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Yes, it’s true. I’m launching my new blog with a side dish. But it’s not just any side dish. It’s THE side dish. After you eat these Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes, you will never want your holiday dinner table to be without them. Ever. Again. This recipe is inspired by a non-Paleo recipe I used to make from the WeightWatchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook, but it doesn’t taste like food you would expect to eat on a low-fat diet. It doesn’t taste low-fat; in fact, it tastes sinful, just like holiday food should taste.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes vs. Traditional Methods
The original roasted garlic mashed potatoes recipe calls for roasting the garlic in the oven for an hour and then boiling the potatoes in a pot, which is easy enough, but I felt I could make the process easier and faster by developing a recipe for the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot version takes less than 30 minutes – about a third of the time of the original recipe.
Paleo, Whole30 & Low FODMAP Option
Converting the original recipe to a Paleo / Whole30 recipe helps me digest it a lot easier, and creating a low FODMAP option makes it easier still. While not quite the same as the version with the actual garlic, the low FODMAP “garlic” mashed potatoes, using garlic-infused olive oil instead of real garlic, are still pretty delicious.
Why garlic mashed potatoes?
You may be shocked to find out that this recipe calls for a full head of garlic, so as long as you aren’t staffing a kissing booth or planning any major make-out sessions for after dinner, you should be golden. You do cut off the top third of the garlic, so technically you’re not using the entire thing, but it’s still quite a bit of garlic. The garlic is instrumental in making these mashed potatoes so wonderfully-flavourful – I would not recommend skimping on it. So flavourful, in fact, that I have never felt the need to make gravy to go with these mashed potatoes; however, I feel that gravy might make them taste even more amazing, if that’s even possible.
This Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes recipe also works well as a starch component for dishes that are traditionally eaten with rice. I’ve even served it under butter chicken with success.
Which spuds to use?
I’ve used a few different types of white potatoes while making this dish – russet, red, Yukon Gold – but I am partial to the flavour of red potatoes. I prefer to leave the skins on the potatoes due to the flavour and nutrients they offer, and it’s easier! Feel free to peel them though if that is your preference.
The equipment you will need to make this dish include:
Potato masher or immersion blender (I use this one)
The prep for this recipe takes about 5 minutes before the cooking cycle starts and another 5 minutes after the cooking cycle completes. Make sure you are using a sharp knife to chop the top off the garlic. I have about a 50% success rate in the garlic holding together; therefore, I place the garlic with the cut side up in a tin foil “bowl” regardless of what happens. When I use red potatoes for this recipe, I typically just quarter them so that each piece is about 1.5 inches wide/deep. If you’re using other types of white potatoes, you will probably want to make them about that size.
After pouring 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot, place the trivet in the pot. Then, put the potato pieces on top of the trivet in a nest or bowl-like shape to hold the garlic. Put the garlic in the potato “nest” and drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil on top. The olive oil adds to the garlic’s flavour and makes it easier to squeeze the cloves out of their skin after they’re cooked.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to “Sealing.” After pressing the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button, set the timer for 10 minutes. Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure and remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
Using tongs, put the garlic “bowl” on a plate to cool. It should only take a few minutes to be cool enough to handle. I typically place the potatoes in a large bowl by using hot pads and the trivet to move them, but I highly recommend using a large spoon and scooping them into the bowl as there is risk of the potatoes falling into the hot water and splashing on you, which is not fun. Pour the water out of the pot and dry it out well with paper towels, which is also important for safety as any water left in the Instant Pot can cause the ghee (or cooking fat of any kind) to violently splatter. It doesn’t have to be completely cleaned, just dry.
Once the inner pot is dry, place it back in the Instant Pot. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, hit “Saute” on the Instant Pot and put in the almond milk, ghee, salt and pepper. Once the ghee has melted, squeeze the garlic out of its skin into the pot. Gently whisk the mixture until the garlic has broken apart somewhat and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Turn off the Instant Pot and pour the mixture into the potato bowl. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to blend until your desired consistency. I typically just mash mine as I don’t care for the texture of pureed potatoes unless I’m wanting to eat a potato puree, but some people like the consistency that’s created from blending the potatoes.
Taste the mashed potatoes and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Add more ghee or almond milk if you think they require it. Optionally, garnish with fresh chopped chives, ghee and/or freshly ground black pepper and enjoy with your favourite holiday dishes and desserts.
Low FODMAP “Garlic” Mashed Potatoes
I originally wrote this recipe when I thought I could still withstand garlic and onion. I eventually discovered I do much better without eating both, so I developed a low FODMAP option for this recipe so I could still make my Instant Pot “garlic” mashed potatoes and easily digest them, too. To make the low FODMAP version, you will leave out the head of garlic and instead use garlic-infused olive oil. As the flavour of these potatoes is somewhat different than the original version, I increased the salt and pepper levels a bit as I thought they were lacking, but adjust them to your own personal taste.
These quick and easy Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes are sure to be a hit at your holiday party or everyday dinner table with their incredible flavour – no gravy necessary! They’re Paleo, Whole30, dairy-free and gluten-free and have a tested low FODMAP option.
1 cup cold water
3 lbs white potatoes (Russet, Red, Yukon Gold), chopped into large pieces, peeled or unpeeled
1 head garlic, top third sliced off
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup ghee
1½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
Fresh chopped chives for garnish (optional)
Pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside. Put potato pieces on trivet in a nest-like shape.
Trying to keep the full head in-tact, horizontally slice the top third of the garlic off with a sharp knife.* Make a small bowl out of tin foil large enough to fit the garlic—place the garlic inside so that just the top is exposed. Place the garlic in the middle of the nest of potatoes you’ve created in the Instant Pot (view image above). Drizzle olive oil on the garlic, covering the entire top.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to “Sealing.” Press the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button and set the timer for 10 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, hit the “Cancel” button, quick release the pressure and remove lid. Using tongs, carefully take out garlic and place on a plate to cool. Either using a spoon or hot pads and the trivet (using great care to avoid hot, falling potatoes), transfer potatoes to a large bowl and set aside.
Pour the water out of the inner pot and wipe dry with a paper towel.** Put the inner pot back into the Instant Pot. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, hit the “Sauté” button and put in the almond milk, ghee, salt and pepper. Once the ghee has melted, squeeze the garlic out of its skin into the ghee. Gently whisk until garlic has somewhat broken apart and seasonings and ghee are thoroughly combined.
Hit the “Cancel” button. Using hot pads to maneuver the inner pot, pour ghee mixture into the bowl with the potatoes. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or blend until desired consistency has been reached. Taste the potatoes and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Optionally, garnish with chives, extra ghee and/or freshly-ground black pepper and serve.
Low FODMAP option: Omit head of garlic and olive oil from the recipe above. Skip step 4 and instead add 3 tbsp ghee, 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil, 1 cup almond milk, 2 tsp salt (or to taste), ¾ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste) to the large bowl with the potatoes prior to mashing.
*If the head of garlic falls apart, don’t panic – just place any rouge cloves upright (cut side up) in the tinfoil bowl with the rest of the head.
**This is an important safety step – if there is still water in the Instant Pot when you warm up the ghee (or any cooking fat, for that matter), it may cause the ghee to significantly splatter, leading to burns.
Keywords: mashed potatoes, instant pot, side dishes, holiday side dishes, holiday recipes, paleo, whole30, low FODMAP, dairy-free, gluten-free