Recipe Review

I Tried Rachael Ray’s Crispy Smashed Lemon Potatoes (I Could Eat Them Every Day)

updated Aug 29, 2022
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Credit: Sara Tane

I can confidently say that watching the Rachael Ray Show singlehandedly got me through this past year. Did I sob during the episode where she talked about her house burning down? Completely. (Emotions have been high, okay?) I genuinely love her spirit just as much as I love her food and, frankly, TikTok should be honored to have her greatness gracing their platform. Her most popular recipe on the Tok is for these crispy lemon potatoes, and being the spud enthusiast that I am, I obviously wasted no time to try them out for myself. Here’s how it all went down.

How to Make Rachael Ray’s Crispy Lemon Potatoes

  1. Par-boil the potatoes: Par-boil any type of small potatoes with their skins on for about 20 minutes in heavily salted water. Once cooked, drain the potatoes.
  2. Smash the potatoes: Take the bottom of a measuring cup or water glass and gently (but firmly) press down on the cooked potatoes to smash them.
  3. Bake the potatoes: Give the smashed spuds a generous guzzle of EVOO and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 450°F until they’re super crispy. It’s a good idea to flip them halfway through so that both sides get a nice, golden-brown color.
  4. Char a lemon: When the potatoes are in the oven, slice a lemon in half and char the inside flesh on a dry cast iron pan until caramelized.
  5. Squeeze lemon, finish with salt: Squeeze the caramelized lemons over the potatoes, finish them off with some more salt, and you’ve got yourself a platter of crispy lemon ‘taters.
Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review of Crispy Lemon Potatoes

I mean, do you really need me to tell you that these were perfection? We’re talking crispy shards of creamy Yukon golds doused in a rich bath of caramelized lemon juices. Of course it’s amazing. Sign me up for a heaping platter of these every day of the week, please and thank you.

Did I feel like there was any groundbreaking moment in this recipe? Not really, but does that make it any less delicious? Absolutely not. If you’ve never made smashed potatoes before, this is a great starting point to dip your toes into the marvelous world of boiling and crushing potatoes. 

The same thing goes for caramelized lemons — if you’ve never tried caramelizing your citrus in a hot, dry cast iron skillet, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the technique. Not only do caramelized lemons look cool, but the flavor is also slightly less bitter and acidic than if you were to squeeze raw lemon juice on the potatoes. I would, without question, make these again for a low-key dinner any night of week.

Credit: Sara Tane

Here’s What to Know If You Make This Recipe

This recipe is simple, straightforward, and undeniably tasty. The keys to making delicious smashed potatoes are baking them in a super-hot oven, dousing them in enough oil so they can crisp up, and letting them cook until they are a deep golden-brown color (flip them halfway through)! Patience is key, my friends. 

There is a part of me that wants to dress these up with more garnishes and sauces, but the minimalist in me is telling me not to. If you really felt compelled to jazz up the recipe, you could serve them with a garlic aioli or a chimichurri. Or, you could garnish them with some fresh herbs like dill or basil, or a heavy hand of freshly grated Parm and red chili flakes, although none are necessary.

You could also round out the meal with an herby piece of baked cod or chicken. Sometimes, simple cooking can speak for itself, and I think this recipe is a perfect example. We bow our heads to you, Rachael, Spud Icon and Quarantine Queen.