Crispy Pesto Smashed Potatoes.
These crispy pesto smashed potatoes are one of our favorite summer side dishes. Crispy, crunchy potato bites drizzled with fresh basil pesto. So delicious and crunchy and satisfying!
Summer’s side dish is here!
Crispy bites of golden potatoes with the freshest pesto around?!
Okay so I have a bit of a cheater recipe for you today. I’ve already shared our favorite crispy smashed potatoes ages ago and while this is basically the same thing, these ones are served with pesto.
Not so different, but absolutely delicious. And you need this recipe on your radar! A little pesto goes a long way and this adds variety. Really elevates a classic, simple side dish!
I wanted to have a place for this on the blog. One, for selfish reasons, so when I’m searching for side dish recipes, I remember it. And two, to share it with you, so it’s in your rotation too. Especially now when we have bountiful fresh herbs and can make extra delicious pesto in a matter of minutes.
I also wanted you to have it before it gets tooooo hot outside. This does require a hot oven, so I tend to make it in earlier and late summer months. Not right in that thick middle heat.
This is one of our go-to side dishes, especially in the summer. We make these so often – I am not kidding when I say Eddie could eat these five days a week. He requests smashed potatoes constantly and they are just a huge favorite on everyone’s list. I will throw any pesto on top – or even chimichurri.
The combo of the hot and crunchy potatoes, with the super crispy edges PLUS the herby, refreshing pesto? Whoa. I could eat a plate of these alone for dinner. Pass me a fork.
My pesto recipe here is classic and traditional. In the warmer months, I love to have a batch of this in the fridge. I stir it into hot pasta, of course, but I also like to use it on meats, garlic bread, vegetables and things like this. Easy side dishes that need a punch of flavor.
The thing that makes these extra special? You could use ANY kind of pesto, of course! Any! So yes, of course you could just use a prepared pesto in a jar from the grocery store. Or you could make your own like this.
But! You can also make your own flavor variations. Leave out the basil and switch it up. Make it super fancy. I have recipes for pistachio pesto, lemon basil pesto and pumpkin seed pesto, just to name a few. There are some in Everyday Dinners too!
If you’re looking for some summery dishes to serve with these crispy pesto smashed potatoes, I’ve got you covered there too. A few of my favorites include this cedar plank salmon, my coffee crusted grilled steak, these grilled chicken caesar sandwiches or even this vodka sauce chicken!
You can’t go wrong with these.
Crispy Pesto Smashed Potatoes
Crispy Pesto Smashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- toasted pine nuts, for sprinkling
- 4 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until they are just barely fork tender. Strain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Brush a baking sheet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet. Use your hand or the bottom of a glass to smash them once, trying to keep them in one piece. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Place the sheet in the oven and roast the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and crispy. If I don't have the pesto made, I make it while the potatoes roast. Remove and top with fresh pesto, a few basil leaves and a sprinkle of pine nuts. Serve immediately.
- To toast the pine nuts, place them in a skillet and heat over low heat. Shake and stir until the nuts are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Don’t walk away from the nuts!
- To make the pesto, combine the basil, cheese, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs remain, and then with the processor running, stream in the olive oil. Start with the 1/2 cup and add the extra if needed to reach the desired consistency. Add the salt, pepper and pepper flakes and blend again. Taste and season additionally if needed. This stays great in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 3 months.