My family loves classic mashed potatoes deeply. But sometimes we want a change of pace and maybe a little more color added to a meal, and that’s when fluffy, creamy mashed sweet potatoes come into play. And mashed sweet potatoes with roasted garlic – just, wow. The roasted garlic adds a smoky, soft garlic flavor that’s not overpowering but definitely there. These are perfect for any holiday meal but also amazing for rounding out any fall or winter dinner.
Because of the naturally slightly sweet nature of these potatoes, the tendency is to go for seasonings and flavors that underscore or amplify the sweetness, like in Sweet Potato Casserole. And that’s delicious. However, adding in an element of savory is a nice way to switch things up, and mellow roasted garlic is the perfect companion to the naturally sweet potatoes. This side goes perfectly with a cozy autumnal dinner of Baked Chicken Legs, Buttermilk Biscuits, and an Autumn Salad.
Table of Contents
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Garlic: The addition of roasted garlic (which cooks right along with the potatoes) adds a smoky, savory twist.Tweet This
- Sweet potatoes – I like to use the orange ones for their vibrant color, but any type of sweet potato would work here.
- Garlic – Smoky, mellow roasted garlic is a perfect balance to the sweetness of the potatoes.
- Olive oil – The olive oil is divided in this recipe. Part of it is used to roast the garlic, and part of it is stirred into the mashed potatoes.
- Salt – Don’t skimp on the salt, as it really brings out the flavor of the potatoes.
- Butter – Adds richness to these creamy mashed potatoes.
- Milk or half-and-half – Use whichever you have in your fridge or a combination of both. The more half-and-half you use, the creamier your mashed potatoes will be.
- Pepper – Use freshly ground pepper, if possible, not the pre-ground stuff!
How to Make Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Bake the potatoes: Prick each sweet potato with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until tender, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.
- Prepare the garlic: Cut the top from the head of garlic, and place the garlic head on a square of aluminum foil large enough to encase the garlic. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the garlic and sprinkle the top with salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil.
- Roast the garlic: After the sweet potatoes have been in the oven for 30 minutes, place the foil-wrapped garlic on the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes. Continue baking the vegetables for about 45 minutes until the garlic and the potatoes are very soft. Let them cool slightly.
- Peel the garlic and potatoes: Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the papery wrapper, pressing up from the bottom to pop it out. Peel the sweet potatoes.
- Mash the potatoes: Press the garlic and the potatoes together through a food mill or a ricer into a large pot over medium heat. If you don’t have either, you can place them in a large pot and use a potato masher.
- Finish: Add the remaining olive oil, butter, milk, salt, and pepper and stir to thoroughly combine. Heat, stirring, frequently until hot throughout.
There are a lot of types of sweet potatoes, and if you are a sweet potato fan, have at it and get to know the different kinds. Here is a thoughtful description of all of the types (or at least 16 of them). The exteriors and the interiors range considerably in color. Most commonly, you will find various shades of white, tan, and all sorts of orange hues.
You can use white or orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in this recipe, but especially for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I am for the orange. Check the inner color when you buy them, as it isn’t always easy to tell from the skin (you’ll certainly see a little ding on one of the potatoes that will reveal its inner color). The orange makes a holiday table feel like a holiday table to me.
For mashed sweet potatoes, it is better to bake than boil them before mashing. Baking sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness. Boiling the potatoes brings out less flavor and can result in a water-logged mashed potato dish.
Both are okay to use. If you want the creamiest, richest potatoes possible, go for full cream or half and half. If you’re looking to avoid fat as much as possible, milk will work too, but it will lose some of that delicious richness. I like to use a combo of whole milk and cream or half-and-half.
What to Serve With Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
More Sweet Potato Side Dish Recipes
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta
- Sweet Potato Fries with New Bay Seasoning
- Sweet Potato Spoon Bread
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest.Pin This
Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 head garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- Coarse or kosher salt (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup whole milk or half and half (or a combo, warmed)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment or aluminum foil, and bake until tender, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the garlic for roasting. Cut the top from the head of garlic with a sharp knife, exposing the very tops of the cloves. Place the garlic head on a square of aluminum foil large enough to encase the garlic. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the exposed top of the cloves. Sprinkle the top with salt. Wrap tightly in foil, and after the sweet potatoes have been in the oven for 30 minutes place the foil-wrapped garlic on the baking sheet with the squash. Continue baking the potatoes and the garlic for about 45 minutes until the garlic and the potatoes are very soft. Let the garlic cool in the foil, and let the potatoes cool until you can handle them.
- When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, unwrap and squeeze out the roasted garlic from the papery wrapper, pressing up from the bottom to pop it out. Peel the sweet potatoes (you should be able to peel the skin off with your fingers, or use a peeler if you feel like you are losing too much of the insides).
- Press the garlic and the potatoes together through a food mill or a ricer into a large pot over medium heat. If you don't have either, you can place them in a large pot and use a potato masher. Add the remaining olive oil, butter, milk, salt, and pepper and stir to thoroughly combine. Heat, stirring, frequently until hot throughout.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.