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Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes are a slight twist on the ultimate comfort food. Rich, creamy and silky smooth like a classic mash should be, but cooked with an ultra-reliable method that might surprise you.
These potatoes are a must for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table, but welcome any time, even on a busy weeknight, as they're quick and nearly effortless to make.
Ingredients You Need to Make Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- Potatoes: Yukon Gold, peeled if you plan to use a ricer for extra smooth potatoes. Or leave the peels on and use a traditional potato masher.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves or roasted garlic cloves if you prefer.
- Salt: fine sea salt or about twice the amount of kosher salt
- Heavy Cream: or half and half or even whole milk for a lighter version
- Chives: for garnish, optional
Even though these Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes are lighter than many mashed potato recipes, they're still a decadent riff on my Mashed Red Potatoes that are popular with readers all year long. Instead of a simple blend of butter and olive oil, I've opted for butter and heavy cream to make this recipe holiday rich.
Two Ways to Mellow Garlic
Both of my go-to mashed potato recipes call for an ample amount of garlic mellowed in butter or a blend of butter and olive oil. But you can easily swap in roasted garlic cloves if you're a lover of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. (See recipe notes for how to roast garlic.)
Why Steaming is Better than Boiling for Mashed Potatoes
It's easy to overcook potatoes when you boil them and end up with waterlogged, mushy mashed potatoes. Steamed potatoes have a creamier texture and the window of time for overcooking is more forgiving.
Whether you use a ricer or a standard potato masher, steam the Yukon Gold potatoes until they're very tender. Opt for peeling and ricing the steamed potatoes for the smoothest mashed potatoes. Or leave the peels intact and use a potato masher for a more rustic side dish.
With their naturally buttery flavor, thin skins and balanced texture, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes make better mashed potatoes than russet potatoes.
First, let’s talk about the difference between the two. Russet potatoes are starchy (low moisture), oval-shaped, brown, and have thick skin with mildly flavored white flesh. Yukon Gold potatoes are medium-starchy (a balance of starchy and waxy with more moisture than starchy potatoes), and rounded with very thin, light yellow skin (peeling is optional) and yellow flesh with a natural buttery flavor.
Starchier russet potatoes absorb more water as they cook, increasing the risk of gummy or waterlogged potatoes. Less starchy Yukon Gold potatoes absorb less moisture and make a richer, creamier mash.
Yes, you can absolutely leave the skin on Yukon Gold Potatoes. The idea of leaving the skin on potatoes for mashed potatoes may seem odd, but with Yukon Gold Potatoes, it’s not just possible, it's delicious! Their skin adds an extra layer of flavor and texture, a boost of nutrition and results in a rustic mash that's welcome at the table all year round.
But for holiday meals, when you want the smoothest mashed potatoes, I recommend peeling the potatoes first and using a potato ricer instead of a potato masher. (Never use a blender, hand blender or food processor to mash potatoes which will give them an unpleasant gluey texture.)
Yes, you can make mashed potatoes up to 2 days in advance.
When you’re planning a holiday meal with many components, it’s a relief to know you can cook a few items ahead of time and reheat them on the day of the meal. Fortunately, mashed potatoes fit the bill — but make sure you follow the proper procedures for reheating.
The two best options for reheating mashed potatoes are in the oven or on the stove top. Either way, you'll want to add liquid like milk or half and half and optionally more butter. (You can also use broth or stock for a lighter option.) For every cup of leftover mashed potatoes, you should add 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid.
Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat, adding liquid gradually and stirring often until hot. To reheat in the oven, gently stir in liquid as directed above (and dot with butter if desired), then spread in an even layer in a baking dish. Cover with foil and reheat in a preheated 350˚F oven until hot, 20 to 35 minutes (depending on the amount) or until the internal temperature reads 165˚F on an instant read thermometer.
Avoid the microwave for reheating mashed potatoes as it can dry them out.
- Turkey Meatloaf
- Meatloaf with Oatmeal
- Pork Saltimbocca
- Chicken Saltimbocca
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops or Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Cast Iron Pork Chops
- Parmesan Baked Cod
- Baked Lamb Chops or Pan-Fried Lamb Chops
- Dry Brine Turkey
- Turkey Roulade
- Cornbread Dressing
- Brioche Rolls (no knead!)
- Turkey Gravy without drippings (Toasted flour and brown butter are the keys to the rich flavor of this gravy!)
How to Make Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
Steam raw, peeled Yukon Gold potato cubes in a large steamer until very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
When potatoes are almost tender, cook and stir garlic in melted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. Stir in salt and heavy cream and stir until hot. Remove from heat.
Press fork tender potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl. Stir in butter mixture until smooth and creamy. Garnish with chives and serve.
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (~6 medium potatoes)
- 4 tablespoons butter ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 large cloves
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- minced chives for garnish, optional
- Place raw Yukon Gold 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 (or longer for a mellower garlic flavor). Add salt and heavy cream; stir until just heated through. Remove from heat.
- Press hot potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl (recipe note #4). Pour butter mixture over and stir until well combined. Garnish with chives if desired and serve.
- If you don't have a steamer, you can boil the potatoes instead. Directions: 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.
- If you're serving these for a holiday meal, and need more servings, you can double or even triple this recipe. Click on the Servings number near the top of this recipe card and slide it to the right until you reach the number of servings you'd like, the ingredient amounts will adjust accordingly.
- To make Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with roasted garlic, mash in the roasted garlic cloves from one or two heads of roasted garlic along with the butter and cream mixture before serving. To roast heads of garlic: remove the outer papery skin and cut off the top ½ 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.
- If you don't have a ricer or a food mill, use a hand mixer or potato masher to mash potatoes to your desired consistency before adding butter mixture.