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Croatian Mashed Potatoes

4-6 Servings

1 hour

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Croatian restani krumpir is a hearty, rustic dish of mashed potatoes studded with onions that are sautéed until soft and sweet, oftentimes seasoned with paprika and brightened with fresh herbs. Our version, modeled after the potatoes we tasted at Samoborska Klet restaurant in Zagreb, is a one-pot recipe. The onion is caramelized, removed and set aside while the potatoes cook. Rather than boiling whole or chunked potatoes in copious water, we instead slice them unpeeled and steam them in the covered pot with only enough water to facilitate even cooking and prevent scorching. This keeps the potatoes from absorbing lots of moisture so the finished dish tastes rich and earthy instead of thin and washed-out. This dish is a perfect side to sausages, braises or stews.




Don’t forget to rinse the sliced potatoes before cooking. Rinsing washes off excess starch so the finished dish has a creamy consistency and isn’t dense and gluey. Also, don’t undercook the potatoes—they should almost fall apart when poked with a skewer so they can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon.

1 hour


  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped


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Cathy B.
May 14, 2023
Life changing
Best mashed potato recipe ever. And possibly the best potato recipe ever. Seriously delicious.
Allison A.
December 11, 2022
A must try!
These mashed potatoes are fabulous. Less water. It will change your Holiday prep forever. Absolutely delicious!
Suzanne L.
July 11, 2022
Best Mashed Potatoes Ever
I can’t imagine that the small amount of smoked paprika is the game changer in this recipe, but when my guests hear “Croatian”, that’s what they think. I give equal weight to the onions and low water cooking of the potatoes. I no longer make mashed potatoes any other way.
Bill O.
May 30, 2022
Nice touch
Something a little different in mashed potatoes. The onions, paprika and chives bring a nice change to the usual.
Bethany H.
December 16, 2022
Smoked or sweet paprika?
The recipe says sweet paprika, but the description of the linked paprika seems to be smoked. Thank you
Anat B.

Very good. I happened to have everything from the CSA so I made this tonight. I don’t usually like mashed potatoes, and I really enjoyed these. An A+ from my partner too.

Michael M C.

Thought these were really good. Paired well with the corresponding Slavonian Shepherds Stew recipe.

Courtney G.

Easy and delicious recipe! So good, I’ve made it twice!

Mary F.

Am I reading this recipe correctly? You boil 2 lbs of potatoes in 3/4 cups of water for 18ish minutes? Is that enough water?

Lynn C.

Hi Mary -

Yes, that is correct. The potatoes are essentially steamed, rather than boiled, so very little water is necessary.

The Milk Street Team

John M.

These potatoes were very, very good and a wonderful addition to the ever growing potato recipe rotation. Thanks again, Milk Street team!


Would replacing the water with a corresponding amount of broth or stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.) be a supported modification of this recipe?

Lynn C.

Hi John -

We haven't tested it with any other liquid and, honestly, we don't think it needs it. These potatoes are already really flavorful! We worry that sugar and fat in alternative liquids might burn in the pot as the liquid evaporates. Additionally, the amount of salt would need to be adjusted since the liquid concentrates and evaporates. Could be too salty even with low-sodium broth.

The Milk Street Team

Gary S.

Make these. You'll be delighted! And FYI my husband and I cut the recipe in half b/c only two of us, and worked like a charm. SO delicious; one of those dishes that caused us to say, "We should make this for company!" And we will. Thank you!