These Red Skin Mashed Potatoes are rich, buttery, and creamy with a wonderful rustic texture. Easy to make with just 6 simple ingredients, these homemade garlic mashed potatoes only take 30 minutes - no peeling required! Serve them for Thanksgiving or as a hearty side dish with your next comfort food meal.
Like many 90s kids, I grew up on boxes of instant mashed potatoes. I thought that homemade mashed potatoes were fancy, hard to make, and only for special occasions.
But guess what? Making mashed potatoes from scratch is actually really easy! In fact, they’re so easy that once you try them, you’ll wonder why instant mashed potatoes are even a thing in the first place.
This simple mashed potato recipe only requires 6 basic ingredients, one pot, and about 30 minutes. And the best part is that using red potatoes means there’s no peeling required.
Today, I’m walking you through how to make the best red skin mashed potatoes, including which ingredients to use, tips that will guarantee they turn out right the first time, and some of my favorite dishes to serve with this easy mashed potato recipe.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich & Creamy- Using plenty of butter and light cream makes for the creamiest mashed potatoes ever.
- Garlicky- Fresh garlic is cooked with the potatoes so the garlic flavor is infused throughout the dish.
- Easy to Make- With just 6 simple ingredients and 30 minutes, you can make these easy red skin mashed potatoes.
- No Peeling Required- One of the best things about making mashed potatoes with red skinned potatoes is that there’s no peeling required! The thin red potato skin gives the dish wonderful texture and a beautiful rustic look.
- Comforting Side Dish- Homemade mashed potatoes are a rich, hearty, and comforting side dish that pairs well with all of your favorite comfort food meals.
- Perfect for Holidays- Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, fluffy mashed potatoes are always on the menu. This red skin mashed potato recipe is quick, easy, and perfect for holiday gatherings.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Red-Skinned Potatoes- This recipe uses red-skinned potatoes because of their thin and delicate skin, which adds texture and color to the mashed potatoes. Red Bliss, Adirondack Red, and Red Pontiac are popular varieties.
- Garlic- Boiling the garlic with the potatoes makes it soft enough to mash, which infuses its flavor throughout the dish.
- Unsalted Butter- Let the butter sit out for 30 minutes prior to making the mashed potatoes because room temperature butter is easier to incorporate into the dish.
- Light Cream- Warm the cream before adding it to the mashed potatoes to prevent cooling down the dish.
- Kosher Salt- To ensure your mashed potatoes with skin are well-seasoned, salt both the cooking water and the mashed potatoes. Add salt gradually and taste as you go to avoid over-salting.
- Black Pepper- Use freshly cracked black pepper for the best flavor.
🌱 Sustainability Tip: Did you know that potatoes are super easy to grow at home? You can grow potatoes in the ground, in a grow bag, or in a container on your porch.
Substitutions and Variations
- Red-Skinned Potatoes- You can substitute Yukon Gold potatoes for red-skinned potatoes since they also have thin skin. If you prefer russet potatoes, make sure to peel them as their skin is a bit thicker.
- Garlic- Swap raw garlic cloves for roasted garlic or use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Unsalted Butter- Replace the butter with cream cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, or a dairy-free butter alternative.
- Light Cream- Substitute light cream with heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, or a dairy-free alternative.
- Kosher Salt- Sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, or table salt can be used in place of kosher salt.
- Black Pepper- Try using white pepper instead of black pepper to give the mashed potatoes a slightly different flavor.
- Dairy-Free- Replace the butter and cream with your favorite dairy-free alternatives.
- Reduced Fat- Use half the amount of butter called for in the recipe and swap the light cream for reduced-fat milk.
- Roasted Garlic- Roast a head of garlic and add the cloves to the mashed potatoes along with the butter and seasonings.
- Cheesy Herb- Stir in grated sharp cheddar cheese during the mashing step and add chopped fresh herbs like chives, parsley, and thyme to give the mashed potatoes an extra layer of flavor.
- Parmesan Garlic- Mix in some grated parmesan cheese for a cheesy, nutty flavor that pairs well with garlic.
- Loaded Baked Potato- Top the mashed potatoes with crumbled cooked bacon, chopped chives, and shredded cheddar cheese for a loaded baked potato twist.
Here are some notes on any special equipment I used to make this recipe.
- Large Stockpot- Choose a large pot that comfortably accommodates the potato cubes and water while allowing room for boiling.
- Colander- Used to drain the boiled potatoes after they're cooked. Make sure to choose a colander that's large enough to hold all the potatoes.
- Potato Masher- A potato masher or fork is needed to mash the cooked potatoes. Both options work well, but a potato masher typically provides a smoother texture.
How to Make Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
Here is how to make these red skinned mashed potatoes.
Step 1: Prepare the potatoes. Scrub the red-skinned potatoes well under cold, running water and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Rinse the cubed potatoes with water to remove some of the excess starch. Place the cubed potatoes, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large stockpot.
Step 2: Boil the potatoes. Fill the stockpot with cold water, covering the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If you notice any potato starch rising to the top, skim it off.
Step 3: Drain the potatoes. Once the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander, allowing excess water to evaporate for a few minutes. Return the potatoes to the pot.
Step 4: Remove excess moisture. Turn the heat to low and place the pot with the cooked potatoes back on the burner. Let the excess water cook off for one minute, shaking the pot occasionally to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Mash the potatoes. Take the pot off the heat. Add the butter, remaining salt, and black pepper to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes using a fork or a potato masher until they're creamy with a slightly chunky texture.
Step 6: Add cream. Taste the mashed potatoes for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the warm cream until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix while stirring to avoid making the potatoes gluey. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
Make these garlic red skin mashed potatoes successfully the first time using these easy kitchen tips.
- Cut potatoes uniformly. This ensures even cooking and prevents some pieces from becoming mushy while others remain firm.
- Use cold water for boiling. Starting the potatoes in cold water helps with even cooking and prevents the exterior from becoming too soft before the interior is fully cooked.
- Let excess moisture evaporate. After draining the potatoes, allow them to sit in the pot for a moment over low heat. This helps any residual moisture evaporate, preventing watery mashed potatoes.
- Bring dairy to room temperature. Room temperature butter is easier to incorporate into the mashed potatoes and warm cream prevents the dish from being cooled down.
- Avoid over-mixing. Avoid over-mixing when incorporating the cream. Overworking the potatoes can result in a gluey, unappealing texture.
- Taste for seasoning. Taste the mashed red potatoes before adding the cream and adjust the seasonings to suit your preferences.
🥔 Making these mashed red skin potatoes for a crowd? This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate more servings. As a general guideline, consider using ⅓ to ½ pound of potatoes per person.
What to Serve with Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
Garlic mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for many of your favorite main dishes and comfort food meals. You can serve these red mashed potatoes as part of a classic Thanksgiving dinner alongside turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy.
Finally, vegetable side dishes are the perfect companions to these creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Consider serving them with sautéed garlic green beans, roasted maple balsamic brussels sprouts, roasted carrots and green beans, or sautéed asparagus.
How to Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Transform leftover mashed potatoes into a delicious new dish to help cut down on food waste and to make meal planning easier.
Layer mashed potatoes on top of shepherd’s pie, turkey pot pie, or another hearty casserole for a warm and comforting meal. Alternatively, turn leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes into turkey cranberry sliders, mashed potato fritters, or Thanksgiving leftover waffles.
Other great options for using up leftover mashed potatoes include potato soup, pierogies, and gnocchi.
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Room Temperature- If serving these mashed potatoes at a holiday gathering, keep in mind that they should only be left out at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours.
- Refrigerator- Store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Freezer- Mashed potatoes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. However, note that the texture of the potatoes may change slightly after freezing.
How to Reheat
- Stovetop- Transfer the leftover mashed potatoes to a saucepan. Add a small amount of milk, cream, or broth to the saucepan. Heat the mashed potatoes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and to ensure even heating.
- Oven- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the mashed potatoes in an oven-safe baking dish and add a small amount of butter or cream to prevent them from drying out. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and heat for about 20-30 minutes.
- Microwave- Transfer the mashed potatoes to a microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of butter, cream, or milk and cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Heat the mashed potatoes in the microwave in 1-minute intervals on medium power (50% power), stirring between each interval.
Mashed potatoes are most delicious when they’re hot and freshly made. However, you can boil the potatoes, drain them, and store them before mashing.
Once cooled, store the boiled potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This step can significantly cut down the cooking time on the day you plan to serve the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use other types of potatoes like Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, but keep in mind that the texture and flavor may vary slightly.
Nope! There is no need to soak your potatoes before cooking them. Just be sure to thoroughly scrub the skin and rinse the starch off before boiling.
Sticky, gluey, or gummy mashed potatoes can occur due to excessive starch, excessive water, and over-mixing. To prevent this, rinse the cubed potatoes before cooking, let moisture evaporate after draining, and be cautious while mixing mashed potatoes.
Unfortunately, once mashed potatoes have become gluey, there’s no way to fix it. You can, however, transform your gluey mashed potatoes into a baked casserole topping or fritters to avoid wasting them entirely.
While a little texture in mashed potatoes isn’t a bad thing, no one wants to encounter a hard piece of raw potato in their creamy mashed potatoes. To avoid lumps, ensure the potatoes are fully cooked before mashing and be thorough when mashing.
More Potato Recipes
Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds red potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt divided
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅔ cup light cream warmed
- Scrub the red-skinned potatoes well under cold, running water and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Rinse the cubed potatoes with water to remove some of the excess starch. Place the cubed potatoes, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large stockpot.2 pounds red potatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Fill the stockpot with cold water, covering the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If you notice any potato starch rising to the top, skim it off.
- Once the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander, allowing excess water to evaporate for a few minutes. Return the potatoes to the pot.
- Turn the heat to low and place the pot with the cooked potatoes back on the burner. Let the excess water cook off for one minute, shaking the pot occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Take the pot off the heat. Add the butter, remaining salt, and black pepper to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes using a fork or a potato masher until they're creamy with a slightly chunky texture.1 stick unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Taste the mashed potatoes for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the warm cream until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix while stirring to avoid making the potatoes gluey. Serve immediately.⅔ cup light cream
- Making these mashed red skin potatoes for a crowd? This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate more servings. As a general guideline, consider using ⅓ to ½ pound of potatoes per person.
- Storage: Store leftover potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Make Ahead: Cook potatoes up to 24 hours in advance and store them in the refrigerator.