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Mashed potatoes are (to many people, including me) a perfect food. And yet, nothing makes a favorite comfort food better than the addition of cheese. And when cheese and potatoes meet up, only good things can happen.

My family is eternally delighted when a bowl of these cheesy mashed potatoes hits the table. No matter what else is for dinner, it’s just destined to be a good dinner. And you can keep playing with different cheeses, depending on what’s in the fridge, what’s on sale, and what you like best. Cheese is a great way to dress up mashed potatoes!

We usually think about what to serve on the side of a main course. I think if you are sold on this recipe, you might be looking for what to serve next to these mashed potatoes with cheese. Greek Turkey Meatloaf, almost any lamb dish you can think of, Garlicky Roast Chicken (skip the roasted potatoes), or Crispy Skinned Salmon with Dill Sauce are just a few of the entrees that would be so happy served up with these.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes in an orange bowl.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are one of the most perfect foods, and nothing makes a favorite comfort food recipe better than the addition of cheese. A perfect side for cold weather meals (and great for the holidays).

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Cheesy Mashed Potato Ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe are pretty standard mashed potato ingredients plus CHEESE! These cheeses listed here are just suggestions — you can use any cheese here, from cheddar to Monterey Jack. You could also add in some stronger cheeses like blue cheese, feta, or Parmesan.

Potatoes, cheese, butter, and other mashed potato ingredients.
  • Potatoes – Use Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes, or a combination of the two, peeled and halved. Those are the best potatoes for mashing.
  • Whole milk – You can use lower-fat milk if you want, or you can use all half-and-half or even cream if you’re going to town. Pick, choose, and combine the milk and cream choices according to the audience, the occasion, and how indulgent you are feeling.
  • Cream – You can use light or heavy cream or even half-and-half. Up to your preference.
  • Fontina – Fontina is a smooth, creamy, slightly tart, and very melty cow’s milk cheese, sometimes made in the Italian Alps.
  • Gruyere – This nutty Alpine cheese adds so much flavor to the mashed potatoes. You might also use Swiss, or if you can find Grand Cru made by Roth, that’s a great option.
  • Butter – Mashed potatoes without butter are like a day without sunshine.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes in an orange bowl.

Variations

Instead of the Gruyere and fontina, try any of the following cheeses, alone or in combination. If you choose a stronger cheese, start with a smaller amount and add until you get the level of flavor you’re looking for.

  • Blue Cheese
  • Parmesan
  • Grana Padano
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Cheddar
  • Provolone 
  • Gouda 
  • Smoked Provolone or Gouda
  • Munster
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese

Also, try Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Baked Mashed Potatoes, and Herbed Mashed Potatoes!

How to Make Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

  1. Cook the potatoes: Simmer in a pot of salted water for 15 or so minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.
  2. Drain and mash potatoes: Use a ricer or a food mill, or mash with a potato masher until they are smooth, or as smooth as you like them. Return them to the pot.
Using a ricer and potato masher to make mashed potatoes.
Use a ricer, food mill, or potato masher to make mashed potatoes.
  1. Heat milk and cream.
  2. Add milk, cream, butter, and cheese: After stirring in the milk mixture and butter, add the cheeses by the handful, stirring after each addition until the cheese melts into the potatoes.
Adding milk and cheese to mashed potatoes in pot.
  1. Serve hot.
Serving Cheesy Mashed Potatoes on plate with meat.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Cooking Tips

  • If your cheeses have any rinds or coatings on them, trim those off before adding them to the potatoes.
  • When you add the cheese to the mashed potatoes, do it gradually, sprinkling it in so that it melts in evenly and doesn’t clump.

FAQs

Should you peel potatoes before mashing?

It’s a matter of preference! I prefer my mashed potatoes with no peel for a smoother, creamier texture, but others really like little bits and pieces of the peels in their potatoes for texture. However, if you decide not to peel your potatoes, make sure to scrub them well before halving them and cooking them.

What are the best cheeses to add to mashed potatoes?

Try all kinds of cheeses in mashed potatoes! Smooth, melty cheeses are great, but so are crumbly cheeses. In this recipe, I call for fontina and Gruyere, but you can play around with cheddar, provolone, gouda, or Muenster.

Or go for a stronger cheese, but start with less so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the potatoes. Consider small amounts of blue cheese, goat cheese, smoked provolone or gouda, Parmesan, Grana Padano, or Pecorino Romano.

Leftovers and Reheating

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pot over low heat, stirring frequently and adding a bit more milk and cream if you need to loosen them up.

Or, turn leftover cheesy mashed potatoes into Mashed Potato Pancakes — skip the addition of cheese, but add the flour and egg, and adjust seasonings as needed.

What to Serve With Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Roast Beef with Mustard Garlic Crust and Horseradish Sauce

Marinated Petite Filets

Creamy Tuscan Salmon

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes in an orange bowl butter butter melting on top.

More Potato Side Dish Recipes

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Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 People
What happens when you add melty cheeses to fluffy mashed potatoes? Comfort food gets even more comforting.

Ingredients 

  • Kosher salt (for cooking the potatoes; plus more to season the potatoes to taste)
  • 8 large Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes (3 to 3 ½ pounds total; peeled and halved)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup light or heavy cream or half and half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces; at room temperature)
  • ½ cup grated fontina cheese
  • ½ cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt, return to a boil, then add the potatoes (the water should cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches). Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to simmer for 15 or so minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot, and place them back over medium-low heat. Toss the potatoes in the hot pan occasionally for 3 minutes or so until the moisture is all gone and they have begun to dry out (but not to brown). Remove the pan from the stove, and put the potatoes through a ricer or a food mill, or mash with a potato masher until they are smooth, or as smooth as you like them. Return them to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk and the cream together in a microwave-safe bowl or pitcher for about one minute, or in a small saucepan on the stovetop, until hot.
  • Add the hot milk and cream mixture to the potatoes along with the butter and stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk until well combined. Blend in the fontina and the Gruyere (or whatever cheeses you picked), adding the cheeses by the handful, and stirring after each addition until the cheese melts into the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir over medium-low heat until everything is hot and well blended. Serve hot.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pot over low heat, stirring frequently and adding a bit more milk and cream if you need to loosen them up.
Or, turn leftover cheesy mashed potatoes into Mashed Potato Pancakes — skip the addition of cheese, but add the flour and egg, and adjust seasonings as needed.
Variations:
Instead of the Gruyere and fontina, try any of the following cheeses, alone or in combination. If you choose a stronger cheese, start with a smaller amount and add until you get the level of flavor you’re looking for.
  • Blue Cheese
  • Parmesan
  • Grana Padano
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Cheddar
  • Provolone 
  • Gouda 
  • Smoked Provolone or Gouda
  • Munster

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 120mg, Potassium: 887mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 454IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 196mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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