Cheesy mashed potatoes are a wonderfully decadent and mouthwatering take on one of our favorite potato side dishes. My rich and creamy recipe is filled with savory flavor from two delicious cheeses, a hint of sour cream, plus a secret ingredient that makes these indulgent spuds extra delicious!
Mashed Potatoes Get a Deliciously Cheesy Makeover
I must tell you that I have a real soft spot in my heart for mashed potatoes, as they were the first food that I learned to prepare as a little girl.
I always watched my mom prepare her hot and fluffy, homemade mashed potatoes (which I adored!) with just a few simple additions, and once she saw that I was old enough to help her out in the kitchen, she gave me the task of preparing them whenever they'd be the side dish to our family meal.
I loved how easy it was to make truly delicious mashed potatoes, as all they really needed was a good mashing with a touch of milk and softened butter to make them ready to dig into with gusto. And when they turned out super tasty for me, I felt like such a little chef! 😉
Mashed potatoes are also one of those sides that are really fun to jazz up and make even more decadent and flavorful by loading them up with a few other tasty ingredients as well.
My recipe here for cheesy mashed potatoes is total comfort food in potato form, brimming with a touch of sour cream along with the butter, some milk, some fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and chives, plus the addition of a broiled, cheesy lid consisting of both white and yellow sharp cheddar.
But here's the “secret” ingredient which makes these taters extra savory and irresistible: a touch of roasted garlic.
This little addition gives my cheesy mashed potatoes recipes a scrumptiously earthy and aromatic twist which makes this simple side even more comforting and inviting, and definitely not your average spoonful of mashed potatoes!
A Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Recipe Loaded with Flavor
While you could certainly skip the step of roasting garlic and adding it to this recipe, know that this is what really gives these cheesy mashed potatoes that “umami” flavor, and a hint of something interesting that keeps folks taking bite after bite.
The other unique thing about this recipe is that I use waxy, red potatoes instead of russet potatoes.
If you look at any of my mashed potato recipes here on the site, they typically always call for the waxy potatoes because these yield lighter, fluffier, and creamier mashed potatoes...and that's what mom always used. 😉
Russets are tasty, of course, but since they are starchier, I've found that they tend to be a bit drier and end up requiring more butter and liquid added to them to create that creamy texture we love in mashed potatoes.
Using a trio of fresh herbs offers an added pop of flavor, as does a hint of sour cream added along with the butter. And as far as the cheesy topping goes, I love the combo of both white and yellow sharp cheddar here, but you can use just one of these, if you prefer.
Together, these ingredients make these cheesy mashed potatoes taste a little like a loaded baked potato in casserole form!
Here's a sneak peek at my cheesy mashed potatoes recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I like to get started by roasting the garlic.
- While the garlic roasts, I cook the potatoes until tender, then use a ricer to create super smooth mashed potatoes.
- Once the garlic is roasted, I squeeze the softened cloves from their papers and mash them into a paste with a fork.
- To assemble, I add some butter and all the ingredients except the cheeses together to combine. Then, I spoon the mixture into a baking dish, and sprinkle over the two cheeses.
- Finally, I bake the cheesy mashed potatoes until the cheese is nice and melted.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 345 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 2 large heads garlic (or 3 small heads)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 2 to 2 ½ pounds red potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
- ¼ cup milk (I like to use 2%)
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- ½ cup grated sharp (or extra sharp) yellow cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated sharp (or extra sharp) white cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic, drizzle each with a touch of olive oil, and top with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Wrap each head tightly in a square of foil and place onto a small baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
- During about the final 25-30 minutes of the garlic roasting, place your cubed potatoes into a pot and cover them with about an inch of cold water, and add in enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat, and bring the potatoes to a rolling boil; allow the potatoes to gently boil for about 22-24 minutes, or until a small paring knife easily pierces them.
- Once the garlic has finished roasting, remove from the oven and allow to cool; then, reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
- Drain the water completely and return the potatoes in the pot back to a medium heat for about 15-20 seconds, just to briefly allow any excess moisture to evaporate out.
- Next, pass the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer and into a clean bowl (if you don't have a ricer, you can just mash them by hand, but make sure you get them as lump-free as possible). Add in the butter, the sour cream, and the milk, and fold to combine and blend those in.
- Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their papers, and using a fork or the back of a knife, make into a roasted garlic “paste”, then set aside.
- Add in the roasted garlic “paste” to the mashed potatoes, along with the parsley, thyme, and chives, and fold those in as well.
- Check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed to season the mashed potatoes.
- Next, lightly coat a medium-size baking dish with a little cooking spray, and spoon the mashed potatoes into the dish, smoothing the top.
- Mix together the two cheddar cheeses, and sprinkle those over the top of the mashed potatoes; then, place the baking dish into the oven to bake the cheesy mashed potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted; then, turn on the broiler and allow the cheese to become golden-brown for a minute or two more, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:
- Red, waxy potatoes for smooth, light texture: While you could certainly use russet potatoes if those are what you have on hand, opt for red potatoes if you can. These yield a creamier, lighter and fluffier texture, rather than a starchier one, with the addition of some milk, butter and sour cream.
- Two cheeses for added flavor: Sharp cheddar adds some terrific flavor to this cheesy mashed potato recipe, and I use both some white and yellow sharp cheddar. Feel free to use either yellow or white if you prefer, or even a different cheese such as jalapeno jack or Gruyere, if desired.
- Roasted garlic for a hint of savory earthiness: Roasted garlic has a wonderfully sweet and savory flavor, and is not nearly as strong as fresh garlic. Adding the paste made from the cloves of the roasted garlic offers added depth and earthiness to this potato side dish, and is quite irresistible. (You can, however, skip the step and leave out the roasted garlic, if you prefer.)
Hungry for more scrumptious potato recipes? Check out these Potatoes au Gratin, these Rosemary Potatoes, these Twice Baked Potatoes, these Roasted Potatoes, or these Smashed Potatoes with Crispy Parmesan Crust!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!