If I’ve heard one complaint voiced again and again over the years, it’s been that homemade garlic mashed potatoes simply don’t taste garlicky enough. Home cooks try all sorts of things to coax the flavor out of the bulb, from browning it thoroughly to adding it to water the potatoes boil in, but nothing works.

The secret to perfect garlic mashed potatoes is to add garlic in two forms: Macerated (more on which shortly) and roasted in the skins. The roasted garlic adds a delightful sweetness to the dish, but the bulk of the garlicky goodness comes from the macerated product. Here’s how to do both:

Roasted Garlic

  1. Split an entire head of garlic in half along the “equator,” so as to expose all of the cloves.
  2. Brush the exposed surface of each half with olive oil.
  3. Cover the halves with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cloves are soft to the touch.
  4. Squeeze the pulp out of the skins as needed.

Macerated Garlic

  1. Mince 6 or 7 large cloves. The finer, the better.
  2. Place the cloves in a very small bowl, such as a custard cup, or at the bottom of a juice glass.
  3. Add olive oil to cover, and add a healthy pinch of salt.
  4. Seal the container with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 lb of Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz softened unsweetened butter
  • 1 cup of warm half and half
  • 1/2 recipe roasted garlic (the remainder may be stored tightly wrapped for up to a week in the refrigerator)
  • 1 recipe macerated garlic (including the oil, which is now heavily imbued with the flavor the bulb)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the potatoes in a pot filled with cold water deep enough to submerge potatoes.
  2. Cover pot and place over high heat until water reaches a vigorous boil. Turn heat down to low-medium, and continue cooking for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. (The blade of a small sharp knife should easily pierce the flesh.)
  3. Drain potatoes and rice or mash.
  4. Add butter and half and half and fold to incorporate.
  5. Fold in the roasted garlic and macerated garlic.
  6. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings