Loaded Smashed Potatoes

July 12, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The main thing to say about this recipe is that it delivers a perfectly hearty platter of loaded smashed potatoes, ready to be shared with friends and family. That second aspect is more or less important during this pandemic we’re living in, but you get the point. I think this will be my go to dish to bring to a gathering in a post pandemic world. This dish is composed of 4 main elements: the crispy smashed potatoes, the luscious cheese sauce, the caramelized onions and the vibrant garnish.

The smashed potatoes are the perfect utensil for transporting all that goodness from the serving platter to your mouth, they add lots of texture and character to the dish. The cheese sauce works as a binder, it brings the potatoes and all of the other toppings together. I highly recommend using my measurements as a guide and playing around with various other cheeses. The caramelized onions are the ones that bring depth to this recipe, they pack so much flavor and umaminess, taking this entire loaded potato platter to the next level. Finally, we have our bright and fresh elements like fresh herbs, lime juice and hot peppers to balance out this hearty platter of deliciousness. This recipe uses some basic, humble ingredients to create the ultimate game night food decadence. —Carolina Gelen

Test Kitchen Notes

For the cheese, I used 1 cup low moisture mozzarella and 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar. Also, for the cheese sauce, you can add a pinch of turmeric or food coloring for a more vibrant yellow. —Carolina Gelen

What You'll Need
  • Potatoes
  • 2 pounds small potatoes (like yukon gold, French fingerling, etc.)
  • 4 yellow onions, sliced and caramelized
  • 2 jalapeños, fresh or pickled, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro or parsley, roughly chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt
  • Cheese sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a large pot, bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt in the water, add in the potatoes and let them boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a paring knife or a fork. Take the potatoes out and let them cool off and dry for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 420°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle some olive oil on it. Place all the potatoes on the baking sheet. Get a flat bottomed glass or jar, drizzle some olive oil on the bottom to prevent it from sticking to the potato, then gently crush each potato by slowly pressing the glass down on it. If the potato happens to crumble, simply take those crumbs and crush them as well. Lightly drizzle some more olive oil on top of the smashed potatoes, sprinkle some salt on them and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, flip all the potatoes and give them 5 to 10 more minutes in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy. Place the potatoes on the serving platter.
  3. For the cheese sauce, add the butter and flour in a saucepan on medium heat. Toast the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, while constantly stirring it with a spatula or a whisk. Slowly pour a little bit of milk at a time in the pan while whisking the milk, butter and flour together. Repeat the previous step until you poured all the milk in the saucepan, then turn the heat to medium low and simmer the mixture for 3-5 minutes. The mixture should be slightly thicker at this point. Add the spices and shredded cheese to the saucepan. Mix everything together until the cheese is completely melted. As an optional step, you can blend everything using an immersion blender, for the perfectly smooth texture. If the mixture cools off and there is a skin forming on top, simply reheat it in a saucepan and the sauce will back to normal.
  4. Pour the hot cheese sauce all over the potatoes, then top them off with the caramelized onions, jalapeño slices, fresh coriander, chile flakes and a drizzle of freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve the loaded potatoes right away.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lorraine Arnott Riscinti
    Lorraine Arnott Riscinti
  • fhhk2019
  • nancynam0623
  • pjcamp
Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

5 Reviews

fhhk2019 October 25, 2021
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nancynam0623 July 21, 2021
That's delicious! I made the cheese sauce using skimmed milk instead of full cream, tasted less evil but equally good! I've also been exploring good places and cafes to visit and I found this useful - https://www.notesity.hk/blog/posts/study-place-suggestion/ hope we can exchange more ideas on cooking and please keep us posted on your brilliant recipes!
Lorraine A. February 7, 2021
I added 1/2 cup pepper Jack cheese and held off on the onions—family not onion fans. I used almond milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. I added super crisp bacon bits and drizzled a little of the bacon fat over potatoes before adding cheese sauce and bacon bits. They were delicious. I will definitely make them again.
pjcamp February 6, 2021
If you want your cheese yellow, use aji amarillo paste. Might as well add flavor while you're doing it.
Maxpoon628 February 9, 2021
good suggestion but remember to add less salt, otherwise it the savoury taste would covered the flavours of potato and the aroma

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