Creamy roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes have such an unforgettable rich and mellow flavor, everyone will be sneaking spoonfuls while you're not looking. That's because they taste great with everything, and they're easy to make on the stove, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a perfect side dish for Turkey Meatballs, Wisconsin Beer Brats, or Tri Tip, California's best kept secret. Have a look at some other crazy delicious side dishes and pick your favorite.
Yes, the best garlic mashed potatoes ever are made with a ton of garlic. But not that hot, spicy, stay-with-you-forever-even-in-the morning raw garlic. These are Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ina Garten would be proud of, using 40 (stay with me here!) whole cloves of buttery, sweet, gooey roasted garlic that transforms ordinary spuds into the stuff worth sneaking, one spoonful at a time.
If you’ve been making mashed potatoes with garlic powder all this time—maybe, just maybe— consider learning how to roast garlic. It’s really easy to do and the results are worth it.
Making roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes for two, or twenty? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
For mashed potatoes, pick potatoes that are higher in starch and make the fluffiest mashed potatoes. Russets or Yukon golds are excellent choices.
Waxy potatoes, like red, white, or new potatoes require more mashing to become creamy. If you're not careful, you could end up with a gluey mess.
How to make Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
Have you roasted the garlic? Peeled and quartered the potatoes? Wunderbar! Let's start cooking!
- First, place the potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with water, covering the potatoes by about an inch.
- Then bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the spuds until they're fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Next, drain the potatoes. Wipe the pot dry and return the hot potatoes back to the pot. Mash them as smooth as you want by hand, or with a food mill or ricer.
- Finally, fold in the melted butter and minced garlic. Then pour in some, but not all, of the half and half. Give everything a good stir. Use the rest of the half and half if the potatoes are too thick.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and garnish with some fresh herbs, if you have them.
How to roast garlic, 2 easy ways:
The first technique: dry roasting garlic in a skillet
- Break up the cloves but don't peel them-- keep them in their paper.
- Next, dry roast them in a skillet over the lowest possible heat setting.
- Stir the cloves occasionally, cooking until they're dark brown, soft, and spotty, about 25 minutes in all.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, cover, and let cool for 10-15 minutes until cool enough to handle. Then peel the garlic and set aside.
Technique 2: oven roasting whole garlic
If you need something with a little less over-the-stove time, you can roast garlic in the oven easy. Here's a deep dive on how to roast whole heads of garlic, or you can do it like this:
- First, trim the tops off the garlic heads with a sharp knife, about 1/4” to 1/2” off. Then, drizzle a little olive oil on the garlic. 1-2 tablespoons per head, depending on the size.
- Next, wrap each head tightly in foil. However, if you’d like to try oven roasted garlic for this recipe, here’s a trick for roasting a large amount of garlic: place all the heads in a muffin tin, then wrap the top of the tin tightly with foil. Genius!
- Bake the garlic in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the garlic is caramelized in color and can be pierced with a knife.
- Once cool enough to handle, you can firmly (but gently!) squeeze the garlic out of the top you trimmed.
Can you make Garlic Mashed Red potatoes?
If you want to make garlic mashed potatoes, or smashed garlic potatoes with red potatoes instead of Russet, go right ahead! Baby red potatoes with skin on are just as delicious. A ricer keeps the potatoes from getting over beaten.
How to dress up Mashed Potatoes:
There are infinite ways to make mashed potatoes; depending on who you’re cooking for, or what tickles your fancy, you can add almost anything and make it delicious. After all, potatoes go with everything.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with sour cream: In place of half and half, use sour cream to add an extra layer of creamy richness to your potatoes. What’s not to love?
- Healthy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Lighten up your mashers with chicken broth and skim milk in place of cream, and use low-fat sour cream in place of all but 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with cream cheese: Cream cheese melts beautifully into potatoes and can give some serious creamy texture to mashed potatoes. If you’re making a mashed potato casserole, add some cream cheese and stand back. You might get stabbed with a fork.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with skin. Mashed potatoes get a little more rustic when left au natural. Garlic mashed potatoes, skin on adds texture and fiber.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with chives: Freshly chopped chives from the garden are good year round. Chives on garlic mashed potatoes are especially lovely.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese folded into mashed potatoes, or even some blue cheese crumbles mixed in can turn garlic mashed potatoes into a pretty big deal. Perfect for baked potato lovers.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with bacon: Potatoes and bacon have been going steady for decades. Some crumbles of bacon added to garlic mashed potatoes just might seal the deal.
- Garlic Mashed Potato casserole: Once you make the mashed potatoes, move them into a casserole and dot 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.
How to make Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot:
It's easy and fast to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes.
- First, peel and cut your potatoes for cooking. Add them to the Instant Pot, then add enough cold water to cover them completely. (Depending on the size of your pot, this should be 4 to 5 cups.) Add some salt to the water.
- When you're ready, place the lid on your pressure cooker. Set the valve to sealed and cook on manual for 8 minutes. Keep in mind that it will take about 8-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
- Once the timer beeps, you can quick release the pressure from your pot. Carefully drain the potatoes and then return them to the Instant Pot with the power off.
- Then, simply add in the garlic, butter, and half and half. You can mash these up with a standard potato masher if you wish. Alternatively, you can mash then whip them with a hand-held mixer. Season to taste.
How to make Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
- Once you cook the potatoes, drain them.
- In a bowl, mash to a uniform consistency (or use a potato ricer or food mill.)
- Using a flexible rubber spatula, fold in the melted butter and minced garlic until just incorporated. Fold in 1 1/2 cup of the half-and-half, adding the remaining 1/2 cup as needed to adjust the consistency.
- When finished mixing, transfer the potato mixture to a slow cooker, cover, and cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Can Garlic Mashed Potatoes make ahead?
If you’re pressed for time, these can definitely be made ahead. One good trick is to peel and quarter the potatoes and soak them in cold water in the refrigerator overnight, before you begin cooking.
Otherwise, here's the perfect recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, if you're so inclined. All you need to do is cook the garlic, peel it, and mince it up to fold into the potatoes.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 40 cloves garlic unpeeled (skin on)
- 5 pounds Russet potatoes peeled, quartered, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup butter melted (2 sticks)
- 2 cups half-and-half hot
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional
To roast the garlic:
- In a medium skillet over the lowest possible 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:
- Cover potatoes by 1 inch of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and a fork can be slipped easily into the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Drain potatoes in colander, tossing to remove any excess water. Wipe the pot dry.
- Add potatoes back to pot and mash to a uniform consistency, (or process through food mill or ricer back into the dry pot).
- Using a flexible rubber spatula, fold in the melted butter and minced garlic until just incorporated. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the half-and-half, adding the remaining 1/2 cup as needed to adjust the consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chives if desired.