Once you try these Brown Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes, you're going to want them at every single holiday! Rich and creamy potatoes get flavored with delicious brown butter, roasted garlic, and cream cheese. They're absolutely irresistible and a must-have on the dinner table!
The Ultimate Side Dish
There's nothing more classic than mashed potatoes, am I right? They're luscious, creamy, and go great with pretty much everything. But when you need a little extra oomph in your potatoes, it's time to bring in the big guns. Enter: Browned Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
Brown butter is liquid gold. It just makes everything taste better! The nutty, caramelized butter adds flavor, richness, and an underlying sweetness that enhances the mashed potatoes.
And roasted garlic might be one of my favorite things ever. Garlic and potatoes just belong together. But caramelized garlic takes on an unctuous, sensual flavor that's absolutely divine. A whole head of garlic might seem like a lot but once roasted, the flavor mellows out and blends into the potatoes for a perfect hit of flavor. Have I convinced you yet?
Why You'll Love It
- Crowd pleaser: Mashed potatoes are a must for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. This homemade recipe hits all the notes.. creamy, fluffy, and yummy!
- Versatile: Butter and garlic are flavors that pair well with any protein or vegetable. Whether this side dish is being served with the big bird or a steak dinner, it'll work.
- Reheats well: You can make these garlic mashed potatoes days in advance. There are multiple ways to reheat it and it'll still retain its creaminess.
- 5 ingredients: Other than salt, pepper, and garnishes, this easy recipe only requires 5 simple ingredients!
- Potatoes: You can use any kind of potato you'd like, but I prefer Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. See below for more information on potatoes.
- Garlic: A whole head of garlic for this recipe! Trust me, it'll be *just* enough.
- Unsalted butter: I prefer using unsalted because salted butters have varying degrees of seasoning. Unsalted will give you more control of the final product.
- Cream cheese: Adds creaminess and tang.
- Whole milk: Make sure it's warm or hot so it incorporates into the potatoes better. You can substitute with non-dairy milk, half and half, or heavy cream.
What Potato Should I Use For The Best Mashed Potatoes?
It depends on what kind of result you're looking for! I particularly love Russet potatoes for this recipe. You can use whichever one you'd like, or even use a blend.
High starch (Russet, Idaho): Best for fluffy mashed potatoes. Their soft and pillowy interior results in a light, soft, and fluffy mash. They also absorb ingredients more easily and mash smoothly. But they're also more likely to become gummy.
Medium starch (Yukon Gold): Best for creamy mashed potatoes. They have a slightly waxy and velvety interior with an underlying butter flavor. These are great for a dense and rich mash. But they can take longer to cook.
Low starch (Red Bliss): These waxy potatoes would work in a mash, but they hold their shape when cooked. This can result in a lumpier, more textured mash.
How To Make It
- Roast the garlic. Peel off any excess paper skin and cut ⅓ off the top to expose the cloves. Drizzle a splash of oil, place the top back on, and wrap in foil. You can roast the garlic in the air fryer or the oven at 400°F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly, then squeeze out the cloves. Discard any burnt, hard, or uncooked parts.
- Boil the potatoes. Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Place into a pot or Dutch oven and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Season very generously with salt and bring to a boil. Cook until you can insert a fork or knife with zero resistance, about 20-30 minutes.
- Brown the butter (see below). While the potatoes are cooking, place cubed butter into a medium pan and melt over medium heat (1). The butter will start to lightly foam as water evaporates (2). At this point, don't stop stirring in tight circles. It'll start to become a golden amber and the milk solids will start to brown (3). As it continues cooking, the butter will brown and you'll smell a nutty, toasted aroma (4). Immediately take it off the heat.
- Mash the potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and return them to the pot over low heat. Let sit for 1 minute to remove excess water. Then add browned butter, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Lightly mash with masher or hand mixer for about 30 seconds. You could also put the potatoes through a ricer before adding the mix-ins for a smoother mash.
- Finish the potatoes. Finally, add in the warm milk and cream cheese. Stir it in, making sure to not overwork the potatoes. Season to taste and serve warm.
- Start the potatoes in cold water. This will make sure each piece is cooked evenly.
- Avoid waterlogging the potatoes. This will result in runny, bland, and soupy mashed potatoes. Prevent this by cutting them into chunks so they don't take as long to boil. Also, let the cooked and drained potatoes sit in the hot pot for a minute to dry before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
- Don't over-mix the potatoes. If you work them too much, they'll release more starch and become gummy. Stir in the add-ins until they're just mixed.
- Make sure all the ingredients are warm or hot so they incorporate better. Potatoes also have to be hot when you mash them.
- Keep an eye on the butter while it's browning. It can burn very quickly. Also, use a light colored pan so you can detect the stages better.
Substitutions & Variations
- You can use any type or blend of potatoes you'd like. 50% Russet and 50% Yukon is the best of both worlds!
- Don't feel like roasting garlic? Add 5-6 cloves of minced garlic to the hot butter as soon as it's browned instead.
- You can substitute whole milk with any non-dairy milk, half and half, or heavy cream.
- Add your favorite seasonings! Cajun seasoning (or Old Bay), onion powder, Italian seasoning, or Everything But The Bagel seasoning are delicious options!
- Got leftover herbs? Mix in chopped parsley, rosemary, or thyme for a delicious Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes.
- Substitute half the milk with chicken broth for a more savory flavor.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: If you have leftover Browned Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes, let cool to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Let cool completely, then place homemade mashed potatoes in a freezer-safe bag, container, or casserole dish. Remove as much air as possible and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Reheating: There are several options to reheat them. If they look dry, add a splash of milk and stir until creamy again.
- Microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring between each interval until warm.
- Place inside a slow cooker on low heat for about 2 hours.
- If it's in an oven-safe dish, pop it in the oven at 300°F for 30-40 minutes until hot.
- Pour into a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring often, until warm.
Make It In Advance: These butter mashed potatoes are great to prep in advance. Cut the potatoes ahead of time and cover with cold water to prevent oxidation. Soak up to 4 hours. You can also complete the recipe, store in the fridge for up to 4 days, and reheat using one of the options above.
My favorite method is with a masher so I only dirty one pot and still have some lumps. If you prefer perfectly smooth mashed potatoes, use a potato ricer or hand mixer instead. Avoid the food processor or else they'll turn out gummy.
It depends on the type of potatoes you use and how large you cut them. The best test is to use a fork, knife, or skewer. If you can poke into the center of the biggest potato with zero resistance, they're done.
It's likely because the potatoes absorbed too much water while cooking. This can easily happen with Russet or Idaho potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked and drained, return them to the pot and let sit over low heat to evaporate as much water as possible.
If your mashed potatoes are too runny, you can add cornstarch or potato starch (1 tablespoon at a time) and continue cooking over medium heat warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until you reach the right consistency.
Looking For More?
If you're looking for more delicious side dishes to round out your meal, I recommend:
- Air Fryer Parmesan Potato Wedges
- German Potato Salad (Vegan)
- Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls
- Pea, Burrata, and Prosciutto Pasta Salad
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls
- Winter Citrus Salad
Brown Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 1 head garlic
- 2-2½ lbs potatoes about 2-3 potatoes (see notes)
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter cubed
- 3 tablespoon cream cheese
- ½ cup milk hot
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by roasting the garlic. Preheat your oven or air fryer to 400°F. Peel excess skin and cut ⅓ top off to expose the cloves. Drizzle a splash of oil onto the cloves, place top back on, and tightly wrap in foil. Roast in oven or air fryer for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly, then squeeze out the cloves. Discard any burnt or hard pieces.
- You can choose to leave the skin of the potatoes on or off. Cut into 2-3 inch chunks and place into a large pot or Dutch oven. Cover with at least 1 inch cold water and season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until potatoes are fork-tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, brown the butter. Place cubed butter into a medium saucepan and let melt over medium heat. Once it starts to get foamy, continuously stir in tight circles and do not leave it. It'll turn from golden yellow to amber to brown. Once the butter is brown with a nutty aroma, immediately take it off the heat.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them. Then return the potatoes to the empty pot. Turn the heat to low and let sit for 1 minute to dry.
- To the potatoes, add roasted garlic, browned butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes to desired consistency, making sure to not overwork the potatoes.
- Add cream cheese and hot milk. Stir until just incorporated and season to taste. Serve warm. Optional toppings: chives, parsley, ground pepper, and/or melted butter.
- Serving size ranges from 4-8.
- Potatoes: You can use any type of potato you'd like but I'd recommend Russet, Idaho, or Yukon Gold. You can also choose to leave the skin on or off.
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