Recipe: Stovetop Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

updated Nov 15, 2019
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Save yourself the trouble of peeling potatoes and go the rustic route instead. Red potatoes have delicate, tender skins, so they’re perfect for mashing whole. Even better, you can mash the potatoes right in their cooking pot, where they’ll stay warm until you’re ready to serve them up.

A handful of whole garlic cloves simmer right along with the potatoes, becoming soft and mash-able just as the potatoes cook through. Don’t worry about the impressive 10 cloves that go into the pot — simmering renders their flavor sweet and mellow. A splash of tangy buttermilk offsets the sweetness of the garlic, and a moderate amount of butter adds flavor without making things overly rich.

Season the potatoes to your taste (I add at least a heaping teaspoon of salt and go from there), and serve these up piping-hot. They’ll keep warm in their covered cooking pot for half an hour, or longer if you transfer them to a warm slow cooker or chafing dish.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Tester’s Notes

These mashed potatoes have a nice garlicky bite and don’t even need any gravy (although I wouldn’t stop you), and mashing them right in the pot makes for easy cleanup, too. The potatoes and garlic can be cut and sitting in the water for a few hours, so all you have to do is turn on the stove when you’re ready to cook.

Christine, November 2015

Stovetop Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Nutritional Info


  • 2 1/2 pounds

    red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 10 cloves

    garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 cup

    buttermilk or milk (not nonfat)

  • 4 tablespoons


  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the potatoes and garlic in a medium (4- to 5-quart) saucepan or pot and add cold water to cover them by one inch. Stir in one tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

  2. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to low. Simmer the potatoes until they’re very tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes.

  3. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small (1/2- to 1-quart) saucepan or butter warmer over low heat. When the butter is melted, add the buttermilk and heat until piping-hot but not boiling, about 2 more minutes. Turn off the burner.

  4. When the potatoes are tender, turn off the stove and drain them a colander in the sink. Return the potatoes and garlic to the warm pot, then mash the potatoes and garlic with a potato masher until they reach your desired texture — a few lumps are just fine. Add the butter and milk mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Hold the potatoes for up to 30 minutes in the covered cooking pot to keep them nice and warm before serving. Alternately, transfer them to a slow cooker on its "warm" setting for up to two hours.