Mashed potatoes: Just as good as Mom’s, but healthier

Published on November 17 2009 - 4:04 PM
Mashed Roots with Buttermilk & Chives

For some people, Thanksgiving dinner is all about turkey or pumpkin pie. For my sister and me, it’s all about mashed potatoes. The first thing we put on our plates is a big pile of potatoes—everything else is just garnish. When it’s time to dig into leftovers, I always heat up mashed potatoes and gravy. (Learn how to make perfect lump-free gravy.) But when I watched my mom make my beloved mashed potatoes one year (because I wanted to learn how to make them), I was horrified at all of the butter and cream she added.

But you can make delicious mashed potatoes that are healthier. Here are 4 recipes to try this Thanksgiving.

1. Use poached garlic and a small amount of reduced-fat sour cream to give Garlic Mashed Potatoes delicious flavor without a lot of fat. (The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.)

2. Extra-sharp Cheddar and buttermilk add a tangy punch to Vermont Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. And, yes, we may be a bit biased, but we prefer Vermont Cheddar cheese.

3. Try something different and make Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casseroleit has a layer of sautéed finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and chard in the middle. It also makes a great vegetarian main dish.

4. Plain mashed potatoes may seem a bit tame after you’ve tried Mashed Roots with Buttermilk & Chives, full of celery root, rutabaga and Yukon Gold potatoes and mashed with sweet garlic and tangy buttermilk. Finish the dish with a handful of snipped fresh chives.

A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.