Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are great, but these light and creamy Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are amazing! With the addition of bold flavors of fresh garlic and grated Parmesan cheese, they take plain mashed potatoes to a new level of deliciousness. And the best part? They are super easy to make!

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes in a white serving bowl

If you've noticed, I'm on a bit of a potato kick lately.  A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for a make ahead Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole (so yummy!). And last week I published a recipe for Garlic  Roasted Potatoes.

Maybe I'm just supporting the underdog. These days it seems like cauliflower wants to over take the potato in it's supporting role as a comfort food side dish. But honestly, nothing can replace a good recipe for mashed potatoes. And potatoes are good food! They are nutritional powerhouses full of good for you stuff like vitamins B6 and C and they are full of potassium. So I'm supplying an alternative to the cauliflower craze with this simple and humble, garlic Parmesan potato recipe.

How do you make flavorful mashed potatoes?

Potatoes are a regular item on my weekly menus, and with the holidays fast approaching, I know I'll be serving a few potato dishes. These Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes would make a great addition to any holiday menu. 

This garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes recipe is easy to make and full of flavor. Fresh garlic is cooked right in the pot with the potatoes for a subtle garlic flavor and Parmesan cheese adds a bold finish. These garlic Parmesan potatoes take ordinary mashed potatoes to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Spoonful of Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

How do you make creamy garlic mashed potatoes? 

To make creamy garlic mashed potatoes you need to start with the right potato. For these garlic parmesan potatoes I recommend using either Yukon Gold potatoes (yellow flesh potato) or Russet potatoes. Both are well suited for mashed potatoes because of their starch levels. 

Make sure you use real butter that is at room temperature and, to get the creamiest mashed potatoes, use a higher fat content milk product, like half and half cream or whole milk. You could use heavy cream, but I find that makes the mashed potatoes too heavy. Make sure your milk or half and half is warmed and not cold from the refrigerator before adding to the hot potatoes. 

Cooking the garlic along with the potatoes ensures it softens up enough to just melt into the potatoes when blended. Using an electric mixer to mash potatoes vs. using a hand held masher will also help you achieve creamy mashed potatoes!  

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Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes - easy recipe for your favorite comfort food mashed potatoes elevated with fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese for a flavorful side dish that goes well with any meat. #mashedpotatoes #Parmesancheese #potatoes

How do you make Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes? 

Making Garlic Parmesan potatoes is so easy! Cooking fresh garlic in the pot along with the potatoes is key. The garlic softens enough to just kind of melt into the potatoes ensuring a subtle taste of mild garlic in every spoonful. Cooking the garlic like this takes the harsh edge off of the fresh garlic you would otherwise have if you mixed it in raw.

Adding the Parmesan at the end is important and should be done before seasoning with salt and pepper. Parmesan cheese is quite salty and you may find you will need very little, if any, additional salt.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Like other famous food duos (think salt and pepper and peanut butter and jelly) mashed potatoes and gravy were made to be served together. I'm never against making life easier in the kitchen so serving these garlic Parmesan potatoes with a prepared gravy purchased from your grocery store is fine by me. There are several brands of jarred gravy that are pretty darn good. I've served this meal with a jarred onion gravy that paired really nice with the garlic Parmesan potatoes and the beef roast I made. 

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes on plate with gravy, roast beef, and peas and carrots

Tips for making the perfect mashed potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes into uniform sizes for cooking. This is an important tip to ensure the potatoes all cook to the same degree of doneness at the same time. I like to slice my potatoes. 
  • Always start to cook the potatoes with COLD, salted water! Never use warm or hot water to speed up the cooking. You won't get the right texture. 
  • Make sure the water is at least an inch or two above the top of the raw potatoes.
  • Bring the water up to a boil slowly and allow the potatoes to cook slowly.  Just a nice slow boil is best! 
  • Once they are fork tender and break apart when stabbed while cooking, the potatoes are done. Drain the potatoes well. You can even add the drained potatoes back to the empty warm pot they cooked in and put it back over low heat for a minute or two to absorb any excess water in the potatoes before mashing them. This will help to ensure the mashed potatoes have a fluffy texture.
  • Generally, you will want the butter and whatever other dairy you are adding to the potatoes to be at room temperature. This will allow those ingredients to easily incorporate into the hot potatoes and prevent that goopy texture that mashed potatoes can have when cold dairy is added to the hot potatoes. 

Next time you think about serving mashed potatoes, think about giving them a little lift by making  Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes instead!

garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, garlic parmesan mashed potatoes recipe, mashed potatoes with garlic and Parmesan cheese
side dish
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes take plain mashed potatoes to a whole new level with the addition of fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese for a side dish that will take center stage!


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 TBSP kosher salt (for water)
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 to 1 cup or more half and half (or whole milk (less creamy), warmed to at least room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped Parsley
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Put the potato slices and smashed garlic cloves in a large Dutch oven type pot. (I use a 5 quart pot) Add enough COLD water to completely cover the potatoes and 2" over the top of the potatoes. Add 1 TBSP kosher salt to the water and stir.
  2. Bring to boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Once boiled turn down heat so the water doesn't boil over, but so it will continue to gently boil. Boil potatoes are soft and cooked through. About 20 minutes. You can check with a fork or knife. Once it goes through easily, the potatoes are done.
  3. Drain potatoes well and place back into warm pot. Let the potatoes sit in pot 1 - 2 minutes to help evaporate excess water in the potatoes. (You can even put them back on low heat for a minute or two.)
  4. To the pot with the cooked potatoes and garlic, add in the butter and half and half or milk. With a hand held electric mixer, mash up the potatoes a little to get them started, then turn the mixer on and whip until the potatoes are fully mixed with the butter and the half and half or milk , most of the lumps are gone and they are light and fluffy. Add more half and half or milk to make the mashed potatoes looser if you like. (Better drained potatoes will absorb more milk so you may need more depending on how well drained your potatoes are).
  5. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese then taste for salt and pepper. Add as little or as much salt and pepper as you like.
  6. Spoon potatoes into serving dish and top with additional TBSP of butter, fresh parsley, and more cheese, if desired.


Nutritional information calculated with half and half.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

9.39 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

5.77 g

Cholesterol (grams)

25.91 mg

Carbs (grams)

32.47 g

Fiber (grams)

2.26 g

Sugar (grams)

2.01 g

Net carbs

30.21 g

Protein (grams)

5.42 g

Sodium (milligrams)

974.78 mg

Nutritional information is only provided as a courtesy and is an estimate.

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