This cream cheese mashed potatoes recipe is fabulously creamy and buttery! They're easy to make, and you'll wonder why you weren't using cream cheese all along.
Why you'll love it
Most people will take mashed potatoes however they can get them, but you'll be delighted just how good they are when elevated with cream cheese. They're irresistibly dreamy, rich, and thick when loaded up with butter, cream, and cream cheese. It's that restaurant-quality texture and taste you crave, and the good news is that it's simple to replicate at home!
I'm not going to pretend these are healthy, but that's why they're so good. 😉 I like to serve these creamy mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving especially as the best side dish since the holidays are for indulgence and comfort. Yes, this easy mashed potatoes recipe has cream cheese and heavy cream. More moisture and more fat gives mashed potatoes the ideal taste and texture.
What you'll need and why
- Potatoes - Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes are typically chosen for mashing because they're nice and starchy and tend to mash well. You can use red potatoes, but just take care not to over-work them or you'll end up with gluey mashed potatoes.
- Cream cheese - I like Philadelphia brand best. As with any cream cheese recipe, I suggest letting it soften beforehand because the recipe will go much smoother. You can also pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to help this process go faster.
- Butter - don't skimp on the butter! Mashed potatoes are one place where butter definitely makes them better.
- Heavy cream - we're using the real stuff here and going all out. Don't use anything lower fat, or it won't be as luxurious or taste as good.
- Garlic - I like to mince it with this garlic press. It's easy peasy and means no sticky garlic fingers.
- Scallions - for a pop of freshness and contrast. They're a mild green onion.
- Salt & pepper - we are generous to bring out the flavors
- Heating up the buttery cream cheese mixture helps ensure the potatoes are creamier as opposed to adding ingredients straight from the fridge. If they are too cold, that would cool the potatoes down. It also infuses the flavors better and gives the garlic a chance to cook and mellow out a bit.
How to make mashed potatoes with cream cheese
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep your ingredients. Halve the potatoes and boil in a pot of salted water. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to a saucepan over a low heat, and let it warmth through without getting too thick. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot, and pour the cream mixture in slowly while mashing. That's it!
What's the best way to mash potatoes?
- There's a fine line between over-mashed potatoes and potatoes that are just right. If you're mashing them by hand, they're less likely to go gluey, so that's why I recommend doing it the old fashioned way with a hand-held masher vs. using a hand mixer. You can control the exact consistency.
Substitutions and variations
- I left the skins on in this recipe, but that's optional. I like the added texture, and the Yukon Gold skins are fairly thin. If you leave the skins on Russets, be sure to scrub them well.
- Mashed potatoes without garlic is a foreign concept to me, but you can leave it out if for some reason you don't want it. Or double it. Triple it. Measure garlic with your heart.
- I love the scallions in here because that creamy tang and onion combo is delish, but feel free to leave 'em out if you're not feeling it.
What to serve with cream cheese mashed potatoes
- I like to serve with an extra pat of butter like in the photos to top it all off, but it's not necessary.
- You can eat these with any meal year-round, special occasion or not! I love it with everything from my Best Meatloaf recipe to these Easy Grilled Pork Chops to Smothered Chicken.
- If you're serving this alongside a Roast Turkey for the holidays, head on over to my Thanksgiving and Christmas archive for more delicious classic side dishes to make your feast unforgettable this year.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers of these mashed potatoes in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days max.
- I reheat them on a low heat and add a splash more cream and then re-mash them. This helps to restore them to their former glory!
- Freezing leftovers probably isn't a good idea and will change the texture.
Have you ever tried making mashed potatoes with cream cheese? Questions about this tasty side dish, or want to leave me a review? Let me know in the comments below! You can also find me on Instagram.
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
- 8 ounces cream cheese (1 block Philly) softened
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
- 1/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup scallions chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- I recommend taking the cream cheese and the butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to starting the recipe, but if you forget, you can microwave the cream cheese for 20-30 seconds (the butter will melt easily enough).
- I didn't peel the Yukon Golds I used for this recipe, but you can if you prefer (or peel half of them). Cut the potatoes into halves (or thirds if they're large). Add them to a large pot of salted water and boil until a sharp knife easily pierces them.
- Meanwhile, while the potatoes are boiling, add the cream cheese, butter, cream, garlic, scallions, and salt & pepper to a small saucepan over low heat. Let it slowly warm through (turn off the heat once it's warm or it'll get too thick). Give it a stir occasionally, but don't worry if the cream cheese doesn't completely melt in.
- Drain the potatoes and leave them in the pot. Pour in half the cream cheese mixture and mash them a bit then add the other half and finish mashing until it's all incorporated and creamy. Try not to over-mash or they may end up gluey.
- Serve potatoes with extra pats of butter on top if you like.
- Serves 6-8 depending on portion size.
- Feel free to leave out the garlic or scallions (or add more of each!).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.