Recipe Flash: Garlic-Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

OTHER THANKSGIVING-Y SIDES: Pumpkin-Leek Stuffing with Turkey Sausage; Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes; Farro and Cauliflower Salad with Currants; Portobello Mushrooms with Parmesan-Herb Stuffing; Green Beans with Spiced Nuts and Apple Cider Vinaigrette; Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pistachios, and Creme Fraiche

At my Thanksgiving table,which is really my mom’s, we don’t serve mashed potatoes ordinarily, though they snuck onto the menu one year. We have baked sweet potatoes, and then we have cauliflower puree, which, though it may look like mashed potatoes, tastes like sweet, buttery cauliflower. Still, despite never having attended anyone else’s Thanksgiving in my life, I realize that mashed potatoes will find their way to most tables come next Thursday, so I’ve used this recipe flash to write about my favorite kind–a variation, that, by the way, is vegan.

These garlic-rosemary mashed potatoes are kind of revolutionary. They are mashed without milk and without butter. What they have instead may in fact be better: garlic confit flavored with wintry rosemary. The ingredients are so minimal and so cheap that I think the dish is an easy addition to any table and the flavoring an easy tweak to any mashed potatoes.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,



Garlic-Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Serves 2-4

I will come clean: this recipe is not light on the olive oil. Mashed potatoes crave fat, and since we cut the butter and milk or cream here, we’ve got to replace it with something! If you’re making this dish for a crowd, you’ll have to at least quadruple it.

1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (you should have at least 15 cloves)
about 1/3 cup olive oil
4 small sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
24 ounces Yukon gold or other not-too-starchy potatoes (about 3 large), peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the garlic and the rosemary sprigs into a small ovenproof dish with a cover (I use my adorable LeCreuset peppers). Pour olive oil to cover–this will vary depending on the size of your dish–cover, and bake for about 25 minutes, until the oil is sizzling and the garlic is soft but only just barely golden. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into large chunks. Place them in a medium saucepan and fill with water to cover the potatoes by 1-2 inches. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes after the water has boiled.

Scoop the potatoes, leaving the water in the pot, and put them into a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a wooden spoon, adding about 1/4 cup of water from the saucepan as you go. Add 10 cloves of the roasted garlic, the rosemary leaves (remove the stems), the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 tablespoons of the oil. Taste the potatoes and add more oil or garlic cloves if you’d like

Otherwise, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with fresh rosemary and a grind of black pepper, and serve.

Posted in: Recipe Flash
  • Chelsea

    Wow, no mashed potatoes?! When I was younger, that is just about the only thing I ate off of the Thanksgiving table. Rosemary mashed potatoes sound delicious :)

  • ArtemesiaPotts

    Great recipe!!!! My sister has this excellent mashed potato recipe that she refuses to give to me. I’m so happy to have my own now!
    Thanks for posting!

  • Vanessa

    Mashed potatoes is one of my favorite comfort foods but I always said to myself that I could do without the butter. Thank you, Cara, for getting it right!

    – Vanessa
    The Project Zen

  • Anonymous

    These look incredible, I love that they’re vegan! I really enjoy mashed cauliflower, I wonder if everyone would stage a coup if I swapped em out for traditional mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving…

  • Jamie

    I’ve been looking for a new way to make mashed potatoes and I think i just found it… you had me at “garlic confit”!

  • Megan

    Great recipe! I love the touch about baking the garlic first to soften it up. Haven’t seen another mashed potato recipe that does it like that.

    For another yummy mashed potato recipe, check out the loaded mashed potatoes at as well as the rest of perfect potato month!

  • guest

    I’m wondering how long the garlic confit will keep in the fridge? 

    • BGSK

      It will keep a while – at least two weeks. Make sure you always use a clean
      spoon to scoop it out. That’ll keep bacteria out, and it’ll keep extra long.

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