Smashed Potatoes with Resistant Starch {Paleo, Whole30, prebiotics}

I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor; please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.

When I was little, the word on the street was that potatoes weren’t healthy. Nor was white rice. They didn’t know about resistant starch. Of course, potatoes are healthy either way โ€” full of Vitamin C, B6, manganese, folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin and pantothenic acid, not to mention phytonutrients. This Paleo and Whole30 Smashed Potatoes recipe gives you all that goodness in the form of a comfort food side dish.

In regard to resistant starch, potatoes aren’t born with it. It’s a matter of nurture. You have to coax it out. If you just take a potato and eat it, sorry: no resistant starch in that tater’s nature.

Prebiotics and Resistant Starch

What is resistant starch anyway?

Resistant starch is one variety of prebiotic food.

What are prebiotics? Prebiotics are food for probiotics.

Here’s how it works:

  • When our good gut flora consume prebiotic foods they produce butyrate.
  • Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that is, in turn, consumed by T cells.
  • T cells are suuuper important in our bodies. They fight inflammation, prevent autoimmune diseases and cancer, and even fend off antigens* and pathogens. (*Antigens are substances that prompt your body to have an immune response by producing antibodies. T cells can distinguish between different kinds of antigens and prevent an autoimmune response.)

Watch my You Tube video to learn more.

When you eat lots of prebiotic foods, like foods that contain resistant starch, you are in essence creating an army of T cells to help keep you well. Our bodies produce fewer T cells as we age; so it’s a good idea to promote their proliferation.

The form of resistant starch that potatoes have the potential to yield must be created by first cooking them, and then cooling them. This kind of resistant starch is called RS3, or retrograded. Once cooled, RS3 containing foods can indeed be reheated.

Smashed Potatoes’ Resistant Starch

This Smashed Potatoes recipe takes RS3 into account. We cook and cool the whole potatoes. Then we smash and bake them, making them cozy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and full of prebiotics.

This health food method is also convenient. The potatoes can be boiled ahead of time, say on a weekend or when you have time home, then popped into the fridge until you’re ready to quickly smash and bake them.

They’re a slow food version of fast food potatoes, and more delicious.

By the way, if you can get your hands on purple heirloom potatoes, they have the highest levels of nutrition and resistant starch, once cooked and cooled.

I give you Smashed Potatoes with Resistant Starch … to your health!

cast iron skillet with golden smashed potatoes inside that are paleo and whole30


5 from 1 vote
Smashed Potatoes
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
21 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Megan
  • 2-1/2 pounds New, Red, or small Yukon Gold potatoes washed
  • avocado oil for drizzling
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with water by 1". Boil slowly until fork tender. Drain and cool potatoes. Refrigerate them overnight or for several hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With the back of an offset spatula smash each potato and place into a greased cast iron skillet or onto a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle generously with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt. (Use your fingers to rub the top of each potato with the oil.)

  3. Bake 15 minutes, then flip each potato and bake 15 additional minutes. Serve.

By the way, you might be wondering if these potatoes are GAPS and what makes them Paleo-friendly?, since that’s generally my focus.

The potatoes are GAPS-friendly for those phasing off. New potatoes are the first food recommended by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride when phasing off the diet, to challenge and see how one does, a very gentle starch.

The potatoes are Paleo because the foremost Paleo thinkers are advocates for smart carbs, smart starches, and specifically for adding in resistant starch. Many Paleo educators even recommend potato starch powder; but we all know that in former days when everyone was eating good, mineral rich foods no one was eating a pesticide grown (think dirty dozen) factory-made anything. Whole foods! That’s the way!

What’s your favorite source of resistant starch? Have you tried Smashed Potatoes?

Comments 45

        1. Hope he loves them! The Yukon Gold’s really get sweet. Do you grow that variety? Have you ever grown purple heirlooms?

  1. We have potato hash every Tuesday and Saturday here and I always boiled the potatoes the night before and then cube and crisp them up in a pan the next morning and I had no idea I was doing the resistant starch thing! Yeah! Very cool! I love this baking method – I might do this for dinner this week! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome! Yes, love when that healthy stuff happens and we feel affirmed afterwards that we’ve been doing it “right” and the best way, without even knowing it.

  2. I love this recipe! Everyone in my family loves potatoes, especially those beautiful crusty brown edges, like the ones in your photo. As you know my oldest refuses pretty much everything I make, but she loves potatoes. I think if I made them this day {instead of a Russet baked potato which is what she’s been asking for lately} she would be so happy. Plus I could get all of that healthy fat into her too.

    1. Lovely! I hope she does enjoy them. The more fat, the better- the crispier they get. Also, I need to add this to the recipe: I found that the cast iron skillet gets the crispiest edges, as opposed to using baking trays.

  3. My hubby won’t eat potatoes because he is a diabetic and he says they raise his blood sugar. Would eating them like this make any difference?

    1. I don’t honestly know. My suspicion is that, no, it would not make a difference, or at least not enough of a difference for someone who is diabetic. I’ll look into it more.

    2. If done properly, the resistant starch does not raise blood sugar levels. But, the potatoes need to be baked for optimal resistant starch production, then cooled, then cooked and cooled again, which creates more resistant starch, then reheated to no more than 130 degrees, because the starch reverts back to non-resistant starch at temps over 130 degrees.

  4. Question: is baking vs. boiling them ok? I cook big steamer trays of baked potatoes every week to have for dinner and leftovers. I so did not know this but have believed for years that potatoes are healthy but love to know how this method does better.

    1. Baking actually increases the resistant starch more than boiling. If fact, from what I have been reading, cooking and cooling a second time, then heating to no more than 130 degrees ensures the most resistant starch. And, that reheating to high temperatures softens the resistant starch back into the form that digests as glucose in the stomach.

  5. Well, what do you know? I’ve been doing it right for years! With the exception of mashed potatoes I normally cook them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge to reheat for later on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Wow! Makes me want to eat leftover potatoes way more often. And they are so yummy warmed up in a skillet with your favorite cooking oil or in the oven. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  7. I think I made a boo boo. My potatoes were so large that I cut them in halves or quarters. I guess I should have left them whole?? I was going to have pasta with a pasta meat sauce last night but decided to try the smashed potatoes instead since they were just coming out of the oven and smelled soooo good. It was delicious. Guess what I’m have for dinner tonight? I bought a second bag of organic potatoes because I knew this recipe would be a hit. Thanks.

  8. I listened to the podcast about resistant starch..I learned so much! My question is: I grew up eating green plantains( latin food). It’s either boiled or fried, so would I get the same benefits? Thanks for all you do.

    1. Hi Evlyn, I’m so glad. No, unfortunately, the benefits are lost when plantains are cooked. Sorry! ๐Ÿ™

  9. I have a garden full of purple heirlooms this year, which aren’t quite ready to be dug up yet. And yes, I’m diabetic also, so potatoes do a number on the blood sugars. But someone mentioned purple potatoes don’t raise your BS very much so I bought some tubers and planted them just to find out. Here’s hoping I have any kind of success since I haven’t had a potato for about five years (and they are my absolute favorite food.) Can’t wait till my crop is ready for harvest now.

  10. From what I have been reading, the potatoes will create more resistant starch if they are baked the first round, cooled in the fridge for at least 8 hours, then recooked and cooled again, then heated to no more that 130 degrees before eating. Reheating them at normal high temperatures softens the starch again and makes it digest as glucose in the stomach.

  11. Also, raw potatoes have much higher levels of resistant starch than cooked ones. Maybe that is why I used to crave them, and eat them as a kid with salt and pepper.

    4 Tbsp of Bob’s Red Mill unmodified Potato Starch, not potato flour, will give you the recommended amount for optimal colon health. And it is made from raw potatoes.

    They recommend starting out with 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp at first in order for your body to adapt. There may be some gas or bloating as the body adapts that goes away after a few days. Starting with smaller doses minimizes the gas and bloating.

    Potato starch made from cooked potatoes will dissolve in water, raw potato starch will sink to the bottom of the glass if you wait a few minutes.

    Green bananas or green banana flour, and green plantains or green plantain flour are also good sources. Bit chalky if eaten raw, but can be put in a smoothie to mask the taste.

    Cooked, cooled, cooked, cooled barley, rice and beans also have resistant starch. They can be eaten cold in salads for optimal results, or reheated to no more than 130 degrees. Beans can also be made into dips by pureeing in a food processor, or lukewarm soups by blending in a blender.

      1. PS Again… some people achieve optimal results from less than 4 Tbsp a day, depends on the individual needs.

        1. Thank you for all your comments here. Very informative ! Where would you recommend i read more about resistance starch?

    1. Hi Melissa, blood sugar levels rise more slowly after meals with resistant starch, compared to eating carbs that aren’t resistant. RS does improve insulin sensitivity. But these potatoes would not be a part of a ketogenic diet. Many on ketogenic diets will then just isolate the RS, by taking potato starch. As I mention briefly in the post above, I am not a fan. Whole foods are much safer. What can happen with taking the potato starch alone is that it ferments higher up in the colon. The Paleo Mom has more great details on the risks of isolating potato starch here:

      1. Thanks Megan, yes…I don t do supplements and try to get everything I need from food. It is nice though, fixed properly there are benefits whether they are on the ketogenic diet or not. And there seems to be other veggies that I can eat, prepared correctly, that do the same thing. Everything in moderation with me and count those carbs.Thanks again, Melissa

  12. Hi, love this information and recipe! I usually buy an organic red skinned potato, variety name โ€œLauraโ€. I treat them as a treat, because I have read so much in the past about the negative effects of the deadly nightshade family. Does this preparation style change any of that?? Susan, Perth Western Australia.

    1. Post

      Hi Susan, good question. Nightshades do affect some people and they don’t bother others. The best way to reduce any possible effects is to first cook your potatoes in a pressure cooker. But, other than that, you can just watch/listen to your body. At the first sign of joint pain you would back off. Hopefully you’re one of those people who will always be able to enjoy potatoes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Megan first I need to know do potatoes have to be organic and secondly can you just boil potatoes and put them in the refrigerator and eat them cold or heat them up in the pan to warm temperature

    1. Post

      Hi Guy, yes, potatoes are one of the dirty dozen foods that we should buy organic. Good question. Also yes to your second question, either cooked and cooled or cooled and then reheated: Both ways have resistant starch. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *