Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Total Time
Prep: 40 min. Cook: 2 hours
There are mashed potatoes, and then there are garlic mashed potatoes (even better!). These potatoes are rich and downright decadent, a perfect side dish for your next gathering.

Updated: Jun. 03, 2024

Mashed potatoes are a great side dish, but garlic mashed potatoes are even better. Why? Because garlic’s aromatic, pungent flavor enhances almost any savory food (I’ve had it in sweets too, but that’s a stretch). The charm of mashed potatoes is their ability to play a supporting role with your favorite entrees and sauces, and adding garlic to the picture helps them do that even better.

This garlic mashed potatoes recipe is rich and decadent and makes some of the best mashed potatoes you’ll ever eat. The time they spend in your slow cooker makes them special. It gives time for the flavors to develop fully. That also means it’s perfect for special occasions and big get-togethers, where you can serve the potatoes straight from your slow cooker to keep them hot.

Ingredients for Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Yukon Gold potatoes: Any mashed potato recipe requires potatoes, but the potato you pick is important. Many recipes call for russets, but Yukon Golds won’t fall apart as easily or absorb water when you boil them.
  • Cream cheese:  It delivers a richness and a pleasantly cheesy tang to mashed potatoes. As a bonus, potatoes with cream cheese mashed into them stand up well to reheating and even freezing.
  • Butter, sour cream and whipping cream: These dairy ingredients upgrade the mashed potatoes from simple to downright decadent, and sour cream adds a mild and pleasant hint of acidity. Their fat content also helps moderate the garlic’s intensity.
  • Garlic: Garlic brings a bold, pungent flavor that elevates the mashed potatoes, and balances the richness of the added dairy products.
  • Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper have a way of bringing out the flavors in the potatoes and other ingredients, which is why they’re such a fundamental pair of seasonings.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the potatoes

Place the diced potatoes in a 6-quart saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the potatoes simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pieces are tender when tested with a toothpick or the tip of a paring knife. Drain the potatoes and mash them, gradually adding the butter and cream cheese. Once the butter and cream cheese are fully incorporated, stir in the remaining ingredients.

Step 2: Finish the potatoes in a slow cooker

Grease a 3-or-4 quart slow cooker, and transfer in the potatoes. Cook on low for two to three hours, until the flavors have thoroughly melded.

Editor’s tip: The potatoes can be eaten immediately after they’re mashed, but time in the slow cooker allows the flavors to mature and mellow out the garlic’s sharpness.

Garlic Mashed Potato Variations

  • Herbed garlic mashed potatoes: Fresh herbs take these already-good garlic mashed potatoes to another level. We’d suggest a teaspoon of minced fresh thyme, a tablespoon of minced parsley and three minced chives, but feel free to experiment with other combinations.
  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes: If you need another recipe for roasted garlic mashed potatoes, swapping out the fresh minced garlic for roasted is an easy option. Roasted garlic is mellower than raw, so you can use a whole bulb or even two (and if you don’t already know how to roast garlic, we’ve got you covered).
  • Loaded mashed potatoes: Think of the classic loaded baked potato, but mashed. Add lots of chopped chives or green onions, a generous quantity of crumbled bacon, plenty of shredded cheddar and any other ingredients you like on your baked potato.

Can I make garlic mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Absolutely. Prepare them through the end of Step 1, then cool and refrigerate the potatoes. Continue to Step 2 on the day you plan to serve the spuds. They’ll need longer in the slow cooker if you start them from refrigerator temperature, so allow an extra hour or microwave them to take the chill off before putting them into the slow cooker.

How long will garlic mashed potatoes keep?

Garlic mashed are good for three to four days in the refrigerator, if–and it’s important if–they’re put away promptly. Don’t let them cool in the slow cooker, instead, scoop the potatoes into one or more shallow food-storage containers and put them straight into the fridge (put the lids on after the potatoes are cool to the touch). Rapid cooling is important for food safety.

Can I freeze garlic mashed potatoes?

You certainly can. Ordinary mashed potatoes can be watery and inconsistent after freezing and thawing but this recipe’s high fat content, the stabilizers in the cream cheese, and the Yukon Golds’ firmer, waxier texture mean they’ll hold up well.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Tips

What if I don’t have Yukon Gold potatoes?

Potatoes are usually described as “waxy” or “starchy,” and Yukons hit a nice middle ground between the two extremes. Any other potatoes you have will work, even russets, though their texture won’t be quite the same. The best substitutes are other yellow potatoes, or potatoes with similarly moderate starch levels like Red Bliss.

Will these be gummy like my regular mashed potatoes?

No, that shouldn’t happen with this recipe. Mashed potatoes get gummy or gluey when you over-mash them, and their starch molecules break down. Yukon Golds are fairly resistant to this because of their lower starch levels (or more accurately, because the starches they contain behave differently). Also, the dairy products used in this recipe lubricate the starch molecules and provide a protective effect.

Can I scale up this recipe for big get-togethers?

You bet! You can double the base recipe and use a 6-quart slow cooker, which gives you 20 servings. For really large gatherings, keep adding more slow cookers and do the math.

Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time 40 min
Yield 10 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 15 medium), peeled and cubed
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Place potatoes and water to cover in a 6-qt. stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to pot. Mash potatoes, gradually adding cream cheese and butter. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Transfer to a greased 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low to allow flavors to blend, 2-3 hours.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 341 calories, 24g fat (15g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 267mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in these comforting spuds. Simply mash, mix and let them warm in the slow cooker. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas