Seriously Amazing Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
These are some seriously AMAZING cheddar mashed potatoes! Loaded with garlic, tangy sour cream, fresh chopped chives, and tons of shredded cheddar cheese. The perfect side for Thanksgiving or any night of the week!
You can just go ahead and call me the potato queen.
Have Mercy! These cheddar mashed potatoes are little cloud straight from heaven. Sprinkled with fresh chives on top. Soft and fluffy mashed potatoes with deliciously mellow garlic flavor without it being the kind that’s all harsh and offensive to eat in a gathering. These potatoes are blended with cheddar cheese, softened garlic cloves, a hint of sour cream for that irresistible tang, and fresh chives on top. The ingredients are pretty straight forward but the taste is spectacular!
As a foodie, this is the kind of stuff I dream about! For me to have a magic carpet ride through the sky; just grabbing a handful of these cloud-like potatoes whenever I want. My mouth is salivating at the thought.
Note to self: polish off the leftovers for dinner tonight.
It’s no secret that I love taking the humble potato and turning it into all sorts of deliciousness.
- There are my breakfast potatoes, seasoned and perfect to serve alongside fried eggs in the morning.
- The crispiest, garlicky roasted potatoes, that are my all-time favorite potato recipe.
- I’ve perfected my baked potato recipe. Bonus, a reader that worked at Outback Steakhouse told me that that was exactly how they made them there!
- Then there are mashed potatoes for the instant pot loaded with herb and butter flavor. For when you need something simple that you can just toss together in 20 minutes.
- The cheesy scalloped potatoes are perfect for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
- The twice baked potato casserole is always a hit when I make it for the holidays.
What do you need to make the best cheddar mashed potatoes?
- Potatoes: you can use red, Yukon, or russet potatoes for this recipe. When I first developed this recipe, I preferred it with red potatoes, but I’ve switched to russets over the years and can’t say I’ll be looking back anytime soon!
- Garlic cloves: you can use as little as 1 clove of as many as 4-5 for 2 lbs of potatoes! I boil the garlic with the potatoes so that the flavor really gets into the potatoes, and the boiling process cooks and mellows out the garlic! Feel free to use roasted garlic instead if you’d like. Add it in towards the end when we’re putting the mashed potatoes together!
- Butter: what are mashed potatoes without butter? We melt them right in with the potatoes to make them extra delicious.
- Sour Cream: Adds that perfect tang! You could also swap the room temperature sour cream and half and half for roughly ⅔ – 1 cup of buttermilk if you want to keep things on the lighter side!
- Cheddar Cheese: you can use just about any kind of cheddar you like! I prefer to use sharp white cheddar for this recipe so that the mashed potatoes maintain that beautiful white color. Yellow cheddar also works, but it does make the potatoes a bit yellow!
- Half and Half: You could substitute with whole milk if you didn’t want them to be too rich, but we use half and half, and it makes them so delicious!
- Fresh chives: we’ll garnish with chives as they add that perfect fresh, oniony flavor without it being too overpowering.
How to make the perfect cheddar mashed potatoes:
- Boil the potatoes. Grab a handful of russet potatoes and peel them. Place potatoes in a large dutch oven. Add cold water to the pot so that the potatoes are completely submerged, and so the water rises about 2 inches above the potatoes. Add a tablespoon or two of salt along with the peeled garlic cloves. Turn the heat on to the highest setting and allow the potatoes to reach a boil. Cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until they’re fork-tender when pierced with a fork.
- Rice or mash them. Drain the potatoes, but don’t rinse them! Using a ricer, rice the potatoes into the dutch oven or a large bowl. If you don’t have a ricer, add them back to the same dutch oven and use a masher to mash the potatoes. Add the cubed butter and stir to combine. Let the butter melt into the potatoes. Then add sour cream, mild, white, or sharp cheddar cheese, and combine using a rubber spatula.
- Make Mashed Potatoes. Add a splash of the half and half and stir to combine. Continue adding half and half until the potatoes reach your desired consistency. If at any point the cheese isn’t melting into the potatoes, you can kick the stove onto the lowest heat setting. This will help heat the pan just enough so everything combines. Taste and adjust with salt and white or black pepper as desired. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped chives!
For the best mashed potatoes, run the potatoes through a ricer rather than mashing them with a potato masher! The ricer makes them light and fluffy, while the mashed makes them slightly dense! Avoid using a mixer if you can. I find that it sometimes makes the mashed potatoes gummy!
Tips for making the best mashed potatoes:
- You can make cheddar mashed potatoes ahead of time. One thing I love about mashed potatoes is that they’re super forgiving! If they start to tighten up too much, when you reheat, add a splash of milk to thin them out to your preference.
- Don’t cut your potatoes any small than 2-inches! It’s fine if they are larger. They may require a few additional minutes or cooking time, but don’t cut them too small. More water will get into the potatoes, making them watery and flavorless at the end.
- Mash/rice the potatoes while they are still hot. This makes them extra creamy!
- Don’t add all the half and half at once! The amount of liquid you need to get your mashed potatoes to your favorite consistency can vary quite slightly from one variety of potato to the next. For this reason, I suggest adding only ⅓ cup of half and half first and then adding a splash at a time until you get to your perfect mashed potato consistency!
- For the best texture and flavor, combine the type of potatoes you use. You can use a 50:50 mix of Yukon Golds and Russets. The russets will provide that lusciously fluffy texture while the Golds bring on that flavor!
As always, I do suggest grating from a block of cheddar cheese instead of using store-bought shredded cheese. Store-bought cheese is often coated with potato starches that may give the mashed potatoes a grainy texture!
What to serve with homemade mashed potatoes:
- Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
- Perfect One Hour Whole Roasted Chicken
- Swedish Meatballs
- Pesto Baked Chicken with Mozzarella
- Cheesesteak Meatballs with Garlic Cheese Sauce
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken
- French Onion Chicken Meatballs
- Roasted Herb Butter Spatchcock Chicken
- Ridiculously Tender Beef Tips with Mushroom Gravy
- Garlic Butter Tomato Baked Chicken with Mozzarella
- Cajun Chicken Meatballs in Tasty Cream Sauce
- Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breasts
- Skillet Chicken in Balsamic Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce
Original recipe shared Nov. 2016, updated with new pictures and text Nov. 2020
- 2 lbs. red, Yukon Golds, or Russet potatoes, peeled, cubed into 2-inch pieces
- 1-4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, cubed
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese (mild, sharp, white, etc.)
- ½ - 1 cup half and half or milk, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- BOIL: Place the peeled potatoes in a large dutch oven. Add cold water to the pot so that the water rises about 2 inches above the potatoes. Add a tablespoon of salt along with the peeled garlic cloves. Turn the heat on to the highest setting and allow the potatoes to reach a boil. Then, turn it down so that it simmers but doesn't boil over. Cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until a fork pierces through the potatoes very easily.
- MASH OR RICE: Drain the potatoes and garlic cloves, but don’t rinse them! Using a ricer, rice the potatoes/garlic cloves into the dutch oven. If you don’t have a ricer, add them back to the same dutch oven and use a masher to mash the potatoes. Add the cubed butter and stir to combine. Let the butter melt into the potatoes. Then add sour cream, cheddar cheese, and combine using a rubber spatula.
- MASHED POTATOES: Add 1/3 cup of half and half and stir to combine. Continue adding a few tablespoons of half and half until the potatoes reach your desired consistency. I needed the full 2/3 cup. If at any point the cheese isn’t melting into the potatoes, you can kick the stove onto the lowest heat setting, this will help heat the pan just enough so everything combines. Taste and adjust with salt and white pepper as desired. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped chives!
- I used a total of three cloves of garlic and it was perfect for our taste buds. For less garlicky flavor, I suggest 1-2 cloves. For LOTS go with 4-5!