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Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


These brown butter mashed potatoes are easy to make with a short list of ingredients and swirled with rich and nutty brown butter.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 pounds potatoes (I use half Yukon Gold, half Russet potatoes)
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions, freshly-cracked black pepper


  1. Cut the potatoes. Feel free to peel your potatoes or leave the skins on. Cut them into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick, and transfer them to a large stockpot full of cold water.
  2. Boil the potatoes. Fill the pot with enough cold water so that the water line sits about 1 inch above the potatoes. Stir 1 tablespoon salt into the water. Turn the heat to high and cook until the water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain the boil) and continue cooking for about 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a potato goes in easily with almost no resistance. Carefully drain out all of the water.
  3. Sauté the garlic. Meanwhile, during the time that the potato water is coming to a boil and the potatoes are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the garlic to a separate plate and set aside.
  4. Brown the butter. Melt the remaining butter in the pan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until the butter begins to foam, stirring frequently to ensure that the butter cooks evenly. Once the butter solids begin to turn golden brown and the butter smells toasty, immediately pour it into a heat-safe bowl until ready to use. (Keep a very close eye on the butter while it is browning so that it does not burn, since it can go from golden to burned very quickly.) 
  5. Pan-dry the potatoes. After draining the water, immediately return the potatoes to the hot stockpot, place it back on the hot burner, and turn the heat down to low.  Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about 1 minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes.  Remove the stockpot entirely from the heat and set it on a flat, heatproof surface.
  6. Mash the potatoes. Add the brown butter, garlic, milk and Parmesan to the potatoes. Using your preferred kind of potato masher (I recommend this one in general, or this one for extra-smooth), mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. Feel free to add in more warm milk to reach your desired consistency, if needed.
  7. Taste and season. One final time, taste the potatoes and season with extra salt and pepper as needed. (I generally add quite a bit of salt, so don’t be shy.)
  8. Serve warm.  Then serve warm, garnished with gravy or any extra toppings that you might like, and enjoy!