Thanksgiving dinner is about the side dishes.  The bird is just there to appease those folk who are too picky to eat all the glorious sides (ah hem, husband).  The only side dishes he’ll eat are the mashed potatoes.  And, naturally,  mashed potatoes are the only side dish I can totally pass up and not even care.  Sure, I’ve made some great ones in the past, and I like them.  But still, they don’t beckon me.  Even if you add cheese, and bacon, or try and litter them with whatever else you can find, still, not my thing.

And then I made these.


brown butter mashed potatoes


These are my jam!  Because of the brown butter. I mean, do you see those specs?  That’s not pepper folks, that’s butter, browned to perfection.  I like everything with brown butter.  Even ice cream.

So this Thanksgiving, if you haven’t already decided on your mashed potatoes recipe, give this one a whirl.  You’ll be glad you did!


brown butter mashed potatoes



You can make these with the skin, or without.  I made them with, but only because I was too lazy to peel them.

Lumpy or smooth, I know you have a preference.  I am fine with either… remember above, it’s not the potatoes that makes this for me, it’s THE BROWN BUTTER!  I happened to make these lumpy, again, out of laziness.  I didn’t want to get another dish dirty to get them super smooth, so I just took a wooden spoon and stirred them.  This is how I will make them every time.  It was easy!

Make ahead – you can make these 2 days ahead of time, keep them covered in the fridge, and reheat them in the oven at 350 until they’r hot.  Stir a few times, and add milk if they get too dry for you.  You can ALSO make them weeks, even MONTHS in advance and freeze them!  Just thaw, and reheat at 350 until they’re hot.  So so easy!


Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes


  • 3 1/2 lbs potatoes ( russet or yukon are my preference)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (unsalted is best so you can control the salt content)
  • 1 cup whole milk (or any fat content you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. Then add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes over medium heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pot and cook over high heat for 1 minute to dry them out a little. The potatoes should be tender enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon if you want to keep them a little lumpy. if you want them perfectly smooth, pass them through a ricer.

In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until it turns dark golden, and starts to get specs, about 4 minutes. Add the brown butter to the potatoes along with the milk and sour cream and stir well with the wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Serve with an extra dab of butter on top, for good measure. Serve immediately (or see note above about making it ahead and reheating).


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine