Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? The heavenly, cloud-like texture; the butter-drenched taste; the calories-be-damned touch of indulgence.

In a world of discord, they’re one food we can pretty much all agree on. So we get it if they’re your side dish of choice for good ol’ meat-and-potatoes meals, fall potlucks, or your upcoming Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving feast.

But there’s a new spud on the block that deserves to share the spotlight: smashed potatoes. If you haven’t tried this somewhat-unorthodox method of potato prep, now’s the time.

With a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture that’s perfect for dipping, smashed potatoes are what would happen if french fries and mashed potatoes got married and made a craveable potato baby.

Ready to have a smashing good time in the kitchen? Here’s the lowdown on the best smashed potato technique and must-try recipes.

In terms of prep, mashed and smashed potatoes begin the same way. Smashed potatoes start off in a bath of boiling water, simmering until tender. But instead of immediately getting whipped into creamy submission after draining, smashed potatoes require a few minutes of rest. While they cool, you’ll preheat the oven to a high roasting temperature.

You then grab a baking sheet, additional ingredients, and your smashing implement of choice. We’d recommend a potato masher or the heel of your hand (protected by a towel), but feel free to get creative. (We suspect… the home chef… in the kitchen… with the can of peaches.)

Now get smashing! A thickness of about ½ inch to 1 inch is ideal. Once smashed and topped with extras like olive oil, rosemary, or Parmesan, the taters get roasted for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, emerging as golden, crispy coins of deliciousness.

The best potatoes for smashing

For the best results, choose small potatoes with thin skins, like fingerling or baby red. The smaller the potato, the higher the skin-to-flesh ratio, which is a good thing here. The skin is where smashed potatoes’ crispiness really shines.

OK, you might be thinking, smashing potatoes is all well and good for those foodies who like to get funky. But why should the rest of us smash instead of mash? We’re glad you asked.

First, smashed potatoes lend themselves well to various healthy preparations. Because additional baking time helps them hold together under an extra layer of crispiness, they don’t need butter or cream for binding like mashed potatoes. Olive oil, herbs, and light sauces can all add flavor without the major calories and unhealthy fats.

Then there’s the convenient bonus of no peeling. And if you’re the type who digs dipping, smashed potatoes are for you. Their handheld portability makes them just right for dunking in ketchup, barbecue sauce, or a flavorful aioli.

Finally, not gonna lie — there’s something exhilarating about the pleasing crack of potato skin you’ll hear with each smash. (Trust us — it’s weirdly satisfying, like the first breakthrough tap into crème brûlée.)

Once you’ve tried it, you may find yourself searching your fridge for other foods to smash.

If you’re convinced you could give smashed potatoes a try, there’s no end to the flavor combos you can experiment with. These recipes just might steal the hearts of even the most hard-core mashers.

1. Crispy smashed potatoes with avocado garlic aioli

You won’t miss the butter of traditional mashed potatoes in this recipe filled with better-for-you fats. Olive oil gets drizzled on the potatoes before baking, and a creamy avocado-based aioli adds a zesty finishing touch.

2. Vegan BBQ smashed potatoes

No barbecue is complete without a potato side dish — why not make it these BBQ smashed potatoes? Dusted with a sweet and savory spice mix and slathered in barbecue sauce, these are likely to disappear fast. To make them as healthy as possible, choose a low-sugar barbecue sauce.

3. Greek lemon smashed potatoes

Mediterranean flavors for the win! Lemon juice, garlic, and oregano make for a Greek-style side dish that can complement grilled meats or kebabs or your T-Day turkey.

And just 2 tablespoons of olive oil is all it takes to make these potatoes that serve six people. You’d be hard-pressed (pun intended) to find a mashed potato recipe that could do the same. Be sure to check out the secret ingredient Karina uses for extra crispiness!

4. Parmesan-herb smashed potatoes

Sometimes simple is best. For purists, these Parmesan-herb smashed potatoes feature traditional potato accompaniments — herbs and cheese — with delicious results.

5. Smashed potatoes with creamy chimichurri

And now for something completely different! Fresh herbs and yogurt combine to create the homemade chimichurri sauce that tops these smashed potatoes. Make extra sauce and serve it on meat or salad.