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Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes with Gremolata

Crispy smashed fingerling potatoes with an added burst of flavor from the fresh parsley-garlic-lemon gremolata topping are potato heaven.

These potatoes are seriously delicious – soft on the inside with crispy edges on the outside, garnished with a bright, zesty gremolata.

roasted smashed fingerling potatoes topped with gremolata on plate.

Making these potatoes is a two-step process but it’s definitely worth it.

  1. First, boil the potatoes, then burst and flatten them a bit. This allows maximum coverage for absorbing the butter, olive oil and seasoning.
  2. Then roast the smashed potatoes until browned and crisped.

I use the the classic Italian version of Gremolata (by Kitchn) but the herbs and even the citrus can be tweaked to your preferences.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

fingerling potatoes, lemon, garlic, parsley, butter and oil, salt & pepper.
fingerling potatoes, lemon, garlic, parsley, butter and oil, salt & pepper.

Fingerling potatoes: are small, elongated potatoes, usually about the size of a human finger. They have a thin skin and creamy inside texture when cooked. Great substitutes are red or yellow baby potatoes (also called new potatoes) or Yukon gold potatoes. You’ll have to cut them smaller after boiling.

Butter or oil: It’s your choice. For a richer taste, I use half butter and half oil, but you can certainly use just oil if you prefer.

Gremolata: is typically made by combining fresh parsley (curly or flat-leaf parsley), lemon zest, fresh garlic and salt and black pepper to taste. Variations: You can try other herbs like oregano, thyme or basil – and lime instead of lemon zest. Or add some shallots, green onions or parmesan cheese to the mix.

Step by step instructions

fingerling potatoes boiling in pot.
Boil potatoes in salted water until easily pierced with a knife. Drain.
squishing potatoes on baking sheet with bottom of a glass.
Prepare baking sheet. Place potatoes on it and use the bottom of a glass (or potato masher) to flatten and split them open to about 1/2 inch/1.28 cm thickness.
seasoned smashed fingerling potatoes on baking sheet before roasting.
Season potatoes.
roasted smashed fingerling potatoes on pan.
Roast until golden brown with crispy edges.
bowl with chopped parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic.
Combine parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl to make a gremolata.
roasted smashed fingerling potatoes topped with gremolata on plate.
Top roasted potatoes with gremolata and serve.

Tip

Want a touch more decadence? Try topping the smashed fingerling potatoes and gremolata with a dollop of sour cream, tzatziki  or Greek yogurt.

Shortcuts

  1. Skip the gremolata (if you must!)
  2. Instead of boiling the potatoes, you can cut the time by pre-cooking the potatoes in the microwave for 3-4 minutes on high (pierce them first so they don’t burst).

Make Ahead 

You can make the Gremolata ahead and the potatoes up to the point where they go into the oven to roast.

What to serve with crispy roast potatoes

These crispy smashed potatoes are a great side dish with anything 🙂 but I especially love them with: marinated pork chopschicken meatloaf with vegetables, ribs with peach bbq sauce and cedar planked grilled whole chicken.

And a bit of sour cream or tzatziki on top is pretty great too!

Recipe FAQs

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is a traditional Italian condiment typically made by combining lemon zest, minced garlic and parsley.

What else can I serve with gremolata?

In addition to a condiment for potatoes, try gremolata as a topping for fish, shrimp, roasted vegetables or risotto. Or stir it into mayonnaise for a zesty aioli.

How much potatoes do I need per serving?

I figure about 1/3 to 1/2 pound (151 – 227 grams) of potatoes per person, depending on who you are serving and how many other dishes you’re serving at the same time

What is the best way to store potatoes?

Store potatoes in a cool, dark place, NOT the fridge. They will last about 1 week.

What is the best way to boil potatoes?

Start boiling potatoes with cold salted water for even cooking. Heat to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Leave the cover off or cover the pot partially. Boil until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a knife.

roasted smashed fingerling potatoes topped with gremolata on plate.

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roasted smashed fingerling potatoes topped with gremolata on plate.
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Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes with Gremolata

Crispy smashed fingerling potatoes with an added burst of flavor from the fresh parsley-garlic-lemon gremolata topping are potato heaven. Delish!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds fingerling potatoes, Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or 1 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp oil)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Gremolata ingredients, Note 2

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley, washed and dried
  • 1/2 clove fresh garlic (or less if you don't like strong garlic)
  • 1 lemon (for zest)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 450F/232C.
  • BOIL POTATOES: Place washed potatoes in pot with cold water with 2 teaspoons salt added. Water should cover potatoes. Bring to boil and lower heat to medium heat. Boil for 10-13 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Potatoes should be soft and easily pierced with a knife. Drain potatoes, place back in pot and shake pot lightly over heat for a minute to remove moisture from potatoes. Note 3 to microwave.
  • SMASH AND SEASON POTATOES: Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easier clean up). Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of olive olive on foil and spread around to cover pan. Place potatoes in single layer on baking tray. Using a flat-bottomed cup or glass, gently press down on each potato until it splits. Keep pressing until potatoes are about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick. Don't worry if a few fall apart (they still taste great!). Brush remaining oil (or melted butter) on potatoes and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  • ROAST POTATOES: Roast potatoes in oven for about 22-30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and edges are crispy. It's not necessary to flip them over, but I often do to brown them more evenly.
  • MAKE THE GREMOLATA: While potatoes are roasting, finely chop the parsley. Grate garlic using a microplane if you have one. Otherwise mince finely with a knife. Finely zest the lemon (yellow part only). Mix parsley, lemon and garlic together until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • SERVE: Place roasted smashed potatoes on a serving platter. Sprinkle with a small handful of gremolata (you may not need it all – Note 4) and serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  1. Potato options: instead of fingerling potatoes, try red or yellow baby potatoes (also called new potatoes) or Yukon gold potatoes (these will need to be cut in halves or quarters after boiling, depending on their size). 
  2. Gremolata variations: You can try other herbs like oregano, thyme or basil – and lime instead of lemon zest. Or add some shallots, green onions or parmesan cheese to the mix.
  3. Microwave potatoes (instead of boiling): Pierce potatoes with a knife. Microwave for 2-4 minutes depending on size, until easily pierced with a knife. 
  4. How to use leftover gremolata: As a topping for fish, shrimp, roasted vegetables or risotto. Or stir it into mayonnaise for a zesty aioli.
  5. Make Ahead: You can make the Gremolata a day or two ahead. You can also make the potatoes ahead up to the point where they go into the oven to roast. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Nutrition values are estimates. 

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1269IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
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