Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes without Cream

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

No milk or cream and little or no butter—yet these mashed potatoes are creamy and intense with fresh potato flavor. The secret is to reserve the cooking water, and use it to lighten the mashed potatoes. Instead of mashing a big lump of butter into the potatoes, we melt a small pat (about a teaspoon) on top of each serving. This small pool of pure melted butter gives instant gratification.


  • 4 russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons cold butter


    • Place the potatoes and garlic into water to cover in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, covered, add salt, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes.
    • Drain the potatoes well, reserving cooking liquid. Pass the mixture through a food mill or with a large wooden spoon, press it through a coarse strainer back into the pan over low heat. Gradually add ½ to 1 cup reserved liquid, or enough to make a creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if using. Serve piping hot with a thin slice of butter on top of each serving.