Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

These olive oil mashed potatoes, from that doyenne of everything Italian Lidia Bastianich, swaps in olive oil for the traditional butter and the result is an indulgent, smooth, dairy-free mash. You might just never go back to old-school spuds.

A potato masher pressing down in a pot of olive oil mashed potatoes.

Who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? Of course we love them, but everyone wants to be careful about adding too much butter. So try making them the way my nonna used to make them in Italy—with olive oil, or with garlic and olive oil. They’re healthier, and still a favorite at our table.–Lidia Matticchio Bastianich


Why our testers loved this

Our testers can’t say enough good things about these easy, 4-ingredient mashed potatoes. They’re calling them light, delicate, and luscious. Alexander C describes them as “some of the best mashed potatoes” he’s ever tried.

Notes on ingredients

  • Potatoes–Yukon Gold or russet potatoes are best here. Avoid red or other waxy varieties as they don’t mash well.
  • Olive oil–Depending on your personal preference, you may need a little more or less than the 1/4 called for here. Choose an olive oil that is light in flavor so that the grassy flavor of the oil doesn’t overwhelm the potatoes.

How to make this recipe

  1. Cook the potatoes. Cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, then drain.
  2. Mash the potatoes. Use a food mill, ricer, or handheld masher to mash the potatoes, then stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

FAQs

Why are potatoes cooked with their skins on?

Cooking the potatoes with their skins on prevents the spuds from becoming waterlogged and gummy. It’s also a great time-saver as the skins of the cooked potatoes should just slip right off.

Can I add garlic?

Definitely. To make garlic olive oil mashed potatoes pour the olive oil in a large skillet, add 3 whole peeled garlic cloves, and heat over medium-low heat until the garlic is softened and toasty at the edges. Gently stir the garlic cloves into the mashed potatoes along with the olive oil, warning guests as to the presence of whole cloves of garlic.

How do olive oil mashed potatoes differ from traditional creamy mashed potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are usually made with plenty of cream and butter, making them heavy and rich. Using olive oil results in lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes. Using olive oil also makes them suitable for dairy-free and vegan diets.

What should I serve with these potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are welcome alongside any type of roasted meat, but we especially love them at Thanksgiving dinner.

If you’re trying to keep your meal dairy-free, serve these potatoes with simple roast turkey, bread stuffing with bacon and apples, green beans with bacon and shallots, and basic pan gravy.

If you’re keeping your meal vegan, try some of these vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

Helpful tips

  • For even easier peeling, score your potato skins with an ‘x’ before boiling.
  • Be sure to choose a good quality light olive oil so that the flavor doesn’t overpower the mashed potatoes.
  • Mashed potatoes with olive oil can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

More great mashed potato recipes

☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

A potato masher pressing down in a pot of olive oil mashed potatoes.
Healthier than butter, olive oil still makes for a creamy, silky mashed potato. Add some roasted garlic for a true Italian version.

Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 45 mins
Sides
American
4 servings
209 kcal
5 / 3 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Lidia’s Favorite Recipes cookbook

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Equipment

  • Potato ricer or food mill

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed but not peeled
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper preferably white

Directions
 

  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by a few inches. Season the water with salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender but still hold their shape, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and shape.
  • Drain the potatoes and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  • Peel the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer or a food mill. (You can instead mash them with a handheld potato masher.) Gently stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Print RecipeBuy the Lidia’s Favorite Recipes cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

  1. Make garlic olive oil mashed potatoes–Pour the olive oil in a large skillet, add 3 whole peeled garlic cloves, and heat over medium-low heat until the garlic is softened and toasty at the edges. Gently stir the garlic cloves into the mashed potatoes along with the olive oil, warning guests as to the presence of whole cloves of garlic.
  2. Dietary–These potatoes are suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets.
  3. Storage–Leftover potatoes can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 209kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 20g (7%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 473mg (14%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 15mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

One word that sums up this recipe: luscious. Leave it to master Italian chef Lidia Bastianich to share what comes out to be some of the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever tried. Seriously, I don’t just say that.

The recipe comes together simply and is very easy to double or triple, depending on how many people you’re serving. I used 2 standard Idaho potatoes, which boiled for around the 30-minute mark. Peeling was a snap but I’d recommend scoring the potato skin with an “x” on each tip before boiling for even easier removal.

I’m thinking that this recipe might even replace my famous twice-cooked mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Yes, these are that good.

Perfect, light, and delicate mashed potatoes. Such a nice change from the heavy cream and butter version. I couldn’t imagine olive oil in place of butter and my family was hesitant to try them, but it was a hit with everyone!

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I love Lidia’s recipes. She does things up right. Garlic in mashed potatoes is just a must for me. Olive oil is not something I’ve done so I need to take this for a test drive. I have a feeling I’ll love it.

  2. 5 stars
    I made the garlic mashed or as I called it smashed potatoes. I grind the garlic with the olive oil so that infuses and pour it over foil baked or gril baked potatoes…very yummy!!

    1. Maria, that sounds wonderful. Just a tip: Don’t let the raw garlic sit in the oil for more than a few hours. It can create botulism because there’s no air or acid in the oil. What I do is heat the oil until the garlic is sizzling, let it cool. and toss out the garlic. Then if you want you can add raw garlic to the potatoes, add the oil, and eat. Safely.

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