Top 10 Creative Ways to Upgrade Your Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish loved by many, but sometimes you might want to take this comfort food to the next level. Here are ten creative ways to upgrade your mashed potatoes, making them even more delicious and exciting. These tips will turn your regular mashed potatoes into a star dish at any meal.

Add Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic adds a rich, sweet flavor to mashed potatoes. To roast garlic, cut the top off a garlic bulb, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake it at 375°F (190°C) for about 45 minutes. Once it’s soft and golden, squeeze the cloves into your mashed potatoes and mix well. The result is a creamy, flavorful dish that’s sure to impress.

Mix in Cream Cheese

For extra creamy mashed potatoes, try adding cream cheese. Simply mix in a few tablespoons of softened cream cheese into your hot mashed potatoes until it melts and combines smoothly. This will give your potatoes a tangy richness that elevates their taste and texture.

Use Buttermilk

Buttermilk can add a slight tanginess and creamy texture to mashed potatoes. Replace the regular milk with buttermilk in your recipe. The acidity in buttermilk will also help make the potatoes fluffier, giving them a light and airy texture.

Incorporate Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs can brighten up the flavor of mashed potatoes. Try mixing in chopped parsley, chives, rosemary, or thyme. These herbs add a fresh, vibrant taste that complements the creamy potatoes perfectly. You can experiment with different combinations to find your favorite mix.

Blend in Some Cheese

Cheese and potatoes are a match made in heaven. Try blending in shredded cheddar, Parmesan, or even blue cheese. The melted cheese adds a rich, savory flavor and creamy texture that’s hard to resist. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Stir in Cooked Bacon

Bacon makes everything better, including mashed potatoes. Cook some bacon until it’s crispy, then crumble it and stir it into your mashed potatoes. The smoky, salty flavor of bacon adds a delicious contrast to the creamy potatoes, making them more indulgent.

Add Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions add a sweet, deep flavor to mashed potatoes. To caramelize onions, cook them slowly over low heat with a bit of butter until they turn golden brown and sweet. Stir the caramelized onions into your mashed potatoes for a savory-sweet twist.

Mix in Pesto

Pesto adds a burst of fresh, herby flavor to mashed potatoes. Stir in a few tablespoons of homemade or store-bought pesto into your potatoes. The combination of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese in the pesto will give your mashed potatoes a vibrant and unique taste.

Try Truffle Oil

For a touch of luxury, drizzle a small amount of truffle oil over your mashed potatoes. Truffle oil has a strong, earthy flavor that can make even the simplest dishes feel gourmet. Be careful not to use too much, as the flavor can be quite intense.

Make Them Loaded

Loaded mashed potatoes are like a combination of mashed potatoes and loaded baked potatoes. Stir in sour cream, shredded cheese, crispy bacon, and chopped green onions. This turns your mashed potatoes into a hearty, flavorful dish that’s perfect as a side or even a main course.


Mashed potatoes don’t have to be boring. With these creative ideas, you can easily transform your basic mashed potatoes into something extraordinary. Whether you prefer adding cheese, bacon, fresh herbs, or a touch of truffle oil, these tips will help you create a delicious and memorable dish that everyone will love.


Can I use these upgrades with instant mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can use these upgrades with instant mashed potatoes to enhance their flavor and texture.

How do I make sure my mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy?

Make sure to use the right amount of butter and milk (or cream) and mash the potatoes well. You can also use a potato ricer for extra smoothness.

Can I make these upgraded mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Yes, you can make them ahead of time and reheat them. Just add a little extra milk or cream when reheating to keep them creamy.

What type of potatoes are best for mashing?

Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are best for mashing because they have a higher starch content, which makes for a fluffier texture.

How can I make vegan mashed potatoes?

Use plant-based milk and butter, and add ingredients like roasted garlic, fresh herbs, or caramelized onions for flavor.

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