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What to Add to Mashed Potatoes for Flavor (28 Options)

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that can be enjoyed with almost any main course.

But sometimes, they can be a little bland.

If you’re looking for ways to add some flavor to your mashed potatoes, you’ve come to the right place.

Mashed potatoes can be flavored in many ways. One way is to add in some shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Parmesan, or Swiss. Another way is to add in some chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, thyme, rosemary, or parsley. You could also add in some sauteed garlic or onions, or even some crumbled bacon.

Anyway, to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of 28 things that you can add to your mashed potatoes for flavor.

With this list, you’ll never have to eat boring mashed potatoes again!

What to Add to Mashed Potatoes for Flavor

What to Add to Mashed Potatoes for Flavor?

There are many ways to add flavor to mashed potatoes. One way is to add roasted garlic cloves. Another way is to add shredded cheese, such as cheddar or Gruyere. You could also add sauteed onions or shallots. Finally, you could stir in some chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, or thyme.

No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Source: spendwithpennies.com

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish, but they can often be quite bland.

Here are 28 easy ways to make your mashed potatoes taste amazing:

Garlic

minced Garlic

Garlic is a great way to add flavor and depth to mashed potatoes.

Simply chop up some garlic cloves and add them to the potatoes during the cooking process.

The garlic will release its aroma and flavor into the potatoes, making them incredibly delicious.

Onion

Sweet onion

Another great way to add flavor and sweetness to mashed potatoes is to use chopped onion.

Add it in during the cooking process or at the very end when you’re mixing them together.

The onion will caramelize, creating a sweet and savory flavor that will be sure to please.

Add Shredded Cheese for A Cheesy Flavor

Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar
Source: tasteofhome.com

Adding shredded cheese to your mashed potatoes is a great way to add extra flavor and creaminess.

Not only will the cheese help thicken the potatoes, but it will also add its own unique flavor.

You can use any type of cheese you like, but a classic option is cheddar.

If you want to make your potatoes even more cheesy, you can also add in some grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese.

Add Bacon Bits for A Salty and Savory Flavor

mashed potatoes with Bacon Bits
Source: eatingwell.com

Adding bacon bits to your mashed potatoes will give them a salty and savory flavor that will make them irresistible.

Not only do they add flavor, but bacon bits also help keep the potatoes from becoming watery.

Plus, they’re a great source of protein and healthy fats.

Add Chopped Onions for A Bit of Color and Flavor

Chopped Onions

Adding chopped onions to your mashed potatoes will add a pop of color and flavor, while helping to thicken the potatoes.

Not only that, but they’ll also contribute some vitamins, as well as dietary fiber.

When it comes to choosing which type of onion to use, you have a few options.

You can use red or Vidalia onions for their mild sweetness and slightly sweeter flavor, or you can go for the bolder taste of yellow or white onions.

Once you’ve chosen your onion, it’s time to start chopping.

Try not to overdo it though; a chopped onion that is too large will not cook down properly and will add undesirable moisture to the potatoes.

Just chop the onions finely enough so that they are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Once everything is ready, it’s time to mash the spuds!

  1. Start by boiling water in a pot on the stovetop and adding the potatoes.
  2. Once they are soft, using a fork or an immersion blender, mash them until they are smooth.
  3. Adding some butter or olive oil before serving will help them stay creamy and delicious all night long!

Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt for A Creamy Texture

Creamy Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Source: drivemehungry.com

When it comes to mashed potatoes, there’s no wrong way to do them.

But if you want them to taste even better, adding some sour cream or Greek yogurt is a great way to up the ante.

These dairy products help thicken the potatoes and give them a creamy texture that’s hard to beat.

Plus, they add extra flavor and nutrition to your dish.

Adding sour cream or Greek yogurt also helps cut down on the amount of butter or cream that’s typically used in mashed potatoes.

This can be a big plus if you’re trying to eat healthier, or if you have dietary restrictions.

Simply use skim milk, low-fat yogurt, or even unsweetened almond milk in place of the butter or cream.

And don’t forget about salt!

Adding just a pinch of salt will help bring out the best flavors in your potatoes.

Add Roasted Garlic for A Sweet and Savory Flavor

Roasted Garlic
Source: alphafoodie.com

Adding roasted garlic to your mashed potatoes gives them a savory depth of flavor as well as a beautiful golden hue.

The mellow sweetness of the garlic is overwhelmed by the earthy, pungent flavors of the potato and butter, resulting in a wonderfully complex dish.

  1. Be sure to start by finely chopping the garlic and then roast it in a moderate oven until it’s lightly browned and fragrant.
  2. Once roasted, add it to a bowl along with some salt and pepper and mash the garlic into the potatoes until they’re completely smooth.
  3. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Add Caramelized Onions for A Sweet and Savory Flavor

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
Source: themagicalslowcooker.com

While most people think of mashed potatoes as being savory, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little sweetness to the mix.

In fact, caramelized onions are a great way to do just that.

Caramelized onions are simply onions that have been slowly cooked in a low-heat oven until they are soft and slightly browned.

The sweetness and caramelization of the onions is what makes them such a wonderful addition to mashed potatoes.

To make them even better, try adding some fresh parsley or chives for an extra kick of flavor.

And if you want to take your mashed potatoes up a notch, try topping them with a rich and creamy gravy made from chicken or beef broth, roux (a mixture of butter and flour), and milk or cream.

Add Pesto for A Flavorful and Herby Taste

Avocado Pesto
Source: www.whiskaffair.com

Adding pesto to your mashed potatoes is a great way to add flavor and texture.

Store-bought pesto can be expensive, so making your own is a great way to save money while still getting the same great taste.

Just make sure to buy a pesto that’s made with quality ingredients, as some brands are packed with unnecessary additives.

  1. To make your pesto, start by peeling and chopping up some garlic.
  2. Then, add the garlic to a food processor or blender with some olive oil and salt.
  3. Blend until the garlic is smooth, adding more oil or water as needed.
  4. Next, add in your favorite herbs (such as basil, thyme, or parsley) and spices (such as pepper, rosemary, or nutmeg).
  5. Blend until everything is finely chopped.
  6. Finally, transfer the pesto to a jar or container and store in the fridge for future use.

Add Chives for A Mild Onion Flavor

Chives

Adding in chives for a mild onion flavor is one of the simplest and most effective methods.

Simply chop up some fresh chives and add them to the potatoes while they’re still warm, letting them cook into the potatoes until they’re fully softened.

This will add an extra layer of flavor without adding any extra calories or fuss.

Add Black Pepper for A Spicy Kick

Black pepper

If you’re looking for a way to make your mashed potatoes taste even better, adding in some black pepper can really take them to the next level.

Not only does this add a delicious kick of flavor, but it also helps thicken the potatoes and keep them from becoming watery.

  1. Start by heating up some butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the minced onions and sauté until they’re translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
  4. Once the onions are fully cooked down, add the potatoes and stir well to combine.
  5. Season the potatoes with salt and black pepper to taste, then pour in enough cold water to cover them.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are

Mix in Some Salsa or Hot Sauce for A Spicy Kick

Salsa

Adding a tablespoon or two of salsa or hot sauce to your mashed potatoes can give them a kick that will make them taste even better.

Not only are these ingredients delicious on their own, but they also add depth and complexity to the potatoes.

For salsa, try using a mild variety such as tomatoes, tomatillos, or chili.

For hot sauce, go with a hotter variety such as habanero, jalapeño, or Tabasco.

Experiment until you find what works best for you.

Fold in Some Cooked and Mashed Cauliflower

Slow Cooker Mashed Cauliflower
Source: hip2keto.com

Another great way to jazz up your potatoes is to try incorporating some cooked and mashed cauliflower into the mix.

Not only will this give them a lighter texture and flavor, but it’ll also add some extra nutrients and fiber.

Simply heat up the cauliflower until it’s soft, then mash it with a fork or an immersion blender into the potatoes.

You can also add in some salt, pepper, and other spices to taste.

Mix in Some Canned Black Beans or Kidney Beans

Black Beans

Adding in a can of black beans or kidney beans will add some flavor and texture to your mashed potatoes.

Not only that, but they’ll also help you stay fuller longer because they’re high in fiber.

Add them to the boiling potatoes along with some salt and butter, and mash until they’re smooth.

If you’d like to make them even more filling, try stirring in some cooked diced chicken or pork as well.

Add a Tablespoon of Horseradish Sauce for A Zesty Bite

Horseradish Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic
Source: stripedspatula.com

Mashed potatoes can be made even more delicious by adding a spoonful of horseradish sauce.

This versatile condiment can be used as a dip, dressing, or topping for your potatoes.

Store-bought horseradish sauce is often high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, so make your own at home by blending together 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish.

Top with Crispy Fried Onions for A Delicious Crunchy Topping

Crispy Fried Onions
Source: www.spendwithpennies.com

Adding crispy fried onions to your mashed potatoes is a great way to add a little extra flavor and crunch.

  1. The best way to do this is to start by heating some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, add the onions and cook until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes.
  3. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Serve with Your Favorite Gravy on The Side for More Flavor

Gravy recipe
Source: recipetineats.com

Adding a little bit of gravy to your mashed potatoes is the perfect way to give them that extra oomph.

Not only will it add some richness and flavor, but it can also help prevent them from getting too dry or heavy.

Store-bought gravy can be pretty bland and one-dimensional, so why not make your own?

Homemade gravy is easy to make, and you can adjust the flavors to suit your personal preferences.

  1. Simply start by blending some broth, flour, salt, and pepper together until you have a thick, gravy-like consistency.
  2. Then add in whatever herbs or aromatics you like (such as onion, garlic, or thyme), along with some milk or cream for added richness and creaminess.
  3. Finally, stir in any shredded meat or vegetables for extra flavor.

If you’re short on time but still want to enjoy those delicious mashed potatoes at their best, try preparing them in a slow cooker instead.

This method lets the potatoes cook slowly until they reach the desired consistency without any of the hassle of stirring.

All you have to do is evenly distribute them into the slow cooker and set it to low heat; they’ll be done in about 8 hours.

Dairy Products

Adding dairy products to your mashed potatoes can give them a boost in flavor and make them even more satisfying.

Here are some dairy products you can add to your mashed potatoes to make them taste amazing:

Cottage Cheese

Adding cottage cheese to your mashed potatoes gives them a creamy and smooth texture.

It also adds a little bit of protein and calcium, which can help boost your overall health.

Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is another great option for adding flavor and richness to your mashed potatoes.

It’s smooth and creamy, with a slightly sweet taste that goes well with most foods.

Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a classic dairy product for adding richness and flavor to mashed potatoes.

It has a slightly tangy taste that pairs well with other flavors, like bacon or green onions.

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese

Blue cheese is a classic condiment for mashed potatoes, and for good reason.

It’s full of flavor and cheese, which makes it the perfect addition to your dish.

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is another great option for adding flavor and richness to your mashed potatoes.

It has a milder taste than blue cheese, so it’s perfect if you don’t want your potatoes to be too strong in flavor.

Ricotta also has a creamy texture that pairs well with potato dishes.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan

Parmesan cheese is a great way to add depth of flavor to your mashed potatoes.

Simply stir it into the potatoes before you fork them into the hot water, and it will start melting into the potatoes and giving them a savory, cheesy taste.

Butter

Butter

Adding butter to your mashed potatoes is another easy way to add loads of flavor.

Melt some butter in a pan over low heat, then add the mashed potatoes and cook until they’re fully coated.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a great dairy product to add to your mashed potatoes because it is high in calcium and contains lactic acid, which gives potatoes a tangy, sour taste.

Add 1/2 cup buttermilk to 2 cups of mashed potatoes before cooking.

Half-And-Half

Half-and-half is a blend of milk and cream, so it has a lot of the flavors that make cow’s milk so delicious.

It’s also relatively high in protein, making it a good option if you’re looking for something more filling than milk alone.

Add 1/2 cup half-and-half to 2 cups of mashed potatoes before cooking.

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is rich and creamy, giving your mashed potatoes a decadent feel.

Plus, its high fat content means that it will help keep the starch in the potatoes from becoming gummy or gluey.

Add 1 cup heavy cream to 2 cups of mashed potatoes before cooking.

Margarine

Margarine

Margarine is another dairy product that works well in mashed potatoes.

It has a milder flavor than butter, so it’s perfect for those who don’t like strong flavors in their food.

Simply mix melted margarine with the mashed potatoes before serving.

What to Add to Instant Mashed Potatoes for Flavor?

There are a few things you can do to add flavor to your instant mashed potatoes. You can add in some shredded cheese, green onions, chives, garlic, salt, pepper, and butter. You can also add in some sour cream or cream cheese for an extra creamy flavor. If you want to get really creative, you could even add in some bacon bits or crumbled-up sausage.

what to put in mashed potatoes for flavor

What to Add to Mashed Potatoes for Flavor (28 Options)

This post provides a great starting point for anyone looking to add a little more flavor to their mashed potatoes.
Whether you're looking for a savory option like bacon and cheese or a sweet option like cinnamon and sugar, there's sure to be an ingredient that will suit your taste.
With 28 different options to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect combination for your next meal.
So why not give some of these a try?
You might just be surprised at how delicious they can be.
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 57 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Add Shredded Cheese for A Cheesy Flavor
  • Add Bacon Bits for A Salty and Savory Flavor
  • Add Chopped Onions for A Bit of Color and Flavor
  • Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt for A Creamy Texture
  • Add Roasted Garlic for A Sweet and Savory Flavor
  • Add Caramelized Onions for A Sweet and Savory Flavor
  • Add Pesto for A Flavorful and Herby Taste
  • Add Chives for A Mild Onion Flavor
  • Add Black Pepper for A Spicy Kick
  • Mix in Some Salsa or Hot Sauce for A Spicy Kick
  • Fold in Some Cooked and Mashed Cauliflower
  • Mix in Some Canned Black Beans or Kidney Beans
  • Add a Tablespoon of Horseradish Sauce for A Zesty Bite
  • Top with Crispy Fried Onions for A Delicious Crunchy Topping
  • Serve with Your Favorite Gravy on The Side for More Flavor
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Blue Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Half-And-Half
  • Heavy Cream
  • Margarine

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite ingredient from this list to add to your mashed potatoes.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What to Add to Mashed Potatoes for Flavor, what to put in mashed potatoes for flavor