Last updated on December 5th, 2023
Your family will definitely want a second helping of these creamy garlic red skin mashed potatoes. Serve them alongside your favorite comfort food dish or holiday meal.
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Growing up, I believed my maternal grandmother made the best mashed potatoes. The recipe only existed in her head, so after she passed away I had to figure out how to make her potatoes for myself. I’ve added a few of my own touches — for instance, my grandma didn’t add garlic to hers. It never fails, every time I make these my thoughts always drift to her.
What potatoes are better for mashing?
Russet or Idaho potatoes, like what you would use for baked potatoes, are the gold standard when it comes to mashed potatoes. Because of their high starch content, they fluff up easy once cooked. However, Russets aren’t your only option.
I prefer red skin potatoes for mashed potatoes for their creamy texture. The skins are thin enough that you don’t even have to peel them first!
What is the best way to mash potatoes?
There are a few different methods you could use to mash the potatoes:
Fork – this is the cheapest option since you most likely already own a fork. However, mashing potatoes with a fork is not very efficient. It’s doesn’t provide a very good grip and if the potatoes are hot you could end up scalding your hand.
Potato masher – This is my go-to choice. A potato masher is a utensil with a handle on one end and a paddle on the other with grates or holes that the cooked potatoes are forced through as you press the masher into the food. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, though I recommend choosing a stainless steel one if you can afford to spend a little extra because I’ve had several plastic ones break on me over time. The only con with potato mashers is that it can leave lumps in the potatoes. My grandma’s potatoes always had lumps, so I personally don’t mind them.
Potato ricer – this is another hand held option where you push cooked potatoes through a series of small holes. It’s a great way to achieve fluffy, lump free potatoes — with a little work.
Food mill – this is a device used for grinding or puréeing foods — not just potatoes. I use it to puree my cream of tomato soup and to remove seeds from my three-ingredient blackberry jam. A food mill comes with three blades with holes of varying sizes. A hand crank pushes the food through the holes in the blade. This is a good choice if you are mashing a large amount of potatoes and if you don’t like lumps.
Stand mixer or electric mixer – some cooks recommend using a mixer if you are mashing a large quantity of potatoes. I don’t like this method. In my experience, it’s too easy to over mix the potatoes, which ruins the texture. Instead of creamy or fluffy, they end up gummy and gooey. Yuck!
Ingredients and tools you’ll need
With less than 10 ingredients, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of creamy garlic red skin mashed potatoes in no time. To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 pounds of red skin potatoes, washed – when figuring how many potatoes you’ll need, the rule of thumb is 1/2 pound of potatoes per person.
- 2 cups of chicken broth – Cooking the potatoes in a bit of chicken broth instead of just plain water adds a lot of flavor. Store bought or homemade chicken stock is fine. I prefer to use unsalted broth so I can control the amount of sodium.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of whole milk, warmed – place your milk in a small saucepan and warm it over low heat. We don’t need it hot, just warm enough so it doesn’t cool down the potatoes when we add the milk at the end.
- 2 tablespoons of garlic powder – I don’t like biting into a pieces of garlic in my potatoes. Garlic powder gives me all the flavor without that.
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened – again, I use unsalted so I can control the amount of salt in the final dish.
- Large stock pot – a 3-quart pot with a lid was perfect for cooking two pound of potatoes. If you’re making more, I recommend going up to a 6 or 8-quart pot.
- Potato masher (or one of the items mentioned above)
How to Make Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
If you haven’t done so yet, wash the potatoes. Simply run each potato under cool water to remove any stuck on dirt and debris. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half across the width to make four pieces. If you have a potato that’s larger, you may need to cut the quarter pieces in half again to make eight pieces.
Transfer the cut potatoes to your pot. Pour the chicken broth and water over the potatoes and add salt. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender. This means that when you stab one of the cooked potatoes with a fork, it easily slides off the tines. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
While the potatoes are still warm and soft, mash them to your desired consistency. Add the warmed milk, garlic powder and butter. Stir everything together until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Instant Pot instructions
Place the washed and cut potatoes in the metal insert. Add one cup of broth, one cup of water and the salt. Close and lock the lid. Select the MANUAL function and set the timer for five minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Drain any excess liquid from the potatoes. Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. Add the milk, garlic powder and butter and stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slow cooker instructions
Add the potatoes to the insert. Add one cup of broth, one cup of water and the salt. Cover and cook on high for three hours or low for six hours. Drain any excess liquid from the potatoes. Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. Add the milk, garlic powder and butter and stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Storage, freezing and reheating instructions
Storage. Leftover garlic red skin mashed potatoes should be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator within two hours. Consume within four days.
Freezing. Freezing potatoes changes the texture and creates a watery texture. Therefore, I don’t recommend freezing.
Reheating. Mashed potatoes can be easily reheated in the microwave. Transfer them to a microwave-safe container and heat for one minute, stir, then reheat for an additional 30 seconds to one minute until heated through. You can also reheat them on the stovetop by spooning the potatoes into a saucepan, covering the pan with a lid and heating them over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of potato?
Yes, Russet or Idaho potatoes can be used in place of red skin potatoes. However, you will need to peel the skins from the potatoes first. For another no peel option, you could use Yukon Gold potatoes.
Can I make these in advance?
Yep, sure can. You can make the potatoes up to two days in advance and reheat them according to the instructions above. I do suggest waiting to add the butter right before serving for the best flavor.
Can I use a different type of milk?
Heavy cream or half and half will give you a richer, creamier texture. If you are looking for a way to cut calories, a lower fat milk can be used but keep in the mind the texture might be a little thinner.
Can I use dairy free milk?
Yes, lactose free milk such as Lactaid can be used in place of regular milk. Plant based milk can also be used, just be mindful of the flavor that it may impart on the potatoes. You could also leave out the milk entirely and replace it with additional chicken broth.
Serve Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes with
- Smothered Hamburger Steaks in the Oven
- Sweet Tea Brined Cast Iron Roast Chicken
- Country Fried Steak
- Oven Roasted Roast Beef Dinner
- Stovetop Braised Beef Tips With Gravy
- BBQ Meatloaf With Bacon
- Moroccan Spiced London Broil In The Oven
- Chicken Thighs With Tarragon And White Wine
- Maple Glazed Pork Loin Chops
Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds red skin potatoes washed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup whole milk warmed
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- Cut the potatoes into quarters. If a potato is larger, you may need to cut it into eighths.
- Transfer the potatoes to a large stock pot.
- Add the chicken broth, water and salt. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
- Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
- Add the milk, garlic powder and butter.
- Stir until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.