Christmas is coming up, and I’m really feeling it this year. Honestly, it can be hard to get into a Christmasy mood when it’s in the mid-80s during the day but not this year. I’m baking Hot Cocoa Cupcakes for a few people and I might even haul a few decorations out of the garage. But Christmas isn’t complete without dinner, and I have put together a simple menu for my husband and me. I’m starting things off with these Roasted Garlic Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes. I’ve been let down by “garlic” mashed potatoes in the past that seem to be missing the garlic. This one includes 2 whole heads of garlic, and I have a good feeling about it. Let’s find out if it’s garlicky enough to live up to its name!
Roasted Garlic Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes take the classic side dish to epic new heights. You won’t be able to resist their rich, roasted garlic flavor and crave-worthy creaminess. Perfect for holiday dinners or to pair with your favorite protein.
There aren’t a to of ingredients in this recipe, and I had a few on hand. Salt, pepper, and olive oil were all in my pantry. I even had some golden potatoes, mascarpone cheese, garlic, and butter left over from other recipes, but not enough for this one. My usual grocery store had them all, but they were out of chives so I subbed in fresh thyme leaves.
Naturally, this recipe for Roasted Garlic Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes started with roasting the garlic. I have done this many times for my favorite pasta recipe, Lemon Garlic Pasta. It’s a simple process, but it does take a long time to do. This recipe has a few extra steps, but it’s broken down so they are easy to tackle.
Roasting the Garlic
I peeled off the loose outer layers of skin then cut off the bottom of each bulb and placed them onto a piece of foil. After drizzling them with olive oil and sprinkling them with salt, I wrapped them in the foil and placed them in the oven to roast. Forty minutes later I had two piping hot heads of roasted garlic.
Tip: If you’re worried about leaks, place the foil packet on a sheet pan or roast the garlic in an oven-safe dish. I usually roast garlic in ramekin dishes covered with foil, but the dishes are only big enough for 1 had of garlic each.
Making the Potatoes
While the garlic roasted, I prepped and cooked the potatoes. If you’ve made mashed potatoes before, you know it’s a simple process, but it can feel like you’re peeling forever. Tip: Select the largest potatoes in the bag to cut down on peeling time.
I peeled the potatoes and then chopped them into fairly large but evenly sized pieces. This is where the recipe got a little different than what I’m used to. Normally I would put a large pot of water on to boil just before peeling and chopping the potatoes. The water would come to a boil before I added the potatoes then I would cook them for 15 to 20 minutes.
This recipe did things a little differently. It had me put the chopped potatoes into a pot of cold water with a little salt (I used a 5.5-quart Dutch oven). Then the pot went onto the stove to come to a boil with the potatoes already in it. From there things went back to normal, and I let the potatoes boil for 15 minutes before straining and mashing them.
Making the Milk, Mascarpone, and Butter Mixture
I made the milk mixture once the potatoes were done and the roasted garlic had time to cool off. The remaining ingredients (except the garnish) went into a saucepan to warm up.
This part took me 15 minutes because I wasn’t paying attention and put the heat way too low. It took me a while to realize what I had done, so this part took me longer than it had to.
The milk just needs to warm, not boil, so I kept an eye on it. I knew it was ready when the mascarpone cheese and butter melted and the mixture started steaming. I tested it by sampling it with a small spoon to sip it and make sure.
Assembly and Garnish
Now it was time to turn all my work into Roasted Garlic Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes. First, I mashed up the potatoes in the Dutch oven I boiled them in. Tip: The masher did a good job, but it didn’t get into the edges of the pot. I had to stir the potatoes a few times (maybe 2-3 times) to move the chunks that accumulated at the edge into the center to be mashed.
Next, I poured the milk mixture over the potatoes and mashed the potatoes again, stirring the outer edges in to make sure everything was mashed well. The garlic was so soft that it just mashed right into the potatoes without any extra work.
All that was left was to make them pretty, so I transferred them into a large serving bowl and added the garnishes. I was able to strip the thyme leaves directly into the potatoes with no chopping needed. They weren’t my first choice, but they were easier than chives since there was no chopping. A few twists of my pepper grinder, and that was it!
This recipe lists 30 minutes to prep, 1 hour to cook, and 1 hour 30 minutes total. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 3 minutes to prep the garlic
- 40 minutes to roast the garlic
- 15 minutes to prep the potatoes
- 38 minutes to heat the water to a boil (includes 15 minutes to boil)
- 15 minutes to make the milk mixture
- 10 minutes to mash the potatoes with the garlic and milk mixture
- 2 minutes to garnish
- 1 hour 24 minutes total
Prepping and boiling the potatoes while the garlic roasted saved a lot of time. Making the milk mixture while the potatoes boiled instead of after they finished would have shortened my total time by 10 to 15 minutes.