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Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Buttery Onions: A Restaurant-Worthy Side Dish

These crispy smashed potatoes with buttery onions are a revelation. They're surprisingly simple to make yet boast a delightful contrast of textures: fluffy, tender potato interiors with a beautifully crisped and golden brown exterior. The addition of caramelized onions adds a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor, making this dish a showstopper at any dinner table.


  • Enough peanut oil to generously coat the bottom of a pan (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound Idaho Russet or Red potatoes (red potatoes are recommended for their creamier texture)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • ½ medium sweet onion, like a Vidalia (diced)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish (optional): paprika and fresh basil


  1. Heat Up the Pan: Place a heavy-bottomed 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat (slightly higher than medium for electric stoves). Add the peanut oil and butter. Let the mixture heat up until the oil shimmers on the surface. Be careful not to let it smoke; if it does, remove the pan from heat and let it cool slightly until the oil shimmers again.

  2. Prep the Potatoes: While the pan heats up, wash and cut the potatoes into evenly sized pieces (cubes or chips, depending on your preference). As you cut them, place them in a large bowl with 4 cups of cold water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Soaking helps remove excess starch, promoting crispier potatoes.

  3. Chop the Onion: Dice the sweet onion into larger pieces compared to the potatoes.

  4. Drain and Dry: After 5 minutes, drain the potato and water mixture thoroughly. Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This is crucial for achieving crispy exteriors.

  5. Sizzle Time!: Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add the potatoes and onions to the pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan. If there isn't enough space for all the potatoes to lay flat in a single layer, cook them in batches. Let the potatoes and onions cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes on one side.

  6. The Flip Side: Using a spatula, gently flip the potatoes and onions. Cook for another 2-4 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown and crispy.

  7. Drain and Season: Transfer the cooked potatoes and onions to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season them generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper immediately after removing them from the oil.

  8. Garnish and Serve: For an extra touch of visual appeal and flavor, sprinkle the potatoes with paprika and garnish with fresh basil leaves (optional). Serve these crispy smashed potatoes hot and enjoy their delightful combination of textures and flavors!


  • For a richer flavor, use browned butter instead of regular butter.
  • Leftover potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet or oven until warmed through and crispy.
  • Feel free to experiment with different herbs for garnishing. Chopped chives or parsley would also be delicious options.