These herb-infused garlic mashed potatoes are the best mashed potatoes you will ever eat. They are creamy, fluffy buttery and so insanely delicious you will never make another mashed potatoes recipe again. Plus they're easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time!
Ritch and I went on a date and ordered mashed potatoes with our dinner. Something we wouldn't normally do (we're total fries people), but I am so glad that we did. Because those life-changing spuds were the absolute best we'd ever had, and I set out to recreate them ASAP.
After many tests, I created this recipe for the best mashed potatoes ever. They are infused with herbs, loaded with garlic and so creamy and fluffy you will go weak at the knees. Plus they are easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time and reheated on special holidays (like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.).
This mashed potatoes recipe is truly special. The potatoes are boiled, along with fresh herbs, riced and combined with toasted garlic, butter, & chives (among other ingredients). Let's dive in and chat about how to make mashed potatoes!
How to make mashed potatoes
The method to this mashed potatoes recipe is important, so follow along as I walk through the process step-by-step. Don't forget to watch the video as well.
Peel & Cut Potatoes
For fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes you will need to remove the potato skins. Use a potato peeler to peel the potatoes, then cut them into quarters. Remember, the size you cut your potatoes will determine how long they take to be fully cooked in the boiling water. Smaller pieces will cook faster, and visa versa.
What is the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
My personal preference for mashed potatoes is Yukon Gold potatoes (pictured below). They are soft and buttery and oh-so-delicious! After Yukons, I'd recommend russet potatoes!
Boil potatoes & herbs
I wanted to create herb-infused spuds using fresh herbs, without adding hard-to-chew herbs (like rosemary and sage leaves) to the final product. To do this I experimented with boiling the potatoes with sprigs of our favorite fresh herbs: rosemary, chives, parsley, and sage, and the result was amazing.
The herbs impart just the right amount of flavor to the potatoes which really makes this the best mashed potatoes recipe ever! To begin, add all the ingredients to a large stockpot, then fill it with cold water to cover the potatoes by 1". Then cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Once boiling, uncover the pot and boil until the potatoes are cooked and fork-tender, which takes 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the potato chunks. They are done when they fall apart when touched with a fork.
Rice the potatoes
Drain potatoes and remove herb sprigs. Put the potato pieces through a potato ricer, and rice them into a medium bowl.
People often ask if this step can be skipped, and the answer is NO, and yes. No if you want the absolute fluffiest mashed potatoes EVER. Yes if you're ok with a denser, thicker (but still soft and creamy) end result. If you don't rice the potatoes, you will need to use a potato masher and mash them into the butter/garlic after sautéing later in the recipe.
Cook butter & Garlic
After you have riced the potatoes, melt the butter with the garlic in a large stockpot. Cook garlic for 1 minute after the butter has melted to give it a nice toasty flavor.
Add potatoes, room temperature milk & cream
Next, add riced potatoes to the butter and garlic and stir to combine. If you didn't rice the potatoes, then this is when you would add the potato pieces to the butter/garlic and use a potato masher to mash them.
Add whole milk and half and half and stir to combine. Be sure the milk and cream are room temperature. Adding cold ingredients to the warm potato mixture could result in an unappetizing final texture.
Add chives, salt & pepper
Add chopped chives, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed. Taste test the mashed potatoes at this point and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
To make ahead:
I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), just like this sausage stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce. I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid and store them in the refrigerator overnight.
On the day you’d like to serve them, remove them from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mashed potatoes in the oven, covered, until they are warmed through. You may need to add a touch extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little. I also like melting some butter on top as they warm up for presentation and taste!
Herb Mashed Potatoes Recipe: Ingredients & Substituions
Now that we have discussed how to make mashed potatoes, let's chat about the ingredients in this mashed potatoes recipe and possible substitutions.
- Potatoes. I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes for the best flavor and texture.
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, chives, sage, parsley). I have included our favorite combination of fresh herbs for the best flavor, feel free to add your favorites to make this mashed potatoes recipe your own.
- Salted butter. I don't recommend substituting anything for the butter. It is a critical ingredient for the taste and texture of these creamy mashed potatoes.
- Minced garlic. Freshly roasted and mashed garlic can be used in place of minced garlic. You can even try adding garlic powder instead (with the salt and pepper) if you don't have any other options.
- Half and half/Whole milk. You need about 1 ¼ cups of liquid for these fluffy mashed potatoes. I have included the ratio of half and half to whole milk that I have found produces the best end product. Remember, fat = creamy mashed potatoes. So I do not recommend using 1% or skim milk in this recipe. You could use cream and 2% milk, if desired.
- Sea Salt. I recommend using pure, fine sea salt. If using table salt (iodized) you may need to reduce the amount.
- Fresh Chives. The addition of fresh chives takes these mashed potatoes from good to great. Sure, you can leave them out and still end up with amazing spuds, but I recommend using them!
FAQs about How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Here are my answers to some of the most-asked questions about making this mashed potatoes recipe.
Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat?
YES! As discussed above, I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid, then store them in the refrigerator overnight.
How do you warm up mashed potatoes?
To reheat: remove the mashed potatoes from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mashed potatoes in the oven, covered, until they are warmed through. You may need to add a little extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little.
How far ahead can you make mashed potatoes?
I recommend making these one day prior to serving, but no more, for the best taste, texture and freshness.
Why are my mashed potatoes gluey?
Gluey mashed potatoes are the worst, and once they go gluey there is no going back. Here are ways to avoid gluey mashed potatoes:
- Do NOT over-work the cooked potatoes: Absolutely do NOT use a food processor to mash your potatoes. You want to handle them as little as possible, which is why I recommend ricing the potatoes to achieve a fluffy texture and avoid over-mashing. D
- Use starchy potatoes. Stick to using Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes for the best fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes.
- Use cold water. Fill the pot with with cold water and then bring it to a boil. This will ensure even cooking.
- Use room temperature milk and cream. Adding cold liquid to the warm potatoes/butter/garlic in the saucepan will change the texture.
How do you freeze mashed potatoes?
Transfer cooled mashed potatoes to a freezer-friendly, airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
What to serve with mashed potatoes
We love to serve these herb mashed potatoes on holidays along with some of our favorite sides and main dishes:
- Serve them as a Thanksgiving or holiday side dish alongside this Roast Turkey and the best Turkey Gravy!
- The BEST homemade meatloaf recipe - YUM!
- This balsamic slow cooker pot roast was made to pair with these spuds!
- Serve them alongside these roasted Brussels Sprouts, roasted green beans or these honey roasted carrots.
- They're the perfect traditional thanksgiving side dish to pair with this sausage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, easy stovetop mac and cheese and this healthy sweet potato casserole, the best sweet potato casserole ever.
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Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
To cook the potatoes:
- 4 lbs. potatoes * peeled and cut in halves or fourths
- cold water
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 5 sage leaves
- 4 TBS parsley
- 8 sprigs chives
- Place peeled & cut potatoes and herbs into a large stockpot.
- Add cold water to the pot until the ingredients are covered by ½” water.
- Cover the pot and bring water to a boil.
- Once boiling, uncover and boil until the potatoes are cooked and fork-tender (about 25-35 minutes). They are done when they fall apart when touched with a fork.
- Drain potatoes and remove herb sprigs.
- Put potato pieces through a potato ricer, and rice them into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add garlic and butter to a large stockpot. Melt butter and sauté garlic for 1 minute.
- Add riced potatoes to the butter and garlic and stir to combine.
- Add whole milk and half and half and stir to combine.
- Add chopped chives, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Serve warm.
Cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces will help them boil/cook faster.
To make ahead:
I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid. Store them in the refrigerator overnight. On the day you’d like to serve them, remove them from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mashed potatoes in the oven, covered, until they are warmed through. You may need to add a touch extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little. I also like melting some butter on top as they warm up for presentation and taste!
The styled recipe photos in this post were taken by the talented Jamie at Dishing out Health!
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