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These easy-to-make smashed sweet potatoes are the perfect sweet and savory side dish for a weekend supper or Thanksgiving dinner. The outsides are crispy and the insides are soft and melt in your mouth — this is sweet potato heaven!
Also try these crispy, salty, garlicky smashed red potatoes!
This smashed sweet potato recipe is the perfect balance of fall flavors. The sweet and starchy potatoes are spiced with Italian seasoning, fresh thyme, and parmesan cheese. Then, you sprinkle some smoky pecans on them to put these smashed sweet potatoes right over the top!
What are “smashed” potatoes?
You've enjoyed mashed potatoes many times, but what exactly are “smashed” potatoes?
Mashed potatoes involve boiling and mashing all the potatoes into one delicious pile of potatoes. Smashed potatoes, on the other hand, keeps the potatoes individual and they're typically boiled, smashed, and then broiled.
How to make smashed potatoes:
Smashed potatoes start with boiling the potatoes. Once they're cooled enough to handle, gently smash them with a fork, the palm of your hand, or something heavy. This creates little puddles of potato, if you will. Then you broil the potatoes so that the edges get crispy and the centers are perfectly soft.
Here's what you'll need to make the smashed sweet potato recipe. Let's break it down into the potatoes and and the pecan topping:
For the sweet potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes: Keep in mind this recipe serves 6 people, if you're hosting 40 people for Thanksgiving you're going to want to adjust the servings. When picking up your sweet potatoes, make sure you pick ones that are orange inside, and not white.
- Butter & garlic: Any good potato recipe needs both of these ingredients. Don't skimp on either of them!
- Spices: For these smashed sweet potatoes you'll need Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
- Fresh thyme: You'll add the thyme at the end as a garnish to give them a fresh, herby flavor to your potatoes.
- Parmesan cheese: It's optional to include parmesan cheese, however, you're going to want to! It adds just a little melty, salty, cheesy goodness to the potatoes.
For the smoky pecans:
- Pecans: These add a warm, toasty flavor to the potatoes. You could use another nut, like walnuts, however it won't lend the same sweet, buttery flavor as pecans.
- Butter: Adding to the buttery flavor, you'll toast the pecans and spices in a tablespoon of butter.
- Spices: To get that smoky taste, use smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
How to make smashed sweet potatoes
Follow these simple steps to make a delicious, sweet, and savory side:
- Boil your taters: Once you cut your potatoes into pieces, add them to a pot of boiling water. **Don't let them get too mushy.
- Make the smoky pecan topping: Add some butter to a hot pan and then add your pecans, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Toast for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Make the herb and garlic butter: Melt some butter in a pan and then pop in the garlic, Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt, and pepper and let it cook for a minute.
- Smash the potatoes: Gently smash the potatoes with a fork and then pour the herb and garlic butter overtop.
- Broil: Put the potatoes in the oven to crisp up, add some parm, and then back into the oven to finish crisping. Once done, you can sprinkle the smoky pecans and fresh thyme on your potatoes.
What to serve with smashed sweet potatoes
Smashed sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense side dish with lots of flavor packed in to every bite. Here's what to serve with them:
Can I use another type of potato to make smashed potatoes?
You certainly can use another type of potato, if that's what you have on hand. Or, consider this recipe for smashed red potatoes or this one for smashed potato salad – they may use the ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
Do I need to peel the sweet potatoes?
You can leave the skin on and save the peeling. The skin helps them hold their shape and crisp up in the oven.
Should I add the optional parmesan cheese?
When we first created this recipe (back in 2017!), parmesan cheese wasn't on the ingredients list. But in recent recipe testing, we found we loved just a little sprinkle of the salty cheese. These smashed sweet potatoes are delicious without parmesan, but adding some takes the recipe over the top.
How to avoid soggy sweet potatoes
Avoid over-boiling the sweet potatoes. They should be soft but not soggy when they come out of the water. They'll stand a much better chance of crisping up in the oven when it's time to broil.
Can you freeze smashed sweet potatoes?
You can freeze smashed potatoes that haven't been broiled. Follow the recipe until the broiling stage and save this step for when you're ready to eat them. You can place the smashed potatoes on a baking sheet and in the freezer until they're frozen through. Then put the potatoes in a reusable freezer bag or storage container until ready to eat. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- 3 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb each)
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: cayenne, salt, and pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Fresh thyme (for serving)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne
- Preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 ½ inch rounds. You'll get about 6 per sweet potato.3 sweet potatoes
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and boil them for 15 minutes, until they can be pierced with a fork but are not mushy. When they've finished cooking, remove them from the pot and place them on the baking sheet.
- While the sweet potatoes are boiling, make the smoky pecans. Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium heat. Mix in the pecans, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne and then let them toast, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant.1 tablespoon butter, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 cup pecans, ¼ teaspoon EACH: sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne
- While the pecans are toasting, make the herb and garlic butter. Melt butter in a small pan and add the garlic, Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt, and pepper and let the garlic cook for 1 minute.½ cup butter, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon EACH: cayenne, salt, and pepper
- Carefully smash the sweet potatoes using a fork. It works best to stab the centers a few times and then use the fork to push the sweet potatoes down around the edges of the circles. Drizzle the herb and garlic butter over the sweet potatoes.
- Roast the smashed sweet potatoes for 20 minutes then turn your oven to broil. If you're using the parmesan cheese, sprinkle it over the sweet potatoes. Return the sweet potatoes to the oven and broil for 5 minutes – until the tops start to get crispy. Serve the smashed sweet potatoes with the smoky pecans and some thyme over the top.½ cup grated parmesan cheese, Fresh thyme
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.