Loaded Smashed Potato Bites

From www.foodfanatic.com, by Dionne Baldwin
Loaded Smashed Potato Bites

Loaded Smashed Potato Bites Photo

There's a farm close to my house, which is hard to believe because there is some pesky city traffic even closer, but believe it or not, there's a farm twenty minutes away (without traffic) from me. They have the option for customers to buy shares of the farm with their CSA program.

My first week participating in the CSA, I had beautiful carrots, gorgeous beets, and a few things I'd never tried before, including ground cherries. I loved the anticipation of seeing what was in the share each week!

Loaded Smashed Potato Bites Picture

Before this particular day I had never cooked or baked anything with tiny potatoes, but they made me smile. They were adorable. I didn't get very creative with them at first and I just baked them with butter and rosemary, serving them alongside roasted chicken.

Since part of my focus as a food blogger is to stretch my creativity, I started trying things that were just a little different from what I usually made for meals. These loaded smashed potato bites are a good example. They're so simple to make and just a little different from a loaded baked potato.

Loaded Smashed Potato Bites Image

I really like the crispy edges of the smashed potatoes and my daughter loves the cheese and bacon. She usually just humors me, so when she raves about something, it’s good. When I make these right before we watch a football game, everyone dives right in and asks if there’s more baking in the oven. They eat every last one, with the exception of a few saved for me. Isn’t that nice of them?

Loaded Smashed Potato Bites Pic

I thought this would be a good appetizer to share with you, especially if you want to try something a little different and a little smaller than a traditional baked potato. You'll want to indulge in these little loaded smashed potato bites!

Use your favorite cheese and substitute chives for the green onions if you want. You won’t need the whole package of bacon pieces listed in the ingredients. Feel free to cook up your own bacon and use that if you prefer, and the sour cream can easily be swapped in favor of plain Greek yogurt, in my opinion. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds little potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de provence, or italian herb blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 4.3 ounce package real bacon bits, you won't need the whole package
  • 3-4 green onions, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and dry the little potatoes, then put them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle on dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix with a spoon, then put potatoes on two baking pans with a lot of extra room. Use more baking pans if necessary and bake in multiple batches.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, cooked all the way through. You should be able to easily push a fork all the way through.
  5. Remove them from the oven, then turn oven to 450°F.
  6. Use a fork to gently smash the potatoes, leaving a little room in between each one. Smash until they're about 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Brush on a little olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown.
  8. Take potatoes out of the oven and carefully turn them over. Brush on a little more olive oil and bake for another 10-15 minutes. The edges should start to turn brown with the edges slightly crispy.
  9. Sprinkle on shredded cheese, drop a tiny spoonful of sour cream, then top with bacon pieces and green onions.
  10. Serve warm.

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