Recipe: Smashed Potatoes

This recipe is slightly more involved than previous recipes I’ve posted, but I guarantee you excellent results, and there will be no leftovers.

It’s perfect for a family dinner or dinner party where there are a lot of people with diverse tastes.


  • 10 to 12 small yellow-skinned potatoes- I like Yukon Gold
  • One stick of butter
  • Herbs of your choice (I like this Penzeys mix. Or use any of the following together: rosemary, tarragon, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and thyme) 
  • Spray release 
  •  1 cup of grated cheese, your choice (I prefer sharp cheddar, but I’ve also tried it with an Italian blend also and it’s quite delicious).



  1.  Clean the potatoes thoroughly. DO NOT PEEL. 
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot with water, cook on the stove for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are fork-tender.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate dish combine spices of your choice, and the stick of butter. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds until butter is melted.
  4. Drain potatoes, do not rinse.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  6. Either line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and coat with spray release, or use a nonstick cookie sheet, your choice. 
  7. Place potatoes approximately 1 inch apart. 
  8. Gently press down on the potatoes with the backside of a fork (or the bottom of a coffee mug if your potatoes are bigger) until they are slightly smashed.
  9. Pour a little of the butter/herb mixture over the slightly smashed potatoes (less than a tablespoon).
  10. Bake potatoes in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they appear to have crisp/browned.
  11. Top each potato with a small amount of cheese (1 to 2 tablespoons).
  12. Serve potatoes with sour cream, real bacon bits (I like the ones from Costco), or whatever toppings you and your family prefer.

As a side dish that serves 4 to 6 as a main dish serves 2 to 3. These smashed potatoes are also great with chili or a hearty salad.

2022 Holiday Resources

I will be updating this post as more information becomes available.  This year is very light on programs that are open to anyone, so I recommend that you lean on your community resources:

  • If you receive WIC or SNAP benefits, check in with your social worker to see if they have any information on holiday help programs. Events like Toys for Joy are being held on a referral basis only. You have to receive an invitation from the event to attend. These are being given out by social workers and those with connections to the group.
  • If you attend church/synagogue/mosque, check with your religious leader or the secretary/office staff. They may have referrals to programs offering holiday help.
  • Check with your kids’ school. Talk to the school counselor, resource teacher, or school secretary.
  • If you frequent local food charities or co-op’s, they may have some resources on holiday events or toy giveaways.

Here is my monthly list of free food opportunities within San Diego County. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, so it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.

As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.

  • The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.
  • 211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, and events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.

santeesantas.pngIf you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.

The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in a few weeks, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.

Talk Back: If you know of any CONFIRMED free local holiday events in 2022, please leave a comment.