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Heavy cream is whipped then folded into potatoes made perfect upon passing through a ricer, then baked with Parmesan cheese until golden. This Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe with A Parmesan Crust beats all other mashers by a long shot, trust me!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Great mashed potatoes begin with Yukon Gold potatoes, the BEST potatoes for mashing. Texture matters and is different for everybody. If you have a personal preference as to lumpy or smooth or light and airy, know what tools you need to achieve that texture. Begin ‘building’ your potatoes by adding a fat first. In this recipe, it’s butter and by adding it at the beginning, you are ensuring the texture of the potatoes are maintained before adding liquids. Season the fat with good old Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. TASTE! If it still needs seasoning, season some more before adding in liquids such as milk or cream. And as for those liquids, don’t feel like you need to add them all at once. Adding a little at a time allows the potatoes to soak up all that creamy goodness and avoids gummy or watery potatoes.
Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe with A Parmesan Crust
I am going to share with you my secret to ultra-creamy, almost souffle-like mashed potatoes without using sour cream, eggs, or even cream cheese. This is a dish I make every Christmas Eve to accompany a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin roast.
This is a 5-ingredient recipe not counting the addition of salt and pepper which is entirely up to you. The method of assembly is what drives you to the end result, a masterpiece of mashed Yukon Golds flavored dairy rich with ice cold whole milk, butter, and heavy cream.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, REAL Parmesan – nothing from some big old can, is sprinkled generously over the top and baked before being broiled so that a gorgeous golden crust forms. With each serving I pile onto my eaters’ plates, I try my best to include a little bit of that golden cheesy crust.
Put away your instant pot, leave the slow cooker in the cabinet, and trade in your potato masher for a ricer. The BEST potatoes that are this southern mashed potatoes recipe will require a pot for boiling and a ricer for passing through.
Do You Have What Is Needed to Whip Up This Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe? Check the List!
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- whole milk
- unsalted butter
- heavy cream
- a block of Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
Can I Use Russet Potatoes in Lieu of Yukon Golds?
I love Yukons for this dish because of their buttery mild flavor and golden appearance. Because Yukons are somewhere in the middle when it comes to both starch content and moisture, they make THE BEST MASHED POTATOES.
Russets are high in starch while at the same time low in moisture. Russets will absolutely work in this method, but without the buttery flavor and the soft texture despite the use of the ricer.
If you have russets on hand, do not discount them for this recipe. It is more important to use a ricer (or food mill) for the texturizing versus a hand mixer, so potato varieties aside, make certain you have the correct equipment for the job.
What is A Ricer?
A ricer is a non-electric handheld device that forces cooked potato pieces through small holes resulting in rice-like pieces and an ultra-fluffy texture. Despite potatoes that have been riced not technically falling into the mashed category, a ricer makes for the best mashed potatoes on the planet.
To get the same light and airy texture that a ricer produced, you could also use a food mill which is a hand crank version of the same, or a colander and the back of a large wooden spoon. All of these ‘tools’ are forcing pieces of cooked potatoes through small holes resulting in this unique texture.
The first time I tasted a fabulous mashed potato, I was having a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration dinner at my friend Maureen’s home. I knew the potatoes were different the moment I ate them, so I asked.
When Maureen told me the only thing she does differently when making potatoes is to pass them through a ricer, I knew I needed to purchase a one immediately. And yes, the difference in texture as compared with an electric mixer IS THAT DISCERNABLE.
Since then, Maureen has actually gifted me a ricer and with it, I assemble this great recipe for creamy southern mashed potatoes. Every forkful is honestly the ultimate comfort food and I always look to this recipe when I am cooking for special occasions.
Can I Use a Hand Masher or Hand-Held Electric Mixer Instead?
The whole point of these potatoes is their texture. Using any tool or appliance OTHER THAN a ricer, a food mill, or a colander with a spoon will result in a different outcome to the recipe.
The use of a ricer will achieve lump free potatoes. A ricer also results in air being incorporated into the textured potatoes making them ultimately light with a lovely fluffiness to them.
Are There Substitutions for Any of the Dairy?
This is a dairy-rich recipe, so no…not really. The fats in this method are instrumental in there being so much flavor in these creamy mashed potatoes, not to mention acting like a glue to bind the starch and proteins.
Since I already predict being asked, I will answer ‘NO’ now to the substituting of specified ingredients with evaporated milk, chicken stock / chicken broth, mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, cream cheese, or sour cream. Also, ‘NO’ to the addition of garlic powder, dried onion, chives, Ranch salad dressing or seasoning, any sort of fresh herbs, or onion powder.
Why not? Because this is a basic recipe, a very basic method more so, for a southern style mashed potato with plenty of butter and a spectacular souffle-like attribute achieved by first whipping and then gently folding in the cream.
How to Make This Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe?
To create this masterful and perfect side dish, you will need a large pot of water, a rubber spatula, an electric mixer or a stand mixer for whipping the cream, a medium-size Dutch oven, a ricer or food mill, and a microplane or cheese grater.
Begin by buttering a Dutch oven, bottom and sides, with a tablespoon or so of very soft unsalted butter. Set the Dutch oven aside and preheat your oven to 400°F.
Prep the Potatoes
Into that large pot of water, add PEELED and chunked potatoes. I am sure to add cold water to my pot, some Kosher salt (if you are using it), then the potatoes, and finally additional cold water to cover by 1-inch.
Note: if your potatoes are huge, chop them into 6 or even 8 pieces. You want large 2-inch chunks of potato. Anything large will not cook through and anything smaller runs the risk of becoming water-logged.
Boil the potatoes over medium-high heat until they are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes but the cooking time will vary for everyone. Drain the potatoes and quickly return them to the pot.
Place the pot back on the burner and turn the heat to high. Shake the pot for 1 minute over the high heat to dry the potatoes out.
Pass the potato pieces through a ricer and into a large mixing bowl. Use the tines of a fork to incorporate the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter as well as some whole milk. It’s at this point where I personally season with Kosher salt and black pepper.
Whip the Heavy Cream and Fold into the Potatoes
I use my stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer to whip heavy cream to soft peaks. Again, using the tines of a fork, I incorporate 1/3 of the whipped cream into the potatoes.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining whipped cream VERY GENTLY. You want to keep the loftiness of the whipped cream, so be gentle while folding.
Bake the Potatoes
Scrape the potato mixture into the butter Dutch oven and dot the surface with another tablespoon of cold butter cut into 6 small-ish pieces. Use a microplane or cheese grater to grate a block of fresh Parmesan to where you have, more or less, about a half cup.
Sprinkle that Parmesan all over the top of the potatoes and pop into the oven, no lid, for 25 minutes. At the very end of the bake, turn on your ovens broiler element and broil the potatoes for 2 minutes or until the Parmesan cheese begins to get nicely browned.
Remove the Dutch oven from your oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. As you are dishing up, ensure each person gets a little bit of that golden Parmesan crust with their potatoes.
Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe with A Parmesan Crust
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup whole milk very cold
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 7 tablespoons softened and divided; 1 tablespoon cut into 6 small pieces and kept cold
- black pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated from a block, NOT imitation cheese from a can
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a tablespoon of softened butter along with a pastry brush to butter the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven. Set aside.
- Add cold water and a heavy pinch of Kosher salt to a large stock pot. To the salted water, add the peeled and chunked potatoes. Add enough additional cold water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until fork tender. Drain potatoes and add back into stock pot. Place back atop hot burner and shake to intentionally dry the potatoes for 1 minute.
- Pass the potato pieces through a ricer or food mill and into a large mixing bowl. Use the tines of a fork to incorporate 6 tablespoons of the unsalted butter as well as the whole milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Use the fork tines to incorporate 1/3 of the whipped cream into the potatoes. Next, use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining whipped cream VERY GENTLY. You want to keep the loftiness of the whipped cream, so be gentle while folding.
- Scrape the potato mixture into the buttered Dutch oven and dot the surface with another tablespoon of butter cut into 6 small pieces. Use a microplane or cheese grater to grate a block of fresh Parmesan to where you have 1/2 cup and sprinkle that over the potatoes.
- Place into the fully preheated oven, NO LID, for 25 minutes. At the end of the 25 minutes, turn on the broil element and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or until a rich and golden-brown crust develops on the surface of the potatoes.
- Remove the Dutch oven from your oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. As you serve, ensure each person gets a little bit of Parmesan crust with their potatoes.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast
- Whipped Horseradish Cream
- Creamed Pearl Onions Recipe
- Bread Pudding with Warm Cinnamon Syrup