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Easy Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

Rustic, homestyle comfort food at its finest. These garlic mashed red skin potatoes are creamy, buttery, and so easy to make! With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll have the perfect side dish ready in under 30 minutes.

A white bowl overflowing with mashed red skin potatoes, garnished with chopped parsley and freshly cracked black pepper.

If I had to pick a favorite Thanksgiving side dish, I would have to go with mashed potatoes. They’re the quintessential holiday side that pair so perfectly with a roasted turkey or chicken and some delicious gravy.

As a kid, I remember thinking that mashed potatoes were really hard to make. We often had the boxed instant potatoes at home. But, once I made mashed potatoes for myself for the first time, I realized that they couldn’t be any easier.

I promise, these garlic mashed red skin potatoes are so simple to make that you’ll never reach for the boxed variety again. They require no peeling, are made in one pot, and only use 6 ingredients – two of which are salt and pepper.

So, if you want to learn how to make these amazingly creamy, homestyle garlic red skin mashed potatoes, keep reading to learn everything you need to know. Plus, I share all of my best kitchen tips for making the fluffiest, most delicious mashed potatoes every time.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • No Peeling- I love making red skin mashed potatoes because they’re super easy and quick. Not having to peel the skin saves time on prep work and adds an extra boost of fiber to the dish. Plus, the red skin looks so lovely and rustic when the mashed potatoes are plated.
  • Simple Ingredients- Made using only 4 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, these mashed potatoes could not be any simpler. But, don’t mistake simple for lack of flavor. The garlic, butter, and cream come together to make this dish deliciously rich and creamy.
  • Minimal Clean-Up- Besides using a colander to drain the potatoes, this whole dish is made using only one pot. There’s no stand mixer or handheld mixer to worry about. Just one pot and a fork to mash everything together.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.

  • Red-Skinned Potatoes- I like to use Red Bliss potatoes in this recipe because they’re easy to find at my local grocery store. Red potatoes are on the waxy side, meaning they’re lower in starch. Waxy potatoes make less fluffy mashed potatoes than a starchy potato would. However, the trade-off is thick, creamy, and delicious mashed potatoes.
  • Garlic- I use fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. The garlic is simmered right along with the potatoes, making it super easy to mash into the dish. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder in with the salt and pepper instead.
  • Butter- While it may seem like this recipe calls for a lot of butter, don’t skimp! Butter is an important ingredient in mashed potatoes. Why? The fat helps elevate the starchy texture of the potatoes, making them richer, fluffier, and creamier.
  • Light Cream- If you haven’t noticed by now, fat is critical to a good mashed potato recipe. It’s necessary for that rich and creamy texture we love. I like to use light cream, but half-and-half, heavy cream, or even whole milk can work as well.
  • Salt- I season both the cooking water and the mashed potatoes. Since potatoes are very bland on their own, they require ample seasoning. If you use salted butter, start with ¼ tablespoon of salt added to the mashed potatoes and taste from there.
Three whole raw red potatoes, a stick of butter, two unpeeled cloves of garlic, a clear glass bowl with kosher salt and black pepper, and a white bowl filled with light cream are displayed on a butcher block countertop.

Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make these garlic mashed red skin potatoes.

Step 1: Boil the potatoes. Place the cubed potatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Boil potatoes until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Skim any potato starch that rises to the top, as necessary. Drain, allowing the excess water to evaporate for a few minutes. Return the potatoes back into the pot.

Step 2: Evaporate excess water. Turn the heat to low and place the pot with the cooked potatoes back on the burner. Allow the excess water to cook off for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Mash the potatoes. Add the butter, remaining salt, and pepper and mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed prior to stirring in the cream. Add the cream and stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix so that the potatoes don’t turn gluey. Enjoy!

The four steps to make mashed red skin potatoes. The top left image is of the cubed potatoes in boiling water. The top right image is of the cooked and drained potatoes. The bottom left image is of the potatoes being mashed with butter. The bottom right image is of the mashed potatoes with cream poured on top.

Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse and drain the raw, cubed potatoes. Removing excess starch from the raw potatoes prior to cooking helps to prevent gluey potatoes.
  • Cut your potatoes uniformly. The only way to prevent lumpy mashed potatoes is to ensure that they’re cooked evenly. By cutting your potatoes to be roughly the same size, you’ll be more likely to end up with evenly cooked potatoes.
  • Leave your butter and cream out for at least 30 minutes. Adding warmed or room temperature dairy to mashed potatoes will prevent them from seizing up. Alternatively, you could warm the butter and cream in 30 second intervals in the microwave at half-power.
  • Taste for seasoning before you add in the cream. Once the cream is added, it’s easier to accidentally over-mix the potatoes and for them to turn gluey. I recommend making sure everything is seasoned perfectly before adding in your cream.
  • Making these mashed red skin potatoes for a crowd? This recipe is perfect for doubling or even tripling. Plan on using ⅓-½ pound of potatoes per person.

Variations and Substitutions

Variations

  • Roasted Garlic- If you’re looking for a milder garlic flavor, try adding roasted garlic instead of raw garlic. The caramelization of roasted garlic makes it slightly sweet, which goes perfect with buttery mashed potatoes. Mash a few cloves into the potatoes when you add the butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Lemony- Making these mashed potatoes to go with a springtime meal or Easter dinner? A little lemon zest adds a bright, citrusy note to these mashed red skin potatoes.
  • Loaded- Who doesn’t love a loaded baked potato? Try mixing in a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and some chopped chives to mimic the flavor of a loaded baked potato. So good!
  • Cream Cheese- I have a friend that swears the only way to make good mashed potatoes is to add a bit of cream cheese. Try adding in a few tablespoons of room temperature cream cheese along with the butter.

Substitutions

  • Dairy-Free- To make these mashed red skin potatoes dairy-free or vegan, simply swap the butter and cream for a dairy-free alternative.
  • Lower Fat- If you want to reduce the fat, use half-and-half, whole milk, or 2% milk in place of the light cream. I don’t recommend reducing the fat too much as it’s necessary to achieve that perfectly creamy mashed potato texture.
  • Lower Carb- You can replace half of the potatoes with cauliflower if you want to make a low-carb version of these mashed potatoes. Keep in mind, however, that the cauliflower will add extra moisture. Start with half of the amount of cream and add more as needed. Also, be cautious about over-mixing.

What to Serve with Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

Garlic mashed red skin potatoes with roasted chicken, Brussels sprouts, and gravy on a white plate.

Storage and Reheating

Storage

  • Refrigerator- Mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Since mashed potatoes are made with a good amount of dairy, they do not last a long time in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer- While mashed potatoes are best made fresh, you can certainly freeze them if you accidentally made too much. Allow the potatoes to cool completely. Then, store in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to one month.

How to Reheat

  • Refrigerator- The best way to reheat mashed potatoes is low and slow in the oven. Simply stir in a little extra butter and cream and spread evenly into a baking dish. Cover and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through. If you need them reheated in a hurry, the microwave also works.
  • Freezer- You can reheat frozen mashed potatoes in a few different ways, including using the slow cooker. However, I recommend allowing them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheating them using the method mentioned above.

How to Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Mashed Potato Cakes
  • Potato Waffles
  • Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
  • Baked Potato Soup
  • Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza
  • Pierogies
  • Mashed Potato Gnocchi
Garlic mashed red skin potatoes topped with gravy on a white plate. In the background, roasted chicken and Brussels sprouts are also on the plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use another type of potato with this recipe?

Absolutely! Yukon Gold and New Potatoes are the perfect substitutes for Red Bliss potatoes because they all have a similar waxy texture and thin skin. You could also use Russet potatoes, but you would need to peel them as their skin is thicker and unpleasant to eat in mashed potatoes.

Why are my mashed potatoes gummy?

A few factors contribute to gluey or gummy potatoes. Too much starch, too much water, and over-mixing the potatoes can all result in that horribly unappealing gluey texture. Make sure you rinse your cubed potatoes prior to cooking. Also, allow enough moisture to evaporate and be careful when mixing your mashed potatoes.

Why are my mashed potatoes lumpy?

Some folks enjoy lumpy mashed potatoes. While I do enjoy a bit of texture, I don’t love coming across hard chunks in my supposed-to-be creamy mashed potatoes. To avoid this, make sure your potatoes are cubed uniformly so that they cook evenly. Additionally, start the potatoes in cold water as opposed to adding them to a pot of boiling water.

Should I soak the potatoes before cooking them?

Nope! There is no need to soak your potatoes before cooking them. Just be sure to thoroughly scrub the skin (since we’re going to be eating it) and rinse the starch off before boiling.

More Side Dish Recipes to Try

Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

Rustic, homestyle comfort food at its finest. These garlic mashed red skin potatoes are creamy, buttery, and so easy to make! With just a few simple ingredients, you'll have the perfect side dish ready in under 30 minutes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 296kcal
Author Ashley Petrie

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes scrubbed and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 stick butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
  • cup light cream warmed

Instructions

  • Place the cubed and rinsed potatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large stockpot and cover them with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Skim any potato starch that rises to the top, as necessary. Drain, allowing the excess water to evaporate for a few minutes. Return the potatoes back into the pot.
    2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Turn the heat to low and place the pot with the cooked potatoes back on the burner. Allow the excess water to cook off for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Remove from heat.
  • Add the butter, remaining salt, and pepper and mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed prior to stirring in the cream. Add the cream and stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix so that the potatoes don't turn gluey. Enjoy!
    1 teaspoon + ½-1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 stick butter, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ⅔ cup light cream

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5.5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 609mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 606IU | Vitamin C: 13.5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Did you try this recipe?Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.
Garlic mashed red skin potatoes topped with gravy on a white plate. In the background is roasted chicken and Brussels sprouts.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

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