet. Carefully scatter the boiled potatoes out evenly on the cookie sheet. Gently but firmly press down on the potatoes with the bottom of a drinking glass until the potatoes are about ¼ inch thick. The potatoes should be smashed but still mostly in one piece.
3. Season the potatoes with half of the salt. Gently turn the potatoes in the oil to cover and season with the rest of the salt.
4. Gently place the potatoes on the air fryer racks or in the air fryer basket and air fry for 14-17 minutes, gently turning the potatoes every 4-5 minutes if cooking in an air fryer basket (they don't need to be turned if cooking on an air fryer rack), or until crisp and golden brown around the edges.
5. During the last 4 minutes of air frying: heat up a skillet over medium or medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and the butter. When the butter just starts to foam, add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the garlic starts to turn golden brown.
6. When done air frying, remove the potatoes from the air fryer. Gently move them to a large mixing bowl. Spoon the garlic oil over the potatoes and gently turn the potatoes in the oil until covered.
7. Sprinkle the potatoes with parmesan cheese and red pepper or fresh rosemary, if using. Serve hot!
How to boil potatoes:
- In a pressure cooker: add all the potatoes to the bowl of the pressure cooker and cover with one inch of cold water. Mix in 1 teaspoon salt and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick-release the pressure.
- On the stovetop: add the potatoes to a saucepan or dutch oven and cover with 1-inch cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for 20-21 minutes, or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork but are still holding their shape.
Storage directions: these smashed potatoes will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Reheat them for a few minutes on low heat in a toaster oven to help re-crisp them, but they are best served hot and fresh!
Serving Size⅕ of the potatoes
Amount Per Serving Calories 145Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 12mgSodium 280mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 2g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.