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Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes (Straightforward Aspect Dish or Appetizer!)

August 9, 2023
Homeschooling Blogs

If you’re a fan of potatoes, you might always me looking for new ways to enjoy them. If you haven’t made Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes yet, this is a recipe you definitely have to try! They make a great side dish, snack, or appetizer!

With this easy recipe, you get potatoes that are crispy on the outside with a fluffy, delicious center. They pair well with your regular weeknight dinner but are also great as Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes!


Any fan of mashed potatoes and potato skins has to try this air fryer recipe. There are a few reasons, you’ll find yourself enjoying these:

  • Simple ingredients – This recipe is made with potatoes and some very simple seasonings. You can also tweak the seasonings to change the flavor profile a bit. This means you can easily use this recipe over and over again.
  • Variety – In addition to being able to use a variety of seasonings, you can also use a variety of potatoes in this recipe. Later in this post I’ll talk about the different kinds of potatoes you might want to try!
  • Crowd pleaser – This recipe is always a hit with both kids and adults. If you need a potato side dish that is sure to be enjoyed, this recipe should be your go-to air fryer side dish!
  • No boiling needed – With this recipe you save some time because you do not need to peel and boil the potatoes. You can make this recipe completely in the air fryer.

Scroll on for more details or jump to the bottom of the post for a printable recipe card.

Plate of smashed potatoes

What Are Smashed Potatoes?

Smashed potatoes are basically twice cooked potatoes. They end up crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They’re often season with garlic and other seasonings.  

What you do with the potatoes is what makes the difference between mashed potatoes and smashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are mashed up until smooth. People use milk and butter to get them creamy. Some people might also use sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

Smashed potatoes are really a variation on mashed potatoes. But you do not get a smooth consistency. They are chunkier and they include the peels (some mashed potatoes might as well but most do not). Instead of mashing the potatoes, you use a fork or a potato masher to smash each potato slightly.

In my opinion, mashed potatoes feel almost like a middle ground between mashed potatoes and potato skins.


For this crispy smashed potatoes recipe, you need the potatoes and a collection of spices, herbs, and seasonings. You can adjust the amount of seasoning you use to your own taste.

  • 1 pound red baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and black pepper

These seasonings work well whether you plan to air fry these potatoes or bake them in the oven. Some people will also use paprika in their seasoning mix for these potatoes.

Quarted red potatoes in air fryer basket

Best Potatoes for Smash Potatoes

To make these potatoes in the air fryer, one of the most important things is to use potatoes on the smaller size. Of course, you’re really only limited by the size of your air fryer basket and some people have huge air fryers!

I do not have the biggest air fryer in the world, so I tend to use smaller red potatoes to make air fried smashed potatoes.

You can usually find smaller potatoes in both the red and gold varieties. Then it becomes more of a personal preference (or you could buy whatever is on sale that week). So those are the types I recommend and I have made this recipe with both.

If potatoes are on the very small side, you can try putting them in the air fryer whole. Otherwise I recommend halving or quartering your potatoes before cooking them. 

So you can really try any type of potato that you’d like! I want to try making these with fingerling potatoes sometime!

Smashed potatoes in air fryer basket

How to Make Smashed Potatoes in Air Fryer

This recipe prep time is 5 minutes and it takes about 30 minutes of cooking time.

For this recipe, I had larger potatoes because it was all that was available. So I did cut my potatoes into quarters so they would cook better in the air fryer. Once quartered, place the potatoes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, as much as possible.

If required by your air fryer model, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Cook at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Brushing smashed potatoes with olive oil in air fryer basket

Remove the basket from the air fryer and use a fork to smash the potatoes slightly.

You can place the potatoes on a baking sheet to make them easier to smash.

Brush the top of all the potatoes with olive oil.

Then season with garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper. 

Put the potatoes back in the air fryer basket and return the basket to the air fryer. 

Cooked smashed potatoes in air fryer basket

Cook at  400°F for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

If you have a smaller air fryer basket and end up needing to do two layers of potatoes, you may want to shake your basket about halfway through the second cook time.

When making a larger amount of potatoes, watch the first batch you make closely to make sure you don’t overcook them. Different air fryers may cook slightly differently.

Seasoning Suggestions

While garlic is a fairly typical way to season these potatoes, you can try almost anything you can think of! Here are some different things to try:

  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese after second cook time.
  • Add spice with red pepper flakes or paprika.
  • Drizzle with a sauce like ranch, chipotle, etc.
  • Try other seasoning blends like Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, etc.
  • You can also serve with different dips. Smashed potatoes usually hold up well as a finger food (appetizer option for entertaining) and dip well as long as the skins are still fairly intact. So just smash them, don’t mash them!

The flexibility of this recipe is what makes it the perfect side dish!

Leftovers & Reheating

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. These are best served warm and fresh from the air fryer though. That is when they have the best crisp!

Be sure to allow them to cool completely before storing them. We rarely have leftovers when I make these!

If you do need to reheat leftovers, you can do it in the microwave or in the air fryer. I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes. They will be crispier than in the microwave. 


Can raw potatoes be put in an air fryer?

You can definitely put raw potatoes in the air fryer. This recipe uses raw potatoes. You can also make air fryer potato wedges with raw potatoes.

Why put potatoes in cold water before air frying?


Some potato recipes call for the potatoes to be soaked in cold water. You can do this if you want to but it’s not required. Putting the potatoes in cold water for about 10 minutes helps draw the starch out of the potatoes. This can help you get crispier potatoes but it’s not required.

Do potatoes have to be in a single layer in air fryer?

When cooking in the air fryer, you want to try to place your food in a single layer with room for the hot air to circulate around the food. You can also do a second layer but you want to be sure to keep the layers as even as possible.

Should I microwave my potatoes before air frying?

For this recipe, you do not need to precook the potatoes. You will air fry them before smashing them and then do a second cook in the air fryer.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes pair well with some many main dishes! If you want to cook your entire meal in the air fryer, try making Air Fryer Pork Chops, Air Fryer Sirloin Steak, or Air Fryer Chicken Legs.

But these are also a great finger food snack or appetizer idea too! If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, considering making them as a Thanksgiving side dish!

Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

Enjoy crispy and delicious smashed potatoes made in the air fryer! Perfect for snacks, side dishes, and appetizers!

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time27 minutes

Servings: 4


  • Wash and quarter the potatoes.

  • Place the quartered potatoes in the basket of the air fryer and cook at 400℉ for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

  • Remove the basket from the air fryer and use a fork to smash the potatoes slightly. You can place the potatoes on a baking sheet to smash and then return to the basket.

  • Brush the top of all the potatoes with olive oil and season with garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper.

  • Return the basket to the air fryer and cook at 400℉ for 10 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

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