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Garlic Mashed Potatoes –

Creamy, cloud-like Garlic Mashed Potatoes are possible somewhere besides a restaurant! This tasty twist on a classic side is all kinds of yummy (and not at all gummy).

bowl of creamy restaurant style mashed potatoes

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This garlic mashed potatoes recipe is a must-have side dish for your Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations.

Or to eat on a Tuesday because they are comforting and indisputably delicious.

They can be cooked in advance and reheated too, so you can cut down on meal prep time and save stress in the process.

bowl of creamy garlic mashed potatoes

Irish by heritage and a Midwest girl (the region where carbohydrates reign supreme), I know a thing or two when it comes to potatoes.

I have several recipes for this humble root veggie:

bowl of easy garlic mashed potatoes with butter and herbs

How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These garlic mashed potatoes are a traditional cooktop method, lightened up with reasonable amounts of butter and 1% milk instead of heavy cream.

They are ethereally fluffy and creamy, perfectly flavorful with butter and herbs, and not at all greasy or lumpy like some you may have been served in the past.

The Ingredients

  • Potatoes.  Russet potatoes yield that fluffy, cloud-like texture, but you can also swap in half or all Yukon gold potatoes variety. Yukon gold will result in denser, but more buttery-flavored mashed potatoes, while russet will give you a fluffier result. Plus they are a source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins!

Ingredient Note

I do not recommend new potatoes or red potatoes, which are too firm and waxy for mashed potatoes. Save those for your crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes.

  • Garlic. Use real-deal garlic cloves. I know peeling is a pain, and you don’t want your date smelling your garlic fingers, but it is vital to the dish for the proper garlic flavor (these are GARLIC mashed potatoes after all!).


Avoid jarred garlic. You do not know how long it’s been in there, and the ingredients here are so simple, using real garlic cloves from a garlic head is important.

  • Milk. I called for 1%, but you can use any percentage. Do not use soy or almond milk because their flavor will throw off the recipe. Milk will make for creamy mashed potatoes (and is a good source of calcium!).

Dietary Note

Garlic mashed potatoes can be made dairy free. Swap the milk for chicken broth, and the butter for drizzle of olive oil.

  • Sour Cream. Gives the mashed potatoes even more creaminess and a delightful, subtle tang.

Market Swap

Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt can be used in place of the sour cream, to lighten up the dish more and add a little protein. Whichever you choose, don’t be afraid to go for a second scoop of potatoes!

  • Butter. 3 tablespoons will do the trick to make them decadent but not set your tummy over the edge.
  • Fresh Herbs. To bring color and life to the dish, since potatoes on their own are mild. Thyme, parsley, or chives would be good choices. Again, go fresh; it’s worth it.


If you are short on time, or if you enjoy peels in your mashed potatoes, you can skip the peeling.

The Directions

pot of cooked potato chunks
  1. Cut the potatoes and simmer in large pot until tender. Drain.
pot of potato chunks with masher
  1. Add butter and mash. Leave them a little chunky.
pot of potato chunks with butter and sour cream
  1. Pour warm milk over potatoes and add sour cream.
potato chunks with butter and sour cream in a pot
  1. Mash and stir until combined and desired consistency. Sprinkle with herbs and serve. ENJOY!

How to Store and Reheat Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic mashed potatoes can be made in advance! 

  • To Store. Refrigerate in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days before serving.
  • To Reheat. Over stove is best, with splashes of milk as needed to keep them from drying out.
  • Not freezer-friendly. I do not recommend freezing mashed potatoes and this could negatively impact texture, making them mealy.

What to Pair With Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are that comforting, classic side that can be served with a variety of dishes.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

  • Potato Peeler. If you prefer your potatoes peeled.
  • Hand Mixer. My trick to mash potatoes easily.
  • Garlic Press. Since you’ll be skipping the jarred garlic forever, invest in a mincer to save on chopping.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

fluffy bowl of garlic mashed potatoes with butter

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten Free?

Yes! Potatoes are not grains; they are a starchy root vegetable.

Why Are My Mashed Potatoes Gooey?

Mashed potatoes can become gooey or gummy if they are over mashed. Use a fork, potato masher, or hand mixer, but don’t over do it. When in doubt, leave some texture.

Why Are My Mashed Potatoes Lumpy?

Mashing the potatoes before they are fully cooked to fork-tender can result in undesirable lumps. When cooking, ensure your potatoes are cut to similar size chunks for even cooking. Also be sure to start the boiling with cold water in your pot.

Can You Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Garlic mashed potatoes can be made a day or two in advance. Reheat your stored potatoes on the stove on medium-low heat while gently stirring and being careful to not over mash. Add splashes of warm milk (or broth) as needed while stirring if they seem dry. They can be reheated gently in the microwave, but stove is better.

What Seasonings Are Good in Mashed Potatoes?

Since the potatoes by nature are bland, it’s good to spice them up with salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs! I personally like fresh chives.

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt plus additional to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • chopped fresh herbs such as thyme or chives (optional, for serving)

  • Cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks, keeping the chunks similar in size so they cook evenly. Place in a sauce pan large enough to hold the potatoes and liquid to boil them. Add the salt and garlic. Cover with cool water, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat medium and let simmer gently, adjusting the heat as needed, until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain into a colander, shake off the excess water, and return to the pot.

  • Cut the butter into a few pieces, then scatter it over the potatoes. With a potato masher or wooden spoon, roughly mash together a few times (they don’t need to be smoothly combined at this point).

  • In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the milk until it is very warm to the touch but not boiling. Pour over the potatoes. Add the sour cream.

  • Continue to mash and stir the potatoes, just until the ingredients are evenly combined. The potatoes should be very creamy, but still have small pieces of potato remaining. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like (I usually add another pinch of salt). Enjoy hot (you can also transfer to a heatproof bowl, then keep the potatoes warm over a saucepan of simmering water). Serve hot, sprinkled with herbs and a few grinds of black pepper if you like.

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate in an airtight storage container for up to 3  days before serving.
  • TO REHEAT: Over stove is best, with splashes of milk as needed to keep them from drying out.
  • TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing mashed potatoes and this could negatively impact texture, making them mealy.

Calories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 23mgPotassium: 1034mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 314IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 2mg

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