Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes passed the ultimate test when Jack declared, "These are SO good!" I have to agree - they're creamy, deeply flavorful & delicious.

Mashed potatoes

The standard for mashed potatoes is high in our house. See, Jack grew up eating his Uncle Billy’s perfect mashed potatoes, and he still reminisces about them. They were creamy, fluffy, and rich with (lots of) melted butter, (lots of) sour cream, and topped with “butter lake,” as Jack lovingly refers to it. I’ve made mashed potato recipes before, but always with a twist like cauliflower or kale. This year, I stepped up to take on the challenge of making a delicious, classic homemade mashed potato recipe.

This mashed potato recipe is not quite the same as his Uncle Billy’s, so I didn’t know what Jack would think. Instead of dairy, olive oil and starchy potato cooking water give these potatoes an amazing creamy texture, and roasted garlic fills them with rich, nutty depth of flavor. I thought they were delicious, but the real test came when we sat down to eat.

Jack’s verdict? “These mashed potatoes are SO good!”

how to make mashed potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe Ingredients

The best mashed potatoes only require a few simple ingredients:

  • Potatoes – My first picks are Yukon gold or German butterball potatoes. Unlike russet potatoes, they have a rich golden color, and they make for super creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Roasted garlic – The secret ingredient! I mix in a whole head of roasted garlic to pack these guys with flavor.
  • Olive oil – I love the rich taste of olive oil in this recipe, and, along with starchy potato cooking water, it makes these garlic 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 mashed potatoes.
  • Toppings – Top your potatoes however you like! My favorite way to eat them is with a sprinkle of chives, minced fresh rosemary, and a pat of butter.

Boiled potatoes in a strainer

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

First, roast the garlic in a 350-degree 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 tender. 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!

Garlic mashed potatoes recipe

More Favorite Holiday Recipes

If you love these roasted garlic mashed potatoes, try one of these favorite side dish recipes next:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Serves 4 to 6
Made with olive oil and roasted garlic, these creamy homemade mashed potatoes are one of our favorite side dishes.


Roasted Garlic*

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or butterball potatoes, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Butter, optional for serving
  • Chopped chives and/or rosemary, optional for sprinkling


  • 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. 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.

  2. Ty

    Do you peel the potatoes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yes, they are peeled

  3. 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!

  4. Laura

    Can I substitute unsweetened soy milk for the oil?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. jaynorman

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.