Skip to Content

Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Creamy garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes, made with a food mill for the best consistency.  These are special occasion mashed potatoes, perfect for Sunday supper or the holidays.

Finished mashed potatoes in bowl with drizzled melted butter and pepper.

I don't make mashed potatoes often, but when I do, these are it.  Creamy and decadent with lots of butter, garlic and buttermilk, special occasion stuff.  I mean, I just can't eat this way all the time, can I?

Buttermilk mashed potatoes in serving bowl with spoon.

These mashed potatoes are adapted from an Ina Garten recipe in one of her cookbooks I have.  She says they are inspired by a restaurant she loves in San Francisco.  I just add garlic because, hello?  Garlic simmered with the potatoes smells heavenly and then mashed with the taters... I can't even.

How to make fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes

Use a food mill.  I got mine over 20 years ago at the local hardware store.  It takes a little elbow grease to crank that handle but so worth it.  Food processors and electric mixers can make mashed taters that are a bit gluey in texture.  Running them through a food mill (or ricer) produces fluffy and light mashed potatoes that are super creamy and smooth after adding in butter and milk.

Photo of a food mill.

Hand mashers are my second choice, during the week or when I'm in a hurry, a little more lumpy and rustic texture.  With the food mill, you get the fluffiest, lightest and creamiest mashed potatoes.  Trust me.  Also, the food mill is great for vegetable soups and purées, like this autumn squash soup.

How to make garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes

Process photo collage, peeling potatoes and boiling in water.

  • Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.  Peel garlic cloves.
  • Add potatoes and garlic to salted boiling water and cook until tender.

Process photo collage on how to run potatoes through a food mill.

  • Drain potatoes and garlic, place food mill over same pot.
  • Working in batches, run potatoes and garlic through mill, cranking the handle back and forth, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the disk.

Hot butter-milk misture ready to add to pot of potatoes run through food mill.

  • Add the hot butter and milk mixture to potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Then gradually add enough buttermilk until the potatoes are super creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.

Creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes in pot with spatula.

Recipes Notes and Tips

  • My favorite potato for this recipe are Yukon Golds.  Use any type of boiling potatoes, as opposed to russets.
  • Food mills come with three disks with different sized holes.  I use the middle-sized disk.
  • Don't be tempted to heat the buttermilk on it's own or with the butter/whole milk mixture, it will most likely curdle.
  • You can keep them warm over a double boiler or warm over low heat, stirring and adding a little more buttermilk to keep them creamy, if necessary.

Garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes in serving bowl with close up of spoonful.

Garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes are perfect for Sunday supper or the holiday table.  And try the food mill, you will be amazed at the outcome of your potatoes ~ fluffy, light and oh so creamy! Kelly??

Garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes in blue serving bowl.

Looking for more side dishes for special occasions or the holidays?  Check these out!

HUNGRY FOR MORESubscribe to my Newsletter and come hang out with me on INSTAGRAM, or give me a follow on FACEBOOK or see what I’m pinning on PINTEREST.

Finished mashed potatoes in blue serving bowl.

Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes, made with a food mill for fluffy, smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, perfect for special occasions or the holidays.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Food mill/mashing: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 325kcal


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks about 3 pounds
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ pound butter (1 stick) I use salted Kerrygold
  • ¾ - 1 cup buttermilk, shake well
  • Fresh cracked black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously salt. Add potato chunks and whole garlic cloves and simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, while potatoes cook, heat butter and whole milk in small sauce pan until butter is melted and mixture is hot but not boiling. Set aside.
  • When potatoes and garlic are tender, drain in colander. Place food mill fitted with medium disk on top of same pot and working in batches, pass potatoes and garlic through mill, turning the handle back and forth.
  • After finished mashing, add hot butter/whole milk mixture and stir well with rubber spatula. Gradually add buttermilk and continue to mix until desired creaminess, about ¾ cup of buttermilk, maybe more. Taste for salt, adding a teaspoon or two, depending on butter used, and some fresh cracked black pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Use any type of boiling potato, I like Yukon Golds best.
  • I like to use 5 large cloves of garlic, use fewer if you prefer.
  • If you don't have a food mill, use a ricer or a hand masher for best results.
  • Don't be tempted to heat the buttermilk, it will probably curdle. And make sure to shake well before using.
  • I use salted butter, if you use unsalted, salt to taste accordingly.
  • This makes 6 generous servings and could probably serve 8 easily. Depends on how much you load up on your plate!


Calories: 325kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 7g Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 11g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 213mg Potassium: 853mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6g Vitamin A: 624IU Vitamin C: 34mg Calcium: 134mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!


5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Saturday 9th of November 2019

Make every occasion extra special with these garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes!