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Parmesan mashed potatoes

Parmesan mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a cornerstone of so many holiday meals, but how do you choose which kind to make? Smooth, lumpy, a whipped classic or something with cheese or garlic? So many options! 

We love this recipe from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Book, a rich and tangy variation that uses skin-on redskin potatoes. With so many other dishes to prepare, who needs to peel potatoes?

It's simple to put together and benefits from a few minutes in your stand mixer. Note that the final mix has options that will allow you to customize the lumpiness and thickness of the final dish. We like our potatoes less smooth, so we do some of the final mixing by hand. Feel free to double the recipe if you're cooking for a crowd.

COOK TIME: 45mins; PREP TIME: 15min; SERVINGS: 6-8

Easy recipe alterations: This recipe is easily adaptable for different tastes and special diets. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese for the parmesan. Cheddar and gouda would work well here. To lighten the calories, you can also sub in milk for the half-and-half and low-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.

Make it vegan: Save a cup or so of your hot, starchy cooking water and set aside for the mixing. Drizzle in about 1/3 of it while you're mixing. Then drizzle in 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil. Add your seasonings. Add more water until your desired consistency is reached. 


  • 3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or your favorite cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe or flat paddle, or a handheld electric mixer


  1.  Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain.
  3. In a small saucepan (stovetop) or in a large glass measuring cup (microwave), heat the half-and-half and butter just until butter is melted Do not boil. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Put the potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe or flat paddle. Mix on your mixer's lowest speed for a few seconds, just enough to break up the potatoes.
  5. Still on your mixer's lowest speed, slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, until you have added about 3/4 of the liquid. Reserve 1/4 of milk/butter mixture to adjust thickness at the end, if necessary.
  6. For smoother potatoes, add the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, the remaining salt, and pepper into your mixer bowl and combine on your mixer's lowest speed. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. For chunkier potatoes, remove the mixer bowl from the machine and fold in my hand the sour cream parmesan and salt and pepper.
  7. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter until you reach your desired consistency.

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Place the mashed potatoes in an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the potatoes are heated through.