These garlic parmesan mashed potatoes are infused with garlic and herbs then mashed with paremsan for the perfect creamy and fluffy texture!

A close up of a bowl of mashed potatoes with parmesan, butter, herbs, and pepper.

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The star of any meal

If you’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, you’re familiar with the star of the show, the highlight of the plate, the center of the dinner table.

No, we’re not talking about turkey. We’re talking mashed potatoes.

Who doesn’t have fond memories as a kid making a mound of mashed potatoes in the shape of a volcano, and pouring homemade gravy into the center until it erupted, spilling gravy all over the contents of you plate?

Basically, this dish makes one of the best holidays dishes of all time.

When done correctly, the potatoes are creamy, fluffy, salty, and full of flavor. I’ve taken pieces of my mom’s popular recipe and added my own style to make these mashed potatoes perfect for any occasion.

Confessions of a microwave-er

Recipes using the microwave are so often frowned upon, but I’m here saying loud and proud that it’s ok to use your microwave on when you’re in a pinch. Especially on a holiday like Thanksgiving when there is so little real estate in the kitchen.

So let me say it once more for the people in the back: IT’S OK TO USE YOUR MICROWAVE ON THANKSGIVING.

Give yourself a break! Honestly, you’re probably low on stove top space anyway. In this time, think of your microwave as a much needed time saver, space saver, and stress reliever.

Not a single one of your guests will notice (or care) that a microwave had anything to do with these fabulous silky garlic parmesan mashed potatoes

A bowl of mashed potatoes with spices and sour cream.

Achieving the perfect consistency

In doing some research for this recipe, I realized the most common issue with mashed potatoes are they can turn out too gluey or too wet. Usually this is because of an issue related to milk or cheese.

There are a few tricks you can use to avoid these issues:

  • add your milk slowly – instead of pouring it all in at once, add it in intervals, taste testing as you go to see if you like the consistency.
  • don’t overdo it with the cheese – if you get too heavy handed with the cheese in your potatoes, they will probably end up in the gluey category. Take it easy with the cheese and add in intervals if necessary.
  • when in doubt, add butter – butter will always make your potatoes better 😊

Must Have Ingredients & Tools

Before we jump into the recipe, there are a few ingredients and tools that are truly, non negotiable.

  1. Butter – don’t try and get away with using anything other than the real deal. No, margarine will not work. Coconut oil will NOT work. Olive oil is most definitely, not the same. Use real butter, and use it proudly.
  2. Whole Milk & Parmesan – again, use the real deal! Don’t try and get away with saving a few calories and using 2%, almond milk or vegan cheese. It won’t be the same.
  3. Garlic & Herbs – okay, obviously if you leave these ingredients out, you will still make a fluffy, creamy bowl of mashed potatoes. But why not kick things up a notch in the flavor department with a few simple ingredients that make all the difference?
A bowl of mashed potatoes with a black spoon.

If you like this potato side dish, you’ll LOVE these oven baked lemon pepper fries.

Happy cooking!


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A close up of a bowl of mashed potatoes with parmesan, butter, herbs, and pepper.

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Potatoes, Side Dish, Mashed Potatoes
  • Method: Boiled, Mashed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 5 lbs russet potatoes (peeled and cut into halves or fourths if using smaller potatoes)

  • enough water to cover your potatoes plus a couple tablespoons of salt for the water

  • 1 cup salted butter

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced super finely

  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced

  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, removed from the stem and minced
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 

  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

  • 1 tbsp butter (to top the potatoes with)


  1. Bring your water and salt to a boil in a large soup pot. Once the water comes to a boil, add your peeled, halved potatoes and cover with water. Cook the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, add your butter, minced garlic, rosemary and parsley to a large microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 second intervals until the butter is completely melted and the garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain the water and add your garlic butter mixture. Mash away with a potato masher or wooden utensil. Once the potatoes are broken down, add the sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Continue to mash until they are silky smooth. Taste to see if you need to add any more cream, salt or pepper. 
  4. Add your potatoes to your serving dish and top with grated parmesan cheese, a generous sprinkle of fresh parsley and a tbsp of butter. Enjoy!