za’atar smashed potatoes + cilantro tahini sauce

by Brittney

Seasoned with delicious za’atar, these crispy potatoes are boiled until tender, smashed and then roasted to perfection! Serve your za’atar smashed potatoes with a fresh cilantro tahini sauce for a simple and satisfying vegan side dish!

Smashed potatoes have always been one of our favorite ways to enjoy baby potatoes and today we’re giving them a bit of a makeover with delicious za’atar seasoning and a fresh cilantro tahini sauce! These crispy little spuds couldn’t be easier to make and, while they do take a bit of time to prepare, most of that time is hands off so they’ll be roasting away while you’re working on your main dish!

pan of zaatar roasted potatoes

za’atar smashed potatoes

Smashed baby potatoes are incredibly soft and fluffy on the inside with a deliciously crispy exterior! How do we get that irresistible balance? You’ll need a combination of boiling and roasting. First, boil your potatoes for about 20 minutes or until fork tender — this will ensure the insides have the soft texture we’re looking for.

Next, drain the potatoes and place them on a baking sheet and smash them using a fork or glass. Try to leave the potatoes in one piece, but don’t worry if some split in half. I like to smash them quite thin, which results in super crispy potatoes, but leaving them a bit thicker will give you more of that light and airy interior!

To prepare the smashed potatoes for roasting, drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and za’atar. If you’re not familiar with za’atar, it’s a delicious Middle Eastern blend of herbs, toasted sesame seeds and sumac. One of my favorite things about cooking with za’atar is that you don’t need anything else. It’s already a complex mix of savory, nutty and even slightly citrusy flavors! A lot of mixtures do already contain salt so make sure to adjust your seasoning accordingly.

Now just roast your potatoes at a high temperature (425 F | 220 C) to develop that crispy crust! About 25-30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for us, but if you decide to use larger potatoes you’ll need to roast them for a bit longer.

pan of zaatar smashed potatoes covered in tahini sauce

cilantro tahini sauce

While the za’atar smashed potatoes are delicious in their own right, we sometimes like to add a little something extra in the form of this cilantro tahini sauce. Super refreshing and naturally vegan, it’s made with just tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, water and salt.

A few notes: when using cilantro, make sure not to throw away the stems! They’re incredibly flavorful and, because all of the ingredients for the sauce are simply processed in a blender, this recipe is a great way to use them up. Also make sure to adjust the amount of water in this recipe to taste. The amount needed will depend on how thick your tahini is and your preference on the consistency of the sauce. 

what to serve with za’atar smashed potatoes

While these smashed potatoes would make a great appetizer, we generally serve them as a side to a main dish, such as burgers, steak or even broiled lobster tails if we’re feeling fancy.

And for a vegetarian option, one of our favorite ways to serve them is as part of a hearty salad that uses the cilantro tahini sauce as a dressing!

pan of zaatar smashed potatoes covered in tahini sauce

For more delicious side dishes, check out these recipes!

close up of zaatar smashed potatoes

za'atar smashed potatoes + cilantro tahini sauce

serves: 4-6 prep time: cook time:
Rating: 4.6/5
( 5 voted )

ingredients

za'atar smashed potatoes
  • baby potatoes 1.5 lb (700 g)
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil 1-2 tbsp
  • za'atar 2 tsp
cilantro tahini sauce
  • tahini ⅓ c (80 g)
  • lemon juice 3 tbsp (40 ml)
  • garlic 1 clove
  • cilantro ¼ bunch
  • (leaves and thin stems)
  • water ¼ c (60 ml)
  • salt to taste

instructions

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and let cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and then smash each using a fork (they should remain mostly in one piece).
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil. Generously season with salt and sprinkle za'atar on top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  6. While the potatoes are baking, add all ingredients for the tahini sauce to a blender and pulse until smooth. Add more water to thin as necessary.

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