Mashed potatoes in bowl against green background

Americans love their mashed potatoes. It’s one of those comfort foods that everyone remembers from childhood. In fact, it’s one of the first side dishes my family asks for at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and many other dinners throughout the year.But these days, the mashed potatoes that grace our tables often come from a box or other package. That’s unfortunate, because made from scratch mashed potatoes are easy to make, and you control what goes into them. This is the real deal. Real potatoes, boiled and mashed – homemade goodness. Everyone has their favorite way to prepare them: traditional butter and milk, or cheese and sour cream, or a variety of spices. But add a little roasted garlic, and maybe some rosemary, and you’ll discover a wonderful, deeper, richer flavor. Perfect for homemade mashed potatoes.

unpeeled raw potatoes on green surface

Are mashed potatoes healthy?

Take a look at any typical recipe for homemade mashed potatoes and you’ll find lots of butter, salt, and cream or whole milk. Those ingredients tend to add add a lot of unnecessary calories, saturated fat, and sodium. It doesn’t have to be that way. Decrease the saturated fat by reducing the amount of butter and replacing whole milk with a lower fat milk. Lower the sodium level by using less salt. Then, add other herbs and spices to up the flavor. For these roasted garlic mashed potatoes, I use a whole head of roasted garlic, and rosemary when I have it on hand. Both add a deeper, richer flavor to the dish.

cut garlic on wood cutting board

What kind of potatoes should I use for mashed potatoes?

While most people use russet potatoes for mashed potatoes – they make for light, fluffy mashed potatoes – I like to use a mix of red or golden potatoes along with the russets. Keeping some of the skin on adds visual interest to the dish too. But you can use which ever type of potato you prefer. These roasted garlic mashed potatoes will still taste great.

Mashed Potatoes from above against green background

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Americans love their mashed potatoes. Easy to make, this recipe uses roasted garlic to add a deeper, richer flavor.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Holiday recipes, Mashed potatoes, Potatoes, Thanksgiving recipes
Servings: 9
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Marie


  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lb. potatoes
  • 1/3 c. skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Roast the garlic by slicing off the top 1/2 inch of the entire head of garlic. Drizzle on a little extra-virgin olive oil. If using rosemary, place cleaned rosemary sprigs on top of the garlic and wrap the garlic and rosemary completely in foil. Roast at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  • While garlic is roasting, prepare potatoes by washing them and removing any eyes or bad spots. Keep as much of the skin on as you prefer – or none at all if you like. Cut potatoes into uniform 1-2 inch chunks and place in a pan with enough water just to cover them.
  • Bring to a boil using med-high heat, then reduce to medium so that potatoes are simmered or boiled gently for about 20 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
  • Remove garlic from oven.
  • Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Mash lightly with a potato masher.
  • Heat the milk and butter in the microwave, on high, for 30 seconds – or until warmed but not boiling or scalded. Pour it in with the potatoes.
  • Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and into the potatoes. If using rosemary, peel the rosemary from the stem and add whole to the potatoes or chop before adding, if you prefer.
  • Whip the potatoes using a hand mixer with a wire whip attachment. You can also use regular beaters, but the wire whip tends to produce a fluffier mashed potato. Whip to desired consistency.
  • Season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Makes about 7 c. (about 3/4 cup per serving)

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Mashed potatoes in a bowl with raw potatoes in background

Updated 11/22/2020. Original post 11/12/13

Thank you for sharing!


  1. These potatoes look really good! Love potatoes in just about any fashion! Glad you posted at the Sweet Bella Roose Thursday Pin It link party. I’ve pinned, liked, twittered and G+-ed your post. I’d love it if you dropped by for a visit at . I look forward to seeing you over there! Deb @ Kneaded Creations.

  2. Thanks for sharing this with our Let’s Get Real readers Marie. One of my favorite re-finds (is that a word?) is mashed potatoes. My mother always made them for our family. Then, I discoverd the boxed ones and thought that that was the way to go. Ick! Since I’ve made the switch back to real food, I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed real mashed potatoes. I like the color of keeping just a bit of skin on. Great idea! I’m sure the garlic adds wonderul flavor. I still like my butter though. LOL!

    1. My mom always made them too. I don’t remember her ever using boxed potatoes – though she may have once in a great while. I still top mine with a little butter too, just not too much. 🙂

  3. What a flavorful side dish for a holiday table. Thank you so much for taking the time during this busy season to share your wonderful post with Full Plate Thursday. Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. I love garlic and mashed potatoes. This will make a great side dish on the Thanksgiving buffet.

    Thanks for linking to What’d You Do This Weekend.


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  9. Oh yes, this is how to do it. Skins on, red potatoes, lots of garlic. And lumpy lumpy lumpy. It always seems so weird to me that some people prefer their mash smooth enough to eat with a straw. It’s a potato, not a smoothie.

  10. This recipe was a hit! Can’t believe I have so much flavor using less milk and butter and I used lite butter. I was unable to get the juice to come out of the garlic but instead just chopped it up and added it to my potatoes. Thanks for sharing

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