These creamy brown butter mashed potatoes are made with rich browned butter, caramelized roasted garlic, and fresh herbs. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, a family meal, or when you want some major comfort food. These will be on repeat during the holiday season (and all year long)!
Mashed potatoes can be perfectly fluffy, creamy, and delicious when prepared correctly, but can also turn into a gluey mess quickly. In this post I am giving you some tips and tricks to make perfect mashed potatoes every time.
- Use a stand mixer to get thick and creamy mashed potatoes.
- Make a big batch of brown butter and save the extras for other dishes.
- You can also make multiple heads of roasted garlic and freeze the rest to use for later.
- Do not over mix your potatoes to prevent them from being gluey.
- Use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes for the best final texture.
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment - I love my KitchenAid stand mixer and I use it quite often, but I know they are an investment. If you don't have a stand mixer you can mash the potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer. These can both still yield fluffy potatoes.
Below is a list of ingredients needed to make brown butter mashed potatoes with roasted garlic.
- Whole head of garlic - you will need one whole head of fresh garlic for this recipe. Keep it intact for roasting.
- Extra virgin olive oil - I use Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Make sure yours says extra virgin olive oil in the ingredient list.
- Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes - These are the best types of potatoes for mashing. Russet potatoes are more starchy which make for a fluffier mashed potato. Yukon Gold have a more dense texture making creamier mashed potatoes. They will both work well in this recipe.
- Brown butter - My all time favorite ingredient. It has a nutty toasted flavor and makes these mashed potatoes extra special. Check out my how to make brown butter post for an in depth tutorial.
- Sour cream - Adds a touch of acidity to balance out the richness of the brown butter.
- Heavy cream - You can substitute whole milk if that is what you have on hand, but the heavy cream makes for richer creamier potatoes.
- Fresh chives, fresh thyme, fresh sage - Using fresh herbs is always better, and they give this dish some brightness to balance out all the rich flavors.
- Flakey sea salt - I like to use Maldon sea salt. The large flakes are perfect for sprinkling on top of dishes.
- Black pepper - Freshly cracked black pepper, as always!
What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
There are lots of different kinds of potatoes. Some main types are starchy and waxy.
Russet and Idaho potatoes are starchy. Starchy potatoes have a higher starch content and are best for making a fluffier mashed potato texture. Starchy potatoes tend to fall apart more when cooked.
Red potatoes and fingerling potatoes are considered waxy potatoes. They have a thinner skin and a smoother creamier texture, resulting in smoother creamier mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes will usually hold their shape better when cooked, making them perfect for dishes like potatoes au gratin.
Yukon Gold potatoes can be considered all purpose potatoes, and are somewhere in between waxy and starchy. This makes them excellent for fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes.
This recipe for brown butter mashed potatoes can be broken down into a few steps.
- Make brown butter.
- Roast garlic.
- Make the mashed potatoes.
To save time on this recipe, you can brown the butter while the garlic is roasting in the oven.
Have your brown butter and roasted garlic ready to go before your potatoes are finished boiling so you can mix everything together while the potatoes are still hot.
How to Roast Garlic
Roasting garlic makes it so much better! As the garlic roasts, it caramelizes creating a rich flavor that goes great with savory foods. Roasted garlic is also milder in flavor than raw garlic. It still gives a good garlic flavor, without the pungent tang of fresh garlic.
To make roasted garlic, first preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel away the excess layers of papery white skin from the garlic, leaving enough layers so the head of garlic stays together.
With a sharp knife, cut about ¼-inch from the top of the cloves so that you can see inside the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic on a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Wrap up the foil around the garlic and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the cloves inside are light brown and soft, 40 to 70 minutes. Roasting garlic does take a little time, but it is worth it! Check on the garlic every so often to see how it is progressing.
When the garlic cloves are golden brown, soft, and fragrant, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Lastly, squeeze at the base of the garlic to remove the roasted cloves. Set them aside for later.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a comfort food classic, perfect for a special holiday meal or just a random Tuesday. The addition of nutty brown butter and roasted garlic make these the best mashed potatoes!
Peel the potatoes first. Next place potatoes in a large pot of water. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 15-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked and easy to pierce with a knife.
Drain potatoes and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the brown butter and roasted garlic cloves. Turn the mixer on low until the potatoes are fully mashed.
Add in the sour cream, heavy cream, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper and whip the potatoes until creamy and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix! Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more fresh herbs and a sprinkling of flakey sea salt.
If using a potato masher instead, add the boiled potatoes to a large bowl with the other ingredients and mash until fluffy and combined. Don't over mix.
Stand mixer versus potato ricer versus potato masher for mashed potatoes
Using a stand mixer to make mashed potatoes will result in a densely creamy potato with a smoother texture. Just be careful not to over mix, which can lead to gluey potatoes.
Using a potato ricer to make mashed potatoes will make fluffy lump free mashed potatoes.
If you want a less creamy mash with chunkier texture, then use a potato masher.
If you prefer mashed potatoes with large chunks of potatoes in them, add a handful of diced potatoes to the mash.
Do you peel potatoes before or after boiling?
It is usually easier to peel potatoes before boiling them. If you want to peel them after, allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle. Using a tea towel, you can slip the skins off of the still warm potatoes.
It is best to mash the potatoes while they are still hot, so waiting until after boiling them to peel may affect this.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You can make these a day ahead of time, however they are usually best served freshly made and hot. When reheating, some of the moisture will evaporate and you may need to add in a splash of cream.
How to store leftovers?
Store the leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Although I think these mashed potatoes are perfect as is (come on, brown butter AND roasted garlic) but you can also adjust them to your own tastes.
- Add in some grated parmesan cheese for some extra cheesy flavor.
- Mix in a few cubes of cream cheese for an even thicker mashed potato texture. You can also replace the sour cream with cream cheese.
- You can use regular butter in this recipe if you don't want to use brown butter (although I think that is the best part!)
- If you can't find fresh sage, fresh thyme, or chives, you can add in fresh parsley instead. Note though that parsley is not nearly as flavorful as the other fresh herbs.
What to serve with brown butter mashed potatoes?
This mashed potatoes recipe will be the best side dish on your Thanksgiving menu. They also go great as a side dish for pork chops, prime rib, steak, or roasted chicken.
Can't get enough brown butter? Me neither. Check out these other delicious brown butter recipes.
- Brown butter pumpkin meringue cupcakes
- Brown butter orange cardamom layer cake
- Cornbread cupcakes with honey brown butter frosting
- Brown butter bourbon chess pie
The best way to prevent gluey mashed potatoes is to not over mix them. Mixing the potatoes until just combined with the other ingredients will make the perfect mashed potatoes.
If you prefer some texture in your mashed potatoes, you do not have to peel them. If you do want to leave the skins on, give the boiled potatoes a rough chop before mashing to ensure the skins don't stay intact.
You can use whole milk in this mashed potato recipe instead of heavy cream, although heavy cream will yield the best texture and flavor.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like
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Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
- 1 head garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
How to Roast Garlic
- Heat the oven to 400° F.
- Peel away excess layers of papery white skin from the garlic, but leave enough layers so the head of garlic stays together. Cut about ¼-inch from the top of the cloves so that you can see inside the individual cloves of garlic.
- Place the garlic on a small square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Wrap up the foil around the garlic and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake until the cloves inside are light brown and soft, 40 to 70 minutes. Check on the garlic every so often to see how it is progressing.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Then squeeze at the base of the garlic to remove the roasted cloves.
- If desired, peel the potatoes and place in a large stockpot. Cover with water and add in about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-25 minutes or until fully cooked and easy to pierce with a knife.
- Drain out the water and add the cooked potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add in the brown butter and roasted garlic cloves. Turn the mixer on low until the potatoes are fully mashed.
- Add in the sour cream, heavy cream, herbs, salt and pepper and whip the potatoes until creamy and fluffy.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.