Rustic mashed potatoes are a simple twist on Creamy Mashed Potatoes made with skin-on potatoes lightly mashed together with butter and cream.
They make a hearty side dish to accompany simple entrées like roast chicken, grilled beef, or broiled fish.
Rustic mashed potatoes often include additional ingredients, like this recipe which combines the potatoes with fresh thyme, sage, and shallots sautéed in butter.
These mix-ins add both flavor and texture to the dish and are easily varied to complement different main dishes (see our bacon and onion version below).
Tips for making rustic mashed potatoes
- Use Yukon Gold potatoes: Yukon Golds are the potato of choice for this type of mashed potatoes because they have a natural buttery flavor and thin skins.
- Leave the skin on the potatoes: As long as you’re using a thin-skinned potato like the recommended Yukon Golds, leaving the skin on will add texture (and a little extra nutrition).
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes: Cutting the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes before cooking makes them easier to mash and blend with the other ingredients.
Recipe Variation: Rustic Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Onion
The texture of rustic mashed potatoes makes it easy to mix in added flavors and ingredients to go with just about any dish.
We often make an easy variation on this recipe that includes bacon and onions to serve with roast pork. Here’s how to make it:
- Follow the recipe for preparing the potatoes, but instead of adding sautéed shallots, dice four strips of bacon and fry until crisp.
- Drain the bacon bits on paper towels, leaving some of the fat in the pan. Add a cup of chopped onion and cook until lightly caramelized.
- Add the butter and cream to the onion and once the butter is melted, return the bacon to the pan. Combine with the potatoes and mash.
More classic potato recipes:
Rustic Mashed Potatoes
- 2-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, very finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half, more if needed
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir to dissolve.
- Boil for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
- Drain and return to the heat for about 1 minute to allow all the excess moisture to evaporate.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, then add the thyme and sage.
- Stir in the cream and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer, or until the cream is heated through.
- Add the cream mixture to the drained potatoes, stir to combine, then gently mash with a potato masher, adding a little more cream if needed.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.