These Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes are creamy and flavorful. Ready in just 30 minutes they are a delicious side dish that you can make completely in the Instant Pot. Red potatoes are steamed with garlic to make these hearty pressure cooker mashed potatoes.
These Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes what I consider perfect everyday potatoes. They are quick to make and aren’t fancy. There is no peeling potatoes or dirtying multiple dishes. They are ready in about 30 minutes with minimal effort but maximum taste thanks to the addition of garlic.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
In fact these Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes are now one of my favorite side dishes. This is remarkable because before I learned how to make mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker I hated making them and only made mashed potatoes twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Even though my husband, daughter and son love mashed potatoes, I refused to make them. Why did I hate making them?
- I detest peeling potatoes. I blame this one the fact we had mashed potatoes five nights a week when I was a kid, and I got stuck peeling them all the time.
- I never could get the timing right with the rest of dinner. I’d end up with cold mashed potatoes or everything else ready while the potatoes boiled too much.
- My mom always made mashed potatoes in her Kitchen Aid mixer, so that is what I did. And making mashed potatoes in a stand mixer is a bad idea because they get over mixed and gluey. So after all my effort the potatoes didn’t even taste good.
- I’d end up with too many dishes – a sauce pan for boiling, a mixer bowl and a serving bowl.
Why is an Instant Pot Perfect for Mashed Potatoes?
A pressure cooker is amazing for cooking mashed potatoes because it cooks them perfectly every time. There are no more underdone or overdone potatoes.
In addition if you aren’t ready to mash them right away they can sit in the Instant Pot while the pressure slowly releases until you are ready for them. They stay warm and don’t get gummy because they don’t continue cooking. So you can let them sit while you get the rest of dinner ready, and then mash them up in about 2 minutes.
Plus you can mash the potatoes right in the Instant Pot. For this post I put my potatoes in a serving bowl to make the pictures easier to take. But you can bet that if it is just me and my family I am dumping my potatoes right back into the Instant Pot inner pot, mashing them there and putting it on the table.
What about Peeling Potatoes?
So what about my irrational hatred of peeling potatoes? Well I have solved that by making my mashed potatoes with red potatoes and just not peeling them.
This is the perfect solution because red potatoes have thin skins and there is no need to peel them. The skins make the mashed potatoes look prettier!
Now red potatoes aren’t considered ideal for mashed potatoes because they have a bit more starch than other varieties like Yukon gold or russet potatoes. This means the potatoes are not quite as creamy. But there are a few simple things you can do to counteract that so you end up with creamy mashed potatoes.
You could also make this recipe with Yukon gold or russet potatoes and not peel them. There is absolutely no need to peel any potatoes when making mashed potatoes. But other potatoes like russets have thicker skin and it does affect the texture of the final mashed potatoes.
How to Make Sure Red Potatoes Mash Well
These are the things you can do to make sure your red potatoes don’t give you sticky, gluey mashed potatoes. I explain these things in detail in step by step instructions – but here is a quick summary:
- Rinse the potatoes in cold water after cutting them.
- Don’t cook the potatoes in the water, put them in a steamer above the water so they are steamed, not boiled.
- When mashing the potatoes add the butter and mash it in first, then add the milk.
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
The other thing that has taken mashed potatoes from something I make once in a great while to something I make all the time is the addition of garlic.
One day I stuck a clove of garlic in the Instant Pot with the potatoes. I didn’t mince it or do anything else except peel it. The garlic cooks with the potatoes and when you mash them it mashes with the potatoes.
Adding just a bit of garlic makes a huge taste difference. You can add 4-6 cloves if you want a lot of garlic taste, but even just one clove of garlic really deepens and enhances the taste of the potatoes.
How to Make Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1. Prepare the Potatoes & Garlic
Cut the red potatoes into slices of a more or less similar size, about an inch thick. Just slice them up and chop the slices. This helps the potatoes all cook at about the same rate.
Put the potatoes in a steamer basket that fits inside the Instant Pot and rinse them with cold water. Rinsing them after cutting them helps remove extra starch and keeps the mashed potatoes creamy.
Peel between 2 and 6 cloves of garlic and add them to the strainer with the potatoes.
2. Prepare the Instant Pot
Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Put a trivet in the Instant Pot and set the potatoes on it above the water so they steam.
Some people put the potatoes right into the water in the Instant Pot. I think they taste better and are creamier when they cook out of the water. Set the Instant Pot to Manual mode, high pressure, for 8 minutes.
3. Drain the Potatoes
It will take the Instant Pot 10 minutes or so to reach pressure. Once it has finished cooking you can immediately release the pressure manually.
If you aren’t ready to mash them yet they can stay in the pressure cooker for a while until you are ready for them. I have left them for up to 40 minutes and they still taste great.
Once you are ready to mash the potatoes lift the strainer out of the Instant Pot and set them aside briefly. Take the inner pot out of the Instant Pot and drain the water out. Rinse the inner pot out quickly with cold water to make sure the starch from the water doesn’t end up in the potatoes.
4. Mash the Potatoes
Put the cooked potatoes back in the Instant Pot or into a separate serving dish. Add the butter to the potatoes and garlic and start to mash them with a hand potato masher. Once the butter has been mixed in for a minute or two add the milk, salt and pepper.
Mixing the butter into the potatoes before the milk is added is another way to keep the potatoes from becoming sticky. Continue to mash the potatoes until they have reached the consistency you like.
How to Serve Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
My family and I are pretty much purists when it comes to mashed potatoes. We want potatoes and not much else. I generally serve potatoes with butter and pepper.
These potatoes don’t need anything else! They are creamy and delicious with just a little taste of garlic. If we are having a meal that includes gravy, like beef short ribs or lamb shanks then we will add some gravy on top of the potatoes.
But even though we are not big fans of loaded mashed potatoes I know lots of people are. And if you want to make your mashed potatoes more fancy and flavorful you can add bacon, green onions, chives, cheddar cheese, cream cheese or sour cream. The possibilities are endless with these Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes as a base.
Cooking the Potatoes
- 3 pounds red potatoes (5-6 medium sized)
- 2-6 cloves garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mashing the Potatoes
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Wash the red potatoes. There is no need to peel them.
- Slice the potatoes into 1/2 thick slices and chop so the potatoes are in more or less even pieces.
- Put the potatoes in an instant pot strainer and rinse them under cold water.
- Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the strainer with the potatoes.
- Put 1 cup of water plus the salt in the Instant Pot. Add the strainer full of potatoes on top of a trivet over the water. Put the lid on, making sure the pressure valve is closed.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual, high pressure for 8 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot is finished cooking release the pressure manually.
- Remove the strainer with the potatoes and garlic and set aside for a minute.
- Dump the water out of the Instant Pot and rinse it quickly. Return the potatoes to the Instant Pot, dumping them out of the strainer.
- Add the butter and mash with a handheld potato masher for 1-2 minutes. Once the butter is mixed in add the milk, salt and pepper and continue to mash the potatoes until the desired consistency is reached.
Determine how many garlic cloves to use based on how garlicky you want your potatoes to be.
Rinsing the potatoes after cutting them, cooking them above the water and mixing in the butter before the milk are all steps designed to reduce the starch in the potatoes which will make them creamier.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 800mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
Nutrition facts are estimates.