These comforting cheddar garlic mashed potatoes are rich and creamy, thanks to two(!) types of cheese, sour cream, and a healthy dose of garlic. The best part? You can make them in advance so you can indulge any time you please.
I have a serious love for mashed potatoes. Ok, potatoes. I have a serious love for potatoes. Roasted potatoes, scalloped potatoes, baked potatoes, French fries, and of course, mashed potatoes. I have yet to meet a potato that I don't like.
I am a little picky when it comes to mashed spuds, though. They have to be a good balance between creamy and fluffy, not gluey, be flavorful, and contain a decent amount of fat.
This recipe for cheesy garlic mashed potatoes ticks all of those boxes. They're rich and creamy, thanks to the addition of cream cheese, cheddar, and sour cream, and have just enough garlic to give it a little bite and take the flavor up a notch.
Cheesy mashed potatoes aren't typically associated with camping, but if you're headed out in cool weather, I don't see why they shouldn't be camping food. They're perfect for ladling Dutch oven beef stew over, and if you want to make a pot of Dutch oven shepherd's pie, these potatoes are the perfect consistency for piling on top. And since you can easily make them in advance and tuck them into your cooler before heading out, that's one less thing to do at camp. Win-win.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes--I prefer to use Yukon gold or yellow potatoes for the best flavor and consistency, but you can substitute Russet potatoes, or use a combination.
- Garlic--If you like a slight garlic flavor to your potatoes, use 2 large cloves. If you love garlic, use 4, or more.
- Cream cheese--This adds richness to the potatoes. Use full-fat cream cheese for best results.
- Sour cream--For the tastiest potatoes, use full-fat sour cream.
- Cheddar--Use full-fat cheddar cheese, and always grate it from a block. Pre-shredded cheese doesn't melt well.
How to Make Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Place the cubed potatoes and garlic cloves in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with 1 to 2 inches of water. Season well with salt.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander, reserving ¾ cup of the starchy potato water.
- Return the potatoes to the pot, add ½ cup of starchy water, and mash until smooth. Add a little extra water, if needed.
- Stir in the cream cheese and sour cream until well combined.
- Fold in the cheddar cheese.
To get the best mashed potatoes, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Choose the right potato. Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes work well, but avoid waxy potatoes that won't mash well.
- Don't over or undercook your potatoes. Overcooked potatoes will be dry and mealy, and undercooked potatoes will be difficult to mash. You'll know they're ready when they are tender when poked with a fork, but not falling apart.
- Don't over mash your spuds. Mash them until there are no visible lumps remaining, but don't overdo it. Overworking will make them gluey.
Starting your potatoes in cold water helps them to cook evenly. Adding your potatoes directly to hot water will cause the outside to cook faster than the inside, resulting in mealy potatoes.
It's up to you. If I'm using Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes that have thin skins, then I usually don't bother peeling, but if using a thicker-skinned potato, then I recommend removing the peel before cutting and cooking.
Yes. You can prepare and store the potatoes in the fridge for up to 4 days before serving, or freeze for up to 1 month. If you want to prepare them just a couple of hours before serving, you can keep them warm by setting the pot of mashed potatoes over a pan of barely simmering water.
Storing & Reheating Garlic Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
You can store mashed potatoes in the fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed container, or freeze for longer storage. To reheat, place the potatoes in a pot or Dutch oven, and add a splash of milk or cream. Rewarm them over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
If you've packed them along in a foil container for a camping trip, you can reheat them directly in the container. Set it on a warm area of the campfire grill, but not over direct heat. Let them heat, stirring occasionally, and adding milk, cream, or some butter, if needed, until warmed through.
How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes
Let your potatoes cool completely before freezing. Pack them into freezer safe airtight containers and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. If you're heading out camping, I recommend using foil containers, so that you can reheat them directly in the container. Thaw in the fridge (or your cooler) before reheating.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- Cut your potatoes into even-sized pieces, no smaller than 1-inch so that they cook evenly.
- For the smoothest, fluffiest potatoes, use a potato ricer instead of a hand masher.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Slightly warm dairy will be much easier to blend into the potatoes than cold.
- Mash your potatoes and mix in the cheese and sour cream while they are still hot. If your potatoes cool too much, you can place them over low heat to warm through.
- This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets.
More Potato Recipes You'll Love
Tried This Recipe?
Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 2 ½ pounds Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes (about 5 large) cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 to 4 large cloves garlic peeled
- ¼ cup cream cheese room temperature, cut into small cubes (if using block-style)
- ¼ cup sour cream room temperature
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the potatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches (5 cm) of cold water.
- Set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the water at a simmer.
- Scoop out ¾ cup of the potato water, then drain the potatoes in a colander. Return the potatoes to the pot.
- Add ½ cup of potato water to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Add more water, if needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Stir in the cream cheese and sour cream just until combined.
- Fold in the cheddar cheese.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
- Cutting the potatoes--Cut your potatoes into even-sized pieces, no smaller than 1-inch so that they cook evenly.
- Make it smoother--For the smoothest, fluffiest potatoes, use a potato ricer instead of a hand masher.
- Room temperature ingredients--Use room temperature ingredients. Slightly warm dairy will be much easier to blend into the potatoes than cold.
- Mash it hot--Mash your potatoes and mix in the cheese and sour cream while they are still hot. If your potatoes cool too much, you can place them over low heat to warm through.
- Dietary--This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets.