Mashed potatoes: from creamy and rich to smashed and skinnier

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed potatoes with roasted garlic, October 2012

Mashed potatoes can be fat-laden and delicious or less rich and still delicious.

My mother-in-law made fantastic mashed potatoes. I recently ran across her instructions that I had jotted down on a recipe card: “About 5 pounds potatoes. Butter the size of one potato! Sour cream – 12 ounces. Quite a bit. Salt.” I likely used the exclamation point and wrote “quite a bit” because I was surprised by the quantity of rich ingredients.

Another rich mashed potato recipe comes from a fellow cook in our town. I haven’t made hers but they sound delicious. She uses 10 potatoes (peeled and cooked without salt), an 8-ounce package cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon celery powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules, salt to taste, milk to thin, and a few sprinkles of paprika on top.

My favorite mashed potatoes are more “smashed,” because I leave the peels on if they’re in good shape and I minimally mash them with a hand masher. I add roasted garlic and make them dairy-free and lower in fat by using potato cooking water and olive oil. I’ve made these often and have never missed the richer ingredients.

Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
Recipe type: Side
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 head garlic
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • About 1/2 tablespoon salt for potato cooking water
  • 2 pounds red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well and large potatoes cut into smaller pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Slice off the top of the garlic to expose the tips of the cloves. Place head on a square of foil large enough to wrap it. Drizzle the head with olive oil and wrap loosely in the foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake until tender and fragrant, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the garlic from the peels, pressing to express the paste, and mash with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Place potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. When potatoes are tender, remove pot from heat and carefully pour 2 to 3 cups of the water into a heat-safe container such as a Pyrex pitcher or a saucepan. Drain off the rest of the water. Add the 4 tablespoons oil, mashed roasted garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and about 1/3 cup of the potato cooking water. Mash to desired texture, adding additional water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Serve hot.
Serving size: About 1 cup. Calories: 285; Fat: 14g; Saturated fat: 2g; Unsaturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 38g; Sugar: 3g; Sodium: 306mg; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg.


Shared at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.


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4 Responses to “Mashed potatoes: from creamy and rich to smashed and skinnier”

  1. Karen says:

    Can’t wait to try this lighter method.Sounds good. No need for butter the size of a potato! LOL

  2. Miachel says:

    Sounds amazing!!!
    Can’t wait to try it out, what a smart idea to make it lighter. Big fan of the roasted garlic, too.

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