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If you’re looking for the perfect gluten free side dish for the BBQ, you definitely need to give my gluten free smashed potatoes with pesto a try. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a summer salad or barbecue, and they go with pretty much everything!

Have you ever tried smashed potatoes before? Because if not, you’re certainly in for a treat.

I first made smashed potatoes with pesto a year or two ago, and I’ve honestly been hooked ever since.

They’re even better in the spring and summer because they work best with new potatoes or Jersey Royals.

I think they’re a must tastier alternative to a potato salad too.

You get the soft, buttery potato on the inside and the crunch of a roast potato on the outside. 

I like to pair my smashed potatoes with pesto, but honestly you could use anything with them.

You could season them with spiced before roasting and pair with a yoghurt dip, or even dip them in garlic butter.

Honestly, the choice for your smashed potatoes is yours.

And the best thing is, when the weather is hot they don’t take long to make and are a great all-rounder.

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Making the perfect smashed potatoes

So how do you make this magical dish? It’s super simple!

First, you par-boil the potatoes, just enough so that they’re cooked through.

You don’t want to overcook them otherwise you’ll be more ‘Smash’ than ‘smashed’!

Then you lay them on a baking tray, season, and ‘smash’ them. I like to gently press them down with the bottom of a mug. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of satisfying!

After that you bake the potatoes and they crisp beautifully on the outside.

The result? A crispy, golden outside and a fluffy middle.

They’re honestly delicious hot or cold but my favourite way is to smother them in a good pesto.

You can get so many different flavours of pesto or even make your own pesto if you’re feeling more intrepid.

I often cheat and buy a jar though, especially when it’s hot!


A great gluten free BBQ side

So if you’re heading to a BBQ or party and need to bring something which will be a real crowd-pleaser, these smashed potatoes are the one.

They’re naturally gluten free and if you use a dairy free pesto they can be vegan too. So they’ll be enjoyed by everyone! 

Yield: 4 people

Smashed potatoes with pesto

These gluten free smashed potatoes and drizzled in pesto and super easy to make! Perfect for a BBQ or salad in the summer weather.


  • 500 g Jersey Royal potatoes
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, (leave out for vegan version)
  • Salt and pepper

For the pesto dressing

  • 4 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200'C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and add the potatoes. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook potatoes for approx 15 minuted until tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes and lay them out on the baking tray. Then, using the bottom of a mug, gently squash the potatoes. You want them flattened but still in one piece. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan then drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until golden. Meanwhile in a bowl, mix the pesto and olive oil together. Remove the cooked potatoes from the oven and serve hot with the pesto drizzled on top or on the side for dipping.

Need some more gluten free baking inspiration?

Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free recipes on the blog for the summer?

Give some of these other gluten free summer recipes a try!

There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple to get you going:

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!

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GLUTEN FREE SMASHED POTATOES WITH PESTO RECIPE - bbq recipe - salad recipe - easy side dish
sarah howells author photo

About the author

Sarah Howells is a UK gluten free blogger and author. She has been living with coeliac disease since 2002. Her debut recipe book, Delicious Gluten Free Meals, is out now in the UK and to pre-order in the US.

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, is there any way this can be made ahead? Or does it lose its crispyness if it is not served not straight out of the oven? Thanks