Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes (with wild garlic pesto)

Fresh smashed (crushed) potatoes,  packed with herbs and garlic, topped with fresh wild garlic pesto. Baked to the crispiest perfection. Topped with wild garlic pesto (optional). Vegan, gluten free and perfect for air fryer too. 

Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes with wild garlic pesto and herbs
Lovely smashed potatoes with herbs and garlic, topped with some wild garlic pesto (see pesto recipe here) – these potatoes are a dream light spring side. Or even main accompanied by a good salad or soup. Can be enjoyed also with roasts and fish if one prefers. 
1) Choose fresh small potatoes ( we call them baby potatoes – the first potatoes that come out in spring) that are similar in size. That ensures cooking time would be similar for all potatoes. Also skin of baby potatoes is much more thin than regular potatoes this making it extra crisp and delicious at the end. 
Tip: If you buy potatoes in bulk and cannot choose by size at the store (or your own garden) then hand pick the ones that are similarly sized and leave the rest for another type of meal (like French Mashed Potatoes or our Classic Russian Potato Salad). 
2) Coat with oil and herbs mix to enrich flavor and create a crisp, tasty coating. 
3)Cook on ventilation – in the oven or in the air fryer. Ensuring hot air circulation on all sizes gives these smashed potatoes that extra crispness we all love. 
4) Use dry, powder-like herbs (like garlic powder, paprika, black pepper,  etc.) – as herbs get to burn a bit when baking potatoes. If you do not like the taste of burned herbs on top, but still want to add extra flavor make sure to use powdered – like herbs instead of fresh. 
5) Once boiled, smash potatoes unevenly and coat well with oil – herb mixture. That aids the crispness of potatoes even better. 
6) Customize – these smashed potatoes can be customized depending on your taste – add more or less herbs, add pesto before serving, smash harder or gently crush them open before baking. It’s all up to you.
Perfectly Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes Recipe with wild garlic pesto topping
Mediterranean style crispy smashed potatoes with herbs and garlic

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with herbs and wild garlic pesto

Fresh smashed (crushed) potatoes, packed with herbs and garlic. Baked to the crispiest perfection. Topped with wild garlic pesto (optional). Vegan, gluten free and perfect for air fryer too.
CourseSide Dish
CuisineAmerican, European
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 14 lbs / 700 g small fresh baby potatoes
  • pinch of salt for boiling, optional
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste, optional
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Boiling water


  • Wash potatoes under cold water. Use kitchen brush if needed to remove dirt from skin.
  • Then bring water to a boil ( add salt) and boil potatoes until soft ( approx. 20-30min) - check with fork and do not worry if they crush while cooking. Alternatively steam potatoes.
  • Drain potatoes and let cool slightly on the side. In the meantime in a small bowl mix olive oil, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper.
  • Then place potatoes onto cooking tray ( non-stick or covered with baking paper) and crush potatoes with fork or potato masher.
  • Then using kitchen brush coat each potato on both sides with the herb-oil mixture.
  • Place in the oven / air fryer on ventilation for about 15-20 min or until desired crispness is reached

Recipe Notes

For tips and tricks please head over recipe and photos.

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