Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Garlic

In Sides

Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Garlic

Are you a mashed potato fan? I never used to be. To me, mashed potatoes meant a white, tasteless paste – possibly made of potatoes, or maybe from some unidentified flakes in a box.

It wasn’t that long ago that we decided to start eating real food. Thinking back, it breaks my heart thinking about how much I missed. Because mashed potatoes can be REAL food – and not only delicious, but good for you too!

Instead of watering the potatoes down to a lifeless puree, here we’ve kept the potato skins (to add nutrients and texture), and added kale, thanks to an idea from 101 Cookbooks. Dark, leafy greens are some of the best foods you can eat – why not incorporate them into your potatoes? (Genius.) We found the texture of the kale to be satisfying, and barely noticed any bitterness that can sometimes come from kale.

We’ve also replaced the traditional cream and butter with milk and olive oil, and thrown in some green onions and parmesan for for measure. Who said mashed potatoes had to be devoid of taste and nutritional value?

Try this out as an alternative to the standard side dish at a Thanksgiving or other holiday feast!


Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Garlic

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 6 as a side


  • 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Chop the potatoes – do not peel. Place the pieces in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice 6 cloves garlic. Wash the kale leaves, remove the tough stems, and chop the leaves into small pieces. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; then add the kale and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until the kale is completely wilted and tender. Season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  3. Chop the scallions. Warm the 1 cup milk in the microwave (for about 1 minute).
  4. When the potatoes are done (test with a fork or by tasting), drain them. Then pour in the warm milk and mash the potatoes with a masher, adding more milk if desired to get to a thinner consistency. Season with about 1 teaspoon kosher salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Then stir in the kale, garlic, chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more olive oil, cheese, salt, or pepper as necessary.


Inspired by 101 Cookbooks



  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Dang that looks tasty! I LOVE loaded mashed potatoes, with skin on. Adding leafy greens is a great idea and will perhaps help to offset the sour cream, butter and cheese that we always add :)

    • Reply
      November 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

      Haha – it is tasty! I was worried that the kale would ruin some of the decadence – but it only added to the fun :)

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    red skins are always tender and sweet, but some of the best for mashing would be the yukon gold varieties….creamy!! Love the idea of adding the kale. Certainly have added oil or other types of ingrediants to cream up potatoes…the richest (and likely most unhealthy, but very tasty) would be schmaltz! (chicken fat…used when keeping kosher!)

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      Ooo, we’ll have to try it with yukon golds – thanks for the idea!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’m really going to have to try this soon. I’ve been wanting to start eating kale for a while now, but I’m a reluctant salad eater and new leafy greens scare me (although I think I got that apple & pear with curry salad from your site a little while back and I love, love, love it!). The one time I tried kale a few years ago, I ate it raw because I didn’t understand its better uses. Gag!

    Now, I’ve seen recipes that use kale in soups and here in your mashed potatoes that encourage me to try again because I know how nutritious it is. (Also, I have to sneak it in so I don’t scare my husband with a new food.) So thanks!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      So excited to hear about your interest in kale! We actually have a raw kale salad recipe on our site, but you have to use younger kale (some kale can be super spicy raw!) :)

      Let us know if you try this out! You also might like the spicy kale lasagne on this site – it’s a good way to sneak it in without too kale-y of a taste :)

      And glad oyu liked the apple curry salad – it’s one of my favorite recent recipes too!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

    My husband saw the potato flakes in the box one time and asked, “Do humans actually eat this?” Oh lucky man he is to have grown up with real food his entire life! I, like you, just started eating “real food” a few years back. Mashed potatoes was one of the first things I learned to make. But now I am seeing all of these great ways to jazz it up (like you just shared and also a guest blogger on my page yesterday) and I am ready to take my potato-mashing to the next step. Thanks for the inspiration!

    PS – I visit you guys enough that I am now adding you to the “Blogs I Can’t Get Enough Of” section on my page. Expect even more visits from me :)

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      Haha! I hadn’t thought of those flakes in a while, but writing the post certainly brought back some memories. So wonderful for your husband to have always eaten real food! :)

      Thanks for adding us to your site – keep in touch!!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

    will you bring some to the next family gathering? pleeeeeease?

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Done! :)

  • Reply
    Heather Taylor @ Kids in the Sink
    November 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    These look great! I only ever ate mashed potatoes out of a box and when I first got married I thought I was doing something exciting by switching to red mashed potatoes out of a box. It wasn’t until I got pregnant that I changed my eating habits and made real mashed potatoes! And I’ve been looking for ways to try out kale more so this is perfect!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Perfect! Once you start with real, it’s hard to go back! :) Let us know if you try it out!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    This looks amazing guys, can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    It’s Colcannon! We love this and I often make it to top Shepherd’s Pie–it’s a great way to sneak a little more nutrition and flavor into the dish.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      We’d never heard of Colcannon – thanks for introducing us to the concept! And great idea re Shepherd’s Pie – we’ll have to try that out!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve been trying to put kale into everything lately! I’m sure my husband’s getting a tiny bit tired of it, but it’s so cheap and abundant at the farmers market right now, and so full of nutrients that I can’t resist!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      I can’t either! We have some other recipes with kale on the site that are good ways to use it – I like the spicy kale lasagne and the chickpea and kale stew most! What other things have you been trying?

  • Reply
    anna maria
    November 17, 2011 at 1:15 am

    These look DELICIOUS. Won’t be making Thanksgiving dinner this year (just contributing to breakfast the day after), but have bookmarked these to try sometime this season. Can’t wait to taste them!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Oh, thank you! We won’t be hosting either, but we’ll be taking various items to family gatherings. I can’t wait to make them again! Let us know if you try them out :)

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Kids in the Sink
    November 17, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I don’t often make mashed potatoes or really any kind of potatoes but these look so good for you that I can’t resist. I can’t wait for an occasion to make these. My family is pretty big on sticking with the same things for big holiday dinners so I’ll have to make them on my own at home rather than for Thanksgiving. I just recently used kale to make kale chips and it was my first time working with kale. They turned out wonderfully!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      Wonderful! We don’t really make mashed potatoes much either, but after making these we may be! :) Let us know if you try them out!

  • Reply
    Fabrizia Spinelli
    November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Such a lovely post, I like it! Sounds really delicious!!

    Take a look and if you like follow me, I’ll be waiting for you: Cosa mi metto???
    Enter the Shopkempt giveaway on my blog!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I would loooove these. Definitely trying them sometime soon.

    • Reply
      November 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Ooo, awesome! I was just thinking of you and thinking we should have a cooking date sometime :) And you reminded me I need to go comment on one of your Thanksgiving recipes! :)

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I cannot lie: I used to specifically make my poor mother buy me boxed, flaked potatoes against her better judgement so could make and eat them after school. I’m glad I’ve evolved from there.

    I’m so happy to see the red potatoes with the skin on, I wouldn’t make my mash any other way. The addition of kale is a delightful surprise, I’ve been eating more and more of it: so delicious and so versatile!

    I recommend you try boiling the potatoes in stock for extra flavor. Perhaps a tad wasteful, but they’ll taste so rich without needing to add fat.

  • Reply
    Jessica @ The Desert Abode
    November 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    These look amazing! Eating mashed potatoes always makes me feel like eating a salad so perhaps this would balance it out. I think my standard mashed may be getting a new twist …

    I recently discovered your blog (first comment) and I have a feeling that I will be making several of your recipes. :)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Yummy! I love mashed potatoes. What a great twist on a classic dish. I dont normally use kale in anything I make so this a great way to get in on the nutrients I’ve been missing. I love garlic though! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Reply
    The Cilantropist
    November 22, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Oh wow this sounds like such a fantastic idea! I think I am going to try it out even when it is not thanksgiving, I bet the textures and tastes are incredible to eat. :)

  • Reply
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    November 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    This looks amazing! I have such a hard time getting myself to eat green vegetables (I have an extreme sensitivity to bitterness)-but I love mashed potatoes and garlic, and this seems like a great way to trick myself into eating something healthy ;). Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      I agree, kale can be a little bitter! I was surprised that it didn’t seem to be in this recipe :) It’s also very palatable in our spicy kale lasagne and kale and garlic soup recipes. Let us know if the trick worked!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2011 at 2:29 am

    This looks divine! I’m obsessed with kale! What do you think would be a good substitute for milk? And is the parmesan cheese necessary?

    • Reply
      December 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Hmm, I think you might be able to use soy milk or coconut milk to get some creaminess. The parmesan cheese is not necessary, though it adds a great flavor! If I didn’t use it, I might use a bit more garlic and herbs to amp the flavor, but it would be fine on its own too.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2013 at 12:46 am

    In the netherlands kale and mashed potatoe is the number 1 most eaten dish in wintertime. We eat that every week. But the original dutch recipe can get boring i think. My Mother is from indonesia, we put in a piri piri or we call sambal in our potatoe. Your variation with parmesan sounds delicioso!
    Thanks, bye!

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