Recipe Review

I Tried Dishing Out Health’s Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and They’re the Best Thing You’ll Have All Week

published May 1, 2022
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I Tried It Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
Credit: Rochelle Bilow

I am really picky when it comes to online recipes. After attending culinary school, then working at a restaurant and a food magazine, I know it takes hard work to create a recipe that actually works. One food blogger I really trust to do this hard work is Jamie Vespa, the creator behind Dishing Out Health.

I first encountered Jamie when we both worked at Cooking Light magazine. Since then, she’s become a bonafide internet food celeb, and it’s not hard to see why. Her creations are the perfect mix of quality nutrition (she’s an RD!), realistic ingredient lists, and truly delicious flavor combinations. Plus, she tests and retests each recipe until it’s perfect. She’s the real deal, and so is one of her latest recipes for paprika-Parmesan smashed potatoes.

How to Make Dishing Out Health’s Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

After a truly jaw-dropping photo of this dish stopped me mid-scroll on Instagram, I saved the post and made plans to cook the recipe ASAP. The full recipe is available on Jamie’s website, along with plenty of how-to pictures. (Did I mention she’s also a great photographer?) After picking up a few fresh ingredients to supplement the basic pantry staples required, I was ready to go to potato town. 

The recipe begins with a super-hot oven; you’ll quick-roast foil-wrapped garlic while a pound-and-a-half of baby yellow potatoes boils on the stovetop. Drain the spuds, then coat a baking sheet with oil. Use a measuring cup to smash the potatoes into rounds, then season with a DIY blend of paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

While you cook the potatoes for a second time in that 450°F oven, it’s time to pull together a quick dipping sauce. Combine Greek-style yogurt, mayo, lemon, chives, and that roasted garlic. I didn’t have chives so I swapped in parsley, and was not mad about it. 

In the last five minutes of cooking, the potatoes get hit with a shower of grated Parmesan cheese, which becomes — you guessed it — crispy and delicious in the oven.

My Honest Review of Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

I knew I’d like this recipe (I honestly haven’t had a dud from Jamie yet), but I was not expecting the fangirl-level of appreciation I would have for it. I’ve made smashed potatoes plenty of times, but they’ve never been as good as these. Here’s why.

First, the recipe is really carefully written for efficiency. Not a minute is wasted — for example, you begin roasting the garlic as the oven pre-heats — and pots and pans are kept to a minimum. Second, the time and temperatures are really dialed in for optimal textures. These potatoes were truly crispy on the outside, and creamy in the middle. 

I also loved the garlic aioli. I’m always Team Mayonnaise instead of Team Ketchup with my fries, so I was all about this. And the addition of Greek yogurt tempers the richness.

Finally, it wasn’t a dish that weighed me down. Jamie includes just the right amount of “fun” ingredients (mayo, cheese) and tempers them with nutritional gold stars (protein-rich yogurt, satisfying spices). The combination results in a side dish that was so good, I ate most of it straight from the pan. And the best part was, I felt energized and nourished — not lethargic. I highly suggest you make these potatoes for dinner tonight. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you do!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

3 Tips for Making Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

  1. Don’t swap out the variety of potato. The recipe calls for baby yellow potatoes, and they really are superior here. Go for anything bigger, and your finished dish will resemble a giant tray of pancakes. Fingerling potatoes smash into weird shapes, and starchy potatoes (like Idaho or russet) are too big and not as creamy.
  2. Follow the instructions for boiling the potatoes carefully. This is key to the right texture. I’ve made versions of this dish loads of times, and the potatoes always crumble when I smash them. It wasn’t until I actually followed Jamie’s instructions that I realized I had been over-boiling them! She notes that you’ll want to drain them when they’re just past fork-tender — resist the urge to simmer away until they’re mushy.
  3. Toss some extra garlic cloves in the oven. Jamie’s recipe calls for 4 garlic cloves, which was just the right amount for the dipping sauce. But why stop there? Roasting garlic in foil is one of the easiest, most hands-off ways to add more flavor into your vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces. Next time I cook this recipe, I’ll roast a whole head of garlic, and use the leftover cloves throughout the week.