Hungry for a scrumptious twist on mashed potatoes? Then these rich and creamy garlic mashed potatoes with savory roasted garlic cloves are the perfect potato side dish!
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Make for Extra Delicious Spuds!
Mashed potatoes from scratch were one of the first foods that my mother taught me how to prepare. She allowed me to make them for our family meals as well as for more “fancy” dinners that involved guests. Wow, would I be so excited to be given the opportunity to make them!
Since preparing mashed potatoes was such a relatively simple thing, not involving too much technical proficiency and “exact” ingredients, it was so fun for me, and made me feel like an active participant in the meal preparation. I felt like such a “cook”, and like mom's little helper! 😉
So that being said, I've been making mashed potatoes for years now as a comfy-cozy side dish that's the perfect accompaniment to many main dishes.
And while I love a good basic mashed potato recipe, and often just simply turn to that when hot, creamy spuds are what I'm after, I also really love a flavorful and fragrant helping of garlic mashed potatoes to change things up a bit, and make things a little extra special!
Those who know me, know that I've been known to put my own spin on the traditional recipes as well, and so this recipe I'm sharing here is no exception.
The Creamiest, Most Flavorful Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Besides using a touch of real butter and half and half as add-ins, when preparing my garlic mashed potatoes, I also like a little hint of sour cream, some sea salt, a hint of cracked black pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary and thyme.
But for even more savory flavor and depth? I love to use roasted garlic in my recipe, as the sweet and savoriness of it adds so much amazing flavor.
Yes, a touch more time is needed in order to roast garlic heads; but the difference in flavor between the roasted garlic and fresh garlic, or the garlic simmered along with the potatoes in the pot, is worlds apart.
When you add roasted garlic to a garlic mashed potato recipe, you get little sweet streaks of gold and brown caramelized garlic cloves, plus a wonderfully earthy aroma, which pretty much makes this garlic mashed potato recipe worthy of making a meal out of on its own! (Just ask my hubby, Michael.) 😉
How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Many mashed potato recipes call for russet potatoes, which are a starchy potato, and quite tasty; but they tend to be a little bit on the drier side when it comes to mashed potatoes, and so they require a lot more liquid and butter.
I prefer to use waxy potatoes when making mashed potatoes (typically red skin potatoes), and use these for my recipe. They are a little bit lighter and creamier in my opinion, and I really like this.
Here's quick overview of my garlic mashed potatoes recipe:
- I begin by roasting my garlic heads.
- While the garlic roasts, I cook my potatoes and prepare them according to my recipe, keeping them warm.
- When the garlic heads have roasted, I allow them cool just long enough for me to be able to handle them and squeeze the cloves from the papers, and mash those into a bit of a paste or chunky consistency.
- I fold the garlic into the prepared mashed potatoes (along with some seasoning and fresh herbs), spoon the potatoes into a serving bowl, garnish with a pat of butter and some fresh rosemary and/or thyme (a potato's best friend), and serve!
These garlic mashed potatoes are so creamy, savory and delicious that they may just become your new favorite potato side dish!
(The full recipe is below...)
Tips & Tidbits for Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
- Choose waxy potatoes, if possible: While you can certainly use russet potatoes for this recipe, using waxy, red-skin potatoes will yield a slightly creamier, lighter and fluffier result. You can even use Yukon gold or baby yellow potatoes as well.
- Skin on, or skin off: You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skin on for extra texture—your choice!
- Start with cold water: When preparing mashed potatoes of any kind, be sure to start with cold water. Add your cubed potatoes directly into a pot of cold water, and then bring everything up to the boil together.
- Cook the potatoes in salted water: To ensure that your potatoes have lots of flavor, make sure to add enough salt to the cooking water so that it tastes well seasoned, like sea water. Potatoes can handle a fair amount of salt in the water.
- Dairy or non-dairy: This recipe calls for a little unsalted butter, half and half, and a touch of sour cream; but you can go dairy-free by substituting in a non-dairy spread, or using a nut or oat milk in place of the half and half and sour cream.
- Roasting the garlic heads: Just to give you a little heads up, I do use 3 whole heads of garlic in my recipe—this is not an error. Roasted garlic is much less potent and strong than fresh garlic, mush sweeter and mellower, so don't be nervous to use that quantity. And when it comes to roasting the heads, simply cut the tops off the heads of your garlic, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, wrap each in foil, and roast for 45 minutes.
- Other add-ins: If you really would like to take things up yet another level, you can also fold in some parmesan, gruyere or fontina cheese along with the garlic, or even add in a bit of sauteed baby spinach or kale for a heartier option.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 338 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
• 3 small whole heads garlic
• Olive oil
• 3 pounds red-skin potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 4 tablespoons unsalted, softened butter
• 2 tablespoons sour cream
• 3/4 cup to 1 cup half and half (depending on how creamy you like things)
• Black pepper
• 2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, or combo of both
-To roast the garlic: preheat the oven to 400°, line a small baking sheet with foil, and prepare 3 small additional pieces of foil to wrap the heads in.
-Cut the tops off of the garlic heads, drizzle with a hint of the olive oil plus a sprinkle of salt, and wrap each individually and tightly in the pieces of foil; place onto the baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes; then, remove from oven and allow the heads to cool enough so that the cloves can be squeezed out of the papers and mashed into a chunky paste; set the paste aside.
-While the garlic roasts, prepare your mashed potatoes: place the cubed potatoes into a medium-large pot, and fill with enough cold water so that it covers the cubes by about and inch or two; add enough salt to the water so that it tastes like the ocean.
-Bring the potatoes to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat slightly so that the potatoes simmer vigorously for about 22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a paring knife.
-Drain the potatoes well, then place them back onto medium-low heat, uncovered, for about 30 seconds or so to allow the rest of the liquid to evaporate so that the potatoes are nice and dry.
-Using a masher or a potato ricer (my personal favorite method for lump-free potatoes), mash the potatoes until completely smooth; add into them the softened butter, the sour cream and the half and half, and stir/fold to combine until very creamy.
-Add in the roasted garlic paste, a pinch or two of the black pepper, more salt (if needed), plus the chopped rosemary and/or thyme, and fold that in to incorporate together.
-Spoon the garlic mashed potatoes into a serving bowl, garnish with a bit of rosemary or thyme and more butter, if desired, and serve!