Smashed Potatoes

Why This Recipe Works

For our smashed potato recipe, we were after chunks of potato bound by a rich, creamy puree. Red Bliss potatoes were the best choice for smashing since their compact structure held up well under pressure. Wanting a tangy yet creamy substance that would bind the potatoes in terms of both flavor and texture, we combined 1/2 cup of cream cheese with 4 tablespoons of melted butter and some reserved potato cooking water; we added the mixture to the quickly drying smash, bringing it to a unified and creamy consistency.


Print Shopping List

2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled and scrubbed
Table salt
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
½ cup cream cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 4)

  • Calories 379
  • Cholesterol 62 mg
  • Fat 21 g
  • Sodium 635 mg
  • Saturated 12 g
  • Carbs 41 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Monounsaturated 5 g
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated 0 g
  • Protein 6 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 4 to 6

White potatoes can be used instead of Red Bliss, but their skins lack the rosy color of Red Bliss skins. Try to get potatoes of equal size; if that's not possible, test the larger potatoes for doneness. If only larger potatoes are available, increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. Check for doneness with a paring knife.

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

2. While potatoes dry, whisk melted butter and softened cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chives (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula or back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break skins. Fold in butter/cream cheese mixture until most of liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until potatoes are slightly looser than desired (potatoes will thicken slightly with standing). Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The potatoes are best made just before serving, though see the related Quick Tip for a suggestion on how to hold mashed potatoes.

TO DOUBLE: The Smashed Potatoes recipe and variation can easily be doubled to serve 8 to 12. To accommodate the increased volume, you will need to cook the potatoes in a Dutch oven or stockpot instead of the specified saucepan. Depending on pot size, the cooking time will increase by 5 to 10 minutes.


Making Smashed Potatoes

1. For the best flavor and texture, boil whole, skin on potatoes. Leave a measuring cup nearby as a reminder to reserve some cooking liquid.

2. While the potatoes are drying, whisk together the cream cheese and butter.

3. When smashing the potatoes, use a spatula or large wooden spoon; both work better than a potato masher or a fork. Smash just until the skins are broken.

4. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the potatoes gently, adding more reserved cooking liquid if the potatoes look dry.

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