Food & Drinkrecipes

Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes

by Grace Bonney

When I attended NYU for the first year and a half of college, I was an awfully homesick girl. As much as I loved the city, nothing seemed to click the way I’d hoped. I spent most of my time working as an after-school recess supervisor at the church across from my dorm and teaching myself the NYC subway system by getting lost over and over again. When I would come home from a long day, I would plop down on our dorm sofa and watch reruns of my favorite shows, Designing Women and The Barefoot Contessa. I watched the former because I missed southern accents, but the latter was all about tuning in to something warm, comforting and reminiscent of home. After a few months, I started to consider Ina Garten my mom-away-from-home. Not that I need another mother (I love my mom endlessly), but when I was away at school, I found that watching Ina on TV comforted me and made me feel like everything would be ok. When I couldn’t find anyone to go to a movie with, Ina was always there. When my roommates locked me out while they had a party, Ina was there (on the common room TV). Both her food and her friendly tone of voice on TV got me through some tough early years of learning to live far away from home.

Cut to 15 years later and I’m sitting in a crowd of over 500 people waiting to see Ina answer questions about her ninth cookbook, Make it Ahead, at Barnes & Noble in NYC. I was sitting behind Ina’s husband, Jeffrey Garten (the lucky man who comes home to a roast chicken every Friday) and trying to act like everything was normal while Julia interviewed Ina for the event. While I was of course happy just to be there, I was blown away by how well Ina handled every and any question thrown at her. From entertaining small groups of people in a tiny NYC apartment to the perfect brunch menu, she had practical and easy ideas for any occasion. It all boiled down to staying calm and preparing as much as possible ahead of time, the theme of her new book. It’s refreshing to see a celebrity cook admit that they get stressed out cooking and entertaining and need to find ways around that, just like the rest of us. Make it Ahead is full of great (and delicious) ideas that you can make most of the day before your guests arrive. Today I’m excited to share my favorite recipe from the book: Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes. Cheese, crispy bits of potato and chives? What’s not to love? xo, grace

Reprinted from Make it Ahead. Copyright © 2014 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6

This is a great way to cook potatoes! Boil them first, then smash them on a sheet pan, and finally roast them at a high temperature. You end up with tender creamy insides and lots of crispy edges. Grated Parmesan and fresh chives on top make them even better.

-1 pound mixed small Yukon Gold and red new potatoes, scrubbed
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-3 tablespoons good olive oil
-½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
-Fleur de sel or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 17 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer. Drain the potatoes and place on a sheet pan. With a potato masher or metal measuring cup, press each potato until it’s about ½ inch thick (they will be messy). Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper.

Roast the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once, until the skins have become nicely browned. Sprinkle the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese and roast for another 2 to 3 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the potatoes with the chives and fleur de sel and serve hot.

Make It Ahead: Boil the potatoes and smash them on the sheet pan. Roast the potatoes and finish the recipe before serving.

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  • I’m not the only one that is comforted by cooking shows? Ina is a great one. I always loved re-runs of Julia Child’s shows too, mostly because she reminded me of my crazy aunt.

    These potatoes sound amazing!


  • I love Ina and this recipe is certainly something I’d make for company. We don’t make a lot of regular potatoes in my house, only special occasions like holidays. I might have to try to adapt this with sweet potatoes since we eat those more regularly!

  • This recipe looks so delicious. I love Ina and all her food too – my mom and I like to watch her show together when I’m home. Everything Ina makes is simultaneously so simple and classy. Whenever we hear the Barefoot Contessa music starting up on the food channel we always shout “Our best friend Ina is on!” and turn the volume way up. Haha :)

  • LOVE Ina- and it’s true everything she makes looks elegant, effortless, and always delicious. She’s an awesome inspiration. I made a version of these just the other night and they rocked. Thanks for featuring Ina here today!!!

  • Looks so tasty! I can’t wait to try it. I have a bad habit lately of watching Barefoot Contessa on the treadmill at the gym and consequently getting extremely hungry.

    Quick question for you. When you post a recipe from a cookbook, do you check with the publisher first? I see that you cite the copyright and I assume put the instructions in your own words, but was wondering your opinion on sharing printed recipes. I have seen a lot on this debate and I’m not sure what I should take as best practice. Would love your opinion!

    Thanks again!!

  • What kind of roommates lock out a fellow roommate while they had a party?! I am appalled.
    Thanks for the smashed potato recipe, it looks delicious.

      • Hi Grace! I have admired Ina for so many years!……she is a true inspiration in my life. How wonderful is all of her food!!!! I had a wonderful friend who died several years ago and prior to her death, we would prepare an Ina recipe each week……that was something she wanted to do and it was a joy! I wrote to Ina to let her know how inspiring this was. She was so gracious and answered my letter with one of her own! I will hope to someday meet her. She has visited the Seattle area several times but I have always been out of town! Best, Jeanne Cree

  • I have made this several times…just so good. I too am comforted by Ina…her voice, her demeanor, her food…and Jeffrey!!

  • I often tell my husband I want to be Ina and Jeffrey when we grow up (even though we are almost 40 now). Funny, I just saw Julia on her show today making kimchi fried rice in a rerun – didn’t know when I first saw it that she was your wife, and it made me smile.

    • Lynn

      Ha, thanks! They replay that episode all the time and we always seem to get a few texts saying people saw her- which always makes my day. :)

      We joke, too that I am Julia’s Jeffrey. I will happily come home to a roast chicken any time :)


  • I heard Ina on NPR talking about this book – I don’t cook, so cookbooks, cooking shows…not for me! But, I found myself so taken by her approach to cooking. As a creative, I could really relate to how she goes about refining and testing her ideas to arrive at recipes for her books. I found myself taking notes to tell my boyfriend (ehm…personal chef!) about when I got home. I’m definitely going to buy this book for him, and was so happy to find a sample recipe here on D*S. : )

  • We love Ina here in Ireland, is my 7year old grandson her youngest fan? He has been watching Ina since he was 2 and still looks forward to hearing her say, “How easy is that”

  • These potatoes are just delicious! I was looking for a new recipe and this hit the spot! Everyone loves them…good replacement for twice baked potatoes or a potato casserole.

  • Thanks for this post! was wondering which part of this is make ahead? Can you put in the fridge and then oven the next day?

    • Hi, I noticed this at the end of the post:

      Make It Ahead: Boil the potatoes and smash them on the sheet pan. Roast the potatoes and finish the recipe before serving.