These crispy smashed fingerling potatoes with salsa verde are a perfect side dish for a dinner party, holiday gathering, or date night! The combination of crispy golden brown potato skins, creamy spuds, garlicky Italian salsa verde, and tangy labneh is a perfect pairing of textures and flavors.
I'm always on the lookout for fun potato recipes. I love a good crispy roasted potato, like my chaat masala style potatoes or Grandma Figa's potato latkes, but lately, I've been really into crispy smashed potatoes. Serve them with some salmon meuniere, harissa cauliflower, and an amazing kale Caesar salad.
This method of cooking potatoes has made its rounds across the Internet over the last few years, but if you're unfamiliar, let me break it down for you.
Why You'll Love This Method
Let's talk about what makes this fingerling potato recipe special!
The Technique: You take small potatoes, usually semi-waxy or waxy potatoes, and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain the potatoes, then firmly (but not aggressively) smash them with the bottom of a small bowl or a measuring cup. Bake them in the oven in a sheet pan until the outsides are browned and crispy, but the interior remains soft and creamy.
Why It Works: Boiling the potatoes in heavily salted water yields a very creamy texture, while baking them in the oven at a high temperature crisps the outsides.
They are genuinely delicious on their own, but I like to take things to the next level by serving them with creamy, tangy labneh and a bright green sauce heavily inspired by Italian salsa verde. It's an easy side dish with an elevated feel, ideal for a dinner party or special occasion!
For the potatoes:
- Fingerling potatoes: The best potatoes for this technique are fingerlings because they hold up nicely when smashed. Choose a smaller potato, about 1-2 inches in diameter.
- Salt: These potatoes need a generous amount of salt while boiling for seasoning and texture. The potatoes won't be too salty, so don't skimp on the salt!
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Olive oil helps the potatoes crisp in the oven.
- Labneh: Labneh is a type of strained yogurt that is tangy, thick, and creamy. It provides a great contrast against bolder flavors, like in this roasted squash dish. Can't find labneh? Substitute sour cream or greek yogurt (thin the yogurt with a bit of lemon juice).
- Parsley: Finely chopped parsley provides a bright contrast to the roasted potatoes. You can also use other fresh herbs, like mint or basil.
- Almonds: Almonds add a bit of nuttiness and texture to the dish.
- Anchovy: Italian salsa verde typically has anchovies -- and for good reason. The salty, umami flavor adds depth to the sauce without tasting fishy. Vegetarian? Replace the anchovies with ½ tablespoon capers or omit them altogether.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, refer to the recipe card.
How to Make Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
Though they take a bit of time, these crispy smashed potatoes are truly worth the effort! Here's how to do it.
Step 1 - Boil the potatoes: Fill a large pot with the fingerlings, a generous amount of salt, and cold water. Bring to a boil, then cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
Step 2 - Drain the potatoes, then allow them to dry out on a large baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes to maximize crispiness and remove excess moisture.
Step 3 - Smash the potatoes: Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet generously coated with olive oil. The olive oil prevents sticking and maximizes crispiness, so don't skimp here.
Using a potato masher or the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, firmly press down on each potato to smash it. Ideally, the potatoes are about ⅓-inch thick to ½-inch thick. If they are too thin, they will fall apart or be too crispy (yes, this is possible!) and yield a tough potato. Season the tops with salt and pepper.
Step 4 - Roast the potatoes: Bake the potatoes in the oven at 450°F/232°C for 15 minutes, then flip them, season them, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes -- or until they're crispy on both sides. Again, be careful not to "overcrisp" them, as they can turn tough.
Step 5a - Meanwhile, prepare the salsa verde: Finely chop the parsley...
Step 5b - ...until it looks like this. You want it pretty finely chopped here as it forms the base of the sauce.
Step 7 - Stir in the garlic, almonds, jalapeño, lemon, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and taste to adjust any seasonings.
Step 8 - Cool the potatoes for a few minutes, then serve them one of two ways:
1) Plated: Smear some of the labneh on the bottom of the plate and top it with the potatoes and the salsa verde.
2) Hors d'oeuvres: Place potatoes on a serving plate, and top each with a dollop of labneh and salsa verde.
You can also make these an hour or two ahead of time and serve at room temperature!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Leftover potatoes, labneh, and salsa verde can be stored in separate, airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- The potatoes can be reheated on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet at 350°F/177°C oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Remove the salsa verde and labneh from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to take the chill off.
Tips & Tricks
- For maximum crispiness, make sure to dry the potatoes thoroughly and coat them nicely in olive oil before baking.
- For even more umami flavor, top the just-baked potatoes with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Season, season, season. The salsa verde should taste bright, punchy, acidic, salty, and garlicky. If it's not acidic enough, you can add a bit more lemon juice. If it's not punchy enough, you can add more garlic or jalapeno; I encourage you to take this recipe and make it your own!
I love using fingerling potatoes for smashed potatoes! Their waxy, firm texture and thin skin hold up to a good smash without falling apart. A russet potato would not be ideal, as it's much more starchy and floury. While it makes a great mashed potato, it would easily fall apart with this method.
Nope! The peel is actually what keeps the potatoes together once smashed!
Absolutely. You'll want to use waxy, smaller potatoes, such as new, creamer, or baby gold potatoes. I don't recommend using larger Yukon Gold or Red Bliss potatoes.
I like serving the crispy potatoes fresh, but you can make the labneh and salsa verde ahead of time! The labneh can be made 2 days ahead of time, and the salsa verde can be made 1 day prior to serving. In fact, both of these condiments do benefit from a bit of mingling in the fridge to develop the flavors.
For even more cozy recipes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.Happy eating! Love, Karishma
Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- 3-quart stock pot
- 18-inch by 12-inch baking sheet
For the smashed fingerling potatoes:
For the garlicky salsa verde:
- 1 ½ cups flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed
- 3 anchovies, optional, omit if vegan
- 3 tablespoons skin-on almonds, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper, from about 1 small pepper or ½ a large pepper
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and black pepper
For the labneh:
- 8 ounces labneh
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
- Salt and black pepper
For the smashed fingerling potatoes:
- Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/232°C.
- Boil the potatoes: In a 3-quart stock pot, add 1 ½ pounds unpeeled fingerling potatoes and ½ cup of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (or ¼ cup kosher salt or table salt). Fill the pot about ¾ full with water, ensuring that the potatoes are fully submerged. Note: Don't worry if it seems like a lot of salt - it won't make the potatoes too salty. The salt is necessary both for seasoning and for creamy potatoes!
- Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes on a large parchment-lined baking sheet to dry further. Toss the potatoes with ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil.
- Smash the potatoes: Using a small, flat bowl or the bottom of a measuring cup, firmly press down on each potato to smash it to about ⅓-inch to ½-inch thickness. Season the tops of the potatoes with salt and pepper. If any of the potatoes break apart, you can try to smush them together with your hands. Don't worry if you can't -- you will just end up with smaller bites of crispy potato! The more firmly you smash them, the less likely they'll break apart.
- Bake the potatoes: Roast the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully flip the potatoes (if they feel too fragile, you can flip them a few minutes later). Season again with Salt and black pepper.Bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, or until they're crispy and golden-brown on both sides. Allow the potatoes to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
For the garlicky salsa verde:
- While the potatoes roast, prepare the salsa verde. Finely chop 1 ½ cups flat-leaf parsley to yield about ⅓ cup of packed herbs. Finely mince 3 anchovies until they form a paste-like texture. In a small bowl, combine the chopped parsley, anchovies, 3 tablespoons skin-on almonds, 3 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper, and the zest and juice from 1 lemon. Pour in ¼ cup of the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper, adding in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil if desired. Set aside.
For the labneh:
- In a small bowl, mix 8 ounces labneh and 1 clove garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- These smashed potatoes can be served one of two ways:1) Plated: Smear some of the labneh on the bottom of the plate, and top it with the potatoes and the salsa verde.2) Hors d'oeuvre style: Top each potato with a bit of labneh and salsa verde.
- Fingerling potatoes:The best fingerlings for this recipe are no larger than 2 inches in diameter and no smaller than 1 inch in diameter. You can use any small waxy or semi-waxy potato, such as new, baby, or creamer potatoes. I don’t recommend using larger Yukon Gold or Red Bliss potatoes.
- Labneh: If I can’t find labneh, I often substitute greek yogurt thinned out with a bit of lemon juice to mimic the acidity and creamier texture.
- Make-ahead: I like serving the crispy potatoes fresh, but you can make the labneh and salsa verde ahead of time! The labneh can be made 2 days ahead of time, and the salsa verde can be made 1 day prior to serving.
- Storage and Reheating: Leftover potatoes, labneh, and salsa verde can be stored in separate, airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days.
- The potatoes can be reheated on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet at 350°F/177°C oven for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through. Remove the salsa verde and labneh from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to take the chill off.