Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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With fresh rosemary and mellowed, buttery roasted garlic flavors infused into fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes, my rosemary garlic mashed potatoes recipe is the side dish that no one will be able to resist this holiday season! It's easy to multiply for a large crowd and make ahead, this delicious side dish is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table.

Love holiday season side dishes? Try my grandma's old fashioned southern candied yams, slow cooked southern green beans, and sweet honey butter biscuits!

close up of rosemary garlic mashed potatoes in a bowl with butter drizzled on top

The Perfect Holiday-Ready Side Dish!

If you don't have a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table, is it even the holidays? 

I love this recipe for mashed potatoes, it's roasted garlic infused goodness with plenty of rosemary flavor. Rosemary just smells like the holidays to me, so it makes total sense for it to be paired with the number one side dish on any Thanksgiving table.

Rosemary is incredibly flavorful and just smell like the holidays, while roasted garlic is like a more mellow, caramelized garlic flavor that will have people begging for the recipe after they scrape the serving bowl clean.

But lucky for you this recipe is ideal to double or even triple! 

We have a lot of flavor happening here, with that perfect texture that is begging to become a gravy volcano to be scooped up by your prime rib or thanksgiving turkey, so you're going to want to make a ton of it!

This recipe is so mind blowingly easy that even if this is your first time making mashed potatoes, you'll make a perfect pot of them with little actual work and no hard-to-do tricks. Just delicious results.

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Why You'll Love this Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • ​Easy to Make, with Simple Ingredients - There are no crazy techniques or fancy ingredients to hunt down. Every aspect is easily done and brought together to make a recipe full of holiday flavor.
  • Perfect Side Dish to Make Ahead - no one wants to be in the kitchen from 2 AM until the turkey is served trying to get all the dishes done that day. Consider these mashed potatoes a part of the make ahead dream team!
  • Crowd Pleaser - Your family will be scraping plates clean and asking for thirds!

The Tools Chefs use to Make Mashed Potatoes

Chefs just don't use a potato masher, y'all. I'm sorry to tell ya! For the fluffiest or creamiest mashed potatoes, throw out that masher. 

We're talking about two of my favorite kitchen tools: the potato ricer and the food mill.

a wooden spoon scooping mashed potatoes with fresh rosemary and roasted garlic out of a bowl

When you're mashing potatoes in a large quantity (ahem, hello big family gathering!), you want to use something called a food mill. This is what we use in the restaurant kitchens.

It's almost like the potato ricer but instead of pressing the potatoes like a garlic press, we crank a food mill.

A food mill is a simple machine that pushes the potatoes through what is essentially a fine mesh sieve or colander. It can handle many potatoes at a time and it's versatile! You can press tomatoes through for sauce without the skin and seeds, or fruit for jam!

These tools not only make light work of all those potatoes but they also keep the potatoes from being overworked, releasing a ton of starch and becoming a gloopy mess. 

Equipment

  • A large pot - stock pot or dutch oven works. 
  • Food Mill or Potato Ricer
  • A small saucepan - melt and infuse the butter with rosemary and garlicky goodness in this.
  • Large Mixing Bowl and Rubber Spatula - a must have to whip all those ingredients together!
  • A Serving Bowl - this could be a fancy bowl or just a large bowl you have in your kitchen

Ingredients Needed

Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

ingredients for roasted garlic rosemary mashed potatoes
  • A head of Fresh Garlic or already Roasted Garlic Cloves - garlic is a must here. A whole head of garlic is roasted for the recipe and then the caramelized garlic cloves are squeezed out and stirred into the potatoes.
  • Rosemary Sprigs - we're using the sprigs of rosemary to infuse the melted butter, but we're also finely chopping the fresh rosemary leaves to garnish our buttery potatoes for serving.
  • Unsalted Butter - salted butter can be used, but because I want to control the amount of salt in this recipe, unsalted is my go to. If you're using salted butter, taste before and during seasoning.
  • Potatoes - one of my favorite potatoes for mashing are Russet potatoes. They are incredibly starchy and end up very fluffy even when they soak up all that butter and cream.
  • Chicken Broth or Stock (or Bouillon Base) - boiling your potatoes in flavor, honey! Instead of just water, we're going to infuse them with broth.
  • Heavy Cream - this is for the holidays, y'all! Go for the cream...but if you can't, it's perfectly okay to go with half and half, whole milk or even a dairy-free option like almond milk.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

What Potatoes to Use for Mashed Potatoes

You can technically use any potato, but let's talk about the best potatoes to make the creamiest or fluffiest mash.

First let's go over what I used here: the Russet potato. It's a very floury-starchy potato that loves to absorb flavors and the flesh is incredibly fluffy.

Russets produce pillowy soft, fluffy mashed potatoes. So if that is your vibe, it's the Russet is the way to go.

a close partial view of a grey bowl filled with mashed potatoes and melted butter

Next are the Gold Varieties, but most specifically the Yukon Gold. It's the most common yellow or gold potato in the grocery store, so you won't have a problem finding it during your mad rush to the store. Golds have a thin skin and dense, creamy flesh that makes for a very smooth, silky mashed potato dish.

Both of these are going to make delicious mashed potatoes and are interchangeable for this recipe.

How to Make Roasted Garlic

I hope it doesn't sound intimidating, because roasting garlic is incredibly simple! 

a raw head of garlic with the top cut off, covered in oil and salt to roast

Step 1 | Slice the top off the garlic head. Drizzle some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt over top!

three heads of garlic wrapped in foil and in a baking dish to roast

Step 2 | Wrap the garlic in foil and place it on a baking sheet or dish. Roast the garlic in your preheated oven for 45 minutes. Your house will smell like heaven!

cloves of roast garlic sit on a plate with a head of roasted garlic

Step 3 | When you unwrap it, you'll find little golden nuggets of sweet, nutty, caramelized garlicky goodness.

roasted garlic cloves smashed in a bowl

Step 4 | Push out the roasted garlic cloves and mash half of them with a fork so they can incorporate into the potatoes. I like leaving the others whole so you can really see that 'roasted garlic' part of our mashed potatoes.

How to Make Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water with a spoonful of chicken base

Step 1 | Peel the potatoes, taking out any bruises, and cutting them in half. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water, then drop in a hefty scoop of the chicken base. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook potatoes until they are fork tender, about 230 minutes.

a saucepan of melted butter with sprigs of fresh rosemary

Step 2 | Melt the butter in a saucepan with a couple of sprigs of rosemary over low heat. Keep it as low as possible and let the rosemary really infuse the melted butter with all that flavor.

Pro Tip: The roasted garlic can steep in this, too, to give your mashed potatoes even more flavor!

cooked and riced russet potatoes in a bowl

Step 3 | Drain the potatoes and mash them through your potato ricer or food mill.

a spoon mixing the ingredients for garlic rosemary mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl

Step 4 | While the potatoes are still hot pour in most of the melted butter (Make sure to remove the sprigs of rosemary!) and mix well, then stir in the roasted garlic and the cream. Stir until the mashed potatoes look cohesive and creamy!

overhead view of a serving bowl full of garlic mashed potatoes with rosemary with butter on top

Taste and add the salt and pepper. Garnish with the rest of the rosemary butter and some finely chopped rosemary (easier to eat than whole leaves!) and serve with gravy!

Variations and Substitutions

  • Take it to an even more decadent level by swapping the cream for sour cream, greek yogurt, or creme fraiche. The tanginess will add extra flavor!
  • Not of fan of fresh rosemary leaves? You can use about ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary. Always keep in mind that rosemary is a powerful flavor and you can always add more, but not remove it.
  • While many love the addition of rosemary, you can try using fresh sage or thyme, both have a ton of flavor perfect for the holidays.
  • You can infuse both the cream and butter with rosemary and garlic in the saucepan to really amp up even more flavor.
  • Don't have any chicken base or stock? Just use salted water for the potatoes.

Pro Tips

  • If you're going to use dried rosemary for infusing the butter, put it in a cheese cloth and close it with twine for a bouquet garni that is easy to fish out.
  • Waxy potatoes like red potatoes aren't my favorite to use in this recipe. If you can't find russets at the grocery store, try 'Idaho' or 'baking' potatoes. Or use Yukon gold potatoes or 'butter potatoes' yellow potato that have a rich flavor and dense texture.
  • This recipe multiplies easily so if you are feeding a big ole crowd, just double (or triple!) the recipe and use a food mill for easy mashing.
a spoon scooping the side of a bowl of mashed potatoes with garlic and rosemary

Storage, Make Ahead and Reheating

  • Storage - keep the mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Make Ahead - Make the mashed potatoes the day before, keep in the fridge, and follow the reheating instructions or rewarm in a saucepan on medium-low heat with a splash of milk stirred in. Garnish with butter and chopped rosemary!
  • Reheat - Reheat mashed potatoes with a little milk in a low temperature oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through.

FAQs

Can you make this recipe vegan?

It's very easy to make the potatoes vegan. Use your favorite non-dairy milk like almond milk or cashew milk (coconut milk will make it taste like coconut so I don't recommend), use vegan butter and vegetable base or broth.

Can I substitute fresh rosemary?

Yes! Use fresh sage, thyme, or dried rosemary instead.

Should I peel potatoes to make mashed potatoes?

If you're using a ricer or food mill, you don't need to peel the potatoes because the skin will stay inside the tool. Peeling is a personal choice, but I do peel mine.

More Holiday Ready Potato Side Dishes

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📖 Recipe

overhead view of a serving bowl full of garlic mashed potatoes with rosemary with butter on top

Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Eden Westbrook
With fresh rosemary and mellowed, buttery roasted garlic flavors infused into fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes, my rosemary garlic mashed potatoes recipe is the side dish that no one will be able to resist!
It's easy to multiply for a large crowd and make ahead for that holiday rush, this delicious side dish is perfect for the holidays.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 272 kcal

Ingredients
  

Roasted Garlic

  • 1 head fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

  • Cold water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon base
  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes washed
  • 8 tablespoon 1 stick butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves finely minced

Instructions
 

  • Roast Garlic
  • Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Place the garlic in a center of a piece of foil that's large enough to completely wrap the garlic.
  • Cut the top of the garlic off with a sharp knife to expose the cloves. Generously drizzle olive oil over the cut garlic cloves, sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, then tightly wrap the head of garlic in the foil and place on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
  • Roast the garlic in your preheated oven for 45 minutes. The garlic cloves will be soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, golden brown and extremely fragrant. Let cool enough to touch.
  • Squeeze the garlic cloves from their paper skin into a small bowl or container. Mash half of the cloves with a fork and set aside.

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Peel the russet potatoes and cut them into smaller, equal-sized pieces.
  • In a large pot, add the potatoes and pour in enough water to cover them over an inch above the top of the potatoes. Add the tablespoon of chicken bouillon and bring the pot of water to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander when done.
  • Press the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill back into the pot or into a large serving bowl.
  • Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat with a sprig of rosemary. Keep the melted butter warm over that low temperature (don't burn the butter, but browning the butter is never a bad thing!) for up to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the rosemary sprig from the butter then stir most of unsalted butter into the potatoes, reserving the rest for serving. Gently fold and mix in the roasted garlic and heavy cream with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Taste the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Pour the rest of the butter over the mashed potatoes and garnish with the finely chopped rosemary.
  • Serve warm to hot.

Notes

Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheat Instructions

Make these garlic rosemary mashed potatoes up to two days ahead of time, and keep in the fridge in an airtight container. It keeps for up to 3 days.
To reheat mashed potatoes in the oven, mix a hearty splash of milk or cream into the potatoes then spoon them in an oven-safe dish. Don't add too much liquid or you'll end up with soup. Cover with foil or an oven-safe lid then reheat in a 300 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
To reheat mashed potatoes on your stovetop, stir in the milk and keep the potatoes over medium heat. Stir frequently so the bottom won't burn and serve when hot. 
Don't forget to add that pat of butter, about a tablespoon or two. Taste for seasoning before serving and add salt and pepper if needed.

Freezing Instructions

Freezing your roasted garlic mashed potatoes is easy. I like scooping them with a 1-cup measuring cup onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure it's a baking sheet that fits in your freezer!), pressing flat for quicker and more even reheating, and then freezing them completely.
Place the frozen mash into a freezer-safe zip-top bag and keep in the freezer for up to six months.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Take it to an even more decadent level by swapping the cream for sour cream, greek yogurt, or creme fraiche. The tanginess will add extra flavor!
  • Not of fan of fresh rosemary leaves? You can use about ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary. Always keep in mind that rosemary is a powerful flavor and you can always add more, but not remove it.
  • While many love the addition of rosemary, you can try using fresh sage or thyme, both have a ton of flavor perfect for the holidays.
  • You can infuse both the cream and butter with rosemary and garlic in the saucepan to really amp up even more flavor.
  • Don't have any chicken base or stock? Just use salted water for the potatoes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 236mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
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