How To Make Ultra-Creamy, Extra-Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes

updated Oct 14, 2022
How To Make Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes

Creamy homestyle mashed red potatoes made with rich, garlic-infused milk.

Serves8 to 10

Prep30 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 45 minutes

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Garlicky red skinned mashed potatoes topped with butter in serving bowl.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Homestyle mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. What other side can compete with their creamy texture and buttery garlic flavor? They’re the perfect addition to any weeknight winter meal or holiday spread.

Today, I’m sharing the smartest, easiest way to make them: instead of boiling the potatoes in water, you’ll cook them directly in the milk and broth from the very start. Not only does this infuse them with flavor, but it also results in rich, garlicky, incredibly creamy mashed potatoes in a fraction of the time — and with half the dirty dishes!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Choose Red Potatoes for a Homestyle Side

Leaving some of the potato skins intact adds color, flavor, and texture to this homestyle side, which is why I prefer to start with red potatoes, which have thin and tender skins. Buy medium to large red potatoes in bulk or by the bag and leave the baby reds on the shelf — it’s easier to peel and dice the larger ones.

After peeling half the potatoes, cut them into small cubes and add them to the pot. Small, uniform pieces allow the potatoes to cook evenly, but don’t worry if there are a few small pieces (there always are!). Those potato ends will cook very quickly, breaking down and thickening the liquid.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Smash Garlic for a Mellow Garlic Flavor

If you’re of the belief that there’s no such thing as too much garlic, this is the recipe for you. Six whole cloves are smashed and added to the pot from the very start. Smashed garlic infuses the milk and broth with a mellow, garlicky flavor and none of the bite.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

The Secret to Ultra-Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Instead of cooking the potatoes in water until tender, you’ll pour milk and broth into the pot. The liquid won’t quite cover the potatoes, but once it begins to simmer the bubbles will easily cover the cubes. As they cook, the potatoes will soften and soak up the seasoning and milky liquid while their starches help to thicken the cooking liquid, building the foundation for ultra-creamy mashed potatoes. When the potatoes are tender, the mixture may appear soupy at first, but they will quickly absorb it all.

As for serving, no pot of mashed potatoes is complete without pools of melted butter. Stir in cubes of butter, leaving pockets of the butter to melt into a buttery surprise.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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Here's how to make garlicky mashed red potatoes.

How To Make Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes

Creamy homestyle mashed red potatoes made with rich, garlic-infused milk.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


  • 4 pounds

    red potatoes

  • 6 cloves


  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 2 cups

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1 1/2 cups

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or water

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed


  • Vegetable peeler

  • Chef's knife and cutting board

  • Large pot or Dutch oven

  • Potato masher

  • Wooden spoon or spatula

  • Measuring spoons


  1. Peel and chop the potatoes. Peel 2 pounds of the red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and place in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cut the remaining 2 pounds red potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces (do not peel), and add to the pot.

  2. Smash the garlic and dice the butter. Smash 6 peeled garlic cloves and add to the pot. Cut 8 tablespoons unsalted butter into 8 pieces.

  3. Add the milk, broth, and seasonings. Add 2 cups whole or 2% milk, 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or water), 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the pot, and stir to combine.

  4. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Bring to a boil uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Mash the potatoes. Remove the pot from the heat. Use a potato masher, fork, or slotted spoon to mash the potatoes right in the pot to desired consistency.

  6. Stir in the butter. Once the potatoes are mashed to desired consistency, slowly stir in the butter. The potatoes will appear thin and soupy at first, but the potatoes will soak up the liquid. Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Potatoes can be peeled and diced up to 1 day in advance. Store, submerged in water in the refrigerator until ready to use. Drain before using.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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