I rely on this rich, silken, absurdly simple garlic mashed potatoes recipe as a sponge to mop up the juices from long, slow braises. But don’t think this mash isn’t just as laudable alongside a fancy-schmancy standing rib roast or, conversely, an über practical weeknight chicken cutlet or garlic butter steak bites.—Mitchell Rosenthal

Garlic Mashed Potatoes FAQs

How can I avoid lumpy potatoes?

The best way to make a silky smooth mash starts before you even begin mashing. Make sure that you start your taters in cold water, so they all cook evenly. And make sure to let them cook long enough so that they’re fork-tender.

Do I need to keep the garlic-infused cream warm until I need it?

Yes, you absolutely do. You run the risk of the hot potatoes cooling down (say no to cold potatoes!) and not absorbing the liquid. This also makes you overwork the potatoes to get the liquid absorbed, which makes for gummy or gluey mashed potatoes, which might be even worse than cold potatoes.

Can I leave the garlic in the heavy cream?

Some of our testers highly recommend that the smashed garlic doesn’t get strained out before being added to the potatoes. If you’re a big fan of garlic, then leave it in, by all means.

Garlic mashed potatoes with melted butter and black pepper inside a copper pot, resting on a kitchen towel.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 / 2 votes
Garlic mashed potatoes are an ideal go-to side dish, anytime. They complement nearly everything you can think of and, more importantly, nearly everybody loves them. This version does away with the roasting and peeling, using a super simple method, instead.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories449 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or more as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 or 5 pieces, at room temperature
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • In a large pot combine the potatoes with salted water to cover, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Just before the potatoes are ready, in a small saucepan, combine the cream and garlic, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower the heat and simmer for just a few minutes, until warmed through. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, and keep warm.
  • Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot and mash with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer or food mill back into the pot. Add the warm cream and the butter and whisk or stir until well blended. Season the garlic mashed potatoes with salt and pepper and serve immediately or keep warm.
Cooking My Way Back Home

Adapted From

Cooking My Way Back Home

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 449 kcalCarbohydrates: 41 gProtein: 6 gFat: 30 gSaturated Fat: 19 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 95 mgSodium: 31 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Mitchell Rosenthal. Photo © 2011 Azurita. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The preparation for this mashed potato recipe was truly effortless. If you have a few potatoes, cream, butter, and garlic, you have everything you need. Even though I did not have a food mill or ricer, the garlic mashed potatoes came out silky, creamy, and light just using a potato masher.

The garlic flavor was not overpowering, but balanced. While Yukon Gold potatoes have an unmatched buttery flavor, this recipe works well with russets also. These mashed potatoes came out so well, I could eat them by themselves for dinner.

How could you possibly improve mashed potatoes, right? This recipe shows you how!

For years, my favorite way of making garlic mashed potatoes has been to roast a whole head of garlic until the cloves are creamy, then squeeze them out of their papery skin right into the waiting potatoes and cream. This requires turning the oven on for at least 20 minutes though, which, if you are not already roasting/baking something else, and if you don’t have a toaster oven, is very wasteful of energy. I was glad, then, to see this recipe, which bypasses the roasting and infuses the garlic flavor right into the cream instead.

I will say that the results were VERY garlicky though. I think next time I would sauté the garlic to sweeten it before adding it to the cream to steep. Fantastic technique, though. This one is a keeper.

My family likes rich, thick anything. That means that typically potatoes have to have gravy, because otherwise, what’s the point? When I made this recipe to serve with capon, I had every intention of making gravy but ran out of time.

I was worried that the potato dish would go begging without gravy, but this was the only thing that they went back for over and over again. When I asked them what I should make with the leftovers, they said “mashed potatoes.” I suggested croquettes because I think this recipe would lend itself to that type of thing, but they refused the offer.

This recipe needs no embellishment, additions, or modifications. It’s perfect comfort food as is.

This is a super-easy recipe for making mashed potatoes. The garlic-infused cream adds just the right amount of garlic flavor to make these potatoes a bit beyond the ordinary.

The cooking and prep times were spot-on. I used a ricer to process the potatoes, and they turned out very smooth and creamy.

This recipe is easy to follow and well written. Personally, I almost fainted when the garlic was strained from the cream, but I am a garlic lover. If you like a subtle garlic taste to your mashers, this one is for you. If you’re like me and are ready to fight off vampires, keep the garlic in and mince it first to get an even more garlic flavor. Enjoy and keep on cooking!

Smooth, rich, and creamy, these potatoes will become favorites at your dinner table. They’re simple to make, too.

Infusing the cream with garlic is a wonderful way to add flavor, although I would first chop the garlic before cooking it, skip the straining, and add it right into the potatoes. Makes the recipe even simpler and more flavorful.

Simple, creamy, delicious mashed potatoes. The potatoes have a nice mild garlic flavor, but I love garlic, so I decided to mash in the garlic cloves after tasting the potatoes.

This recipe yields a very smooth, very creamy mashed potato with just a hint of garlic. If you want a more substantial potato, just add the cream in increments until you get the desired consistency.

If you want to increase the garlic presence, you could mince one garlic clove (or both) before adding to the cream. Once simmered, just remove the large piece(s), leaving the minced garlic to mash with the rest of the ingredients. I would just remove the large garlic pieces before adding the butter, rather than straining the mixture and putting it back into the pot — fewer dishes to do later!

These are the best garlic mashed potatoes you’ll ever make. I usually just throw some garlic cloves in the water when boiling the potatoes, but this way is so much better!

I followed the recipe exactly and couldn’t believe what a difference simmering the garlic with the cream makes. The subtle flavor of the garlic doesn’t overwhelm the potatoes when you strain them out. If you love smooth potatoes, please use a ricer or food mill—the texture is silky and luscious. I’ll definitely be making these again and again.

Is there such a thing as a perfect mashed potato recipe? Probably not, but this comes pretty close. The potatoes are rich and creamy with a not-overwhelming hint of garlic and plenty of salty, buttery goodness.

What I liked best about the recipe is that it is rich and decadent without being overly heavy—a problem with some recipes, particularly ones that include cheese.

I think the number one thing someone can do to upgrade their mashed potatoes is to use a ricer. This is a nice, simple, and well-written recipe.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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5 from 2 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! I’m a garlic fiend, so I used five cloves, minced them, and kept them in the cream that I mashed into the potatoes. Other than that, I followed the directions to a T. They came out so creamy, garlicky, and delicious. We used them as a base for a savory stew and fried the leftovers into mashed potato pancakes.

    1. Fantastic, Leah! We are so pleased you enjoyed this and what a great use of leftovers.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely divine and super easy to throw together! I peeled and chopped the potatoes more than two hours in advance and left them in salted water on the stove. When I was ready to boil I just lit the stove and the countdown began. These took 23 minutes at 5500 feet and came out beautifully. We served for Christmas dinner along with your osso buco. Perfection!

    1. Wonderful! Thanks so much, Amy. We’re delighted that you made Leite’s part of your Christmas dinner.