Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes

published Nov 4, 2023
Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Garlic confit improves just about everything, including these buttery mashed potatoes.

Serves6 to 8

Makesabout 7 cups

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 45 minutes

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A large serving bowl full of garlic confit mashed potatoes topped with confit garlic with a spoon inserted into the potatoes.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

This recipe is a part of Spudsgiving, featuring the very best mashed, roasted, and casserole’d potato recipes you can make this holiday season.

Meet the only thing better than regular ol’ mashed potatoes: garlic confit mashed potatoes. Garlic-lovers, this one’s for you! In this recipe, I opt for garlic confit and a bit of garlic oil to infuse the spuds and give it an almost umami-like flavor. The garlic adds to the overall flavor of the mashed potatoes without overpowering it. These garlicky mashed potatoes are sure to be the star of Thanksgiving

What Does Garlic Confit Taste Like?

Confitting is a French method of preservation that involves slowly cooking something in fat. Most traditionally, this technique is applied to duck, which cooks it in its own fat. 

Here, I’ve taken that same method and applied it to garlic. Slowly cooking whole cloves in olive oil until tender means the garlic takes on a completely different flavor profile than its raw counterpart. The garlic becomes more nuanced and less “in-your-face,” with a sweet, almost nutty flavor. 

How to Use Leftover Garlic Oil

While I love it in mashed potatoes, garlic confit and its oil can be used for so much more. This recipe leaves you with a couple of tablespoons of leftover garlic oil. It’s great for whisking into vinaigrettes and marinades, for frying eggs, or sautéing vegetables. 

The Keys to the Best Mashed Potatoes 

A few years back, I developed a recipe for how to make the best mashed potatoes. I tested every iteration and found that the most flavorful potatoes were made with a mix of whole milk and heavy cream and used cold butter, which melted evenly throughout the potatoes. 

After endless taste tests, there’s only one type of potato I turn to for mashed potatoes: the mighty Yukon Gold. These potatoes are naturally high in starch, which makes them ideal for mashing (in contrast to a waxy potato, which becomes grainy when mashed). While you could also use a Russet potato, I favor Yukon Golds for their naturally buttery, creamy flavor.

Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Garlic confit improves just about everything, including these buttery mashed potatoes.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Makes about 7 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 head

    garlic, or about 18 cloves peeled garlic

  • 3/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 3 pounds

    Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/3 cup

    heavy cream

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Separate the cloves in 1 head of garlic and peel the cloves. Place in a small saucepan and add 3/4 cup olive oil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is knife tender, about 30 minutes.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a cutting board and use the flat part of a chefs’ knife to mash into a paste. Keep the oil in the saucepan.

  3. Peel and cut 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan or pot and add enough cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are knife-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, cut 8 tablespoons unsalted butter into 8 pieces and refrigerate until ready to use. Transfer all but 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil to a bowl or airtight container and reserve for another use. Add the mashed garlic, 3/4 cup whole milk, and 1/3 cup heavy cream to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is just warmed through but not boiling, about 5 minutes.

  5. When the potatoes are ready, drain and return to the pot. Add the butter and remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Mash with a potato masher until the butter is melted. Add the garlic mixture 1/4 cup at a time, mashing until fully absorbed into the potatoes. Taste and season with freshly ground black pepper and more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The garlic confit can be made up to 1 week ahead; let the garlic cool in the oil, then refrigerate the garlic in the oil in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The potatoes can be peeled and placed in the pot with the water and kosher salt and kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours before cooking.

Storage: Leftover mashed potatoes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.