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Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping

These Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping are the perfect combo of creamy garlic infused potatoes with the best crispy crunch on top.

Not sure if your house is like ours, but during Thanksgiving at our house, mashed potatoes are always the kids’ favorite (well, besides the Lion House Rolls).

Last Christmas I first made these Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping – I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit. They had some great ideas (simmering the butter and milk with garlic and thyme before adding to the potatoes, delicious crispies on top), but some of the recipe details were really complicated. So many pans, roasting, cooking breadcrumbs down, food processors, and really just a lot of tools.

I wanted to take some of the same techniques that infused flavor into the potatoes, but make a couple things simpler. I boiled the mashed potatoes rather than roasting them (roasting does add flavor, but after making it both ways, it’s not enough of a difference in my opinion, to justify the time – it takes over an hour – and that’s valuable oven space during the holidays ;), I subbed panko breadcrumbs for their homemade breadcrumbs, and removed some of the extra flavor to keep it rich but subtle enough for kids.

My favorite part is the combination of textures – you still get the fluffy potatoes on the bottom, and on the top you get tons of crispy and crunchy flavor.

These Mashed Potatoes are great on their own or as a side for Thanksgiving. They would also be the perfect dish to bring to a get together.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping

These Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping are the perfect combo of creamy garlic infused potatoes with the best crispy crunch on top.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.


Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted (2 sticks)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped in half)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 teaspoons salt (+ more as needed to taste)
  • extra salt for the boiling water

Crispy Topping

  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Tim's Cascade Parmesan + Garlic chips – smashed into small crumbs (or other kettle cooked savory garlic seasoned chips) (if you can't find parmesan garlic chips, simply use plain kettle chips and add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of dry parmesan to the crumb mixture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sprigs thyme, diced finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Mashed Potatoes

  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Slowly add the diced and peeled potatoes into the water. Cook until potatoes are soft when a fork is inserted. Strain well.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add butter, milk, garlic cloves, thyme, and pepper (wait to add the salt for when you're mashing them so you can easily regulate the salt level).
    Bring the pan to a simmer on medium-low heat, being careful to not scald the milk. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Place strained potatoes into a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (if you don't have a stand mixer, use a hand held mixer with the sturdiest beaters it has).
  • Strain milk/butter mixture to remove all thyme and garlic pieces.
  • Pour strained milk/butter mixture over potatoes and use mixer to whip until fluffy (this will take several minutes).
    Add in salt, starting with 3 teaspoons and continue adding until you reach desired flavor. (For 5 lbs. of potatoes I usually use 4 teaspoons of salt).
    Beat salt in until well mixed.
    Scoop into serving dish once you reach desired flavor. Set aside and cover until your crispy topping is made. (You can also keep it warm in the oven, covered with tinfoil while you make the crispy topping.)

Crispy Topping

  • In a sauté pan, add butter and heat over medium-high heat until butter is sizzling. Once sizzling, add in panko bread crumbs and smashed potato chips.
    Continue mixing until slightly browned. Then add salt, pepper, and diced thyme.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle on top of mashed potatoes in serving dish.
    *Keep warm by covering with tinfoil and keeping in the oven until ready to serve.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

I hope you love this recipe! It’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal. And tag me me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram if you get a chance to make these mashed potatoes. Happy Holiday Season!

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