“Is butter a carb?” That quote kept running through my head as I was making (and devouring) these super fluffy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes. It’s one of the best movie lines EVER and the perfect example of what not to ask yourself while eating these Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes. Don’t even let yourself think about whether you should or shouldn’t be eating them. Just enjoy every living moment of it. They’re buttery rich, fluffy like a cloud, full of garlic-herb goodness, and pure potato heaven.
See this recipe in my Easy Thanksgiving Dinner for Beginners meal plan.
What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Mashed Potatoes?
Russet potatoes are my top choice for mashed potatoes because they have a light and fluffy texture. You can use red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes, but they tend to create a more dense mashed potato.
How to make mashed potatoes fluffy not gluey:
It’s all about rinsing your potatoes. Not once, but twice. You know how when you’re peeling and dicing your potatoes everything gets that milky-powdery white stuff all over it? Or when you begin to boil your potatoes it gets that white skin on top of the water? That’s potato starch, which will make your mashed potatoes heavy and gluey in texture, rather than light and fluffy. Rinsing those starches off of the potatoes before coking and after cooking will give you the lightest and fluffiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever eaten.
To garlic-herb or not to garlic-herb…
I used my All-purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning to quickly season these potatoes, but you could leave that out to make plain mashed potatoes, or replace it with any herb or spice blend you like. Prefer to use fresh garlic? No problem. Sauté some minced garlic in the melted butter for a minute before you add and warm the milk.
Freeze your mashed potatoes
If you’re the type that likes to cook ahead and fill your freezer with quick, ready to reheat food, mashed potatoes are perfect! Simply let your mashed potatoes cool in the refrigerator, then scoop them out onto a lined baking sheet in 1 cup portions (or whatever size portion you prefer), freeze them until solid, then pop them in a freezer bag for long term storage. The potatoes can be quickly reheated in the microwave for a quick side to any weeknight meal.
What to Serve with Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the perfect comforting side dish to serve with a classic “meat and potatoes” meal. Try pairing your homemade mashed potatoes with:
Pictured with green beans and Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf.
Fluffy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes
- 2.5 lbs. russet potatoes ($0.87)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.72)
- 1/2 cup whole milk ($0.16)
All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning
- 1 tsp dried parsley ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
- Peel and cut the russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubed potatoes in a colander and rinse well with cool water.
- Place the rinsed potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Season the water with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes until they are VERY tender, about 7-10 minutes.
- Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander, then rinse briefly with hot water.
- Add the butter, milk, and garlic herb seasoning o the pot used to boil the potatoes. Stir and heat over low until the butter has melted and the milk is hot.
- Once the milk is hot, add the potatoes back to the pot, turn off the heat and mash with a potato masher. Once the potatoes are mostly mashed, use a hand mixer to briefly whip the potatoes until they are light and fluffy. Taste the potatoes and add salt to taste, if needed, then serve.
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Looking for dairy-free mashed potatoes? Try my Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes.
How to Make The Best Fluffy Mashed Potatoes – Step by Step Photos
Star with about 2.5 lbs. of russet potatoes. Don’t kill yourself trying to get exactly 2.5 lbs., just estimate half of a 5 lb. bag. While you can use other types of potatoes, russet will give you the lightest fluffiest mashed potatoes with this method.
Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Rinse them really well with cool water.
Place the potatoes in a pot and add enough cool water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Season the water with 1/2 tsp salt. Place a lid on the pot and bring the salted water up to a boil over high heat.
Let the potatoes boil until they are VERY tender. This should take about 7-10 minutes. You can test them with a fork to see how tender they are. They should just about fall apart when you pierce them with your fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse again briefly with hot water.
To the pot you used to boil the potatoes, add 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup whole milk, and the garlic herb seasoning (1 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Stir and heat these together over low until the butter is fully melted and the milk is hot.
Once the milk is heated, add the drained potatoes back to the pot and begin to mash them up.
Once they’re mostly mashed, switch to a hand mixer to whip them to their final fluffy cloud-like state. Because you’ve rinsed off most of the starches, the whipping does not make them gluey, it makes them awesome.
Give the garlic herb mashed potatoes one final taste and add more salt, if needed. Pile a big scoop on to a plate, add a little extra butter if you’re feeling like a rebel, and dig in!
If you have extras (or just want to pace yourself), let the mashed potatoes cool completely in the fridge, then scoop them into single portions onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze them flat like this until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag for long-term storage. Then you’ve got homemade garlic herb mashed potatoes ready for a quick reheat any night of the week!