Looking forward to eating guilt-free, oil-free smashed potatoes?
If so, you’re in for a treat with this easy-to-create recipe that’s full of all the flavour and texture of the classic version, but without the extra calories.
Classic smashed potatoes cooked in olive oil may be tasty, but oil is extremely high in calories and low in nutritional value.
Removing the oil from this dish makes it a healthier choice and is great if you’re weight-watching too.
In fact, even if we do eat olive oil, the healthiest choice would be to limit your oil intake to uncooked oil straight from the bottle and drizzled on salads, as heating the oil can cause the monounsaturated fats, polyphenols and antioxidants in the oil to undergo chemical changes.
For those of you who adhere to a WFPBNO diet (whole food plant-based no oil), it’s best to avoid all processed oils completely.
The reason for this is that oil predominantly supplies excess calories and we can get all the natural fats we need from eating whole foods, like whole olives, avocados, nuts and more.
Moving on from the question of whether to use oil or not, we come to the actual smashed potato itself. If you’ve never tried them, you may be wondering what all the hype is about.
And the reason why they’re so popular is that smashed potatoes are not only supremely crunchy on the outside and soft and smooth on the inside, giving a wonderful combination of textures, but they’re also super tasty.
These potatoes are served salted straight from the air fryer or they can be made flavoured with herbs and spices or cooked with just salt.
They taste great served with a dip and can be eaten on their own or as part of a meal.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at just how simple these beauties are to make. Get ready to indulge your taste buds with these guilt-free smashed potatoes.
Table of Contents
Choosing the Best Potatoes for Oil-Free Smashed Potatoes
While you can make these smashed potatoes with almost any potatoes, for the best results, choose small, flavoursome young spuds.
The furrier the potatoes, the more difficult it will be to smash them without them falling apart.
Having said that, you don’t need to source a specific type of potato and this recipe is about simplicity after all, so keep it simple.
Choose small potatoes and wash them well.
If possible, try not to damage the outer skin as much as possible.
They work best if the skin is intact, so only remove parts (like in the photo) if absolutely necessary.
If you only have large potatoes, you can still make this recipe – just cut the potatoes in half before following the steps.
See the troubleshooting section below for what to do if your potatoes don’t smash well.
Cooking the Potatoes for Smashed Potatoes
The first cooking can be done either by boiling the potatoes in salted water or by cooking them directly in the air fryer.
I prefer the air fryer because it’s just one smidgen more simple. No pots or pans needed.
I haven’t found the flavour to be improved by boiling the spuds first, so I don’t see that it’s worth the extra work. But you can choose whichever works best for you.
For the second stage, we can choose between the oven or the air fryer.
Again, I go for the air fryer because of its simplicity.
Simple Steps for Oil-Free Smashed Potatoes
- Wash the potatoes and cook in the air fryer for about 15 minutes or in boiling salted water until completely boiled but not overly soft. They need to be smashable but not to the extent that they fall apart when you try to smash them.
- The cooking time will vary depending on how many potatoes, which type of potato and how large the potatoes are. As a rough guide, think of cooking them for about 15 minutes as a very rough guide.
- Let the potatoes cool slightly before smashing.
- Smash the potatoes by cutting a cross across the top of the potato and placing it onto a chopping board. If you have a second board, you can use this to place even weight over the top of the potato. You could also use a small plate, dish or other flat surface.
- Sprinkle the smashed potatoes generously with salt and place in the air fryer for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Serve immediately with a deliciously creamy dip.
- Any leftovers can be reheated in the air fryer.
Serving Options for Oil-Free Smashed Potatoes
These versatile potatoes can be served on their own, as a starter or as a side to the main dish.
Think along the lines of a . . .
Troubleshooting Smashed Potatoes
When you first start making smashed potatoes, the actual smashing of the potatoes can be a simple affair or a, well let’s say a disaster.
The type of potatoes, as well as whether the potatoes are undercooked or overcooked can make them more difficult to smash.
Undercooked and they will probably split into wedges instead of flattening into a flat potato, and overcooked, they may turn into mashed potato.
With the situation of undercooked potatoes, you could either return them and cook them a bit more or just settle for the shape the potato has taken and be flexible.
If the potato turns into mashed potato it’s a bit more difficult though you can actually squeeze the potato back into some kind of shape, but there’s no guaranteed way to put the potatoes back together.
As long as they haven’t completely turned to mash, you can still air fry them just the same, they just won’t be as pretty.
The biggest reason for this problem, apart from the cooking time, is the type of potato.
So if you have a choice, go with the young waxy potatoes that are less likely to get mushy.
Classic Smashed Potatoes
For a more classic take on smashed potatoes, prepare everything in the same way, then brush each smashed potato with a little olive oil just before putting it into the air fryer at 190ºc for 15 minutes.
Check them and adjust the time accordingly, so that you end up with a crunchy potato on the outside and smooth and soft flesh in the middle.
Can I Make Oil-Free Smashed Potatoes?Course: All Vegan Posts
Easy crunchy smashed potatoes without oil
8 small hard potatoes
sauce of choice for dipping
- Wash the potatoes and cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes or until soft. Alternatively, boil them in salty water until cooked through but not too soft.
- Place the cooked potatoes onto a chopping board. Cut through the skin in a cross over the top of the potato and use a flat surface to gently press down upon each one with a forward movement so that the potato flattens out.
- Sprinkle the smashed potatoes generously with salt, pepper, chilli and any other spices of choice.
- Place into the air fryer at 190ºc for 15 minutes, checking them halfway through and turning if necessary.
- Serve with dips or as a side dish to a main course.
- An easy way to enjoy guilt-free smashed potatoes