- I made Ina Garten’s parmesan smashed potatoes, her twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dish.
- The recipe includes parmesan cheese, unpeeled red potatoes, sour cream, and plenty of butter.
- I’ve never loved mashed potatoes, but Garten’s delicious upgrade deserves a spot on my holiday menu.
But Ina Garten has been my guide as I’ve worked to sharpen my cooking techniques and instincts, so this year I decided to skip my usual store-bought contribution and make a few of her dishes instead.
I made Garten’s overnight mac and cheese, which was a huge hit with everyone. But you can’t have a proper Thanksgiving meal without potatoes, and I knew just the “Barefoot Contessa” recipe I wanted to try.
“The key to mashed potatoes is what you add to them to make them have great flavor,” she told Roker. “Two things people really miss a lot, in almost every recipe, is the salt. It needs a lot of salt to give it flavor.”
Garten’s dish also features smashed potatoes instead of mashed potatoes, a time-saving technique that I knew would be super helpful with an ambitious Friendsgiving menu.
But how would the “Barefoot Contessa” twist compare to a classic Thanksgiving dish? It was time to find out.
- 3 pounds red potatoes (don’t peel them!)
- ¼ pound unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
Garten’s recipe recommends using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this step. I just used my electric hand mixer with a regular mixing bowl, and it still worked great.
“It’s something that’s a little sharp,” she told Roker. “That kind of wakes up your taste buds.”
Also, a pro tip from Garten: If your potatoes are looking a little too thick, simply add more hot cream and butter. And, if you’d like to reheat your leftovers, just throw the potatoes into an ovenproof baking dish, add some more parmesan, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes.
So you’ll have to understand that mashed potatoes never used to excite me. But Garten’s parmesan smashed potatoes have changed everything.
These potatoes are deliciously thick and full of flavor, from the sharpness of the parmesan to the subtle sweetness of the red potatoes. And they were a huge hit at Friendsgiving.
“The smashed potatoes were deliciously salty, and also not overcooked,” my boyfriend said. “They still had a bit of texture to them — it wasn’t just like a bowl of soup.”
“The best mashed potatoes I’ve had!” our friend Kayla added. “So creamy and thick.”
This is such an easy recipe to make ahead of a big Thanksgiving dinner, and I think it’s so much more exciting than the traditional mashed potato dishes that I’ve tasted. After giving the potatoes some time to just sit on the stove, you barely have to do five minutes of work. And the finished product is still way better than anything from a box.
To borrow one of Garten’s favorite phrases, how easy is that?