Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients
  2. Watch how to make these smashed potatoes
  3. Holiday Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Growing up, we had certain dishes that seemed to require the presence of a holiday to justify their making. This didn’t just apply to cookies or candies, but side dishes as well. One of my favorites, and one that I remember so vividly as a ’90s-style potato casserole, used frozen hash browns, sweetened condensed milk, and was topped with crushed corn flakes. Typing that out makes me laugh as it doesn’t sound that good. But as a kid, I thought those potatoes were amazing. Today, I crave something less sweet, with more flavor, and that can be easily made ahead of time if needed.

Enter this holiday-style smashed potatoes dish. This recipe packs all the requisite flavor that’s necessary to truly be considered a holiday dish. Plus, it can be prepared a day ahead then heated in the oven. And honestly, the flavors may get even better as it waits in the refrigerator.

Two hands holding white baking dish filled with smashed potatoes with a golden brown crust on top with wood cutting board with fresh rosemary on top


  • Red skinned potatoes are not only the main ingredient, but the red skin actually makes a difference. Red skins are thin and easily mash, so you can forget about peeling. Time saver!
  • Butter is an essential component of any mashed potato dish. Also, the better quality the butter, the more flavor you’ll have in the finished dish.
  • Leeks may seem like an annoying addition, rather than the more traditional option of onions. Leeks are lighter in flavor and sweeter, and when sauteed with the butter, they almost melt in your mouth. Trust me on this!
  • Garlic is your best friend in these potatoes. Sauteed with the leeks, the garlic mellows and imparts the sweet garlic flavor you crave without being overpowering.
  • Rosemary is the star of the show. The is extremely of-the-season as many holiday dishes use rosemary. Better yet, it gives the best flavor, working to enhance the leeks, garlic, butter, and Parmesan.
  • Sour cream is an addition that adds just enough tang to bring out the other parts of the dish. The extra fat is also what helps keeps these creamy.
  • Cream cheese is crucial. It gives these potatoes the ability to stay truly creamy and soft. Unlike traditional mashed potatoes, these will be just as good from the moment you mix them to whenever you serve them.
  • Parmesan cheese is my favorite way to add cheese flavor without overpowering the dish with… cheese. Parmesan has enough flavor that it takes just a bit to go a long way.

Each of these ingredients plays an important role in making these the best holiday (…or anytime) potatoes. The flavors give you that special, once-in-a-while taste while being pretty quick and easy to throw together.

Top down view of golden brown smashed potatoes mixture sitting in white baking dish with fresh minced rosemary and sea salt over the top

More Christmas side dishes

Watch how to make these smashed potatoes

YouTube video
White baking dish sitting on white countertop filled with smashed potatoes with golden brown top with wood cutting board with rosemary sitting on top

Holiday Smashed Potatoes

4.06 from 39 votes
Mashed potatoes are great, but these smashed potatoes are even easier to make! With the skins left on, all it takes is a butter and leek mixture mixed with cream cheese and sour cream to make these the perfect holiday side dish!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15 servings


  • 5 lb red potatoes scrubbed and dried
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chopped leek (about 1 large leek)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz fresh Parmesan cheese grated


  • Cut the potatoes into 2-inch pieces and place them in an 8-quart stockpot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Watch closely so the water does not boil over. Cook until the potatoes are fully cooked and a knife inserted meets no resistance, 18-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the water from the potatoes.
    5 lb red potatoes
  • While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, salt, and one sprig of rosemary. Sauté until the leeks are softened and beginning to brown slightly, 12-15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    8 tbsp butter, 2 cups chopped leek (about 1 large leek), 1 ½ tsp salt, 2 sprigs rosemary, 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Return the drained potatoes to the stockpot and stir, using a potato masher, to start breaking them down. Mash until the potatoes are evenly combined and there are no large lumps. Small lumps are fine and are part of the rustic component of this recipe.
  • Once the potatoes are mashed, add the sour cream and cream cheese. Mash and stir until they are combined. Remove the rosemary sprig from the leek mixture and add the leeks, garlic, and butter into the potatoes. Mince the remaining sprig of rosemary and add 1 tbsp with the remaining 2 tsp salt and 3 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
    2 sprigs rosemary, 1 cup sour cream, 8 oz cream cheese, 2 tsp salt, 4 oz fresh Parmesan cheese
  • If making a day ahead, cover and store in the refrigerator. To bake, remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375°F and bake until warmed through and the Parmesan is browned. Note: Baking right after preparing will take 15 minutes, while baking from the day before will take 45 minutes.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 28.1gProtein: 8gFat: 15.8gSaturated Fat: 9.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 42.4mgSodium: 759.6mgPotassium: 773.8mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 3.1gVitamin A: 143.9IUVitamin C: 14.8mgCalcium: 156.6mgIron: 1.5mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. 5 stars
    Love watching your video’s. I love sponge candy and it’s hard to find. I was overjoyed to come across your video.

  2. I enjoy your videos on all your hobbies. Your farm and home is absolutely gorgeous. Your decorating is very professional and beautiful. I also enjoy you receipes and have tried many. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. 5 stars
    I was nervous to try a new potato recipe for the holidays because the tried and true mashed potatoes are a crowd favorite at family gatherings. Luckily, this one did not disappoint! I will definitely be making these again. Delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for Christmas Day and they were fabulous!! Will be making these often. Quick and easy. Love your recipes and videos for them…I always rewatch the video first.

  5. 5 stars
    These are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had and I am a mashed potato freak. Leftover mashed potatoes always seem to take on a strange taste, but these were just as wonderful 4 days after making them as they were the first day. And the creaminess is just unparalleled. I have used sour cream and cream cheese in the past but never in the same recipe. I will never make them any other way.

  6. My daughter’s an I enjoy surfing the internet for new ideas for cooking recipes. Some are a hit an some are a big miss. But what I really like with you an it tells me your a great cook is, my dear grandmother yelled at me when I was draining the potatoes an said don’t let all that goodness go down the drain. I use that water to bake with. You just reminded me of her ways of cooking. Thank you. Sincerely Elaine. An yes I’m going to make these potatoes. They look yummy.

  7. 5 stars
    First and foremost I love your videos .It truly teaches me different types recipes ,gardening and so many things ….I am definitely trying this recipe and sharing with my family
    Thank you
    P.s I grew a lemon tree in a container and it’s been 6 yrs and have no lemon
    What am I doing wrong