Take your mashed potato game to a whole new level with this easy smoked gouda mashed potatoes recipe! The perfect side dish for a casual dinner or a holiday feast. Vegetarian.
There’s only one thing better than creamy, buttery mashed potatoes: creamy, buttery mashed potatoes with CHEESE.
These easy mashed potatoes are made from scratch with red potatoes, smoked gouda cheese, and plenty of butter. This is one of our favorite side dishes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a regular Tuesday night!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Red potatoes. We love using red potatoes here for a pop of color, but you can also use Yukon gold potatoes. (Wondering about the best potatoes to use for mashed potatoes? See a detailed breakdown in our Mashed Potatoes 101 post!)
- Unsalted Butter. Always opt for unsalted butter: It gives you more control over the seasoning in a recipe!
- Half and half. Half and half is our favorite liquid to use in homemade mashed potatoes: It gives you a fantastic, rich, buttery texture without being too heavy.
- Smoked gouda cheese is the star of the show here. Be sure to shred it yourself: Store-bought shredded cheese is often coated with preservatives that keep it from melting smoothly.
- SALT AND PEPPER (they’re in ALL CAPS so that YOU DON’T SKIP THEM, friends) Salt is so important here: be sure to taste as you go and add seasoning as necessary!
How to make these mashed potatoes
- Cut potatoes into evenly sized pieces and cook in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water until they’re tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
- Return the empty pot to the stove; stir the butter and half and half together over low heat.
- Return potatoes to pot and mash lightly with a potato masher.
- Stir in shredded smoked gouda, salt and fresh ground pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives, serve, and enjoy!
Three tips for perfect mashed potatoes
These are a few of our favorite tips from months of in-depth testing: be sure to check out our Best Mashed Potatoes 101 post for the full breakdown and lots of side-by-side photos!
- Cut potatoes into evenly-sized pieces. Cut the potatoes into similarly-sized pieces to help them cook evenly. We like to aim for roughly 2.5-inch pieces: smaller potatoes can just be cut in half, while larger potatoes can be cut into quarters. Evenly cooked potatoes make for a smoother, more uniform final dish.
- Use a hand masher or potato ricer for best results. With any mashed potato recipe, you want to work the potatoes as little as possible: as you stir or mash, the potatoes release starch, which can make them sticky or gummy. A light pass with a hand masher or a potato ricer will limit this disturbance – which is extra important here, because we’ll work them a bit more than usual when we stir in the cheese.
- Use the good butter. I personally taste the biggest difference in mashed potatoes when I use high-quality butter. My go-to is this Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, and I also love this Unsalted Cultured Butter from Vermont Creamery. Both are available at most supermarkets and have a higher butterfat content than typical American butters, making them ultra-rich and flavorful.
Swaps and Substitutions
These cheesy mashed potatoes are very forgiving – mix them up with whatever you have on hand! Some of our favorite riffs:
- Amp up the flavor by stirring in roasted garlic, fresh herbs, or caramelized onions.
- Add extra toppings for a loaded mashed potato feel! We love topping these potatoes with crispy bacon, sour cream, green onions, or more cheese.
- Mix up the cheeses. Smoked gouda is excellent in this recipe, but you can use other cheeses if you like! Parmesan, goat cheese, mascarpone, gruyere, cheddar, and cream cheese are all good here.
- Lighten this recipe up a bit by swapping peeled sweet potatoes for up to 1 pound of the potatoes in this recipe. You can also use milk or our Magic Cauliflower Cream in place of the half and half (à la our Cauliflower mashed potatoes!)
A few FAQs
Yes! Mashed potatoes freeze very well. Let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for 3-6 months.
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat potatoes in a saucepan over low heat (add a splash of half and half or butter to loosen them back up if needed!)
We love reheating mashed potatoes on the stovetop, but you can also mix it up a bit by turning them into mashed potato gnocchi!
Regular readers might remember that Yukon Gold potatoes are typically our favorites for mashed potato recipes. But in this recipe, we’re using red potatoes because they’re less starchy than other varieties. Stirring or mashing potatoes releases starch, and overworking them can result in gummy potatoes. Because we’re mashing these potatoes AND stirring them to incorporate the cheese, we wanted to reduce the amount of starch as much as possible. So we opted for red potatoes with a bit less starch to keep this recipe as light and fluffy as possible!
Video: How to make smoked gouda mashed potatoes
These easy smoked gouda mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for your holiday table!
- 2 ½ pounds red potatoes (about 5 large red potatoes)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
- salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Optional garnishes: butter, chopped parsley, and chopped chives
- Cut potatoes into evenly sized pieces and place them in a large pot.
- Cover potatoes with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook 10-15 more minutes until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain potatoes and set them aside.
- Return the empty pot to the stove over low heat. Add butter and half-and-half and cook until butter has melted and mixture has reached a low simmer, then turn off the heat.
- Return cooked potatoes to pot and mash lightly with a potato masher. Mash through any large lumps, but try to handle the potatoes as little as possible so they don’t get gummy.
- Add shredded smoked gouda cheese, salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir to fold the cheese into the potatoes, then let it sit for a minute or two to let the cheese melt. Stir again to mix everything thoroughly.
- Garnish with additional butter and fresh chopped parsley or chives (optional) and serve immediately.
Additions and Substitutions. Use Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes in place of red potatoes. Swap the smoked gouda cheese for cheddar, gruyere, parmesan, or mascarpone. Add fresh herbs, roasted garlic, or caramelized onions for extra flavor. Use milk or heavy cream in place of the half and half if you like.
For extra-decadent mashed potatoes, spread finished mashed potatoes out in a baking dish and top with a thin layer (2-3 Tablespoons total) of half-and-half, then bake at 375° F for 20-25 minutes until the half-and-half has formed a light brown crust.
This recipe makes a fairly thick, fluffy mashed potato. If you prefer thinner or runnier mashed potatoes, add another splash of butter or half and half to bring them to your desired consistency.
Keywords: thanksgiving, sides, holiday
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!