The Best Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
These cheesy garlic mashed potatoes are seriously the best! Yukon gold potatoes are whipped with sharp white cheddar cheese, garlic, rosemary, and of course, plenty of melty butter for the ultimate cozy side dish. Plus they reheat like a dream so you can make them in advance!
In a very real way, I believe that potatoes are one of the best foods to exist. Whether it’s French fries or potato chips, au gratin or domino potatoes, I want them in my face. So it probably doesn’t need to be said that I have opinions on mashed potatoes.
My thing with mashed potatoes is that they’re either the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth or they are just very ok. After having my fair share of gummy, dry, grainy potatoes, I used a few tricks that I learned in culinary school to develop this recipe. And well, they’re basically perfect. Cheesy, garlicky, totally amazing.
So trust me when I say that these belong at your next dinner party, or holiday, or while eating them straight out of the bowl while you lounge on the couch in pajamas. (It’s called self-care, ok?)
About this recipe
Do you really need to be convinced to make cheesy potatoes? Probably not, but just in case you do, here are a few highlights:
- They are uber cozy. Basically like wearing a warm, fuzzy sweater but it’s potatoes.
- You can make them in advance! And then just reheat them when you’re ready to go.
- They’re simple and unfussy. No hard-to-find ingredients or special tools.
- You can make them your own with different cheeses and herbs.
The grocery list
- Potatoes – I definitely recommend Yukon gold. They make for the creamiest mashed potatoes!
- Garlic – personally, I’ve found that two large cloves is the sweet spot so that the garlic isn’t overpowering. But feel free to add more based on your tastes!
- Cheese – preferably sharp white cheddar. Just make sure you buy a block and shred it yourself! The additives in pre-shredded cheese will make the potatoes grainy.
- Butter – melted, salted butter will add richness and flavor. Use something good-quality, it really makes a difference here!
- Crème fraîche – just a scoop will add a little tang. I like crème fraîche over sour cream because it’s a bit richer and more decadent.
- Half-and-half – to add creaminess and help thin out the mashed potatoes.
- Rosemary – a bit of fresh rosemary adds an herbal note that complements the garlic and cheddar.
- Salt & pepper – I use Morton’s Kosher salt and white pepper in this recipe. Black pepper works too but will obviously add little black specks to the dish.
Try to choose potatoes that are roughly the same size. You want them to cook as evenly as possible so they’re nice and tender but not watery.
- Potatoes – feel free to use russets instead of Yukon golds.
- Cheese – any melty cheese will work. Gruyère, provolone, havarti, gouda, etc.
- Crème fraîche – sour cream is also delicious in these potatoes!
- Half-and-half – whole milk or heavy cream is good too. Whole milk will make the potatoes a little less rich, and heavy cream will be more decadent.
- Herbs – try thyme, chives, or parsley instead.
How to make these cheesy potatoes
- First we’re going to cook the potatoes! Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender.
- Next, drain the potatoes. Cover the colander with a large plate and let them steam for a few minutes.
- Then, mash, rice, or “whip” the potatoes with a hand or stand mixer until they are smooth.
- While the potatoes are still hot, immediately stir in the garlic to let the residual heat from the potatoes “cook” the garlic a little. Fold in the white cheddar cheese until it’s melted.
- Then, stir in the melted butter, crème fraîche, and rosemary.
- Splash 1/3 cup of half-and-half into the potatoes. Continue adding half-and-half until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Don’t over-mix the potatoes or they’ll come out dense and gummy. You want to mix the ingredients just until everything is combined. This will keep them creamy and fluffy!
- Potato masher, ricer, or hand/stand mixer
- Cheese grater
- A large pot
- Cutting board & chef’s knife
You can serve these garlic rosemary mashed potatoes with just about anything. But rich, savory, saucy dishes are my favorite! Here are a few of my go-to meals to serve with these potatoes.
- Braised pork ragù
- Apple pork chops with bourbon & sage
- Sheet pan chicken cordon bleu
- Pot roast with red wine & shallots
- Reverse seared steak with brandy peppercorn sauce
- Beef stroganoff with shallots & brandy
Storing & make-ahead
To store the leftover potatoes, place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To make the potatoes in advance, just prepare them according to the recipe. Once they’re cooled, spoon the potatoes into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze the leftovers! Spoon the potatoes into a freezer-safe container or zipper bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 1 month. After a month, the potatoes and liquids will start to separate and they won’t be as fluffy when they’re reheated.
You can make these potatoes in the morning and keep them warm for up to up to 4-5 hours. Just spoon the potatoes into a slow cooker and set it to WARM. Give the potatoes a stir every once in a while, adding more melted butter or half-and-half if needed. If you want to make them a day in advance, use the baking method below!
The best way: bake in the oven
I would highly recommend baking the white cheddar mashed potatoes when you’re ready to reheat. This low and slow method allows the potatoes to reheat without drying out or burning.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spoon the potatoes in a lightly greased baking dish.
- Next, add a splash of half-and-half to add moisture back into the potatoes.
- Lastly, cover the dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are bubbling and hot.
The easier way: microwave
If you’re short on time and just can’t wait to eat some potatoes, microwaving is the way to go.
- First, transfer the potatoes to a microwave-safe dish.
- Then, cook on high for one minute. Stir, and continue cooking minute-by-minute until the potatoes are hot.
- Add additional melted butter or half-and-half if necessary!
Tips & tricks
- Don’t cut the potatoes too small. I like to cut small potatoes in half and large potatoes into quarters. Any smaller, and they will absorb too much water and make the mashed potatoes flavorless.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water before you boil them. Hot water will start cooking the outsides of the potatoes which will make them cook unevenly.
- Salt the water before boiling the potatoes. Just like pasta, you want to season the potatoes at every stage of cooking.
- Use a potato ricer or hand/stand mixer for creamier potatoes. Mashing is fine but it takes a lot more effort to get the perfect texture.
- Feel free to sauté the garlic if you want less of a bite. Just cook the garlic in a skillet with 1 Tablespoon of butter before adding it to the potatoes.
- Add the half-and-half gradually. You’ll want to adjust the liquid based on how thick you want the potatoes to be.
What are the best potatoes to use?
This totally depends on the recipe. But in this one, I would definitely recommend Yukon golds! They’re ridiculously creamy, have a buttery flavor, and absorb less water. But, if you prefer fluffier mashed potatoes, you can always use russet.
How can I make these potatoes creamier?
If you want creamier mashed potatoes, just add more dairy! You can use melted butter, warmed half-and-half, or crème fraîche depending on whatever flavors you’re looking to add to the potatoes.
Why does the half-and-half need to be warm?
Warm dairy (half-and-half, butter, cream, etc.) will absorb into the potatoes so much easier than cold dairy. And you want to stir these potatoes just until they’re mixed so they don’t get dense and gummy!
What else can I add to cheese mashed potatoes?
If you want to add even more flavor to these potatoes, try roasted garlic, caramelized onions, brown butter, green onions, or bacon. Or top them with crispy frizzled onions. Honestly, it’s hard to mess this recipe up!
More cozy side dishes
Simple Rice Pilaf with Orzo
Crispy Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage & Sage
Charred Broccoli with Breadcrumbs & Pecorino
Lemony Green Beans with Pine Nuts & Garlic
The Best Hot Honey Brussels Sprouts
If you make this recipe, I would love it if you left a star rating and review! I read every single comment and love hearing what you think about my recipes. Thank you for supporting Sunday Table!
The Best Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (1,368 grams)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
- 12 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated (338 grams)
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted (113 grams)
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (120 grams)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons rosemary, finely minced (2.5 grams)
- 2/3 cup half-and-half, warmed (160 milliliters)
- Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
- Potato ricer, masher, or stand/hand mixer
- Cheese grater
Boil the Potatoes
- Start by peeling the potatoes. Give them a good wash, and cut the potatoes into halves if they're small or quarters if they are large. Try your best to keep them uniform so they cook evenly.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and cover with at least 2 inches of cold water. Add a few generous pinches of salt. Then, place the potatoes over medium-high heat and bring them to a rolling boil.
- Boil the potatoes for 18-20 minutes, just until they are fork tender. Don't overcook the potatoes or they will absorb too much water. Drain the potatoes and cover the colander with a large plate to let them steam for a few minutes. Do not rinse!
Make the Mashed Potatoes
- Mash the potatoes with a masher, press them through a ricer, or whip them with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they're smooth. Immediately stir in the garlic to let the residual heat "cook" the garlic a bit.
- Stir in the white cheddar cheese, one large handful at a time, until it's melted. Add the butter, sour cream, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and a few dashes of white pepper.
- Then, add 1/3 cup of the warmed half-and-half. Add more half-and-half, one splash at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
To Reheat the Potatoes
- If you're making these in advance, spoon the mashed potatoes into an airtight container and let them cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help speed up the process. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Bake: This is the method I recommend! To reheat the mashed potatoes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon the potatoes into a lightly-greased dish and stir in a splash or two of half-and-half to loosen them up a bit. Cover with an oven-safe lid or tinfoil and bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- Microwave: Alternatively, place the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, and continue cooking 1 minute at a time until hot. Add more half-and-half or melted butter as needed.
- Slow Cooker: You can also make these potatoes in the morning and keep them warm for up to 4-5 hours. Just spoon the potatoes into a slow cooker and set it to WARM. Give the potatoes a stir every once in a while, adding more melted butter or half-and-half if needed.
xo Sara Lynn
Song of the day – I Never Could Get Enough by My Morning Jacket
Originally posted November 16, 2021.