Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes

Our Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes recipe with the skin-on taste fancy like a steakhouse side dish, but are homemade and easy enough to make any day of the week.

Garlic makes them unique while butter and sour cream are added to create the best creamy mashed red potatoes our family eats!

Spoonful of steakhouse mashed red potatoes with garlic

These garlic, creamy, mashed red potato cubes perfectly complement a grilled steak, Farmhouse Pot Roast, Baked Pork Chop, Marinated Chicken Breast, or Marinated Pork Chop.

Red Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Rich and creamy potatoes with some of the red skins still in the dish are delicious with the special garlic flavor!

Mashed potatoes made from scratch are a staple on our farm family’s table. We typically enjoy this traditional Farmhouse Mashed Potato Recipe, but when we want to make the meal a little fancier we like to use red potatoes and freshly minced garlic.

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These mashed red potatoes are also a super easy warm side dish to take along to a family Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinner. Sometimes a simple recipe is one of the most popular. If you want to dress up your red potatoes a bit more try our Honey Garlic Roasted Potatoes or Crock Pot Loaded Red Potatoes.

My husband said this recipe reminds him of a special meal at a nice restaurant. I’m not going to be the one to tell that using red potatoes saves time peeling and are easier to make! Just let him believe special and fancier means more time working in the kitchen for the good of our family…wink, wink.

Pieces of red skin showing sparsely across a big bowl of garlic mashed potatoes with a serving spoon sticking out the side

Butter is a must in any mashed potato recipe for us. The combination of butter, sour cream, and milk makes really creamy mashed potatoes. Pats of butter are also great when reheating potatoes or preparing Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes or Instant Mashed Potato Casserole. The same principle can be used to convert this recipe to a make-ahead potato recipe too!

Ingredients Needed:

  • Red Potatoes – a three pound bag of regular red potatoes works better than baby red potatoes as the ratio of potato meat is higher than the red skin ratio. Scrub the potatoes clean, but do not peel before using for the fullest flavor.
  • Minced Garlic – fresh or from a jar works great and adds a depth of flavor to make this potato dish unique.
  • Butter – helps the potatoes mash easier, adds a silkiness and rich flavor that’s wonderful with potatoes.
  • Milk – Aids in mixing the potatoes and making them smooth and more moist.
  • Sour Cream – another rich dairy product that helps make the potatoes creamy and more flavorful.
  • Olive Oil – helps blend all of the ingredients and adds a hint of flavor.
  • Kosher Salt – or sea salt are preferable to regular table salt.
  • Black Pepper – freshly ground adds another hint of flavor.
Big silver serving spoonful of garlic mashed red potatoes over top of the bowl full with a white napkin with fine red lines in the background

Recipe Tips

  • The smaller the chunks of red potato the smaller the pieces of skin in the finished product.
  • Sour cream can easily be substituted for cream cheese for a little bit richer flavor.
  • A bit more milk may need to be added to keep the potatoes soft and creamy if cream cheese is used in place of sour cream.
  • A potato masher may help mash the potatoes if you prefer not to use an electric mixer.
  • We use a jar of minced garlic, but Homemade Oven Roasted Garlic tastes great too!

Should Red Potatoes Be Washed?

Anything grown in or near the ground has the potential to carry organisms that live in the dirt on its skin, so I always wash my fruit and veggies before eating them. Even when the container or bag says pre-washed I still like to give them a good rinse.

I have a good dishwasher safe potato scrub brush that I keep in my utensil drawer. Even when the potatoes look clean its best to use a small scrub brush for another wash and rinse.

Silver serving spoon lifting a scoop of rich and creamy mashed red skin potatoes with garlic over the bowl full.

What Are Red Potatoes Good For?

Red potatoes make great smaller servings in the form or roasted or smashed potatoes. Leaving the skin on makes red potatoes easier to prepare and gives the dish a heartier flavor.

Our favorite red potato recipes include air fryer red potatoes and Red Potato Ranch Casserole as well as the casseroles listed above.

What Can Be Mixed in Garlic Mashed Potatoes?

  • Cheddar and mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • More butter
  • More sour cream or cream cheese
  • Bacon
  • Paprika
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Green onions or chives

Do Red Potatoes Need Peeled?

When red potatoes are washed and cut into cubes that are 1 1/2″ or smaller they do not need to be peeled as long as an electric mixer is used to mash them on medium-high speed.

Using red potatoes saves time and gives the side dish an upscale taste and feel.

If you want to peel the potatoes I would buy the regular brown spuds to save a little money since the flavor will be so similar in this recipe.

Step By Step Instructions

Prepare a large pot of water and allow to begin boiling while prepping potatoes.

Using a potato brush or another clean scrub brush clean the outside skin of each red potato. Cut off any irregular spots.

Cut red potatoes into equally sized cubes.

Three pounds of freshly cubed red potatoes on a white acrylic cutting board on a brown wooden countertop

Use a long handled spoon to safely set the cubes into boiling water without splashing or getting burned.

Large black spoon full of chopped red potatoes safely adding to a boiling pot

Check potatoes for tenderness after 15 to 20 minutes of boiling.

Continue to cook until the pieces are tender and will fall off a fork easily.

Fork checking tenderness of skin on red potatoes being boiled to mash in a large dutch oven below

Drain the potatoes and put into a large bowl.

Add one stick of butter and the milk into the hot potatoes.

Stick of butter on top of boiled and drained chunks of red potatoes before mashing

Using an electric mixer stir until well mixed.

Then add sour cream and stir some more.

Sour cream on top of softened pieces of partially mashed red potatoes in a mixing bowl

As you lift the beaters up there may be a collection of pieces of red skin. Feel free to eat or remove based on your preference.

If the potatoes seem a bit sticky and like they aren’t mixing up well add another 1/4 cup of milk at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Finally add the garlic and stir well to evenly distribute this fresh flavor.

Mashed potato covered mixer beater above a mixing bowl with minced garlic added on top of creamy potato mixture

Scoop into a serving bowl and enjoy while still piping hot!

Overhead view of silver mixing bowl with creamy mashed red potatoes and a white silicone spatula scraping the edge of the bowl

Garnish with parsley for additional herb flavor and specs of color if you please.

How to Make Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes

  1. Wash red potatoes and chop into 1 1/2″ pieces. Quarter red potatoes at a minimum so the pieces of skin aren’t too big.
  2. Boil potatoes until tender and they fall off a fork when pierced. Use a colander to drain well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl mash potatoes with an electric mixer. Potatoes should be fairly smooth, but using skin on potatoes will never be as smooth as peeled potatoes.
  4. Mix in butter, minced fresh garlic, olive oil, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.
  5. If potatoes are too stiff add a little more milk. Add pats of butter on top of red mashed potatoes before reheating.
  6. Garnish with paprika, more freshly ground pepper, chives, green onions or bacon bits if desired.
Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes in white bowl on wood

Other Delicious Potato Recipes:

Printable Garlic Mashed Red Potato Recipe

Bowl of garlic mashed potatoes on wood table

Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes

Servings 12 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes with the skin-on taste fancy like a steakhouse side dish, but are easy enough to make any day of the week.
Butter and sour cream or cream cheese are added to create the best creamy mashed red potatoes our family eats!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 3 pounds red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper freshly ground


  • Wash red potatoes and cut into 1 1/2" cubes or smaller. Boil potatoes until they fall off a fork. Drain water off potatoes.
  • Using an electric mixer beat all ingredients until smooth. Add a little more milk or butter if too stiff.
  • Garnish with paprika, black pepper or chives if desired.


Calories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 296mgPotassium: 550mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 329IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally published June 17, 2020 with pictures updated on February 21, 2023.


  1. Lindsay Luke says:

    5 stars
    Hello Jennifer! Your red potato recipe is actually how I make my mashed potatoes on a regular basis. I probably learned it from my mother but this is our go to red potato mashing recipie!

  2. Is the olive oil necessary for the mashed red potatoes

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! It’s what we prefer, but if you try something else let me know how you all like it 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

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