Mashed Red Potatoes with Garlic

These mashed red potatoes are packed with flavor, featuring garlic and Parmesan. With just a bit of butter and no cream, they’ve got a healthy twist.

Mashed red potatoes | Garlic red skin mashed potatoes

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! Keep reading for this mashed red potatoes recipe.

Related: 14 Red Potato Recipes

Mashed red potatoes

How to make mashed red potatoes

Instead of watering the potatoes down to a lifeless puree, this mashed red potatoes recipe is flavored to perfection! Here, we’ve kept the potato skins on to add nutrients and texture. It also means you don’t need to waste time peeling them! They’re flavored with a hefty amount of garlic, which makes for an incredible savory pop.

To mix into this mashed red potatoes recipe: some Parmesan for an added sharp flavor. And if you’d like, sliced green onions as a garnish. Instead of the traditional massive amount of cream and butter in mashed potatoes, for these mashed red potatoes we’ve used a moderate amount of milk and butter. All of it adds up to big, big flavor and lots of added nutrients. It’s really a healthy mashed potatoes recipe that’s even more delicious than the standard. Who said mashed potatoes had to be devoid of taste and nutritional value?

Mashed red potatoes | Garlic red skin mashed potatoes

How to reheat mashed potatoes

The easiest way to reheat mashed potatoes and prevent them from becoming a gloppy mess is in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Portion out the amount of mashed potatoes you want to reheat, then pop the lid onto the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Let the mashed potatoes warm up for a good 10-15 minutes. If the mashed potatoes are a little too thick, add in a splash of milk to loosen them up.

You can also reheat mashed potatoes in the oven, but this works better if you’re reheating mashed potatoes for a crowd. To reheat mashed potatoes in the oven, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and let the potatoes cook for 20-30 minutes in a 350ºF oven. Again, you may need to add a splash of milk to the potatoes, but give them some time in the oven first to see if it’s needed!

Mashed red potatoes

Looking for more side dish recipes?

Outside of these garlic red skin mashed potatoes, here are a few more of our favorite side dish recipes:

Looking for red potato recipes?

This mashed red potatoes recipe is one of our favorite ways to use red potatoes; here are a few more:

This recipe is…

This mashed red potatoes recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

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Mashed red potatoes

Mashed Red Potatoes with Garlic

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.17 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 68 as a side 1x


These mashed red potatoes are packed with flavor, featuring garlic and Parmesan. With just a bit of butter and no cream, they’ve got a healthy twist.


  • 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter*
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (omit for vegan)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Green onion, for garnish (optional)


  1. Clean the potatoes. Then dice the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Place them in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and boil until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes (pierce a piece of potato with a fork to assess doneness). Then carefully drain them.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic.
  3. When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in the same pot. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned. Add the potatoes back to the pot and pour in the milk.
  4. Mash the potatoes with a masher, adding more milk if desired to get to a thinner consistency. Add the Parmesan cheese and season with the kosher salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more cheese, salt, or pepper as necessary.
  5. If desired, thinly slice the green onion and sprinkle on top as a garnish. Serve immediately.


*For vegan substitutes, use olive oil and almond milk or your favorite plant milk.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mashed Red Potatoes, Garlic red skin mashed potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Healthy Mashed Potatoes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • 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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