Mix-and-Match Mashed Potatoes

Give the essential side dish a new spin with this step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine.

Potato, Fall, Thanksgiving

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1. Cook the Potatoes

Put 2 pounds whole russet or Yukon gold potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.

2. Mash

Add 1 stick softened butter or 1/2 cup olive oil to the potatoes. Add 1 cup dairy (choose 1), 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or fork. 

  • Milk
  • Half-and-half 
  • Buttermilk
  • Plain yogurt (use 1 1/2 cups)
  • Sour cream (use 1 1/2 cups)

3. Pick a Flavor (Optional)

Mixed Herbs
Stir 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley, dill and chives into the potatoes.

Roasted Garlic
Halve 4 heads garlic crosswise, put on a sheet of foil and drizzle with olive oil; wrap and roast at 350 degrees F, 1 hour. Squeeze out the cloves; mash and stir into the potatoes.

Stir 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the potatoes.

4. Choose a Cheese (Optional)

Fold in up to 1 cup cheese, along with up to 2 tablespoons dijon mustard or horseradish, if desired.

  • Cheddar, shredded
  • Gruyere, shredded
  • Gouda, shredded
  • Mozzarella, shredded
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Parmesan, grated (use 1/2 cup)

5. Pick a Topping (Optional)

Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup toppings, if desired.

  • Pickled peppers, chopped
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • Roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Parsley, dill or chives, chopped
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Bacon (about 1/2 pound), cooked and crumbled
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Shallots (about 6), caramelized in olive oil

Customize your own mashed potatoes or try one of our combinations: 

Photograph by Yunhee Kim