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Mashed Potatoes with Red Skin

These Mashed Potatoes with red skin are such an incredibly delicious variation of the classic recipe.

Loaded with butter, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, this amazing side dish pairs perfectly with almost anything. The best part is that there’s no need to peel potatoes!

Mashed potatoes with red skin in a blue bowl with melted butter on top.
Loaded with cheese, garlic and butter!

This creamy mashed potatoes with red skin recipe is one of the best sides, mainly because it’s so exceptionally delicious. But also because you don’t have to peel potatoes which eliminates one of the usual steps! If you want mashed potatoes that aren’t gluey, lumpy or bland, this is the recipe for you!

As a child, my mother would make incredible garlic mashed potatoes with loads of garlic and parsley. My young tastebuds wouldn’t accept the flavor bomb so she always made two versions – an adult version and a children’s version. Now, I can’t get enough flavor and these red skin mashed potatoes are my favorite side!

Lots of warm garlicky butter mixed through the mashed potatoes is the key to this recipe. Followed that by whole milk, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and fresh parsley and you’ll have your family begging for more.

Red skin mashed potatoes are what we like to serve with butterflied roast chicken and my Italian chicken cutlets. In fact, these creamy mashed potatoes go with almost anything you can think of. To tell the truth, I’m perfectly happy to have a bowlful to myself topped with extra butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese! You might be too!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.


Ingredients for this mashed potatoes recipe.
  • Red skin potatoes – the variety that works well in this recipe is Red Pontiac. These red skin potatoes are great for mashing, boiling, roasting and salads. Red skin potatoes are better for you because there are more nutrients in the colorful skin. Also the potato skin is thin on Pontiac potatoes, so they work perfectly for this skin on recipe. Avoid waxy red skin potatoes which will turn gluey.
  • Salted butter – use unsalted if you prefer but you may need to add extra seasoning. Be sure to taste the red skin mashed potatoes to check.
  • Garlic – fresh garlic has the best flavor. Don’t use powdered or granulated in this recipe.
  • Milk – this isn’t a low calorie side dish so go for whole milk. Avoid low fat or no fat because we need the extra fat to add creaminess to the mash potatoes. 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – or Parmesan cheese should be easily available at most supermarkets and delicatessens. 
  • Fresh ground black pepper – I like the taste and look of black pepper in these red skin mashed potatoes but if you prefer use ground white pepper. 
  • Parsley – I grow Italian parsley so always use that in my recipes but use whichever type you have or can buy.

See recipe card for quantities.


Four step process on how to make this red skin mashed potatoes recipe.
  1. Wash and chop potatoes then place in a large pot and cover with cold water
  2. In the meantime, place the butter and garlic over medium low heat to melt and the garlic to cook a little.
  3. Drain the potatoes when cooked, mash and add garlic butter. 
  4. Stir mashed potatoes over low heat adding half of the milk and all the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. If needed add more milk

Take the pot off the heat. Stir in the parsley and pepper. Taste and add salt if needed.

Serve immediately topped with extra butter.

Hint: Use an old fashioned potato masher or ricer to mash the cooked potatoes and don’t be too vigorous when combining the ingredients. Food processors or handheld blenders shouldn’t be used because it’s easy to overwork the potatoes. 


  • Milk – you can use heavy cream, half and half, sour cream or yoghurt instead of milk.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – if you don’t have Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, use Pecorino Romano cheese or your favorite grated cheese.
  • Parsley – substitute dill, chives or mint instead of parsley.


  • Loaded – add fried, crumbled bacon, a good handful of grated sharp cheddar and two or three spoonfuls of cream cheese for rich, garlic mashed potatoes.
  • Kid friendly – leave out the garlic and use mild cheddar instead of Parmigiano Reggiano to make it more appealing to children.


Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a blue bowl with butter melting on top.

Leftover mashed potatoes with red skin keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat until heated through. Be sure to stir well so that the heat is evenly distributed.

Red skin mashed potatoes can also be reheated in the slow cooker which is convenient when you are busy. Simple place the mashed potatoes into the liner of the slow cooked and heat on low for one or two hours until heated through.

Mashed potatoes with red skin freeze well because of the large amount of butter. Simple pop into a freezer safe container or zip lock bag and freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the fridge for 12-24 hours then reheat as above.

Top tips

To make mashed potatoes with red skin perfectly begin by cutting the unpeeled potatoes into chunks no smaller than 1 ½ inches (just under 4cm). 

Start the potatoes in cold water so that they cook through completely. Cook until really tender but not waterlogged. Potatoes can also be cooked in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. They will still take around 15 minutes but there is less chance of them being waterlogged as you can less water.

When cooked, drain the potatoes well then return to the pot and place over low heat to allow any excess moisture to evaporate.

Add warm butter and milk to the mashed potatoes. Cold ingredients bring down the temperature and are harder to absorb which means there’s a risk of overworking. Follow the recipe and stir in the butter before the milk. The high water content in milk doesn’t play well with the starch in the potatoes.


What are red skinned potatoes good for?

Red skinned potatoes are good for mashing, boiling, roasting and salads but not frying. For this recipe, choose a variety that’s not waxy. Check the packaging which will usually tell you what that particular variety is good for.

Should you peel red skinned potatoes?

You can peel them however the skin is very thin and adds just the right texture and color to these red skin mashed potatoes. Don’t forget that many of the nutrients are in the peel of the potato so include it in your recipes

Should you wash red potatoes before cooking?

Absolutely! You should wash all potatoes before cooking even if they are prewashed like these red skin potatoes. Unwashed potatoes will need a good scrub to get the dirt off but washed potatoes will just need a rinse and a visual inspection before cooking.

Should you peel potatoes for mash

Red skin potatoes don’t need to be peeled for mash because the skin is thin and adds a great texture and color. Plus so many nutrients are contained in the skin so you don’t want to throw them away. Don’t waste the peel on thick skin potatoes. Make my potato skin chips for a tasty snack!

Serving Suggestions

Close up view of mashed potatoes in a blue bowl.

This is a great side dish for anything from a midweek meal to holiday dinners which everyone will love. Serve these red skin mashed potatoes with chicken limone or baked italian chicken thighs. And create complete meal by adding extra vegetables like Italian fried peppers and roasted brussels sprouts and carrots.

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Mashed potatoes with red skin in a blue bowl with melted butter on top.

Mashed Potatoes with Red Skin Recipe

These Mashed Potatoes are loaded with butter, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and pairs perfectly with almost anything. The best part is that there’s no need to peel potatoes!
5 from 70 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings:4 people
Author: Marcellina


  • Old fashioned potato masher or ricer


  • 2 pounds potatoes 1 kilogram
  • 1 tablespoon salt more if needed
  • 4 oz salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • cup milk
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley


  • Wash and cut potatoes into chunks approximately 1 ½ inches (just under 4cm).
  • Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and add a tablespoon of salt.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.
  • In the meantime, finely mince or crush the garlic and place it in a small pan with the butter over medium low heat.
  • Allow the butter to melt and minced garlic to cook a little. When it is fragrant, it’s ready. Set aside.
  • Heat the milk in another small saucepan or in the microwave. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are ready, drain well and return to the saucepan. Place the pot over low heat for a minute or two to evaporate any excess moisture shaking it every now and then.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and mash the potatoes very well using a masher.
  • Add the warm garlic butter. Combine well.
  • Add half of the hot milk and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, stirring well to combine. Add more milk until the mashed potatoes reach your desired consistency.
  • Stir in the parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Serve mashed potatoes with red skin while hot.


Tips for Success
  • Start the potatoes in cold water so that they cook through completely. 
  • After draining return potatoes to the pot and place over low heat to evaporate excess moisture.
  • Warm butter and milk before adding to potatoes.
Scroll up to read more information for the best creamy mashed potatoes with red skin!
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Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 1105mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1024IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Such a delicious variation of mashed potatoes! My family really loved the addition of that warm garlic butter!