Smashed Potatoes–Literally

by Maria Theresa Maggi on May 29, 2021

In the early days of my plant-based transformation, long before I wrote this blog, I would often spend time reading recipes and gathering ideas for what I wanted to cook. It was also a way of feeling alliance and camaraderie and support from a community I didn’t have in the flesh. Still, to this day, I comb the internet for ideas, asking questions I have about something I’d like to try or make, and see what comes up.

As I mentioned in my last post, as I renewed a full commitment to only whole foods (no flour for a while, even gluten-free) I discovered Live with Chef AJ and began watching all her many interviews and cooking demonstrations, which is where I came upon Andrew Taylor at Spudfit and his year of eating potatoes.

While I was very moved by his story, my curiosity veered to the peripheral, as is so often the case. How was he eating his potatoes every day, 3 times a day? While I didn’t want or need to eat only potatoes (preferring to stick to what he calls “Mega Foods”), I sure wanted to discover any interesting tips about how to prepare them in ways I might have not thought of, and that would be pretty easy no nonsense and maybe even a little fun.

In the early days of his year challenge, before air fryers and pressure cookers, he was doing a lot of boiling and making what the Australians call “mash.” But sometimes he’d also take whole boiled potatoes, put them on a lined baking sheet and actually smash them with the bottom of a jar–and then baked them in the oven for a bit. I just thought that was too fun not to try.

I was going to steam my potatoes, but at the last minute, that little rebel voice in me said “why not microwave them instead?” And that’s what I did, until tender. Then I arranged them on the baking sheet and with a pint sized wide mouth mason jar, I smashed them. I can’t describe the delight of this experience adequately or why it gives me such pleasure, but it does. Then I put them in a 410 degree oven and baked them for between 15 and 20 minutes.

At first I thought I should try and flip them but then that didn’t seem necessary. My particular aim was not to get them as crispy as possible, but to make them a little more golden. And to my additional delight, I discovered that for the most part they stayed whole and I could just pick them up and eat them with my hands. So, along with some steam fried veggies, this has been one of my favorite dinners for the past week.

A few tips: for the penultimate “smashing” experience  and texture when eating, I suggest thinner skinned potatoes like yellow ones or golden sweet potatoes, rather than the darker, thicker skinned varieties. I found those skins got more leathery than I wanted.  But I have been sure to eat those orange ones at breakfast, added to my oatmeal, because I read there is a compound discovered in that orange pigment that slows down or stops demyelination. I thank World’s Healthiest Food’s, for that update. Visiting my old internet haunts as distraction and comfort yielded some exciting new research findings.

If you have an air fryer, I suppose you could put them in there and they might get more crispy. But I find I like this combination of a little chewy/solid/golden on the outside and tender moist on the inside a whole lot.

Here’s to a meal that’s truly a smash. Literally and figuratively–my favorite combination.


Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gena May 30, 2021 at 4:56 am

Yum. Literally yum 🙂


2 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Thanks, Gena! xo (haha)


3 Susan Wright May 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

cute story


4 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Susan!


5 Nasreen Kabir May 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm

Love the idea. Thank you. Must try it for lunch.


6 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

You’re welcome, Nasreen!


7 Anne July 25, 2021 at 9:16 pm

Hi Maria,
I put my smashed potatoes in the toaster oven until they are crispy, then top with salsa or homemade ketchup or hummus. Very tasty similarity to French fries.
Thanks for the myelin saving tip. I have none to spare!
Love your writing.


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