Lisa Cericola's Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

You haven't had mashed potatoes like these before.

Lisa's Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

"I'm not big on mashed potatoes throughout the year, but they are required at Thanksgiving," writes Southern Living Senior Food Editor Lisa Cericola. "This recipe is ultrarich thanks to butter, half-and-half, cream cheese, and a generous swirl of Herbed Brown Butter on top. It is guaranteed to upstage the other sides on the buffet."

This Thanksgiving, Southern Living's editors and contributors are sharing the recipes that grace our tables year after year—like Lisa's Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes. We think through every last component in this recipe, from the perfectly tender, creamy potatoes to the stunning herbed brown butter swirl. The result? Our ideal mashed potatoes. Yes, they'll upstage Grandma's tried-and-true recipe. They don't even need gravy, folks.

When cooking the potatoes, start them in cold (not boiling) water for the most even, tender results. Be careful not to overmix the potatoes, which will result in an undesirable gummy, starchy texture.


Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 7 medium potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)

  • 2 medium-size garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 

  • ½ cup softened cream cheese or sour cream

  • 5 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk, plus more to taste 

  • 3 tablespoons butter 

  • ¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Herbed Brown Butter

  • ½ cup butter, cubed

  • 15 small fresh sage leaves, rosemary sprigs, or thyme sprigs (or any combination), patted dry


  1. Prepare the potatoes: Bring 2 quarts cold water, potatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes; drain well.

  2. Return potatoes to Dutch oven. Stir in cream cheese, half-and-half, butter, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Heat over low until butter is melted and potato mixture is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Beat potato mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed until desired smoothness, 30 seconds to 1 minute, gradually stirring in 1 tablespoon half-and-half at a time to reach desired consistency. Do not overbeat. Keep warm.

  4. Prepare the brown butter: Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium, stirring constantly, until butter begins to turn golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add herbs; cook until crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Do not let the butter overbrown.) Immediately remove skillet from heat. Use a fork to carefully transfer the fried herbs to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving brown butter in skillet.

  5. Transfer warm potatoes to a serving dish. Drizzle with Herbed Brown Butter, and top with fried herbs.

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