Side Dish/ Vegetarian

Italian Garlic Mashed Potatoes

October 27, 2019 (Last Updated: January 8, 2021)

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Total time to make this recipe: 5 hours 40 minutes
garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl

Fluffy mashed potatoes, done the way my mom used to, with butter and milk. They are creamy and light as air. I gave it a kick with the spiciness of fresh garlic and the freshness of parsley.

What is comfort food to you?

To me, comfort food is what brings back warm memories, nostalgia, and the food that I crave when I want to feel peaceful and cozy, preferably if eaten on my sofa (yes, I love eating on the sofa).

Mashed potatoes are one of my top comfort foods of all time. I always love mashed potatoes, especially the way my mom makes them. Fluffy, with a few clumps, not too heavy, with a hint of nutmeg. They bring back memories of my childhood, they are comforting and delicious. I could eat a huge bowl of just mashed potatoes for dinner.

They are the perfect side dish to any meat, fish, or stew. You should try them with my Red Wine Venison Stew or with my Sole Fish in Milk sauce.

9 times out of 10, I cook my mashed potatoes in a classic way, with no additional ingredients. Sometimes though, I like this garlicky version, which has a little bit more of a kick. It doesn’t require any additional steps, but it gets a completely new flavor. A complete makeover.

If you don’t like the flavor and spiciness of (almost) raw garlic, you can roast the garlic before adding it to the mashed potatoes. See this recipe for easy roasted garlic.

garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl
garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl with a spoon

How to make perfect mashed potatoes

Use the right potatoes

Mashed potatoes may seem like a easy peasy straight forward recipe, but it’s also easy to screw up.

Potatoes themselves are a quite delicate root vegetable, they don’t hold that much flavor, but they have a great consistency and versatility. One of the most common mistakes in mashed potatoes, though, is using the wrong kind of potatoes.

There are 2 main types of potatoes: waxy and starchy. Waxy potatoes have less starch and hold their shapes greatly, so they are best for roasting. Starchy potatoes instead are more floury and they mash really easily so they are best for mashing.

The most common starchy potatoes are the Russets, Idaho, or King Edward potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are less starchy but still good for mashing.

Use the right amount of milk or cream

I must admit that I don’t usually measure when I cook (just like most of Italians) and I can’t tell how many times I poured too much milk in my mashed potatoes, making them way too creamy.

If you accidentally pour too much milk or cream, don’t despair, they’re probably not totally ruined. You just need to be more patient. Potatoes are incredibly absorbent so they will soak up all that liquid-like sponges. Plus, milk will also evaporate and will reduce. So just cook your potatoes at low heat for 10-20 minutes more and they should become again fluffy.

Use the right amount of seasoning

I like my mashed potatoes to be delicate, so I don’t exaggerate with the seasoning. You just need the right amount of salt to bring out the flavor of the potatoes, a pinch of black pepper and the secret ingredient is a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Nutmeg compliments perfectly the delicate flavor of potatoes and give them a sweet yet aromatic flavor which brings your average mashed potatoes to the next level.

garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl
garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl and on a spoon

The Recipe

garlic mashed potatoes in terracotta bowl

Italian Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy mashed potatoes done the way my mom used to, with butter and milk. They are creamy and light as air. I gave it a kick with the spiciness of fresh garlic and the freshness of parsley.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Jessica – Cooking my Dreams


  • 1 lb Starchy Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper, ground
  • Nutmeg, ground
  • ½ tbsp Parsley, finely chopped


  • Peel and chop the potatoes into large cubes. Bring to boil a medium pot of lightly salted water and add the potatoes.
  • Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them using a fine potato masher. Mash them twice if you want them creamy and lump-free.
  • Return the potatoes to the pot and add the butter, minced garlic and milk. Turn the heat to low and mix well for a few minutes. Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
  • Once they are done, add the parsley and mix well. Serve immediately.


Mashed potatoes can also be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in a fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in a microwave or again in a pan adding a couple more tablespoon of milk.


Calories: 360 kcal | Carbohydrates: 48 g | Protein: 9 g | Fat: 16 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Cholesterol: 43 mg | Sodium: 166 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: comfort food, italian food, italian recipes, mashed potatoes, side dish, thanksgiving
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