Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Ginger-Tahini Dressing

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The most perfect crispy smashed potatoes get drizzled with a tangy, slightly sweet, and nutty ginger-tahini dressing and then topped with fresh mint, cilantro, chili peppers, and roasted peanuts. An addictive blend of textures and gourmet Asian-inspired flavors.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
5 from 17 votes

I never really understood why people were obsessed with potatoes. Potatoes were fine, but as someone who never eats more than a handful of French fries and only likes eating mashed potatoes once a year, I didn’t get the hype. 

But in the last six months, I’ve been making a lot of crispy smashed potatoes, and now I get it. They’re freaking addictive. And I apologize for my earlier wayward thinking.  

These crispy smashed potatoes with ginger tahini dressing feature a perfectly crispy potato (golden brown and crisp on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside) with a finger-lickin-good creamy sauce that’s so good, you’ll want to eat it by the spoon. It’s a great crowd-pleasing dish to serve at a get-together or party, or as an appetizer or side dish for a family meal. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just eat a plate of these for dinner and call it a fantastic night. 

crispy smashed potatoes with ginger-tahini dressing, scallions, fresh herbs

Why you’ll love this recipe 

Texture heaven: Baby potatoes are first parboiled until tender, then coated in olive oil and salt and roasted at a high temperature until they’re perfectly crispy and brown on the outside but still fluffy and tender on the inside. Then they’re drizzled with a luxuriously creamy sauce and topped with fresh scallions and crunchy peanuts on top. So many good textures combined in one dish! 

PS: if the potato-tahini combination sounds fabulous to you, you gotta try my Creamy Herbed Potato Salad!

Easy but gourmet. The presentation on this dish is a 100 and the flavors feel gourmet. That said, it’s actually really easy to make. Plus, smushing potatoes is very therapeutic.

Flavor town. The rich, buttery, subtle sweetness of baby golden potatoes meets a slightly tangy, slightly sweet sauce that is brimming with the warm, peppery heat of fresh ginger and the nuttiness of toasted sesame oil. This mixture gets topped with the herbaceous flair of fresh mint and cilantro and the spiciness of chili peppers. Each bite is a party in your mouth!

Guaranteed to please. Whether you’ve got guests visiting, are hosting a little shindig, or just serving a family meal where you want to impress, this crispy smashed potato dish will wow all of your guests with its unique flavors and textures.

Looking for other gourmet but easy side dishes that are guaranteed to impress? Try this Grilled Corn Salad or this Peach Panzanella!

crispy smashed potatoes on yellow rimmed platter

Tips for the perfect crispy smashed potatoes 

Size and color matter 

First, the type of potato matters. Size-wise, these are best with mini or baby-sized potatoes, or even peewee potatoes (if you want one-bite potatoes). 

I’ve made this dish with small-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, which are larger than the baby potatoes, and they were fine but not spectacular. They were harder to smash neatly and they didn’t get as crispy. 

Color-wise, these are best with baby golden potatoes, also known as baby yellow potatoes, baby Dutch yellow potatoes, mini golden creamer potatoes, two-bite honey gold potatoes, or petite gold potatoes. 

I’ve also made this dish with baby red potatoes (as you’ll see in one of the step-by-step photos) and they are definitely good, just not as good as the golden ones. Golden/yellow potatoes are less waxy and starchier than red potatoes. Translation: they get very crispy on the outside but stay fluffy and tender on the inside. 

Red potatoes, on the other hand, get perhaps even crispy on the outside but they don’t stay fluffy and tender on the inside. Translation: you don’t get the best of both worlds IMO. That said, this recipe is still great with baby red potatoes.

Summary: this recipe is the most incredible with baby or mini golden/yellow potatoes. 

Parboil, then roast

To get perfectly crispy potatoes that are still tender on the inside, you need to parboil your potatoes before roasting them. You parboil them whole, drain them, and then smash down on them and coat in oil/salt before roasting. 

If you don’t parboil them, the skin remains kind of tough and less able to absorb the oil into its nooks and crannies when roasting in the oven.  

As food science guru J. Kenji Alt-Lopez says in his crispy roast potato recipe, parboiling the potatoes creates “tons of starchy slurry for added surface area and crunch” and makes the potatoes “incredibly crisp and crunchy on the outside, with centers that are creamy and packed with potato flavor.” 

Salt generously

Speaking of parboiling, when you boil the potatoes you want to boil them in very salty water. Much saltier than your pasta water. This is because as Molly Baz puts it in her article on how to boil potatoes, “potatoes are large, dense items. Salt has to penetrate a lot of mass in order to make it all the way through to the potatoes’ middles by the time they’re finished cooking.”

If you don’t salt your potato water, you end up with sad, bland potatoes. Even if you salt them before roasting, they still won’t be nearly as flavorful. And don’t worry, the vast majority of that salt in the potato water gets drained off when you drain the potatoes. 

Don’t crowd the pan 

This recipe uses two sheet pans instead of one because if you crowd potatoes too closely together in the oven, they will steam instead of roast. Say goodbye to that crispy brown skin! Here are the sheet pans I use (affiliate link).

Be generous with the oil

I’ve tried making crispy smashed potatoes with half the amount of oil (I know some of my readers are oil-conscious), but it just doesn’t work. They end up stuck to the pan and not nearly as crispy. Roasted potatoes need a generous amount of oil. It is what is! 

Don’t flip the potatoes 

For truly crispy exteriors and edges, don’t flip the potatoes while they’re roasting. They won’t burn, I promise! But since we’re using two pans, it’s helpful to rotate their positions/racks halfway through roasting. This is because most ovens are warmer either in the bottom or the top, so switching their location means each tray of potatoes gets even heat distribution.

closeup of crispy smashed potatoes on a yellow platter

How to make this recipe 

Cover the potatoes with cold water, season very generously with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until just fork tender. Drain the potatoes. 

baby potatoes boiled and drained in a colander

Transfer the potatoes to two rimmed sheet pans. Using the bottom of a mug, measuring cup, or glass, smash down on them. Use a pastry brush or your hands to coat them in oil, flip and repeat. Season with salt and pepper. 

unbaked smashed potatoes on a baking sheet with oil and salt

Roast the potatoes at 450ºF/232ºC for 30 minutes, rotating the location of the pans in the oven halfway through, until crispy and brown on the outside but tender on the inside. 

crispy smashed potatoes on a baking sheet with oil and salt

For the ginger-tahini sauce, add all the ingredients to a food processor.

ingredients for ginger tahini dressing in food processor

Blend until smooth, creamy and thick but pourable. 

ginger tahini sauce in food processor

Transfer the roasted potatoes to a serving platter. Drizzle some of the sauce on top. 

Scatter the sliced scallions on top. Scatter the sliced chili peppers, mint/Thai basil and cilantro on top.

Add the roasted peanuts on top and serve with remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

crispy smashed potatoes with ginger-tahini dressing, scallions, herbs, and peanuts

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute…?

Ran out of fresh limes? Rice vinegar is a good substitute for the lime juice. Don’t have tahini? Unsweetened creamy almond butter or cashew butter would work well. 

Can’t tolerate spicy food at all? Skip the serrano pepper. If you can tolerate some spice, use a jalapeno pepper, and/or remove the seeds.

Allergic to peanuts? Substitute with roasted cashews; if you can’t have those roasted almonds could also work. If you’re nut-free, just omit the nuts entirely (it’s still very good!).

I provide the option of using fresh mint or Thai Basil, but since Thai Basil is pretty hard to find outside of Asian grocery stores, it’s totally fine to stick to mint. 

How long will do crispy smashed potatoes last? 

If you’re planning to keep leftovers, store the potatoes separately from the sauce. The potatoes will last for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, but they are definitely best served when fresh. And if you’re anything like me, there will be no leftovers ;) 

If you have leftovers of the sauce, store it in a small jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Can I double the recipe? 

Sure! You will just need to bake the potatoes in 2 batches (unless you have a giant oven that can fit four baking sheets…or if you have 2 ovens, like my parents and many of my Indian aunts lol). This is a great option if you have lots of guests coming over! 

That’s all you need to know about these crispy smashed potatoes with ginger-tahini dressing. If you love the recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below and tag me with your remakes on Instagram!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Ginger-Tahini Dressing

5 from 17 votes
The most perfect crispy smashed potatoes get drizzled with a tangy, slightly sweet, and nutty ginger-tahini dressing and then topped with fresh mint, cilantro, chili peppers, and roasted peanuts. An addictive blend of textures and gourmet Asian-inspired flavors.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Cuisine: Asian-inspired, New American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, potatoes, tahini
Serving size: 8 to 10 (as a side)

Ingredients

Potatoes

  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) baby or mini golden/yellow potatoes*
  • 4 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt** or 2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more to season
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil***

Ginger-Tahini Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup (56g) tahini
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1- inch piece ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with a press or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Toppings

  • 2 scallions (top 1 inch trimmed), sliced thinly on a bias
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced thinly on a bias (use jalapeño for less heat)
  • ¼ cup (4g) fresh mint leaves or Thai basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup (6g) cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • ¼ cup (28g) roasted peanuts, chopped****

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF/232ºC.
  • Parboil the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and season with the kosher salt or sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a decent simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, dependent on size, until just fork tender but not too soft. Drain the potatoes in a colander and pat dry if there’s any water clinging to them.
  • Smash the potatoes. Transfer potatoes to two rimmed baking sheets. Use the bottom of a glass, measuring cup, or mug to firmly smush down on the potatoes (but not too firmly, you don’t want them to fall apart into a bunch of pieces).
  • Roast the potatoes. Drizzle some of the olive oil on top of the potatoes and coat the top side; gently flip, add more oil, and coat the other side of the potatoes. If the potatoes feel dry, add a bit more oil
    Note: you can also pour the oil into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to coat the oil onto the potatoes. This technique allows you to use a bit less oil and also ensures a more even coating of oil, but is a bit more time consuming.
    Season the potatoes with some kosher salt or sea salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, switching the pans’ location in the oven halfway through (but do not flip the potatoes), or until the potatoes are crispy and browned.
  • Meanwhile, make the Ginger-Tahini Sauce. In a food processor, combine the lime juice, sesame oil, tahini, tamari, maple syrup, ginger, and garlic until well combined and relatively smooth. Add the ice water and blend again until the sauce is thick but pourable. Season with a pinch of salt as needed.
  • Pile the warm potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle some sauce on top. Scatter the scallions, sliced serrano pepper, mint or Thai basil leaves, chopped cilantro, and peanuts on top of the potatoes. Serve remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

* See the “Tips for the perfect crispy smashed potatoes” section for common names for this potato type. If not available, substitute with baby red potatoes.  
** If using Morton’s kosher salt, use 2 tablespoons. 
*** If using a pastry brush, you can probably use the lower end of the oil amount.
**** Can substitute with roasted cashews, roasted almonds, or omit entirely if allergic.

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32 comments on Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Ginger-Tahini Dressing

  1. Anika

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! I turned it into a full meal by adding baked tofu and some letuce. Super yummy.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Anika!

  2. FlorenceL

    5 stars
    Just fabulous !!!! 👏Everyone literally loved them ! Thank you !

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Florence!

  3. Jessica

    5 stars
    Very curious as to why the ICE water is important in the dressing. I’m so obsessed with all your recipes. Making this now and will report back on the results. 😀

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hey Jessica! Ice water helps emulsify the sauce and make it creamy! We hope you loved it!

      1. Christine

        5 stars
        This recipe is absolutely divine!! Thank you Nisha. Must admit to being a tad sceptical about the sauce, but OMG it is amazing. I did the potatoes for 5 minutes in the instant pot then smooshed and baked them. Also did a tray of roasted cauliflower and green beans as I knew the sauce would be yummo on them. We are still gushing about the recipe days later!

        1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

          So glad you love the recipe, Christine! Thanks for the awesome review!

  4. Courtney

    5 stars
    I made these for only me and I’m thrilled I have some leftovers! I will surely make again; many of your delicious recipes have become staples for me. Tahini is my favorite secret ingredient and you’ve expanded my use of it.
    Nisha, you are a master at combining flavors, textures and adventures on my plate, I love your videos and your dad! Please don’t stop. Cooking with you brings joy to my life.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Courtney! Happy to hear you love the smashed potatoes!

  5. Frank Hoelen

    5 stars
    Yesterday we were out in the garden all day painting our outer walls so they are now protected against the rain, in the evening we build a little fire and I served my love this recipe in a big tray out of the oven, unforgettable, she kept spooning and telling me how Devine it was, that sauce, the combination with the herbs, delicious
    beyond word, love your creativity, love to follow into your kitchen footsteps, thank you for inspiring me, oh yes and I used a wooden meat hammer (haha) I inherited from my grand mother to flatten the potatoes, never used it before, gave a wonderful effect to the baking, warm greetings from Westerlo Belgium Frank & Nada

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      What a lovely story, Frank! So glad to hear you two thoroughly enjoyed the smashed potatoes!

  6. Carol

    4 stars
    This potato method is The Bomb! Loved the crispy / fluffy texture mouth experience. That is a 5 star rating for sure, and I will be using it frequently in the future. The sauce and topping treatment, although interesting, unfortunately, did not live up to the awesomeness of the potato base. (I followed the recipe as written). Though it may be cliche, I feel a tomato based sauce, or a Ranch type would enhance these fab potatoes better. They don’t need exotic.I love this site, Thank you for your terrific work. I’m a forever fan.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Carol, sorry the tahini dressing wasn’t your favorite! We hope you can find another sauce you like better so you can enjoy these smashed potatoes many times in the future :)

  7. Jan L Sims

    I am cooking for just me. Could you please post for single portions? I really enjoy your videos.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Jan, feel free to divide the ingredients in the recipe card by 4 or even 8 to get single portions. Or better yet, divide by two and you can have leftovers for multiple days!

  8. Cherie Covington

    I’m just a bit confused. I understood that kosher salt was “less salty” than sea salt.

    1. Cherie Covington

      Sorry! Never mind. I copied it over wrong. So embarrassing.

  9. Demi

    5 stars
    I just made this recipe for me and my boyfriend and it blew our mind! So good.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Demi!

  10. Sarah H

    5 stars
    These were AMAZING!! The herbs really made such a difference in elevating the dish. I definitely will be making this maybe too often for a while.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Fresh herbs are a staple over here in the Rainbow Plant Life Kitchen! So glad to hear you loved this recipe, Sarah!

  11. Delnora

    5 stars
    This was delicious. Twice cooking the potatoes takes some time, but it was all pretty easy. The whole family loved it! Will definitely make again. Thank you, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Delnora. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  12. Jonna M Pollard

    Looks great. Can’t wait to try.

  13. Rebecca

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Another hit recipe thanks Nisha. I’ve made it twice now and honestly cannot recommend highly enough. So full of flavour and the texture of the crispy potatoes is perfectly paired with all the other elements. I did reduce the amount of garlic to 2 cloves the second time around as I prefer slightly less raw garlic but either way, it was fantastic.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Rebecca! So great to hear you loved these smashed potatoes!

  14. Michael

    5 stars
    Another number 1, must-try recipe !!!
    I never knew you could do that to turn plain potatoes into such a lovely dish. It is very simple to prepare and especially the tahini sauce was a big surprise for me. So far I have never been a big fan of tahini but I am starting to believe that I simply never knew how to use it right. I found it absolutely delicious in this sauce!
    Thank you Nisha for this great recipe. It is going to be one of my favourite potato dishes from now on :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Happy to hear you’re finally realizing how amazing tahini is, Michael! Thank you for trying the recipe!

  15. Saankhya

    5 stars
    Love it can’t wait to try it! Any tips for making it in an air fryer instead of roasting?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Saankhya, we haven’t tried to make this recipe in an air fryer but usually air fryers cook things more quickly than a traditional oven, so we suggest cooking for 10 minutes then checking in 3-5 minute increments thereafter until they’ve reached your desired crispiness. You also would most likely need to cook these in multiple batches because you must leave room around each potato for them to be able to crisp up. Hope that helped!

      1. Jason

        Air fryers may vary, but I do my potatoes on 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, they come out perfect in my opinion. And adding a half teaspoon of baking soda to the parboil really helps in creating that layer of “starchy slurry” you want on the outside of the potato.

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