Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Take your mashed potatoes to a whole new (delicious!) level with these Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Roasted garlic brings the best flavor to creamy mashed potatoes!
One of my favorite meals to order out at a restaurant is salmon with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Creamy, buttery, garlicky mashed potatoes are such a comforting, satisfying side dish! With this garlic mashed potatoes recipe, you can make restaurant quality garlic mashed spuds at home. And it’s easy!
My secret to the best homemade garlic mashed potatoes is roasted garlic. Roasting the garlic in the oven mellows the punch of fresh garlic and gives it a smooth, slightly sweet flavor. It is incredibly easy to roast a whole head of garlic in the oven, and once roasted the cloves are soft and easy to mash, perfect for stirring into a pot of warm mashed potatoes.
These garlic mashed potatoes are rich and creamy with the best roasted garlic flavor. They’re a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, or do what I do and serve them alongside baked salmon for a fancied up weeknight dinner.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
- Whole Garlic Bulb: I make my garlic mashed potatoes with a whole bulb of roasted garlic. The roasted garlic gives the potatoes the best smooth garlic flavor without the sharpness that you find in raw garlic.
- Potatoes: Gold potatoes, such as Yukon golds, are my favorite for mashed potatoes because of their rich, creamy flavor. Russet potatoes are another good choice, and make lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes. You can also use red potatoes, but the mashed potatoes will be heavier and less creamy and fluffy.
- Butter: Butter is essential for that rich, buttery flavor that is characteristic of the best mashed potatoes. Let the butter come to room temperature while the potatoes cook so that it will melt into the potatoes more easily.
- Salt and Pepper: Season mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. A generous amount of salt makes the most flavorful potatoes, so I salt both the potato cooking water and the potatoes after mashing.
- Milk: I like to use whole milk because it brings richness without the heaviness of cream. Feel free to use low fat milk or heavy cream if you prefer. Warm the milk before stirring it into the potatoes so that the potatoes stay hot.
Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes
First, roast the garlic. You’ll need one whole bulb of roasted garlic for this recipe, but I usually roast a few heads of garlic at once because it’s just as easy. Save the extra roasted garlic to spread on crusty bread or toss with pasta.
To prep the garlic, slice off about 1/4 inch from the top of the bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Place the garlic head on top of a piece of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, and wrap the foil up and around the garlic. Bake in a 400° F oven for 40-55 minutes, until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Read more about how to roast garlic.
Then, mash the garlic. Once it’s cool enough to handle, use a small fork and your fingers to remove the roasted garlic cloves from the papery skins. Place them in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
Prep the potatoes. Should you peel them first? That’s up to you. If I’m using small gold potatoes, I’ll often leave the skins on for extra texture and fiber. I prefer to peel Russet potatoes before cooking. If you like your mashed potatoes extra smooth, you’ll want to peel off the potato skins.
Boil the potatoes. Cut them into 1-inch pieces and place in a pot of cold water. Starting the potatoes in cold, rather than boiling, water, promotes even cooking, so that the outsides don’t overcook by the time the insides are done. Salt the cooking water to flavor the potatoes as they cook. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and boil the potatoes for 12-15 minutes, or until they are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain the potatoes well, and then return them to the hot, empty pot for 2-3 minutes. This allows extra moisture to evaporate and gives you fluffier, creamier mashed potatoes. Add the butter to the pot, and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.
Stir in the roasted garlic, salt, pepper and the warm milk. If the potatoes aren’t quite creamy enough, you can stir in more warm milk. Potatoes vary in how dry or moist they are, so I always recommend adjusting the milk as needed to make creamy potatoes.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe Tips
- To avoid lumpy potatoes, boil the potatoes until they are very soft (but not falling apart). Lumpy potatoes are usually caused by mashing undercooked potatoes.
- For fluffy mashed potatoes, mash them by hand using a potato masher. I know that using a hand mixer or stand mixer is easy, but it can overwork the potatoes and give them a gummy or gluey texture. Similarly, don’t overwork the potatoes when mashing and stirring by hand.
- For extra creamy potatoes, substitute heavy cream for the milk in this recipe. Or stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream for added creaminess and a slight tangy flavor.
- To make these in an Instant Pot, use my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe and stir in the mashed roasted garlic after mashing the potatoes.
- To make these in a slow cooker, use my Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe and stir in the mashed roasted garlic after mashing the potatoes.
- My classic Mashed Potatoes recipe includes more tips for making the best mashed potatoes.
Storage & Reheating Tips
These garlic mashed potatoes are always best when served immediately, but they are still delicious reheated. Since potatoes tend to dry out over time, stir in a little milk to make them creamy again when reheating.
If I’m making these for a big holiday meal, I use my slow cooker to keep them warm until ready to serve. This way, you can mash the potatoes up to two hours ahead and then keep them warm in the slow cooker using the warm setting. You can stir in a little extra warm milk right before serving to moisten the potatoes and make them extra creamy.
Leftover potatoes can be reheated in the microwave or oven:
- Microwave: Microwave on high power, stirring occasionally, until hot. Add more milk as needed.
- Oven: Stir a bit of milk into the potatoes and put them in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F until hot, stirring once or twice.
More Side Dishes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Green Beans
- Potato Salad
- Baked Sweet Potato
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- olive oil
- 3 pounds Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, about 8 medium Yukon gold or 4 medium Russet
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces, plus more if desired, to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup whole milk, warmed, plus more as needed
Roast the Garlic
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- If the garlic bulb has any loose papery skins, remove them. Do not peel the garlic though, as you want the cloves to stay together in the bulb. Slice off about ¼ inch of the top of the garlic bulb, or enough to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.
- Place garlic bulb on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil up and around the garlic, keeping the bulb sitting upright. Place the foil-wrapped garlic in a small baking dish.
- Roast in the oven for 40-55 minutes, until garlic is soft and browned.
- Let the garlic cool until it is cool enough to handle. Then use a small fork and your fingers to remove the roasted garlic cloves from the papery skins and place on a small plate or bowl. Mash the roasted garlic with a fork until smooth. Set aside while you cook the potatoes.
Make the Mashed Potatoes
- Scrub the potatoes under cool water. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skins on, depending on your preference.
- Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a pot of cold water. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water.
- Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil potatoes for 12-15 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a fork, but not falling apart. Transfer potatoes to a colander and drain well.
- Immediately return the drained potatoes to the empty hot pot. Let the potatoes rest in the hot pot for 2-3 minutes to evaporate any extra moisture.
- Add the butter pieces to the potatoes in the pot. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.
- Add the mashed roasted garlic, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and half of the warm milk. Stir. Then stir in the remaining milk, plus more if needed to reach your desired creaminess. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve.
- For extra rich and creamy potatoes, substitute heavy cream for the whole milk.