Cook on a Whim: Uncle Rick’s Mashed Potatoes

These potatoes are heavenly and, yes, they really are the best. Below is my uncle’s not-so-secret-anymore recipe for one of my favorite things on the Thanksgiving table.

I’ve been eating them my whole life and I look forward to them every year. I was actually surprised that my uncle shared the recipe with me because they are that good — like, secret-recipe good, unbelievably creamy and more flavorful and savory than any mashed potato I’ve ever tasted.

One of his not-secret-anymore flavor weapons is a whole head of roasted garlic. Another: a bundle of sage, rosemary and thyme. And the most secret ingredient that I never, ever would have guessed: a cup of French onion dip.

You will never make mashed potatoes any other way. It adds a tangy, salty, savoriness that you just can’t get enough of. Make these and you’ll see why I crave them all year long. I jazzed these up for photos with some sage browned butter because I just can’t stop making it and using it in everything lately. I’m thinking up a stuffing recipe I can work some of it into as well.


Roasted garlic. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

Uncle Rick’s Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy E.W. Parris


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes



10 medium potatoes (washed, peeled, cubed)

1 whole head of garlic

1 cup French onion dip

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 stick softened butter




2 tablespoons salt



Slice the top from the whole garlic with a sharp serrated knife. Brush the exposed garlic with olive oil, wrap loosely in foil and bake in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes.

In a large pot, just cover the cubed potatoes with water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of salt and a bouquet garni of sage, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil (about 15 minutes). Reduce to a low simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 5 to 10 minutes).

In a large bowl, combine the butter and French onion dip. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the large bowl and mash the softened cloves into the mixture with a fork. Stir to combine.

Drain the potatoes and add to the bowl. Mash the potatoes with a hand mixer, adding enough half-and-half to achieve the desired consistency. Taste. Season as required. Serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.


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