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Mashed Red Potatoes are delicious enough to serve as a holiday side dish, but easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. Lightly salty and rich with olive oil, butter and garlic, you’ll want to serve these potatoes with everything!

Mashed Red Potatoes photographed from above

Whether I’m making this Mashed Red Potatoes recipe or traditional mashed potatoes, I’ve learned one important trick: steam the potatoes, don’t boil them. When you steam potatoes, there’s no need to worry about the potatoes becoming overcooked or water logged as they can when you boil them.

Mashed Red Potatoes served in a ceramic bowl

Red Potatoes FAQ

Are red potatoes good for mashing?

Red potatoes are considered waxy, meaning they have more moisture / less starch. They are great for mashing because they are naturally smooth and creamy. That said, take care to not over-mash as they can become gluey faster than russet or Yukon gold potatoes. The key is to steam them until they are very tender and mash easily.

Do you have to peel red potatoes?

You don’t have to peel red potatoes. What a time saver! Their skins have a delicate flavor (not bitter) and are very thin and tender. They also add a pretty pop of color!

How many red potatoes are there in 2 pounds?

If you don’t feel like hunting down a scale at your grocery store or farmer’s market, a good rule of thumb is 7 or 8 small red potatoes, or 14 or 15 red new potatoes.

Serve With

I love to serve these potatoes (when I’m not making Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes or Italian Roasted Potatoes) with everything from Turkey Meatloaf or Meatloaf with Oatmeal, Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops and Roasted Lamb Chops or Pan-Fried Lamb Chops to Duck Confit during the year and alongside Turkey Roulade or Dry Brine Turkey and Cornbread Dressing with Turkey Gravy without drippings for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

And if you love potatoes like I do, don’t miss these Breakfast Potatoes or these Skillet Potatoes – both are impossibly crispy because of an unusual technique!

How to Make Mashed Red Potatoes

Step 1: Steam cubes of red potato until very tender.

Steaming Red Potatoes Until Tender

Step 2: Cook and stir garlic in melted butter then stir in salt and olive oil.

Warming Butter Garlic Salt and Olive Oil

Step 3: Pour olive oil mixture over tender red potato cubes in a large bowl and mash to desired consistency. Serve!

Pouring Olive Oil Mixture Over Tender Steamed Potatoes
Smashing Potatoes with Olive Oil Mixture
Smashed Red Potatoes served

Recipe Video

Mashed Red Potatoes

5 from 24 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Calories: 421
Servings: 4 people
Mashed Red Potatoes make an ideal side dish for your holiday table and are easy enough to make any time! 


  • 2 pounds red potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes (7 or 8 small red potatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 large cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • minced chives for garnish, optional


  • Place raw red potato cubes in a large steamer basket over a large pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • When potatoes are nearly tender, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add salt and olive oil; stir until just heated through. Remove from heat.
  • Transfer tender potatoes to a large bowl. Pour olive oil mixture over and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Garnish with chives if desired and serve.


  1. If you don’t have a steamer, feel free to boil potatoes instead. To a large pot, add cubed potatoes and enough cold water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let summer until potatoes are tender. Drain and proceed with recipe.
  2. If you’re not a fan of olive oil in these mashed red potatoes, no problem! Just increase the butter to 10 tablespoons and skip the olive oil. Likewise, if you want to use just olive oil for a vegan / dairy-free version, use 10 tablespoons of olive oil (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) and skip the butter.
  3. To make Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes, mash in the roasted garlic cloves from one or two heads of roasted garlic along with the olive oil mixture before serving. To roast heads of garlic: remove the outer papery skin and cut off the top 1/2 inch of the head to expose garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive and wrap in aluminum foil. Transfer to a baking dish or baking sheet to catch any drips and roast at 400˚F for 35-40 minutes until tender and lightly brown. Let cool slightly before squeezing cloves out with your fingers or lifting out with a cocktail fork.


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 1044mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Kevin O'Leary says:

    Steaming the potatoes is GENIUS! These look absolutely amazing. 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      Thanks, Kevin! It’s so nice to not have to worry about waterlogged potatoes!

  2. David @ Spiced says:

    Yes, yes and more yes to these smashed potatoes! You know, I heard that same trick about steaming potatoes somewhere, and it works beautifully! And I love a good smashed potato. Red potatoes are always one of my favorites, and I’m thinking I might need to whip these up as a side dish soon. These photos are making me hungry! 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      If you’re hungry, then I’ve done my job, haha! Thank you, David!

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh the texture reminds me of Japanese potato salad. So comforting and soft! 😀

    1. Marissa says:

      I’ve never had Japanese potato salad! Off to research… thank you, my friend!

  4. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says:

    I don’t have the words to tell you just how much I love potatoes. Especially mashed! Or smashed :). These look fabulous and I’m totally going to steam my potatoes next time I make them. Awesome tip! Have a great weekend, Marissa!

    1. Marissa says:

      I’m with you, Kelsie – mashed or smashed, just hand ’em over. 😉

  5. Ben|Havocinthekitchen says:

    5 stars
    I love potatos and (especially in a mashed form), and I can literally eat a huge bawl (And this is the reason I try to stay away from it as much as possible). This one, with garlic, butter, and olive oil, is irresistibly delicious.

    1. Marissa says:

      haha, thank you so much Ben!