Need an easy mashed potato recipe for dinner or upcoming festivities? These creamy garlic mashed potatoes are THE BEST! Garlic optional. 😉
When it comes to entertaining, or for that matter, just getting dinner on the table on a typically busy night, the less fuss the better, right?
With that in mind, I tried to pair down this classic mashed potato recipe to just the basics. No complicated techniques, and only 30 minutes of mostly hands-off time required from start to finish. Boom!
Having said that, you can be assured that this recipe is every bit as creamy, smooth and delicious as the homemade mashed potatoes you grew up with. And if you're a garlic mashed potatoes fan, we've got you covered too. 😉
How to make mashed potatoes
First off, let's talk potatoes. With several different types of spuds available these days, the question has to be asked...
Which potatoes are best for mashed potatoes?
Personally, I love using Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes for mashed potato recipes, but brown Russet potatoes are definitely a close second. Sometimes I'll mix the two in the same recipe and it all works out great.
Flavor and texture wise, I find that Yukon Gold are just a little touch more buttery and creamy--but it's a subtle difference and the all-versatile Russet potato also makes a super delicious and creamy mashed potato dish.
You can also use red potatoes if you'd like! The flavor is slightly earthier but also delicious.
The nice thing about using yellow or red potatoes is that you can leave the skin on and they're still so delicious! Generally, and especially if I'm leaving the skin on, I'll try to look for organic potatoes to cut down on any pesticides or sprays. Leaving the skin on also nets more fiber in the finished dish: a win-win.
Garlic mashed potatoes
If you love garlic like me, you probably find yourself trying to sneak it into as many recipes as you can, and this garlic mashed potato recipe is a natural fit.
To make things as quick and easy as promised, I opted to use garlic powder in this recipe rather than fresh garlic, although you can definitely opt for the latter if you'd like! I find that garlic powder is just as tasty and also a little more kid-friendly if that's a concern.
The ingredients are super simple in this recipe:
- potatoes, any kind (see above for suggestions)
- unsalted butter
- milk (whole milk is creamiest, but 1 or 2% works too!)
- garlic powder (optional)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
First, peel the potatoes (or you can leave the skins on if using Yukon Gold or red potatoes.) Then, chop them into 1-inch thick pieces, place in a large pot, and cover with cold water until the water is just covering the potatoes.
Heat the pot of water and potatoes on the stove over high heat until it boils, and then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Using a large colander, carefully drain potatoes over the sink.
While the potatoes are finishing up cooking, go ahead and start warming a little butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts, using a whisk to incorporate.
Add some garlic powder (if using), salt and pepper over potatoes and use a hand mixer or potato masher to start mashing the potatoes. Slowly pour the warmed butter and milk mixture over the potatoes and keep blending or mashing until your desired consistency is reached.
Pro tip: Add a bit of extra milk if you prefer a softer consistency.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with parsley if desired. Any leftovers store well in the fridge for up to four days. When reheating, stir in a little extra milk to soften and refresh them.
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Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes Yukon Gold, Russet, or a mix of both
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup whole milk or 2% milk, plus more to thin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional, but recommended
- ½ teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- freshly chopped parsley for garnish, optional
- Prep: Peel the potatoes and chop into 1-inch thick pieces (if you are using organic Yukon Gold potatoes feel free to leave the skins on; equally delicious!) Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water until the water is just above the tops of the potatoes.
- Cook: Place the pot on the stove over high heat until the water boils, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender; drain potatoes. Separately, place butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts.
- Mix: Sprinkle garlic powder (if using), salt and pepper over potatoes. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, slowly pour milk mixture over potatoes and blend or mash until desired consistency is reached; add a bit of extra milk if you prefer a softer consistency.
- Enjoy: Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley if desired; serve immediately.