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A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Chunky Option)

Mashed potatoes will be the most popular dish on your table with this perfectly garlicky and buttery mashed potato recipe. You can make them in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or on the stove - and you likely already have all of the ingredients.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Pressure Buildup10 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, instant pot cheesy mashed potatoes, instant pot mashed potatoes, instapot cheesy mashed potatoes, instapot garlic mashed potatoes, instapot mashed potatoes, slow cooker garlic mashed potatoes, thanksgiving mashed potatoes
Servings: 8
Calories: 190kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, or Large Pot
  • a strainer or colander
  • a large bowl
  • a potato masher

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into eighths (I use about 6 - 8 baseball-sized potatoes or 5 or 6 plus a cup of small, unpeeled creamer potatoes cut in half to add skin and texture. If you want smooth and creamy, just go with the Yukons :) )
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk optionally, you can do 1 cup milk, ½ cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves add more if you love garlic - this is mild for those who need to breathe near others ;)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Optional

  • ½ cup shredded cheese sharp cheddar, gruyere, or smoked gouda

Garnish

  • extra butter
  • extra thyme
  • gravy

Instructions

In an Instant Pot (See notes above about using an Instant Pot for this)

  • Add potatoes then milk directly into the Instant Pot, then add the spices, garlic, and butter - making sure the butter is evenly spread out. (With the garlic, remember that we measure garlic with our hearts, so if you are a huge garlic lover, add extra.)
  • Stir everything together and try to make sure the potatoes are pushed under the milk as best they can be and the butter and spices are evenly spread around.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and point the vent to Sealing. Then press the Manual or Pressure Cook button followed by the Pressure button to adjust it to LOW pressure. Set the time using the +/- buttons or the dial for 12 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, carefully release the pressure using the "Quick Release" method - turn the vent to Venting and let the steam out right away. You can either turn the Instant Pot Off or leave it on the Keep Warm setting.
  • Once all pressure has been released, carefully open the lid.Drain the potatoes into a colander over a bowl, but save the milk to add back later. Mash the potatoes using your favorite method - a ricer, masher, or pastry cutter in times of desperation - I like to do this right in the Instant Pot.
  • Add half of the milk back and stir. If it still seems too thick, continue adding more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Season the potatoes with a pinch of additional salt, pepper, and thyme and taste. (You can add more butter if you like, but I like to add it when serving.)
  • If adding cheese, stir it in, set the Instant Pot to the Keep Warm function, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • You can keep the potatoes covered with a glass lid in the Instant Pot, on the Keep Warm setting, for up to 4 hours.
  • When ready, serve the potatoes topped with additional salt, pepper, thyme, and butter.

In a Slow Cooker

  • In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the potatoes, milk, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, onion powder, and sage.
  • Cover and cook on High for 4 - 5 hours or on Low for 6 - 8 hours - until the potatoes are fork-tender. Switch the slow cooker to the Warm setting.
  • Drain the potatoes into a colander over a bowl, but save the milk to add back later. Mash the potatoes using your favorite method - a ricer, masher, or pastry cutter in times of desperation - I like to do this right in the slow cooker.
  • Add half of the milk back and stir. If it still seems too thick, continue adding more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Season the potatoes with a pinch of additional salt, pepper, and thyme and taste. (You can add more butter if you like, but I like to add it when serving.)
  • If adding cheese, stir it in, cover, and cook for another 15 minutes on Low or Warm, until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • Keep the potatoes covered, on the Warm setting, for up to 4 hours.
  • Serve the potatoes topped with additional salt, pepper, thyme, and butter.

On the Stove

  • In a large dutch oven, combine potatoes, milk, butter, garlic, and spices.
  • Bring to a gentle boil over medium/low heat and cook 20 -2 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Drain the potatoes into a colander over a bowl, but save the milk to add back later. Mash the potatoes using your favorite method - a ricer, masher, or pastry cutter in times of desperation - I like to do this right in the warm dutch oven.
  • Add half of the milk back and stir. If it still seems too thick, continue adding more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Season the potatoes with a pinch of additional salt, pepper, and thyme and taste. (You can add more butter as well if you like, but I like to add it when serving.)
  • If adding cheese, heat the potatoes over low heat, stir in the cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • Serve the potatoes topped with additional salt, pepper, thyme, and butter.

Video

Notes

Recipe Yield
This recipe will make 5 - 6 cups of mashed potatoes, which should serve about 6 - 8 people if there are other sides to be had - less if it is one of your main dishes. (I made this recipe to test it and my husband and I ate it with four meals and still had enough to make mashed potato and cheese fritters!)
Tips
  • If your Instant Pot tends to think everything is burning, I recommend using the "pot-in-pot" method where you place a smaller pot on a trivet in your Instant Pot. The 3-quart liner for the mini Instant Pot fits perfectly in the 6 and 8-quart pots and allows you to still "pressure cook" the potatoes in the milk to make them nice and creamy. Otherwise, I would suggest using a slow cooker.
  • I like to use a mix of peeled Yukon Gold potatoes and those small baby/creamer potatoes with skin on because I like my mashed potatoes to have texture. (I mash them with a masher.) If you like creamy potatoes, go with peeled Yukon Gold only and use a ricer.
  • Make sure to mash your potatoes without the milk/cream first and add it in slowly. Once you add it, you can't take it away so if you add too much, you have to add more potatoes to thicken up the mashed potatoes.
  • To make a huge quantity, the slow cooker method is easiest to ensure even cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of potatoes are best for making mashed potatoes?
I will say, you can use any potatoes in a pinch. But Yukon Gold potatoes are definitely the best for making mashed potatoes. They are so creamy and blend really well with butter, milk, and cream.
Is cream or milk better for mashed potatoes?
I like to use milk, but a mix of cream and milk is also really good!
What can you do with leftover potatoes?
My favorite thing to do with leftover potatoes is to make small patties with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, then either pan fry them until lightly browned, or crisp them up in a waffle iron and top them with a fried or poached egg and some green onions or chives. You can also press them into a muffin tin lined with prosciutto or bacon and top with an egg, salt, pepper, and chives, then bake to make a potato/egg cup. So many ideas! Here's a nice long list.
Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?
Yes! It absolutely can. The only caveat is that if you are using an Instant Pot, you need to be more cautious when doing a Quick Release - the higher the level of milk, the more likely you will be to spew milk all over the kitchen. If the level of milk is ¾ of the way up to the max fill line or more, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for about 5 minutes, then do a controlled release and let the steam out in short spurts. (If you have to make that many potatoes, it would likely be easier to use a slow cooker and save the Instant Pot for another side, such as Green Beans, Collard Greens, or Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots.
How many Yukon Gold potatoes are in 2 pounds?
Isn't it so annoying when recipes give you a weight for potatoes? We don't all have a scale in our house just for potatoes 😉 Two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes is about 6 potatoes around the size of the lovechild of a baseball and soda can. If I put one in the palm of my hand, one would be about as wide as my hand - sometimes wider - but not quite as long, and around an inch and a half thick. (You can always add extra if you aren't sure and balance it out later on when tasting.)
How many cups of mashed potatoes does two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes make?
Two pounds of potatoes makes around 5 - 6 cups of mashed potatoes. This should serve 6 to 8 people around ½ to ¾ of a cup of potatoes each.
Serving Suggestions
Serve mashed potatoes immediately or keep warm using a slow cooker or your Instant Pot's slow cooker function with a glass lid on top. Top with your favorite gravy, some fresh herbs, or just a huge pat of butter.
Storage/Reheating
Mashed potatoes are best eaten right away, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for about 3 months.
To reheat, the microwave is the easiest, but we don't have one at our new house, so we bake them in the oven over low heat and melt a little extra butter on top.
With leftovers, we like to make cheesy potato cakes with a fried egg on top!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg