What do you get when you add roasted garlic to the best 4-ingredient mashed potatoes? Garlic Mashed Potatoes so good, people will sneak spoonfuls when you’re not looking!
If you’ve been making your mashed potatoes with garlic powder all this time, consider roasting some garlic. It’s really easy to do and results are, well, sneak-worthy.
- Garlic: 40 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot, and it is! But I did the math: You’ll get about 20 cloves of garlic per bulb, so grab 2 bulbs (or 3 if the bulbs look small). And don’t worry, once it’s roasted, the flavor of garlic is super mellow and delicious.
- Russet potatoes: In my humble opinion, Russets make the best mashed potatoes. That’s because they’re starchy (instead of waxy) and that makes them fluff up when mashed. However, skin-on baby red potatoes are just as delicious. (With waxy varieties, a potato ricer keeps the potatoes from getting over beaten and gluey.)
- First, roast the garlic. Break up the cloves, but don’t peel them. Keep them in their paper. Dry roast them in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir them occasionally, cooking until dark brown, soft, and spotted. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.
- Take the skillet off the heat, cover, and let cool for 10-15 minutes until cool enough to handle. Then peel the garlic, mince it, and set it aside. To start the potatoes, place the peeled cut-up potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with cool water, covering the potatoes by about an inch. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. When ready, drain the potatoes, then wipe the pot dry before returning the hot potatoes back to the pot.
- Mash the hot potatoes as smooth as you want by hand, or with a food mill or ricer.
- Then fold in the melted butter and minced garlic.
- Once the garlic is added, pour in some, but not all, of the half-and-half. Give everything a good stir. Use the rest of the cream if the potatoes are too thick for you. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and garnish with some fresh herbs, if you have them.
Recipe tips and variations:
- Yield: 1 pound of potatoes makes about 2 cups mashed, so this recipe makes 10 (1-cup) servings.
- Make ahead: If you’re pressed for time, one good trick is to peel and quarter the potatoes and soak them in cold water in the refrigerator overnight (up to 24 hours, even). You can also roast the garlic a few days before you need it and store it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, here’s the perfect recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. All you need to do is cook the garlic, peel it, and mince it up to fold into the potatoes.
- Oven roasted garlic: Let the oven do the roasting! Trim off the tops of the garlic bulbs, drizzle each one with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes until soft. Once cool, squeeze the bulb to release the softened garlic. I go deeper in this roasted garlic how-to, in case you’re curious.
- Lighten things up: Cooks often use chicken broth and skim milk in place of cream, and use low-fat sour cream in place of all but 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Or make them even richer: Fold in some sour cream, heavy cream, or cream cheese instead of the milk.
- Use an Instant Pot to cook the potatoes: Pour the peeled, quartered potatoes into cold water and cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. (It takes extra time for the pot to come up to pressure.) Then drain and proceed as directed in the recipe.
- Garlic Mashed Potato casserole: Once you make the mashed potatoes, move them into a casserole and dot the top with butter. Cover with foil and bake at a 350 degree oven, or keep warm until dinner time. Any potluck would be lucky to have you.
- Top them with something savory: Crumbled bacon, fried onions, chives, potato chips, grated Parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, the list goes on. Of course it will be good.
Other recipes too good to miss:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 40 cloves garlic unpeeled (about 2 bulbs, see note 1)
- 5 pounds Russet potatoes peeled, quartered, and cut into 1-inch chunks (see note 2)
- 1 cup butter melted (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups milk hot, plus more if desired (up to 2 cups)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional
To roast the garlic:
- In a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast garlic cloves until spotty, dark brown, and slightly softened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand until garlic is completely soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and mince garlic, set aside.
To make the potatoes:
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
- Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot and mash to a uniform consistency. Using a rubber spatula, fold in melted butter and minced garlic until just incorporated.
- Fold in 1 ½ cups of milk, adding the remaining ½ cup as needed to adjust the consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chives if desired.
- Garlic: 40 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot, and it is! But once it's roasted, the flavor is super mellow and delicious. You'll get about 20 cloves of garlic per bulb, so grab 2 bulbs (or 3 if the bulbs look small).
- Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes. Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy which could result in gluey, pasty spuds.
- Yield: This recipes makes about 12 cups mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead:Peel and cube the raw potatoes up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with water and chill in the refrigerator. You can also roast the garlic in advance. Store the whole, roasted bulbs covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, try my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, a recipe that uses cream cheese and egg whites for a little more staying power.
- Freezer: Cool the garlic mashed potatoes completely, then spoon into a freezer-safe container. Label, date, and freeze for up to 1 month.
- Oven roasted garlic: Trim off the tops of the garlic bulbs, drizzle each one with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes until soft. Once cool, squeeze the bulb to release the softened garlic.
- For chunky, rustic-style potatoes: Use a basic potato masher. A waffle-head masher will mash the potatoes into a smoother consistency, if you like them somewhere in-between.
- For super-smooth mashed potatoes: Use a potato ricer (peeled potatoes) or food mill (unpeeled potatoes). These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato, which fluff up beautifully.
- Classic mashed potatoes: For the classic version without the garlic, try my best mashed potatoes recipe.
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes: For a low carb, highly satisfying side dish, try cauliflower mashed potatoes (without a potato in sight).
- Boursin mashed potatoes: Soft-skinned small red potatoes mixed with fresh herbs and a block of Boursin cheese. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
- Mashed sweet potatoes: These mashers are flavored with fresh thyme and a touch of brown sugar.
- Small batch: Making mashed potatoes for your next date night in? Try my scaled-down mashed potatoes for two recipe. You'll need about 10 cloves garlic to make them garlicky.