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Not-So-Humble Mashed Potatoes

“As long as there are mashed potatoes, I’ll be happy,” said a guest joining us for our Thanksgiving meal. He didn’t seem to care if the turkey was dry (it wasn’t) or the cranberry sauce was fresh (it was). He simply wanted creamy smooth mashed potatoes. And they were.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to Julie P., our randomly chosen winner!

As arguably the most important side dish of the season, everyone seems to have a preferred method to cook mashed potatoes. (Me? I cook the potatoes cold and don’t peel them until after they’re cooked.) There are tons of recipes out there, but many are tame and traditional. Potatoes. Butter. Milk. Salt. Pepper. When done right, those five staples are heavenly. But is something missing?  

Some home cooks work to ensure potato perfection by adding secret ingredients. Sour cream? Roasted garlic? Blue cheese? Why not! Here are a few of our favorite recipes that move beyond the classic mashed potato recipe in the quest for a celestial side dish.

Do you smash the everyday mash recipe? Share your secret ingredients in your not-so-humble mashed potatoes in the comments below by December 31, and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends December 31, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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263 comments

Comments

Linda Blackburn says …

I use the usaul salt and pepper, but also mix in an egg and some whipping cream.

Rachael Donnelly says …

ROasted Garlic. Yum!

Stephanie Long says …

It's not my secret, per se, but the best mashed potatoes are half potatoe & half butter. Everybody knows that, right ?

lauren says …

my secret is cream cheese, garlic and BUTTER!

Trish Park says …

I like to put about a Tablespoon of prepared Wasabi in my mashed potatoes, you may put more to match your taste.

Deana Rydel says …

I add garlic to the water while cooking, heat my (whole) milk up before adding to the spuds, lots of butter of course, salt & but most importantly (and its noticed if I don't add...) a large pinch of SUGAR. YUM :-)

S.K. says …

We enjoy mashed sweet and white potatoes, mashed w/buttermilk, olive oil, salt, black pepper and a tiny pinch of nutmeg. This is a holiday favorite and we also have it throughout the year as well.

kyf says …

This Thanksgiving I made garlic mashed potatoes with lots of cream cheese and salt and pepper. It was so creamy and such divine garlicky goodness.

Connie Wills says …

Garlic smashed w/bacon and white cheddar is our family favorite. I am looking forward to trying the truffle smashed potatoes :) YUM!!

Amanda says …

Using an old fashioned ricer makes the potatoes really smooth.

joan nizzari says …

cream and sour cream...that is the secret, added with a little lemon pepper and I have the best mashed potatoes EVER...

elizabeth jorgensen says …

Use a ricer! They make THE BEST mashed potatoes!

Brandi Haase says …

Mashed Taters with smoked cheddar and green onions. 6 yukon gold potatoes peeled & cubed 1/2 stick butter 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese grated 5 green onions chopped 1 cup heavy cream Boil potatoes in salted water untif fork tender. Drain & add butter and cream then mash with potato masher. It's ok to have lumps. Mix in cheese and onions. Salt & Pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sunnie says …

Im trying on my mashed potaoes, I dont make them enough, its an affordable and healthy side. Id say cream cheese is good, I melt the milk and butter together and I mix it a lot so its smooth with no lumps.

Kathy Watson says …

My secret is very simple. I boil rutabaga along with yukon potatoes. Then mash them up together, adding milk, butter, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. I use about 1/3 rutabaga, 2/3 potatoes. Even people that say they don't like rutabaga, like this. The taste difference is subtle, but really tasty. I had a friend years ago tell me about this and called it Rute Mousse.

PB says …

Mashed potatoes were never my favorite part of the holiday meal (I'm a stuffing lady), but last year I added lots of roasted garlic, swirled in some cilantro-almond pesto, and topped the dish with sun-dried tomatoes--move over, stuffing! I love that I don't have to add any butter, cream, or cheese to it; it's still deliciously decadent and savory thanks to the pesto. (I did add a few spoonfuls of regular Greek yogurt to give it a little more creaminess, though.) Can't wait to make my new favorite dish this year, too!

Kathy Baker says …

5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes 1 8 oz block cream cheese 2 sticks butter 1/2-1cup of milk 2 Tbs. chopped chives Salt & pepper Paprika Peel & cut potatoes into chunks, boil in lightly salted water until tender. Drain potatoes & mash with mixer. Add butter & cream chesse & mix again. Add milk a little at a time until desired consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a 9x13 pan, top with remaining stick of butter sliced, sprinkle with paprika. Baker in 375 oven for 1 hour.

Andrea says …

Use pink or yukon gold potatoes. Wash and scrub, do not peel. Add whole garlic cloves to the pot and boil. For 2 lbs of potatoes, I use 4 cloves of garlic. Drain, then use potato masher and add: 1 tbls of butter, 2 tbls of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of fat free Greek yogurt, chopped scallions. Add milk to get the desired consistency. For make ahead: place above into buttered oven-safe casserole, place small pats of butter on top and bake in oven for apx 20 minutes at 350 or more.

sharon says …

My mashed potatoes: start with organic potatoes, leave skin on, cook till tender, mash, while hot-add one or two raw organic egg-(hot potatoes will cook egg) browned onions, and shallots in chicken fat, and add the mashed potaoes, season -salt, pepper, and a little cayanne.

Marie says …

I never seem to make the same mashed potatoes twice! I add whatever herbs and dairy products I have on hand, and no matter what method I use to cook the potatoes, or how I present them (i.e. re-stuffed/broiled skins or simply mashed - smooth or lumpy), they're always a hit! That's what's great about potatoes!

Roger Hannah says …

I like to mix and match a few different types of potatoes. Using reds, browns, purples, yukon golds, fingerlings, and even a few sweet really adds to the texture and flavor. Mash them all together with the skins still on and use a good organic chicken stock to add flavor instead of butter and milk. It's healthier and tastes great!

seashell67 says …

I add a couple of tablespoons of sour cream. Sometimes I boil the potatoes in vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavor (or add a carrot). Roasted garlic(olive oil,sea salt, cracked black pepper:bake 350 20 min to an hour til soft) is also good

AmL says …

I liked the idea and want to share my recipe through the contest. Please advice

Maurice Ginsberg says …

My mashed potatoes start with Idaho russets only. Peeled & cooked. I then add whole milk, sour cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, European unsalted butter, salt & pepper to taste. I also add a bit of Crown Royal whiskey. This actually assures added creamy taste. Then I whip the hell out it so that there are absolutely no lumps in it at all. Be careful not to over whelm the potatoes. It is a little expensive, but it is the holidays.

Bloubliu says …

My secret mashed potatoes recipe features caramelized onions and garlic, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, a dash of pepper, and a creamy greek yogurt finish with lemon juice....Yummy!

mimi says …

I love mashed potatoes! My special recipe is the following: I usually half-mix the potatoes so that there remain some bits and pieces, I add some fresh steamed corn, some finely shredded carrots, some fresh minced scallions, parsley, basil, and oregano, some pepper, and I finish with some creamy "bechamel" (without added butter, only flour, fat free milk, and a dash of vanilla extract, thickened on the stove top). I just love it!

Jean says …

Boil five medium potatoes and one medium rutabaga in chicken broth. Mash with cut up fresh rosemary, lots of salted butter and chicken broth. Yum yum

Giovanna says …

My mashed potatoes are made with purple potatoes, boiled with skin still on, about 20 in a pot. Then when they are done I drain the water, add 2 tablespoons of ghee, full fat plain yogurt, about a quarter cup! Add organic garlic salt (himalayan) and pepper to taste, and you have a simple but new twist on mashed potatoes!

Todd says …

Microwave potato, Mash 'em with a fork. Toss in generous amount of butter, dash or italion seasoning. Dollup of sour cream

Kay Johnson says …

When mashing the potatoes, I always warm the milk, cream and butter before adding to potatoes. This makes for a fluffier texture and enhances the taste.

ARIF DAWOOD says …

Mash potatoes once baked in warm water, mix it with Avacado oil, roasted garlic and Tahini with a two tsp of sea salt. Add minced green chilli (jalepino) and serve hot. The aroma of avacado and tahini generates a finest delicacy and is a heart-healthy side dish.

drew janner says …

butter ... lots of butter

patti says …

sour cream my son loves mashed

Jamie MacEachern says …

For my homemade mashed potatoes, potatoes, milk, butter and best part cream cheese and these are the best things I have ever tasted and yes not that healthy but for the holidays have to treat yourself once in a while. YUMMY

Tina says …

I mix it with parsnips and garlic. They add a bit of zip and make it healthier. Good stuff.

edda wiliiams says …

I always put butter real cream, sour cream and chives in my potato and they are always a hit

Rhea Angle says …

I leave the skins in the mashed potatoes for color, fiber and taste! For a great taste and less fat, I use reduced fat cream cheese with some milk with some butter. The mash has a smoothness without the tons of butter. Yukon Gold potatoes are the best to use. Salt and pepper to taste, plus I snip fresh parsley into it too.

chris lange says …

i like to add some cauliflower to make it a bit more healthy. I still like lots of butter though.

Ellen Jantzen says …

Special Whole-Skinned Smashed Potatoes Yukon Gold and Small Red-skinned potatoes salt homemade buttermilk* (made day before) butter Boil a mix of Yukon Gold and small red skinned potatoes (scrubbed clean, halved or quartered as per potato size)... in salted water. Meanwhile, gently warm homemade buttermilk* in a microwave proof measuring cup. Drain potatoes once softened and smash using a large spoon, add butter and incorporate; then pour in buttermilk and stir until preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. HomeMade Buttermilk. In a clean glass jar, combine 1/2 cup commercial buttermilk with one cup half and half and one cup of whole milk. Stir or shake and place, covered, in a room temp. place for about 24 hours.

Mia G says …

Smashed/ mashed potatoes in our house involves lots of butter and milk and garlic and always some type of chesse. The favorite is feta crumbles at the last minute. SOOOO good and unexpected.

Rose says …

Try a little high quality white truffle oil (you can purchase at Whole Foods), using Macaparone with the butter add flavor depth, too, not in competition with the truffle oil.

Brian says …

We use Yukokn Gold potatoes with real butter and regular sour cream. We set the table with whole chives and a chopper that the childreen canuse to help at the table.

JP says …

Roaster garlic, butter, parmesan cheese, pink sea salt.

Natalie says …

The secret to my yummy mashed potatoes is sour cream (regular, not low fat).

Sabrina Guitron says …

Boil potatoes,peel,sour cream,salt,pepper,cream cheese,heavy cream & of course butter.Yummy

Kristen says …

I use buttermilk instead of milk in my mashed Yukon Gold potatoes.

Carrie Torzsa says …

I use Soy Milk and Earth Balance spread to make them vegan! Salt and pepper and no one can tell the difference!

misty says …

I add one table spoon of soy sauce for extra savory flavor! Shhhh, it's secret! ;)

Nancy K says …

I make my mashed potatoes by adding a few yellow potatoes, diced, skins left on, two to three large white potatoes, quartered, leaving the skins on, half a head of cauliflower and one turnip, peeled and diced, I boil them for about 30 to 40 mins., mash with a potato masher, add a large heaping spoon of yogurt, half a stick of butter, a little salt, a pinch or two of garlic powder, and some milk. I divide them up into two servings, one to serve as is, the other I add some chopped scallions, some grated cheddar and some crumbled bacon on the top.

Tiffany says …

I love sweet potatoes so when I make mashed potatoes, I always use sweet potatoes. Bake or steam the sweet potatoes. I have two versions of it: savory and sweet. For savory, I like to add garlic, milk and sour cream. For sweet, add maple syrup, milk, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

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