Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Made with Yukon gold potatoes and lots of roasted garlic, these garlic mashed potatoes are creamy, rich, and flavorful. An easy, delicious side dish!

Garlic mashed potatoes

The first time I made these garlic mashed potatoes, I didn’t know what my husband Jack would think of them. See, Jack grew up eating his Uncle Billy’s mashed potatoes, and he still reminisces about them. They were creamy, fluffy, and rich with (lots of) melted butter and (lots of) sour cream. 

These garlic mashed potatoes aren’t exactly like Uncle Billy’s. Instead of dairy, olive oil and starchy potato cooking water give them an amazing creamy texture, and roasted garlic fills them with rich, nutty depth of flavor. When I tried them, I thought they were delicious, but Jack’s opinion would be the real test.

His verdict? “These mashed potatoes are SO good!” This recipe has been a favorite in our house ever since. I hope you enjoy it too!

Garlic mashed potatoes recipe ingredients

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to make this garlic mashed potatoes recipe:

  • Potatoes – I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes here, and German butterballs work well too. They have a rich golden color, and they give these mashed potatoes an AMAZING creamy texture. I personally prefer them to fluffy russet potatoes or waxy red potatoes in this recipe.
  • Roasted garlicThe secret ingredient! I mix in a whole head of roasted garlic to pack these guys with garlic flavor.
  • Olive oil – I love the rich taste of olive oil in this recipe, and, along with starchy potato cooking water, it makes these mashed potatoes just as creamy as any I’ve had with butter, milk, or sour cream.
  • Salt and pepper – Absolute essentials! For optimum flavor, I salt the potato cooking water as well as mixing salt and pepper into the potatoes.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Boiled potatoes in a strainer

How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You can find the complete garlic mashed potato recipe at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s an overview of how it goes:

First, roast the garlic in a 350°F oven until the cloves are deeply brown and tender. This could take up to 60 minutes! Tip: You can easily do this step ahead of time. Wrapped in foil, the roasted garlic will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

Then, peel the potatoes. If you love creamy mashed potatoes, peeling is a must. Once they’re peeled, there’s no need to cut the potatoes before cooking. Just put them in a large pot, and cover them with 1 inch of cold water.

Next, boil them. Add a teaspoon of salt to the pot, and boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Before you drain the potatoes, don’t forget to reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.

Potatoes in a potato ricer

Then, it’s time to mash! For the best creamy texture, I rice the potatoes first. Then, I use a regular potato masher to break up any chunks. If you don’t have a potato ricer, that’s ok! Just be sure to mash them thoroughly.

Finally, fold everything together. Remove the tender garlic cloves from their paper and mash them into a paste with a fork or small masher. Fold the garlic into the potatoes, along with olive oil, reserved potato cooking water, salt, and pepper. Season to taste and add more cooking water, as needed, to reach your desired consistency.

Top with your favorite fixings, and enjoy!

Mixing garlic mashed potatoes in large bowl

Tips for Making Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Pick the right potatoes. Yellow potatoes like Yukon Golds or German butterballs are fantastic here. They give these garlic mashed potatoes a perfect creamy texture. For this recipe, I’d always pick them over red potatoes or russets!
  • Roast the garlic in advance so that these garlic mashed potatoes are quick and easy to make! The roasted garlic keeps well wrapped in foil or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes well for up to 3 months.
  • Load them up. These potatoes are delicious on their own…but they’re even better with toppings! We love them with fresh herbs like rosemary or chives, a pat of butter, and salt and pepper. You can’t go wrong with mushroom gravy either.

How to Store

These garlic mashed potatoes keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, warm them in the microwave, stirring every 2 minutes, until heated through.

Garlic mashed potatoes recipe

More Potato Recipes to Try

If you love these roasted garlic mashed potatoes, try one of these easy potato recipes next:

Looking for more holiday recipes? Check out these 50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes!

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

rate this recipe:
4.91 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
These garlic mashed potatoes are creamy, rich, and flavorful! Made with just 5 ingredients, they're an easy, delicious side dish for the holidays or any meal.


Roasted Garlic*

Mashed Potatoes


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Make the roasted garlic: Trim the top ¼ inch off the top of the garlic bulb. Place cut-side up on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast for 40 to 60 minutes or until the cloves are deeply golden brown and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Use the back of a chef’s knife or a small masher to mash the garlic into a paste before incorporating into the mashed potatoes. Set aside.
  • Make the mashed potatoes: Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Use a ricer or a potato masher to mash the potatoes into a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the roasted garlic, olive oil, ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, 1 teaspoon salt, and several pinches of pepper. Continue folding until creamy, adding up to ½ cup more cooking liquid if desired for creamier potatoes. Serve hot with butter, rosemary, and chives, if desired.


*Note: the roasted garlic can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Roger

    3 stars
    The potatoes were bland. I’ll try it again. The issue could have been the chef.

  2. Bob

    5 stars
    May I humbly suggest using the Quick “Roasted” Garlic technique from Your excellent recipe and their garlic with the olive oil that comes with it was a potato game changer.
    I adjusted for the quantity of oil and added a cut-up shallot to add depth. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. Amanda

    Can you freeze the mashed potatoes and reheat them before serving?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Amanda, We haven’t tried freezing the potatoes, but they reheat well after 2 days in the fridge!

    • Greg Tischner

      No, because of their starch and water content.

  4. Francisco

    5 stars
    Great recipe! As a chef for 15 years i love you cut down the calories in mash potatoes without losing any of the creamy texture by reusing the starchy cooking water. Great idea!

  5. Rosalind Polnauer

    Can one roast a few bulbs of garlic and freeze the rest? How should I freeze them? Whole or mashed?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yes, absolutely! I freeze my garlic all the time. I freeze the individual cloves. They thaw quickly at room temperature. A paste would freeze well too.

  6. Carl

    5 stars
    So easy and so delicious. I roasted the garlic the day before so putting it together for the actual meal was simple. I did 2 versions, the recipe exactly and then some with some sour cream added in. Both were fabulous and everyone raved about them. I actually used a stand mixer on low for maybe 30 seconds instead of a ricer/masher. Makes it easy to fold in the oil and potato water (and sour cream in my case), you just don’t want to go too long and lose the chunks of texture. Will make this often now.

    • Lauren

      How much sour cream did you use, and what was the result? Creamier/more tart? Planning for a holiday meal and was curious! Thanks!

  7. Kate from

    This is such a terrific basic recipe that I’ll use again and again. I baked my Yukon gold potatoes instead of boiling them and used homemade veggie stock instead of the boiling water; otherwise the recipe was the same.I made them in the morning and they kept beautifully all day in a covered bowl over a pan of simmering water—thanks!

  8. Clarissa

    5 stars
    These were so good . I have never made potatoes that I didn’t put butter and milk in so I was a little hesitant but I’m glad I gave it a go. I roasted garlic yesterday which I never did either before but holy cow what a flavor. I didn’t quite use half a cup of cooking liquid and I mashed my little arms out with a potato masher and I couldn’t believe it. I always used a mixer ,I didn’t know the texture difference it would make but color me surprised . I omitted the extra tsp of salt as I didn’t personally think it needed it . Definitely a five star potato recipe .

  9. Cathy

    I am curious if you think you could make them earlier in the day and warm them up in the ovem

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cathy – yep, you can, although I usually reheat in the microwave. If they get too thick or dry, stir in a bit more oil.

  10. Ty

    Do you peel the potatoes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yes, they are peeled

  11. Bree

    5 stars
    These are, hands down, the BEST mashed potatoes I have ever had! Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Laura

    Can I substitute unsweetened soy milk for the oil?

  13. Kayla

    When roasting the garlic ahead of time should I mash it up before refrigerating or leave it whole?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kayla, I remove the individual cloves and store them in a freezer safe container. I don’t mash them.

  14. Anna C

    Hi Jeanine!

    Can I make these ahead of time (the day before) and reheat them?


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Anna, you can! Stir in a little more olive oil if they start to get dry.

  15. jaynorman

    I really love mashed potatoes as side dish so I’m happy to see this recipe.

  16. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    I’ve been Super happily cooking from your blog and books for Months but think this may be my first comment. I’ve been vegan for 20+ years and these were hands down the best mashed potatoes I’ve made yet. A huge hit at thanksgiving. My sous chef (I.e my lovely husband) threw out the cooking water so I just added a healthy splash of full fat canned coconut milk open on my counter for another recipe. A hit on the thanksgiving table with or without gravy. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your sweet comment! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes and I’m happy these were a hit at Thanksgiving!

  17. Diana

    This looks great!
    Also, where did you get your ceramic bowls? LOVE them.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Diana – Sheldon Ceramics!

      • Danielle

        This looks amazing! One question. For the roasted garlic, is the dried outer layer peeled off before or after roasting? I’m a little confused on that.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Peel it off after roasting, it cooks in its paper (in the foil). Hope that helps!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.