Crispy Grilled Smashed Potatoes with Smoky Garlic Dressing

updated Jan 29, 2020
Grilled Crash Potatoes
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

This summer I’ve pushed my grill to the limits, putting fire to food almost every night of the week. Grilling vegetables has been a delicious reward, but the biggest surprise is how much flavor the grill adds to potatoes. So I’m taking one of my favorite oven methods — smash roasting — outside.

Grilling adds crispiness and char to seasoned potatoes, while infusing the starchy centers with smoky flavor. I plate them with crunchy celery, slivers of shallot, and a smoky garlic dressing. These are the potatoes to grill all season long.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

How to Make the Best Grilled Smashed Potatoes

Grilling flattened potatoes until the skins char and the starchy insides become tender and hot is simple — and if you’ve already tried the technique in an oven, you know what to do!

First, choose the best potatoes for the job. While I like to use baby red potatoes, use this guide if you’re grilling Yukon golds or larger potatoes. Avoid micro potatoes for grilling (unless you’re using a grill basket) because they are more likely to slip through the grates.

Parboil the potatoes until a knife easily pierces the center of the potato, toss with olive oil and seasonings, then arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Smash the potatoes with the bottom of a drinking glass or a potato masher just until the skins split. Flatten them any more and potato bits will be too small to balance between the grates. If you prefer thinner crash potatoes, simply grill the tubers in a grill basket.

I like to add a halved lemon to the grill as the potatoes cook since that makes them extra-juicy. Then plate the potatoes with some crunchy slices of celery and shallot. A drizzle of smoky garlic mayonnaise brings the side dish together like the upgraded potato salad your summer’s been missing.

Meal Prep Moment

If cooking big batches of grains and beans and mixing dressings in advance are already part of your weekly meal prep sessions, it’s time to add potatoes to the list. (If not, it’s time to try a Meal Prep Power Hour!) Parboil a batch of potatoes on Sunday and serve these ridiculously delicious grilled crash potatoes later in the week in half the time. Simply parboil the potatoes until tender, then cool and refrigerate whole. When you’re ready to grill, toss the potatoes in olive oil and seasonings, smash, and grill until the potato skins char and the insides are hot. 

Grilled Crash Potatoes

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    baby red potatoes (about 12 potatoes, 2 inches in diameter)

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1

    lemon, halved

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 clove

    garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 2 stalks

    celery, sliced diagonally

  • 1/2

    small shallot, thinly sliced

  • For serving: chopped fresh chives and parsley


  1. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife with no resistance, 12 to 17 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium-high direct heat (400 to 450°F).

  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and return to the pot to dry. When cool enough to handle, toss the potatoes with oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Use a potato masher or the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten each potato to 1-inch thick, pressing just until the potato skins split.

  4. Clean and oil the grill grates. Place the potatoes on the grill, cover, and grill until brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Place the lemon halves on the grill, cut side down next to the potatoes, and grill until grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Whisk the mayonnaise, garlic, paprika, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice together in a large mixing bowl.

  6. Arrange the potatoes, celery, shallots, and grilled lemon halves on a serving platter. Drizzle the dressing over top and sprinkle with the herbs.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Potatoes can be par-cooked and refrigerated up to 2 days before grilling.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.