Recipe Review

This Recipe for French Onion Mashed Potatoes Will Wow Your Thanksgiving Guests

published Nov 17, 2021
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Garlicky mashed potatoes topped with butter in serving bowl.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

When cool weather rolls around and I start thinking about comfort food, potatoes immediately come to mind — as do hearty soups. So when I saw How Sweet Eats’ French Onion Mashed Potatoes on Instagram, my mouth literally dropped open. Creamy mashed potatoes meet French onion soup? Um, yes.

If you’re looking to up your mashed potato game just in time for Thanksgiving, I can think of no better way than introducing rich caramelized onions and melty Gruyere cheese to the mix. Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats preps her caramelized onions first, letting them slowly cook with butter until sweet and jammy. Then she boils her potatoes, and heats up cream and butter before ricing or mashing the drained spuds and adding the remaining ingredients.

Get the recipe: French Onion Mashed Potatoes from How Sweet Eats

The recipe feeds eight to ten, perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. If you’re having a smaller get-together this year, Merchant includes instructions for halving the recipe. She also includes some other hot tips for making the ultimate mashed potatoes, French onion or not:

  1. Don’t chop your potatoes too small. Depending on their size, slicing them in two or four pieces is enough.
  2. Don’t over-cook your potatoes. While you want them nice and tender for mashing, over-boiling can make your mashed potatoes watery. They’re done when you can pierce a potato piece easily with a knife.
  3. Use a ricer. If you have one, use a ricer to mash your potatoes for the fluffiest results.
  4. Warm your cream and butter. This will keep the mixture hot and fluffy.
  5. Don’t over-mix. Over-whipping your potatoes will make them gluey instead of light and airy.

While the caramelized onions take some time, you can prepare them ahead of time and stash them in the fridge until it’s time to mash. You could also make them extra hands-off and prepare your caramelized onions in the slow cooker. Merchant also includes a make-ahead tip for the potatoes: wash, peel, and chop the spuds and place them in a large bowl topped with ice water. They’ll keep in the fridge this way for up to 18 hours.

While I’m taking Thanksgiving day off this year (I ordered in!), I will be making these incredible-looking mashed potatoes ASAP. If you’re looking to wow your holiday guests this year, give it a try! I’m willing to bet the leftovers would make incredible mashed potato puffs.