These air fryer garlic parmesan smashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to any of your favourite main dishes. Fluffy baby potatoes are seasoned with a garlicky, herby butter, and crisped to perfection in the air fryer. These potatoes are perfect on their own, or dipped in zesty homemade ranch, or avocado goddess dressing!
What Are Smashed Potatoes?
Smashed potatoes are not to be confused with their cousin, the forever delicious, mashed potato. Like the name suggests, smashed potatoes are potatoes that have been parboiled, and then smashed down. By smashing down the potatoes, you get lots of crevices that hold onto seasoning, and of course, get perfectly crispy!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
The texture is perfect! They are super crunchy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside - the best of all worlds! My air fryer hasselback potatoes are another version of air fryer potatoes, with the perfect crisp exterior and soft interior!
Low maintenance! All you need is to boil your potatoes, and pop these potatoes in an air fryer basket. No oven preheating, and no deep frying! If you love low maintenance potato dishes, my Classic Potatoes au Gratin, or jazzed up Southwest Potatoes au Gratin are super easy, too!
No peeling required! For weeknight dinners, peeling vegetables can be a pain. You do not need to peel these potatoes, which can be a major time saver. My roasted hot honey carrots are another great no-peel option!
- Baby potatoes: Baby potatoes are perfect for this recipe for two reasons. First, they are the perfect size to cook quickly, and smash easily. Second, the baby potatoes tend to have a lighter, fluffier texture than larger potatoes. This makes them ideal for smashing.
- Salted butter: I recommend using salted butter for these potatoes, as it adds another layer of flavour. Potatoes can be bland on their own, so salted butter definitely helps!
- Fresh garlic: Garlic is one of the main flavours of these potatoes. Because of that, I recommend using fresh garlic and mincing it at home. Pre-minced, jarred garlic sometimes has a metallic or muted taste to it. With that being said, always use what you are comfortable with or what you enjoy!
- Parmesan cheese: I highly suggest using fresh parmesan cheese, and grating it at home. You can also use pre-grated parmesan cheese that you would find in the deli section of the grocery store. I do not suggest using the infamous canned parmesan cheese for this recipe.
- Spices and seasoning: You will need old bay seasoning, and garlic and onion power.
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
- Baby potatoes: You can also use fingerling potatoes for these smashed potatoes. You will a different shaped smashed potato, but the texture and flavour will be the same.
- Salted butter: If you prefer to control the salt content and levels in your cooking, feel free to use unsalted butter and season to your taste. Alternatively, you can use olive oil.
- Fresh garlic: You can also substitute by using all garlic powder, or roasted garlic if you have it on hand.
- Truffle: Drizzle with truffle oil to finish, for a fancy twist on these smashed potatoes.
- Greek: Add lemon and oregano to the butter mixture, and finish with crumbled feta cheese instead of parmesan, for a Greek twist!
⏲️ Step-by-Step Instructions
Prep Work Before Cooking
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Boil the water - Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, salt liberally.
Chop the parsley and garlic - Finely mince the parsley and garlic, and set aside. You can also use a garlic press for a more even mince on the garlic.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until the potatoes are fork tender. This means that you should be able to easily insert a fork into the potatoes. This should take approximately 15 minutes. [photo 1]
Drain the potatoes, and scatter and spread them apart on a sheet tray. Let the potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes, before handling them.
While the potatoes are cooling, melt the butter in the microwave in 10 second increments. Mix in the spices, garlic and parmesan cheese into the butter, and set aside. [photo 2]
Using a glass, press down firmly on the potatoes with even pressure. You want the potatoes to still be intact, but squished down. [photo 3]
Transfer the potatoes to an air fryer basket, and drizzle with the herbed butter mixture. [photo 4]
Air fry the potatoes for 7-10 minutes at 390°F. Sprinkle with sea salt to finish.
💭 Expert Tip
For the crispiest potatoes, you may need to air fry the potatoes in two batches to avoid overcrowding, depending on the size of your air fryer. An even layer of potatoes will let the air circulate all around, resulting in super crispy smashed potatoes.
If you prefer you can also smash the potatoes with a potato masher.
🍽 Make Ahead & Storage
Make Ahead Instructions
You can pre-boil the potatoes 3-4 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Once ready to make the smashed potatoes, smash the potatoes and prepare the potatoes according to the remainder of the recipe.
Store leftover smashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the potatoes in the oven or in the air fryer. If your potatoes are already crisp, cover the potatoes in foil so they do not dry out.
⭐ Recipe FAQs
You can freeze smashed potatoes. Store in a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze for up to 4 months. You can reheat from frozen, or defr
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Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
- Boil the potatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, salt liberally. Boil the potatoes until the potatoes are fork tender. This should take approximately 15 minutes.1 ½ lbs Baby potatoes
- Drain: Drain the potatoes, and scatter and spread them apart on a sheet tray. Let the potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes, before handling them.
- Mix the butter: While the potatoes are cooling, melt the butter in the microwave in 10 second increments. Mix in the spices, garlic and parmesan cheese into the butter, and set aside.1 stick Salted butter, 3 cloves Garlic, 1 tablespoon Fresh parsley, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder, ¼ teaspoon Onion powder, ¼ teaspoon Old bay
- Smash the potatoes: Using a glass, press down firmly on the potatoes with even pressure. You want the potatoes to still be intact, but squished down.
- Season: Transfer the potatoes to an air fryer basket, and drizzle with the herbed butter mixture.
- Air fry: Air fry the potatoes for 7-10 minutes at 390°F. Sprinkle with sea salt to finish.Salt
- You may need to air fry the potatoes in two batches to avoid overcrowding, depending on the size of your air fryer. An even layer of potatoes will let the air circulate all around, resulting in super crispy smashed potatoes.
- If you prefer you can also smash the potatoes with a potato masher.
- Be very careful handling the boiled potatoes. They may still be hot on the inside while smashing them down.