If your family is anything like mine, your Thanksgiving table would not be complete without mashed potatoes. Well, then you don’t want to miss these Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes! They may be lighter in calories with non-fat plain yogurt, but they are far from light on flavor with layer upon layer of yummy garlic!

A closeup of thanksgiving potatoes with garlic

We originally shared this recipe for Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes on November 9th, 2010. We have updated some of the text and photos today.

Why We Love This Recipe For Garlic Mashed Potatoes

As with most families, mine has its Thanksgiving traditions.  After the marathon of cooking is done, the table is set and the candles are lit, we join hands for a moment of silence.  And then the feasting finally begins.  But in our family my dad stops us just as soon as we’ve hit our stride to ask us one question– “what was your first bite?”. We always roll our eyes and then go around the table confessing what we’ve eaten first.

As annoying as this tradition is, it actually is quite interesting.  Believe it or not, rare is the diner who has tasted the turkey first.  I know I’m not one of them either.  In fact, most people, myself included, go for the mashed potatoes (and gravy) for their first glorious bite.  I mean, after skipping lunch and nibbling on nothing more than crudites and cocktail onions, you want to go for the good stuff, right?

So this year, I am making the mashed potatoes even more irresistible and memorable.  But you know me, I can’t bring myself to do that by weighing them down with a boatload of butter.  The trick is to add flavor instead. 

Roasting a few heads of garlic ahead of time (even a day ahead is fine), makes for a creamy and rich flavor enhancer without a ton of extra calories.  I also toss a couple of crushed garlic cloves in with the boiling potatoes to layer the garlic flavor.

Then, to finish it off, I also use tangy plain yogurt instead of heavy cream or cream cheese.  With all of that flavor in the mash, you’ll only need a touch of butter.

Garlic mashed potatoes in a serving bowl.

Ingredients for this Low-fat Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Yukon Gold potatoes

Because of their high starch and low water content, Yukon gold potatoes are the best kind to use when making mashed potatoes, French fries, and in baking. They lead to dense, rich and creamy scoops of mashed potatoes. However, don’t stress if you accidentally bought the wrong kind–any potato will still make a good mash.

Plain non-fat yogurt

I opted for non-fat plain yogurt instead of using heavy cream and loads of butter. This adds a layer of creaminess to the mash, as well as a slight tang, which you’ll love.

Garlic

Garlic is used not once, but twice, in this healthy garlic mashed potatoes recipes. Search for the best and freshest garlic bulb at the store by giving it a light squeeze. It should be firm and not hollow or dry. Any sprouting on the bulb is an indicator that the garlic is old.

Other Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Healthy garlic mashed potatoes in a serving bowl and a smaller bowl of mash alongside.

For this roasted garlic mashed potatoes recipe you’ll only need to follow a few simple steps. The little prep time and longer cook time (especially the roasted garlic) allows you to focus on other parts of the dinner in the meantime.

Step 1: Roast the garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two heads of garlic for roasting: Leaving garlic head intact, cut tip off of garlic cloves, exposing the flesh of each clove. Repeat with the second head of garlic.  Place the heads root-side down on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Drizzle oil over the exposed flesh.  Wrap up the heads into a bundle and bake until fragrant and the garlic is tender, about 45 minutes.  Open packet to vent and set aside to cool.

Step 2: Make garlic-yogurt mixture

When the garlic is cool, squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a bowl and mash with a fork into a smooth paste.  Mash in butter, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in yogurt.

Step 3: Mash garlic potatoes

Meanwhile, peel the remaining 2 cloves garlic. Cover potatoes and the two cloves garlic generously with cold water in a large saucepan.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to18 minutes.  Drain and return to the pot. Mash potatoes with a potato masher.  Add the yogurt mixture and mash until smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley.

Lowfat garlic mashed potatoes in a serving bowl with a serving utensil.

FAQs and Expert tips

What is the difference between Yukon gold and russet potatoes?

Russet potatoes are oval-shaped and have darker brown skin, and are often larger than Yukon gold potatoes. Yukons have a thin yellowish skin, and a golden flesh. Russets have a higher starch content, and don’t hold their shape as well when boiled. Russet potatoes are perfect for roasting, rather than boiling.

What can you substitute if you don’t have yogurt?

If you don’t have plain non-fat yogurt, use low fat or 2% milk instead. You might not need as much, so add a little bit at a time, mixing together between each. You can also use cream or higher-fat yogurt of course, but that’s up to you. Either way, you’ll still get a very creamy and rich mash.

What happens if you overmash the potatoes?

As you mash and/or beat the potatoes, more starch gets released. If you overmix you can end up with gluey, dense mashed potatoes.

What’s the best way to reheat mashed potatoes?

The best way to reheat mashed potatoes is by placing them in an oven-safe dish at 350ºF with extra milk/yogurt and butter. Cook, covered (so the top doesn’t get crispy and dark), until warmed through, about 20 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave for a few minutes, stopping to mix and combine as you go.)

Additional Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Garlic Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes may be lighter in calories with non-fat plain yogurt, but they are far from light on flavor with layer upon layer of yummy garlic! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove top/oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes may be lighter in calories with non-fat plain yogurt, but they are far from light on flavor with layer upon layer of yummy garlic! They are naturally gluten-free!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 heads plus two cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
  • 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two heads of garlic for roasting: Leaving garlic head intact, cut tip off of garlic cloves, exposing the flesh of each clove. Repeat with the second head of garlic.  Place the heads root-side down on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Drizzle oil over the exposed flesh.  Wrap up the heads into a bundle and bake until fragrant and the garlic is tender, about 45 minutes.  Open packet to vent and set aside to cool.
  2. When the garlic is cool, squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a bowl and mash with a fork into a smooth paste.  Mash in butter, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in yogurt.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the remaining 2 cloves garlic. Cover potatoes and the two cloves garlic generously with cold water in a large saucepan.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to18 minutes.  Drain and return to the pot. Mash potatoes with a potato masher.  Add the yogurt mixture and mash until smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley.

Notes

Cooking Tip:

Be careful not to overmix the potatoes. As you mash and/or beat the potatoes, more starch gets released. If you overmix you can end up with gluey, dense mashed potatoes that won’t be nearly as tasty. Mash until just combined and no/minimal potato lumps remain for the best and fluffiest result.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup each
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 466 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g