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When it comes to Thanksgiving, Southerners are picky. We have very specific recipes that we turn to for beloved dishes, and these recipes have often times been passed down through generations. And these recipes rarely disappoint. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Southerner who, on Thanksgiving Eve, hasn't strategized their holiday menu with ingredients and cook time.

So, we understand that the notion of switching up one of these nostalgic recipes – especially one as coveted as your creamy mashed potatoes – feels uncomfortable. Bear with us, though, because there's an ingredient we've been including in our mashed potatoes that makes a world of difference: goat cheese.

Our Test Kitchen has made many a mashed potato dish over the years, so we've gotten everything from fluffy to dense to gloopy and gluey. This Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes recipe is, dare we say, one of our absolute best. Tangy goat cheese, although strong in flavor by itself, brings out the natural sweetness of the potatoes and cream. The addition of this soft cheese also makes your mashed potatoes silkier. Plus, the added texture holds your potatoes together, so your gravy moat will be impenetrable.

You won't have to sacrifice your go-to mashed potato ingredients for this recipe, either. This creamy, thick side dish starts with trusty Russet potatoes. Once your potatoes are cooked until tender, add two cups (really!) of soft goat cheese, a cup of heavy cream, a stick of butter, and some salt and pepper. Mash the ingredients together, and then garnish your new favorite mashed potatoes with some fresh chives or green onions.

Once you've gotten this recipe under your belt, you may also want to branch out into some variations of this crowd-pleasing dish. (Maybe not for Thanksgiving dinner, but we won't ever turn down a Sunday supper with a side of mashed potatoes!) Try substituting an herbed or flavored goat cheese for a subtle upgrade to your potatoes. If you've got some fresh rosemary or parsley in your garden, you may also want to sprinkle some fresh herbs on top of the dish for a bright pop of color.

If you've got a hankering to try a fresh Thanksgiving dish, add these rich Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes to your roster. The addition of this secret ingredient makes for a smooth, hearty side dish, and we guarantee that you won't have leftovers.