This gluten-free garlic mashed potatoes recipe you NEED for your Thanksgiving feast! And p.s. – NO! Potatoes do NOT have gluten in them 😉
It’s a garlic mashed potatoes recipe using red potatoes and a hint of sugar. A hit any day of the year. BUT for Thanksgiving, this dish is always the star!
My mom always made the mashed potatoes every year. I started taking over because it just became too much work for her. Now that she is gone, I make sure I have them on the table always. She LOVED Thanksgiving so much. I miss her everyday.
My mom always used baking potatoes or russet potatoes. However, I really do find that red potatoes work best when it comes to this garlic mashed potatoes recipe. I started using red potatoes a few years ago, and when my mom tasted my newly designed mashed potatoes, she loved them!
Red potatoes have a nice white color still, even after boiling. Where russets tend to taste more starchy and have almost a translucent, yellow tint to them after they’re cooked. So, I find the red potatoes to be more silky and smooth and I use them in this recipe.
Now, if I want to eat some russets, I’ll make loaded hasselbacks because they are fantastic. These loaded hasselback potatoes from Damn Delicious are a keeper, so easy to make, and there is melted cheese in every bite! It’s Chungah’s loaded baked potato, stepped up a notch!
COOKING TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE GARLIC MASHED POTATOES:
- Begin roasting your garlic first. For a large crowd on Thanksgiving, I HIGHLY recommend roasting 3 or 4 heads of garlic. The flavor is really needed in this dish. You’ll cut the tops off, drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly in foil in a small oven safe dish, then pop the garlic heads in the oven for 1 HOUR. DO NOT roast them at 400 degrees! I always roast my garlic at 350 degrees.
- Peel your red potatoes. Although the skin is usually my favorite part, I find the red skin to be too rough for a large mashed potato recipe for the holidays. Cut your potatoes after peeling, into big chunks. So, if you have large red potatoes, then cut them into fourths. This will lessen the cooking time which will prevent them from becoming too starchy tasting.
- Before cooking, always RINSE POTATOES! Just plop the peeled potato chunks into a very large, deep bowl. I fill the bowl with cold water over the sink, then I tip it to the side to drain. Just hold the potatoes in the bowl by using your hand or a lid. Then KEEP FILLING AND DRAINING WITH WATER! After several times, you will find the water begins to drain clear. This is getting rid of all that starch! And that is what you want! When your bowl is filled and the water becomes crystal clear, you are done.
- Olive oil and kosher salt! Once a big pot is boiling with water, you will add several hefty pinches of salt to the pot. Be generous! Also, a drizzle of olive oil. I always add both to my boiling water before cooking the potatoes. Then simply dump the potatoes in. Be careful when doing this, as the boiling water can jump out and hit your face! Use a large curved spoon to place the potatoes in the water if needed. Once I get mine in the water, I time it for 30 minutes exactly.
- Thirty minutes is all it takes! If your pot isn’t too too crowded, then all of those potato chunks will boil perfectly well in this amount of time. Stir occasionally and make sure the water is really boiling. Not a low boil and of course, not too high where you’ll get a foam bath! They are done when you can easily poke a fork through the potato chunks. You will also know they are perfectly done if the chunks can be easily mashed with a fork! So, take a few pieces and place into a bowl, then try mashing them. If they mash beautifully, they are finished cooking. Do NOT overcook your potatoes as they will become starch-like. That is no fun at all!
- When finished, take your potatoes and drain them right away in the sink. What I do is I take the pot lid (which you will not be using a lid when boiling these potatoes) and leave a slight space on the side at the top, then I pour the water out. The lid holds in the potatoes. You want a pot that has good handles on each side and be sure to use oven mitts. Leave a small amount of water at the bottom of the pot for your potatoes! This minimal hot water is going to help you begin smashing. I call it the potato backwash 😉 But it’s golden!
- Begin mashing your potatoes by using a fork. You can use a whisk or mixer as well, but start mashing them and breaking up with a fork first. You want to begin the mashing process quickly because the potatoes are hot and you need that steam. Slowly add your ingredients as you mash. The ingredients will quickly get soaked up by the potatoes, so continue mashing. The goal is to have a smooth consistency in the end that is still heavy and silky.
- BE SURE TO ADD SUGAR! Lots of salt and pepper and milk are perfect. But if you top it all with sugar it just completes these potatoes. I promise! Don’t overpower the sugar, but use just enough for that hint of sweetness. And salt and pepper are simply a must with this recipe. I mashed mine to a chunky consistency here but I prefer mine to be mashed smoothly on Thanksgiving!
Alright! Now you have your perfect gluten-free garlic mashed potatoes recipe to follow for next week! So, go grab those red potatoes and start prepping! 🦃
Fantastic Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 8 medium sized red potatoes – peeled and halved then rinsed and drained until water runs clear
- 1 garlic head with top 1/4 cut off (you can cook top too in foil)
- olive oil
- Tin foil to cover garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine Kroger brand is labeled gluten-free
- 3/4 cups whole milk or more if needed
- kosher salt and ground peppercorn to taste – hefty pinch or two
- fresh thyme for garnish and taste, if desired
- Begin roasting your garlic first. This will take approximately one hour. For a large crowd on Thanksgiving, I HIGHLY recommend roasting 3 or 4 heads of garlic. The flavor is really needed in this dish. You'll cut the tops off, drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly in foil in a small oven safe dish, then pop the garlic heads in the oven for 1 HOUR. DO NOT roast them at 400 degrees! I always roast my garlic at 350 degrees. When they are brown and soft, set them aside to cool.Thirty minutes in, begin boiling water in a large pot for potatoes. You can cover pot to speed up the boiling process. When water boils, add 3 hefty pinches of salt. Boil prepped potatoes for approx. 30 minutes, uncovered, checking periodically. If pieces are not soft when poked with a fork, boil five more minutes or until soft.*Be mindful not to over boil. If overdone, potatoes will be watery & starchy. When potatoes are done, turn off stove top heat. With oven mitts, drain water into kitchen sink, keeping potatoes in pot and leaving a small amount of water in the pot. I use the lid propped a little to the side to drain water and keep potatoes in. Then return pot with potatoes to stovetop.With a large spatula or fork, begin to break apart hot potatoes. If the potatoes are cooked well, a spatula will do. They should fall apart easily. If needed, use a whisk. Sprinkle two hefty pinches of kosher salt and one hefty pinch of pepper.Working quickly, stir and mix in. While hot and steamy, add a hefty pinch of sugar to potatoes. Stir and mix. Add margarine/butter to potatoes and cover pot. Let melt one minute, then stir into potatoes thoroughly. Add milk, and stir thoroughly. If potatoes seem too dry, slowly add small amounts of milk. When it reaches wonderful consistency, stop there.*Your potatoes should be fluffy yet heavy, with excellent flavor. Roasted garlic will be finished and cooling. Take garlic and spoon out roasted flesh inside of the skins. You can also simply squeeze the ends a bit and the garlic should slide out. In a small bowl, mush and mix roasted garlic until smooth. Add garlic to mashed potatoes, then stir and mix thoroughly. Cover pot and serve when ready, by scooping desired amounts. Add more kosher salt and pepper for taste, if desired.
Looking for another Thanksgiving side dish for your table? Try my awesome crispy gluten-free roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic!