Easy garlic chipotle mashed potatoes with cheddar make a smoky and boldly flavored side dish to liven up any dinner. A few simple ingredients transform your favorite mashed potatoes recipe into something special!
A few weeks ago we cancelled our cable package. It was getting to the point of embodying Springsteen’s 57 Channels (and Nothin’ On), except let’s be real, now it was closer to 570 channels than 57. We have a digital package of some sort that Brian uses to watch international soccer games that includes about 20 channels, so I can still watch RHO-NY/NJ/OC/BH/D and old cheesy true crime shows while I work out. Turns out that’s all I was using cable for anyway. 😁
But until we get a plug-in device that brings that to our main TV, our nightly entertainment has been coming from Amazon/Netflix and YouTube channels. Specifically food-centered YouTube channels like Munchies. Because what’s better than watching a ten-minute clip of someone making the most decadent looking lasagna before bed and having sweet lasagna dreams? Not much.
One of the side effects of all of this food-TV watching is having comfort food cravings like crazy. Since I was afraid of what would happen to my portion control willpower if I made a huge pan of lasagna for just the two of us, I stuck with something less intense but just as satisfying – mashed potatoes.
Specifically these smoky garlic chipotle mashed potatoes with cheddar. A few extra ingredients take a classic side dish like mashed potatoes to the next level with this cheesy and spiced up twist.
Ground chipotle chile pepper has snuck up there as one of my favorite spices to cook with. It brings a bunch of smoky flavor with a mild zip. I used it in this baby kale salad with chipotle garlic vinaigrette and tortilla strips and it’s been a staple in all kinds of southwestern or Mexican-inspired dishes. I’ve mixed it into sour cream for an easy flavored taco topping and also in simmering ground beef or turkey along with cumin, standard chili powder, etc. for an extra depth of flavor.
The best part is if you don’t already have chipotle chile pepper in your spice cabinet, it should be fairly easy to find (speaking as someone living in the U.S.). My large chain grocery store produces it from their store brand spice line for just a few dollars. It brings a very reasonable spice level to dishes (unlike cayenne pepper, which can get HOT).
- This recipe uses ground chipotle chile pepper which is a dry spice. Googling chipotle peppers brings up some canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce results, which are great in their own right but not needed for these chipotle cheddar mashed potatoes.
- Use your preferred variety of cheddar, however I suggest one on the sharper side for extra flavor.
- Everyone has their favorite way of making mashed potatoes, from more or less butter/sour cream to milk vs. cream or half-and-half, etc. The recipe as written below is my preferred way, however make some tweaks to the base mashed potatoes recipe as you see fit.
Garlic Chipotle Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar
- 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, your preferred variety
- Peel and cube potatoes and add them to a pot of salted boiling water. Boil for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and easily 'mashable' with a fork.
- Drain water and add the potatoes back to the pot. Mash potatoes.
- Add butter, milk, sour cream, and garlic and stir until the butter melts and everything is combined.
- Add chipotle chile pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add shredded cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Take a taste and add additional seasonings or cheese to your liking.