Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Easy Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes with red bliss potatoes, garlic, milk and butter in just 30 minutes are the perfect classic side dish!

Mashed potatoes are a regular indulgence around here including Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. Make this ultimate Side Dish for the garlic lovers in your family at your next holiday dinner.

Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes in Pot

Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a go to favorite side dish for the holidays. Made with unpeeled red potatoes, garlic, butter, and milk, the potatoes are smooth and creamy with a nice crunch of skin mixed in. The best part is now easy and fast this recipe comes together, in just a half hour! This classic crowd pleaser can practically feed an army, and will be a hit with the grown ups and kids alike.

With a trick we picked up from the iconic Ina Garten, you’ll have the most tender and creamy potato side dish with tons of delicious garlic flavor. The trick is to make sure the garlic is cooked before mixing in to the potatoes. You’ll save time by simply smashing the cloves and tossing them into the boiling potato water. Can you boil potatoes with garlic? YES, you can and should boil the garlic with the potatoes as they will both become tender at the same time! This way you don’t have to chop or cook it separately! This one trick will make you the hit of your dinner party. Your guests will enjoy a creamy, mellow garlic flavor without any little chunks of garlic or grainy texture from the powdered variety.

While this delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe is flavorful on its own, it also tastes amazing smothered in Turkey Gravy. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes are the perfect side dish for meats like Perfect, Easy Ribeye Steak or BBQ Pulled Chicken. Serve them alongside Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Rainbow Roasted Vegetables for a complete feast!

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes on plate with steak and broccoli

How to make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Scrub the potatoes clean (do not peel them) and cut them into quarters.
  • Crush the garlic by putting it on a cutting board and either using a heavy plate or the flat of your knife, crush with your palm.
  • Place the potatoes and garlic into a large stockpot, covered with water by about two inches.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Drain the water very well, then add in the butter, milk, salt and pepper.
  • Mash well with a potato masher until creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

More Easy Potato Side Dish Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I boil water before adding potatoes?

No. Another important note about mashed potatoes, start with cold water! No need to be fussy, fill with water above the level of the potatoes, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. This helps the potatoes to cook evenly and prevents the outer part of the potato from overcooking and becoming mealy before the insides are cooked through.

Why boil the garlic with potatoes for Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes?

With those smashed garlic cloves simmering away along with the potatoes, you’re doing three things. First, you’re flavoring the potato chunks with the garlic. You’re also mellowing out the flavor of the garlic. And lastly, you’re softening the garlic cloves so they can be fully and easily smashed.

How do I make Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes?

If the boiled garlic isn’t your thing, and you’d prefer the toasty caramelized flavor of roasted garlic, use roasted garlic cloves instead. Something important if you’re making a roasted garlic mashed potato recipe is that your garlic shouldn’t be boiled as the flavors are already muted from the roasting, you don’t want to wash away all the flavor and garlic as the boiling water would disintegrate it. Skip that step and instead make the roasted garlic cloves into a paste as best you can before adding it to the drained and cooked potato chunks along with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.

How many potatoes do you use per person for mashed potatoes?

Potatoes are heavier than they look, so account for half a pound of raw potatoes per serving when considering how much mashed potatoes you have to make. Bags of red potatoes are generally sold in 3lb. packages while russet potatoes are sold in 5 and 10 pound bags. Remember red potatoes won’t be peeled so you don’t lose the weight of the potatoes while russet potatoes will lose at least 5-10% of their weight in preparations.

Scoop of Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Key Ingredients in Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Potatoes: We use red potatoes for this Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe because they have a tender skin and creamy flesh. Look for waxy potatoes that are firm, without any brown spots or shriveled skin. Store them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to cook.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves will give you the best flavor. Avoid using jarred garlic or garlic powder in mashed potatoes. If you want a stronger garlic flavor, increase the number of cloves to your liking.
  • Butter: Always cook with unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt used in the recipe. If you cut the butter into chunks, it will incorporate into the hot steamy potatoes easily.
  • Milk: Whole milk helps to give the buttery potatoes a nice creamy texture.

Can Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes be Made Ahead?

Want to save time in the kitchen on a busy holiday? Go ahead and make your mashed potatoes a day in advance and keep them tightly covered in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to serve, pop them on the stove in a sauce pan and reheat gently, adding a little more butter or milk if needed. If you’d like to give your mashed potatoes a toasty top, spread them into a baking dish, add a pat of butter to the top, and heat in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Variations on Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Potatoes: If you don’t prefer red potatoes, swap them out for other potato varieties like Yukon gold potatoes, russet potatoes (you might want to peel these) or even sweet potatoes.
  • Cheese: Add Parmesan cheese to make Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. Freshly grated cheese is best because the pre-shredded kind can give a gritty texture to your mashed potatoes. Mix up the cheesy flavor by adding your favorite type of cheeses like cheddar, gruyere, fontina, gouda, blue cheese, or goat cheese.
  • Dairy: For an even richer, amazing side dish, swap out milk for heavy cream, or add in some cream cheese or sour cream if you want it tangier and a little creamier.
  • Seasonings: In addition to salt and pepper, kick up the flavor of your simple side dish with red pepper flakes, paprika, or a little dijon mustard. Sprinkle in chopped fresh chives, thyme, rosemary, or dill for a fresh, herby take on Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Or splurge on a drizzle of truffle oil.
  • Add-ins: Mix in cooked, chopped bacon for the perfect side dish for a holiday brunch. Or keep it vegetarian and serve your Garlic Mashed Potatoes topped with Sautéed Mushrooms.

What to Serve with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

How to Store Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Serve: Do not leave Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Garlic Mashed Potatoes will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat over medium heat on the stovetop, adding a little butter or milk to loosen if needed.
  • Freeze: Allow to cool completely and transfer potatoes into a freezer safe plastic bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes on plate with steak and broccoli

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Perfectly easy and classic creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes made with red bliss potatoes, garlic, milk and butter in just 30 minutes. The perfect side dish for any occasion.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 pounds red potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Scrub the potatoes (do not peel them) clean and cut them into quarters.
  • Crush the garlic by putting it on a cutting board and either using a heavy plate or the flat of your knife and crushing with your palm.
  • Place the potatoes and garlic into a large stockpot, covered with water by about two inches.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Drain the water very well, then add in the butter, milk, salt and pepper.
  • Mash well with a potato masher until creamy, about 3-5 minutes.


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 1065mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Creamy Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes
Red Mashed Potatoes with Garlic

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Are there chives in the mashed potatoes? I didn’t see it in the recipe. Also do you have to heat the milk, butter and cheese or can I mix it in the potatoes cold?

    1. I didn’t add chives but that sounds delicious. The bit of green you see is just a garnish of parsley (really only needed for photos). Also, no need to heat the other ingredients. It’ll warm up when mixed with the potatoes. Enjoy!

  2. DO I leave the crushed garlic with the boiled potatoes or remove it before adding the butter, milk, s&p?


  3. After mashing, do you not bake in the oven? Did I miss those instructions? If so, how long and at what temperature? Thanks.

  4. I’m confused with this yummy recipe.
    Hoping someone can help me. It states don’t boil the garlic as it takes out the flavour. Then is says to make the garlic a creamy mixture, then add it to the cooked red potatoes. I’m confused. I’m allergic to garlic so I don’t eat it and have never used it in any of the dishes I will be eating. This recipe looks like a great dish for a potluck. Thank u

    1. Hi Sue, I mentioned not boiling the garlic if you are using roasted garlic cloves that are already cooked. When using raw cloves that you’ve smashed you absolutely want to boil them. 🙂