These are my favorite mashed potatoes; the roasted garlic truly makes them delicious. (The butter and cream don’t hurt, either!) I use a hand-masher so that I don’t over-mash the potatoes and make them gummy.

I like to leave the skins on for a more rustic texture (photo below) - that's how we did it when I worked at Al Forno restaurant - put you can also peel the potatoes for a slightly smoother texture (top photo), which is lovely too.

Susie Middleton

This recipe makes a big batch for Thanksgiving, but you can easily scale it back any time. For Thanksgiving, you can keep the smashed potatoes hot by putting them in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water and covering them with foil. You can hold them this way on the back of the stove for up to two hours.

Serves 8

  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled or peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Cloves from 2 heads roasted garlic (see below) or from Garlic Roasted in Olive Oil
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream, at room temperature


1. In a Dutch oven or other large, wide cooking pot, combine the potatoes, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and enough cold water to cover the potatoes by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, a total of about 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the cooking pot over very low heat. Toss the potatoes around for a few seconds to allow some of the excess moisture to steam off a bit. Add all of the butter, the garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 cup of the heavy cream.

3. Using a hand masher and moving around the pot in a clockwise manner, mash the potatoes until they are coarsely mashed. Continue adding cream and mashing until the potatoes are mostly smooth. They will have a creamy texture with just a slight chunkiness and yummy bits of skin and garlic throughout. Towards the end of mashing, switch to using a heatproof silicone spatula to smooth the potatoes out a bit. 

4. Serve hot right away or keep warm over simmering water (covered) for up to two hours.


To Roast Garlic:  Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take a very sharp chef’s knife and chop off about the top 3/4-inch of a head of garlic. (Or chop off enough so that each clove is slightly exposed). Leave the head in tact (do not separate the cloves) and place it on a double layer of aluminum foil. Drizzle the head (or the two heads, as in the case of the recipe above) with olive oil and wrap the aluminum foil up around the head. Place the package in a small casserole dish or on a small sheet pan and put it in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes or until the cloves are just tender and soft through. Let cool at least 15 to 20 minutes before squeezing the garlic cloves out of their skins by applying pressure to the base of the head.