Smashed Potatoes

I hate peeling potatoes. I can't explain my aversion to it, since most peeling, chopping and other prep tasks don't bother me much. Potatoes, though? Not my thing. That's a big reason why I loved this recipe the minute I saw it. There's no peeling required. Just wash the potatoes and cook them whole! Plus, the red potato peels mixed in makes it look so pretty. You also don't have to worry about lumps, because the finished potatoes are intentionally lumpy. There is a catch, and that comes in the form of half a stick of butter and 1/2 cup of cream cheese, but I'm willing to overlook the health drawbacks since they taste so darn good.

Smashed Potatoes


2 pounds red potatoes (about 16 small to medium ones. If you can only find large, increase cooking temp by 10 minutes)
1 bay leaf
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
Black pepper


1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 tsp salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until a paring knife can be inserted into the potatoes with no resistance, 35-45 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the potatoes. Return the potatoes to the pot, discard the bay leaf, and allow the potatoes to stand in the pot, uncovered, until the surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

2. While the potatoes dry, whisk the melted butter and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, smash the potatoes just enough to break the skinds. Fold in the butter-cream cheese mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 T at a time as needed, until the potatoes are slightly looser than desired (the potatoes will thicken slightly with standing). Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Definitely do this. Potatoes are pretty bland and I've always had to add a little bit more at the end of the recipe.) Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Cook's Illustrated America's Best Side Dishes

1 Click For Comments:

These look so good! Another way to avoid peeling potatoes is to get a potato ricer. We got one as a wedding present and I love it!

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