These richly flavored garlic mashed potatoes are made extra creamy with cream cheese and Parmesan. Ready in under 30 minutes, this is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
A good mashed potato recipe is something that every home cook should keep on hand. I eat the most mashed potatoes around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, but they are a delicious addition to dinner year round.
Garlic mashed potatoes with cream cheese is my go-to recipe. They are quick and easy to make (under 30 minutes!) and filled with delicious garlic, shredded Parmesan and cream cheese.
Because every good mashed potato recipe needs a little bit of decadence!
What kind of potato should I use?
Some potatoes are definitely better for mashing. Higher starch potatoes like Russet or Yukon gold are best. This recipe uses Yukon gold because they make a really creamy dish and have a naturally buttery flavor.
I leave the skin on for this recipe because Yukon golds have really thin skins. The skins add a nice texture to an otherwise very creamy dish. You can definitely remove the skins if you prefer!
Other than Yukon gold potatoes, we'll be using just a few common ingredients:
Garlic: Minced garlic is sauteed in butter until fragrant. I usually press my own garlic but using pre-minced garlic is a great way to cut down on prep time.
Cream cheese: Half a block of plain cream cheese is all you need to take potatoes to the next level.
Milk: Whole milk is my go-to in mashed potatoes because it adds enough creaminess but is lighter than heavy cream or half-and-half. For an even lighter option you can use skim, 1% or even dairy-free alternatives like unsweetened, unflavored oat milk or soy milk.
Parmesan: Shredded Parmesan adds a nice umami kick and additional creaminess. If you're vegetarian make sure to look for Parmesan labeled as vegetarian (many aren't!) or opt for a similar cheese like Asiago.
Salt and pepper: Keep seasonings simple so that the Parmesan and garlic can shine.
How many potatoes should be made per person?
The rule of thumb is 1 and ½ potatoes per person. This recipe calls for 3 pounds of potatoes, so you can assume it will serve 6. Adjust the recipe as needed based on the number of people you will be serving.
How to make mashed potatoes
- Rinse the potatoes in cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Skin the potatoes if desired. Slice into one inch cubes. Try to make the potatoes as similarly sized as possible.
- Cover potatoes in cool water. You want to use cool water because slowly bringing the potatoes to a boil helps them cook evenly. Add salt to the water. Potatoes soak up a lot of salt, so this is an important step.
- Boil the potatoes over high heat until fork tender. This means that you can easily pierce a potato with a fork without it falling apart. Keep boiling if you have to use any force to piece the potato.
- When the potatoes are ready, drain the water and add the potatoes back to the pot. Add remaining ingredients. Mash until thin, adding extra milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Let cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
Recipe tips and storage
The easiest way to mash potatoes is using a potato masher. If you don't have one on hand you can use use a fork or even a metal whisk.
Make mashed potatoes up to 3 days in advance. Add a splash of milk and heat on the stove over medium heat to warm up.
Storage: Keep mashed potatoes refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
Reheating: Place on the stove in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. Add a splash of milk to loosen the potatoes. Cover and heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with sliced chives, a pad or two of butter and homemade mushroom gravy.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 2 and ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes see note #1
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup to ½ cup whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan
- ¼ cup thinly sliced chives for topping
- Wash potatoes and remove any debris. Skin if desired (I leave the skin on with Yukon gold). Cut into one inch pieces. Place in a 4 quart pot or dutch oven. Add ½ teaspoon salt and just enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain water and set cooked potatoes aside.
- Place the empty Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add two tablespoons butter. Once melted, add minced garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until golden and aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
- Return potatoes to the pot. Over medium-low heat, add ¼ cup milk, cream cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash until mostly softened. I like to leave a few small chunks for texture. Stir in the Parmesan. Add additional ¼ cup milk to thin if desired. Keep over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. until warmed through.
- Taste for salt and pepper. Serve topped with thinly sliced chives and mushroom gravy. Enjoy!
- Potatoes: Yukon gold are my preferred mashing potato. Russets potatoes also work. I leave the Yukon gold skin on because it is very thin and adds nice texture to the mashed potatoes. If using Russet, I recommend peeling the skin.
- Storage: Mashed potatoes will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days in a closed container.
- Reheating: Place on the stove in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. Add a splash of milk to loosen the potatoes. Cover and heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.