Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Tested & Perfected Recipes

These parmesan smashed potatoes make a rustic and comforting side dish.

These parmesan smashed potatoes are like a rustic version of mashed potatoes. To make them, simply boil a few pounds of baby red potatoes, smash them with a dinner fork, and mix them with butter, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. So easy…and everyone loves them! Truthfully, I don’t make this dish as often as I’d like because it renders both my husband and me totally helpless in the self-control department. If you’re watching your carbs, these smashed potatoes are a little dangerous to have around.

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Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

These parmesan smashed potatoes make a rustic and comforting side dish.

Servings: 4-6


  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced in half (they should all be about the same size so they cook evenly)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Use a slotted spoon or hand-held strainer to transfer cooked potatoes to a shallow bowl or serving dish. Reserve hot cooking water. Top potatoes with butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper. Use a fork to smash the potatoes, adding cooking liquid as necessary to make potatoes as creamy as you like (I usually add about a ½ cup total). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle fresh chives over top and serve.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 246
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 407 mg
  • Cholesterol: 37 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Made this recipe tonight with the Italian Meatloaf. Very, very good. I heavily salted the water in which I boiled the potatoes, and didn’t add salt when I smashed them and it was fine. I didn’t have any chives on hand, and will make sure that I do next time I make these potatoes. Another fine recipe from Chef Jenn!

    • — Deidrejw on June 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe tonight. A subtle difference to ‘normal’ mash. I served it with steamed broccoli and the Marsala Chicken recipe. Divine!

    • — Libby Clark on May 24, 2020
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  • Easy to make and super delicious!

    • — Mindy Sue on March 7, 2020
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  • So delicious! Have made this multiple times paired with different chicken recipes. It is very easy to follow and fast! Would highly recommend

    • — Maddy on February 23, 2020
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  • Hello! I loved these potatoes and have never used the cooking water idea before. Very nice! I did cut down a little on the butter and added a good splash of 2% milk to balance that out. I also added 1/4 tsp of onion powder and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder. Loved these and will make again. Super easy!

    • — k2kenney on February 17, 2020
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  • I love these potatoes and make them often. Do you think they would also work well in a Shepards Pie?

    • — Laura on January 13, 2020
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    • Hi Laura, Glad you like these! I’m not sure they would be appropriate for shepherd’s pie though — I think they may be a bit too thick/heavy. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • HI Jenn– I made a boo boo and bought pecorino romano. Will that work here instead of parmesan? Thanks! Eve

    • — Eve on November 9, 2019
    • Reply
    • That’s fine, Eve – should be delish!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2019
      • Reply
      • I found some parmesan and made it with that. DELICIOUS!! Everyone was raving. Thank you Jenn.

        • — Eve on November 9, 2019
        • Reply
  • These were wonderful. Used regular red potatoes. Otherwise, prepared as written. I could have eaten these without the main dish or veggies.

    • — Chantel on October 14, 2019
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  • These were yummy and easy! At first, I wasn’t sure about just using the cooking liquid for creaminess (I’m used to putting milk in potatoes). However, I loved this technique, texture, and that it has less fat this way. Using the cooking liquid still resulted in very flavorful potatoes!

    • — Christina Midvale on September 8, 2019
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  • My husband likes cheese, but not cheese that has an odor. Will this Parmigiano-Reggiano have an odor when making it? or if I reheat the potatoes will it have an odor?

    Thank you, love your recipes.

    • — mary on August 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I don’t think the cheese in these creates a strong odor. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on August 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • Fabulous! I cut back just a bit on the butter and salt (for health reasons) and they were still loaded with flavor. Yes, they could be dangerous. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Jenn, you’ve done it again!

    • — Vicki Frederick on April 29, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipe – so yummy!! I’ll be making it again for special occasions!!

    • — June on December 20, 2018
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  • So yummy and so easy! My new go-to mashed potato recipe!

  • Delicious & simple to make!!! Made this tonight in a pinch. We were meant to make another recipe with our potatoes & were short on time so we searched & found this recipe. They were a hit. Our kids ate them all up too – which in our household equals a good recipe!!! All I had was a pre-shredded bag of parmesan & we made that work. Also all we had was Regular red potatoes instead of babys & we just cut them small & made it work. I added a bit more salt for our taste. We will make again absolutely!!!!

  • These are the easiest, most amazing potatoes I’ve ever made! My sister had thirds, she loved them so much! I drained the potatoes and forgot to reserve some of the water, so I used half and half to make them creamy. I also used more cheese than listed in the recipe. This will be a regular side dish for us. Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  • Have you ever used warm half & half instead of water or warm evaporated milk. It gives the potatoes a richer flavor and of course more calories, but who is counting. Love the potatoes.

  • This was a very easy dish to make wouldn’t change a thing. Served it with roast beef and a mixed green salad with ranch dressing

  • Here’s a helpful hint in making these, buy the steamable bags of potatoes which you just pop in the microwave for 7 mins. No washing, boiling of water, saves time for busy working parents! I use them all the time, even for a quick potato salad during the week!

  • These are always a hit at my house! So easy to make and they pair well with so many of your recipes. Just had them with your chicken marsala. Delish!

  • This is one of my favorite dishes. It’s simple and delicious and never fails to please. It’s perfect to impress at your impromptu neighborhood dinner parties. Hope you enjoy.

  • Super easy and delicious. They were super creamy and no one could believe that it was cooking water not cream/milk that was added to the the potatoes. Will definitely make again (and again, and again…)

  • This is a really bland recipe. I used almost a full pound of parmesan reggiano, and I still found it incredibly bland. Frankly, it was a waste of some really good cheese!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m wondering if you have the nutrition facts for this dish? Thank you, Rachael

    • Hi Rachael, I just added them!

  • I’ve never make potatoes that were not out of a box before…..THANK YOU for the amazing recipe. I will never go back, this was just as easy and tastes way better!

  • Amazing, and amazingly simple.
    I’ve added 1 head mashed/riced cauliflower per 3 pounds potatoes last time and it’s really a good mix.

    • — Nuri Karamollaoglu
    • Reply
  • This is an easy, delicious recipe! They were terrific with the crispy tilapia fingers I served, and they’d be great with many other entrees.

  • I really like it ,thank you so much??

  • Definitely simple but not as flavorful as I like my mashed potatoes. Added more butter and salt to taste.

  • This is part B for me since I made this with the turkey meatballs as part of the meal suggestion. I’m not big into mashed potatoes but yes these were great! Easy to mash, the Parmesan cheese in them makes them compliment the turkey meatballs on top and the chives are the nice onion-y bite. I think they must be added. My boyfriend wondered about mashed potatoes with meatballs and sauce but it totally worked!

  • I made a low carb version of this last night. Substituted steamed cauliflower florets. Otherwise identical recipe. Smashed the florets the same way as you would the potatoes. It was off the charts delicious! My husband kept asking if there was more. Thanks for this, Jenn!

  • Hot wow. I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year, so I’m practicing dishes for the event. These smashed potatoes and accompanying gravy are out of this world and simple to make. They will definitely be featured on our holiday table! Do yourself a favor and make these recipes. Jennifer has done it again! Delicious.

  • I made these last night with the parmesan chicken . Delicious ! Both were a hit!! Thanks for the awesome recipes…

  • what would happen if I used salted butter instead of unsalted?

    • You can do that. I would just cut out some of the added salt from the recipe. While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can reduce the salt in the recipe as needed.

  • Our new favourite way to make potatoes…Simply Outstanding!

  • Fantastic! SO tasty. I made these 2 days ago and I’m already planning to make them again.

  • Would this work with russet potatoes? I have a ton at home I need to use up!

    • Hi Neha, I think you could use russet potatoes for this. You just may have to adjust the cooking time for the potatoes to make sure they are tender. Please let me know how it turns out!

  • Can these be made ahead and reheated? If so, can they be reheated in the oven and should I add more liquid?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Mary, Yes, but I would reheat them on the stovetop so you can add more liquid (cream or milk would be best) as necessary.

  • Great! Perfect potatoes… Hot, creamy and filling…

  • Just made these potatoes tonight. Super easy, I’m all about food that is good AND easy. My husband said they were the best potatoes he’s ever had. I’m not sure if I’m happy or offended ;). Anyway love this recipe!

  • Best mashed potatoes on the planet. And with no milk!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Likely a dumb question, but will this recipe work well with Yukon golds? I have those on hand but not a problem to get some red potatoes. Also wondering if they will be too rich with short ribs (not your recipe). Or stick to basic mashed? Love your blog and the many recipes I’ve tried thus far! Thanks.

    • Hi Susan, Not a dumb question! Sure, I think it would work with Yukons. And, no, I don’t think they’d be too rich with short ribs — I think they’d be perfect!

  • I made these potatoes tonight along with your pancetta wrapped asparagus and Sunday night herb roasted chicken. It was a meal my entire family devoured. My 87 year old mother couldn’t stop eating the asparagus! I am thinking of making these potatoes in lieu of plain mashed on Thanksgiving. I host approximately 20 people and was wondering if they would be as delicious made a day ahead and reheated in a casserole dish in the oven or will they dry out? Best potatoes I’ve ever had!

    • Hi Jackie, That sounds like a wonderful menu! I do think you could make these ahead of time and reheat. If they seem dry, you can always stir in a touch of milk or cream before serving.

  • Made these tonight. I was surprised at how easy and delicious they were. The water worked great, I used about 1/2 cup. Everyone loved them

  • Hi Jenn,

    Could replace some of the butter with either olive or canola oil?

    • Hi Mary, Yes that would be fine. Enjoy!

  • Great great great recipe. Made these for Easter and they were a hit! Very easy. Do you think these would taste better if boiled in chicken broth? I’ve always used chicken broth for mashed potatoes. This is the first time I’ve ever used water

    • Hi Tori, I’m sure chicken broth would be delicious.

  • I made this last night and had run to the store to get the unsalted butter since I realized I didn’t have the parmesan cheese. I used bagged shredded parmesan since the supermarket I went to didnt have another kind, I used large red potatoes since they didn’t have the small ones and I used seasoned italian bread crumbs. The steps were amazingly simple! This was my first time using the boiled water for the smashed potatoes and I swore it would be a tad bland. NOPE, IT WAS PERFECT! it was a hit with my 11 year old and family friend. It was so delicious and comfort “foodish”! I made this with the parmesan crusted chicken breast recipe you have. A million thank you’s for sharing your amazing and most importantly easy to follow recipes for adding some much needed yummy variety to our meals

  • So wanting to make this tonight but I am looking in my fridge and don’t have any unsalted butter. I do have margarine. What would you recommend I do if I sub the butter for margarine? THANKS (=

    • Hi Linda, Margarine will work fine. Enjoy!

  • I made this in advance. When reheating, should I bake it, microwave it or reheat in a pot on the stove top? Does it matter?

    Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    • Hi Chrystie, Any way is fine 🙂

  • Loved the addition of parmesan to these smashed potatoes. So simple and so so good! Yet another winner from your site to add to my regular rotations.

  • Made these last night to go with my favorite pork tenderloin recipe. Got home late from work and didnt have the time to wait for roasted potatoes (my kids fav) so I tried this recipe. I was skeptical so I had my jug of milk out just in case I needed to add at the last minute if I didn’t like the flavor. Glad I just followed the recipe and used the cooking water. These were delicious. For health sake, I probably could cut the parm down to a 1/3 cup and maybe one or two less tbsp of butter. My kids were fighting over these. They told me that I could make these again any time. Another great recipe from this site that is easy and quick for a working mom!

  • hi Jenn,
    do i need to peel the potatoes? tnx

    • Hi Audrey, Not for this recipe, which makes it so easy 🙂

  • Can I make the potatoes in advance and bake when ready to serve?

    • Hi Marie, Yes that should work fine.

      • Thanks Jenn

  • I plan on making this soon. I have a question. What’s the difference between different kinds of Parmesan cheese. I noticed that a lot of chefs use “Parmesano-Regganio”. Are there other types of Parmesan? When would these be used? What regions of Italy make the best Parmesan? Thank you.

    • Hi Michele, Parmigiano-Reggiano is authentic Parmesan cheese made in the Parma/Reggio Emilia region in Italy. Under Italian law, only cheese produced in this region may be labelled “Parmigiano-Reggiano.” In the US, the name “Parmesan” is typically used for cheeses which imitate Parmigiano-Reggiano, so you want to avoid those. Kraft grated Parmesan, for example, is a poor substitute for Parmigiano-Reggiano. Most supermarkets carry the real stuff, but if you can’t find it, a good substitute would be Pecorino Romano.

  • My family loves these simple potatoes. Next time I plan to try adding a crushed garlic clove or two to the mix.

  • These have become the new standard for mashed potatoes in my home, but my family likes it with cheddar cheese instead of parmesan. I find they work great either way.

  • I love cheese and I love potatoes so I was excited to try this recipe. It exceeded my expectations which is rare since I am quite picky about my potatoes. Great recipe!

  • We made these last night and served with steaks and steamed farmer’s market broccoli. Easy to make and big hit with the teens. Started out by using a potato masher to save my poor wrists, but a fork ended up working so much better. Another great recipe to add to our regular rotation! Thank you, Jenn.

  • I’m trying this this weekend with a steak! Yummo!

  • Smashed potato heaven!

  • Sounds really good. I’m gonna try it this week with some steaks 🙂

  • Add some cream cheese. Heaven!

  • simple but i know it must be divine! i can’t wait to try it!

  • I made this the other night and it was delicious and so easy. I used a potato masher and it was much easier than a fork. Also, I doubled the parmesan cheese so there was extra flavor. Extra yummy!

  • Just bought all of the ingredients so I can make this tomorrow night 🙂

  • looks delicious!

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