Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions and Parsley

“For those of you who have struggled with these in the past, I can offer you a few tips to make your life easier: Don’t oversteam or they will fall apart, never giving them a chance to hit that oil. Don’t understeam or you’ll never be able to crush them. Let them cool a bit before you smash them so they also dry out a bit, making them less likely to fall apart. The oil must be hot. Think of this as a shallow-fry: if the oil is not hot enough, it will soak into the potato rather than crisp it up.” Reprinted from Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Slideshow: More Potato Recipes 

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions and Parsley
Photo: Abby Hocking
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 pounds new potatoes (1 to 2 inches, about the size of a golf ball) or small fingerlings

  • 1/3 cup chicken fat, olive oil, or peanut oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings

  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Flaky sea salt

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add the potatoes and season with salt. Cover and steam until the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Check one of the smaller ones after 8 minutes to see how tender it is; you should be able to insert a fork into it easily.) If you don’t have a steamer basket, boil them in a large pot of salted water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Remove the potatoes from the steamer and let them cool slightly. Using the bottom of a bowl or cup or the palm of your hand, smash the potatoes until they’re just crushed to expose the inside, but not so much that they fall apart. You’re going for maximum crispy surface area here.

  3. Heat the chicken fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in a single layer (work in batches, if you need to) and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook until both sides are super browned and crispy, about 5 minutes per side.

  4. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon or spatula and transfer them to a serving bowl or platter. Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt and foam. Add the onion rings in a single layer and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the onions have turned golden brown and started to crispy, 4 to 6 minutes.

  5. Remove the skillet from heat and add the red pepper flake, swirling the skillet a few times to combine. Pour the onions and any butter in the skillet over the potatoes and top with flaky sea salt and the parsley.


Choose small, waxy new potatoes. Most new potatoes are inherently small and waxy, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this, but it’s worth mentioning. Some widely available varieties include fingerlings, Yukon Golds, peanut potatoes, micro creamer potatoes and marble potatoes. If you can only find large Idaho potatoes, this recipe will not work; you should make a baked potato instead.

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