Smashed Potatoes with Tomato Sauce and Olives

I’ve rarely met a potato I didn’t like! This time around, the potato is the center of the dish and not just a lonely little side.


The star

Have you had enough dinners lately with pasta the center of the plate?

I love it when potatoes can be the star of a meal. A stuffed baked potato is a perfect meal in my book, and just about any dish featuring spuds will be on my list. Of course, I can’t eat them as often as I would like because of their high starchy carb content, so I use them mingled with other vegetables, and as the occasional feature, as in this dish.

I used a combination of fingerling and small blue potatoess here, but any firm potato would work. I left the peelings on because they were blemish and eye free, but you can peel them if you like, or if the potatoes need to be cleaned up a bit. The potatoes are boiled first, and then roasted in the oven which makes them soft on the inside and deliciously crisp on the outside.

Freezer or pantry

The pasta sauce I used was my own from the freezer, but you can use a favorite jarred sauce as well. I haven’t been to the market where I get my kalamata olives recently, but these jarred ones worked just fine.

The peppers will provide sweet little pops of flavor, while the olives offer a salty bite. The jalapeño gives a little warmth, but you like more heat you can add another pepper or increase the amount.

Use what you have

If you do not have the fresh basil, use a tsp. of dried. If you do not have the fennel seeds, substitute anise seeds, our leave them out.

A bonus, this recipe uses primarily pantry and staple ingredients, and the pepper is optional if you can’t find one. You can also substitute canned or frozen artichoke hearts.


Smashed Potatoes with Tomato Sauce and Olives

  • 1 1/2 lb. fingerling or red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 sweet pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, sliced

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Start the potatoes: Chose potatoes that are approximately the same size, or cut the larger ones in half. Place in a pot and cover with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Smashed potatoes
The potatoes are cooked, smashed, and ready for the oven for their second cook to crisp thump.

Add olive oil to a rimmed baking sheet and turn out the potatoes. Using a potato masher or bottom of a glass, gently press the potatoes to about half thickness. They will crack, but you don’t want them to break apart too much. Add the peppers to the pan, brush with a little more olive oil, and add salt and pepper.

Once the peppers are soft and charred, chop them up!

The peppers will be ready in about 30 minutes, so remove them when they are soft and starting to char. Chop them up, and set aside. You can rub off the charred skins if they are really tough, but I usually don’t bother.

While the potatoes are baking, heat the pasta sauce along with the crushed fennel seeds and basil (save a couple of leaves to garnish if you like). Add the olives and peppers.

Try not to eat them all before assembling the dish…it’s hard, so just eat one or two. If you stop right here, you have a potato side dish for just about any meal, or us them as a base for a party appetizer.

Bake the potatoes for 40 minutes, or until very crispy. Place in a serving dish and top with the sauce, and sprinkle with a few more olives and shavings of Parmesan or non-dairy alternative. Alternately, you can serve up the potatoes and let everyone top with the sauce themselves.


Note: For those in the family who think there’s not enough protein in vegetables to make a meal, you can top it with a free-range, organic egg!

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. That looks so delicious, I’m so hungry!

    1. Thanks Saania! It is one of my favorites

  2. Kitty Jade says:

    Ahh, you’re making me hungry! Love this recipe, and the photos are beautiful. Hope you’re well x

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you love the photos as well as the recipe, trying to offer the best side of the humble potato! I am well, and hoping so for everyone as well. XXOO

      1. Kitty Jade says:

        You’re very welcome! Take care x

  3. JOY journal says:

    This sounds wonderful!!

    1. Thank you. I hope you’ll give it a try.

  4. What a great combination of deliciousness. 🍃🍅

  5. Ally Bean says:

    We make smashed potatoes with little golden ones, but eat them more like a potato skin appetizer. This is a slightly different approach to smashed potatoes, and it looks delicious.

    1. Oh, the little golden ones are perfect! I will eat them any way I can get them, plain, topped, left over…

  6. CarolCooks2 says:

    Sounds very tasty, Dorothy… I was happy today as I managed to get my favourite purple sweet potatoes and purple carrots both of which I love…I hope you are well 🙂

    1. So glad you got your purple explosion! I love deeply colored vegetables, and they have a higher mineral content than the lighter colored varieties, although any sweet potatoes are super nutritious! We are well, thank you for asking. I went to the market today and it is more than a little stressful, both in the store and when we have to deal with everything when we get home before bringing it into the house. It is what it is! I hope you and yours are weathering this a minimum of stress.

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        So am two favourite veggies they so brighten the plate.. I know but as you say it is what it is.. I am going to go and try to get my Greek yoghurt today as I want to make my own and need a culture to start it off… So far so good and the two grandkids have been wonderful… they have accepted they have to be cocooned… Grandad and daddy let Aston use the clippers on their hair which was great fun… He also did a great job for his first attempt… we are managing to find fun things for them to do… Be well, Dorothy x

  7. Sheryl says:

    I also love potatoes. This recipe looks delicious.

    1. Thank you so much!

  8. These smashed Potatoes look so dreamy. What a wonderful combination of flavors.

    1. Thank you! They were really tasty!

  9. Karen says:

    A stuffed baked potato is a perfect meal as far as I’m concerned too. Love your smashed potatoes and no protein needed to have a good meal.

    1. Absolutely agree with you on all counts Karen! Thanks for stopping by.

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