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Indulge in the decadence of these Cheesy Mashed Potatoes! Creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, steamed to velvety perfection, are mashed with a luscious blend of butter, sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese. Topped with more cheese that's baked into a golden, gooey crust, they're simply irresistible.
Whether you're hosting a holiday gathering, or a cozy family dinner, this side dish is a guaranteed hit that will have everyone coming back for more. And with a make-ahead option, you can easily prepare them in advance and have more time to enjoy the festivities with your loved ones.
Ingredients to Make Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: Look for small to medium-sized potatoes with smooth, unblemished skin, and vibrant golden flesh.
- Butter: Your choice of salted or unsalted butter.
- Milk: Choose whole milk for a rich and creamy consistency.
- Sour Cream: Optimally full-fat sour cream for maximum creaminess.
- Cheddar Cheese: Use sharp cheddar for a strong, cheesy flavor or other good melting cheese like Monterey Jack, Fontina or Gruyère.
- Fresh Chives: Look for vibrant green, aromatic chives. If you don't have chives on hand, thinly sliced green onions provide a similar oniony flavor.
Why You Should Steam Potatoes (instead of boiling)
Steaming potatoes for mashed potatoes offers some real advantages over boiling. When you boil potatoes, they can soak up too much water, which can make your mash runny or even gluey. With steaming, there's less water contact, so you get a fluffy mash with a creamy texture that still packs a strong potato flavor.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Overcrowding the Steamer: As tempting as it might be to steam all your potatoes in one go, overcrowding can result in uneven cooking. This might leave you with some potatoes that are perfectly done, while others are undercooked. So if you're multiplying the recipe, boil the potatoes, but keep a close eye to make sure the potatoes don't overcook.
- Using Unevenly Cut Pieces: When you're cutting your potatoes to steam, aim for consistency. If you have a mix of large and small chunks, they won't all cook at the same rate.
- Not Checking for Doneness: Potatoes can vary in their cooking times based on their type and size. It's a mistake to rely solely on a set timer. Instead, periodically check the potatoes to ensure they're fork tender.
- Letting Them Sit After Steaming: Once the potatoes are done, be sure to move on to mashing while they're still hot. Letting them sit and cool can affect the texture of your mash. (See recipe options below.)
- Ignoring the Type of Potato: Not all potatoes are created equal! Remember that certain potato varieties mash up fluffier and smoother than others.
- Steaming Without Checking: Keep an eye on your potatoes as they cook; watch for steam and listen for bubbling water. If your pot runs dry, you could end up with burned potatoes or a scorched pot.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes are ideal for this dish with their naturally rich, buttery flavor and golden hue, but Red Bliss Potatoes are another good semi-waxy option. And if neither of those varieties are available, Russet Potatoes will also work.
- For a richer version, consider using half-and-half or light cream.
- Greek yogurt offers a similar tang and richness as sour cream.
- Fresh parsley, dill, minced fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped leeks, or shallots can be alternatives to or added along with chives to give an herbaceous or stronger onion flavor.
How to Store and Reheat
Cover leftover mashed potatoes tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (or transfer to an airtight container). To reheat, spread potatoes into a buttered, oven-safe dish (if you've transferred them to another container). Cover with aluminum foil to keep the potatoes from drying out and warm in an oven preheated to 350˚F (175°C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes reach 165˚F. If the potatoes seem dry, you can mix in a small amount of milk to restore their creaminess.
What to Serve with Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
These potatoes pair well with main dishes like:
And with side dishes like:
How to Make Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Steam raw potato cubes over boiling water until tender, about 30 minutes.
With a potato masher, mash hot potatoes in a bowl with butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper (or press through a potato ricer). Mix in half the cheese and chives.
Spread mixture into an even layer in the prepared dish. Top with the remaining cheese, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 35-40 minutes until cheese melts. Serve hot.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- 2 ½ pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter ideally at room temperature, plus more for buttering baking dish
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- ¼ cup minced fresh chives plus more for garnish
- Butter a 2-quart, rectangular baking dish.
- Add raw potato cubes to a large steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- When potatoes are almost tender, preheat oven to 350˚F. (see recipe note #1)
- When tender, transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper; mash until smooth with a handheld masher. Stir in half of the cheese and chives.
- Transfer potato mixture to prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle remaining cheese over and bake, uncovered, until potatoes are hot and cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
- These can be made a day or two in advance up to the point of baking. To make ahead, spread mashed potatoes into the prepared baking dish; allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚ and bake, uncovered, 25-35 minutes.