Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Classic buttery russet potato mashed potatoes are elevated thanks to the addition of plenty of browned butter and fresh grated parmesan in this Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. They’re perfect for Thanksgiving!

September flew by, then October was over in the blink of an eye, and now we are already almost one third of the way in to November. I wish time would just slow down a little bit because before you know it it will be Thanksgiving!

This year is going to be a little different for us on Thanksgiving because we won’t have any of the kids home with us. I’ve hosted more Thanksgiving Dinners during my adult years than I’ve been a guest at, but we won’t be hosting this year, in fact we won’t even be in Colorado or with family for Thanksgiving.

I have the awesome opportunity to go with Kevin to Alaska to visit some of the soliers under his command for Thanksgiving. I’m so glad we have the opportunity to take part in the awesome tradition of senior leaders serving holiday meals to the troops!

Plus, I’ve never been to Alaska (Kevin has traveled there many times already during the last year). It will be a neat trip that I’m really looking forward to!

I’m sure we will be serving mashed potatoes as part of the meal, because you really can’t have Thanksgiving Dinner without mashed potatoes.

Plain old traditional Mashed Potatoes are awesome. I don’t think there are many people who would turn down a holiday classic like that. They’re always a crowd pleaser, and pretty easy to make.

There’s a reason that Mashed Potatoes are tried and true favorites. Who doesn’t love a fluffy pile of potato goodness with a dollop of softened butter on top? Bonus points if you have some really delicious gravy to pour over top (check out my tips for how to make turkey gravy with no lumps!).

Chances are your family has a way of making mashed potatoes that just isn’t to be messed with. But, maybe this is the year to change things up just a tad with this recipe for Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. They’re so good that your family might be ok with your deviation from the norm.

At first glance at the recipe ingredients, these Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes don’t look a ton different from your basic mashed potato recipe. The two key differences lie in browning the butter, not just melting it, to give it a delicious, rich, and nutty flavor.

You’ll reserve some of the browned butter to drizzle on top of the potatoes because the golden butter looks really pretty over the top.

The second key difference is the addition of some fresh grated parmesan cheese, please don’t use the canned stuff for this, which adds some great flavor paired with the fluffy potatoes and nutty golden brown butter.

One quick tip on the mashing technique – invest in a Potato Ricer. I started using one about 7 years ago and it makes a huge difference.

When you use a Potato Ricer, your potatoes will be fluffier and won’t develop a glue-y texture that over-mashed mashed potatoes can often develop. You’ll be so happy with the results. Plus, it is kind of a cool kitchen gadget to use.

More Mashed Potato Recipes For Thanksgiving

If you’re looking for additional mashed potato inspiration for your Thanksgiving Menu this year, here are a few other favorite recipes. Be sure to check out the whole Thanksgiving Recipes Archive right here if you need help building the rest of your menu.

Blue Cheese Rosemary Mashed Potatoes are your favorite Russet Potato Mashed Potatoes after a surprising and flavorful makeover. With the addition of pureed cannellini beans, plenty of salty gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary you go from yum to YUM!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are anything but traditional mashed potatoes. This recipe is ramped up with the flavors of earthy roasted garlic, nutty roasted cauliflower puree, and the smoothness of cream cheese.

Mashed potatoes can often be quite boring in terms of appearance, so I love the little flecks of green chives scattered throughout these creamy Mascarpone Chive Mashed Potatoes, not to mention the fresh taste they add to the recipe. If you can’t find mascarpone, traditional cream cheese is a simple and readily available substitute.

Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or cream cheese to make the potatoes extra creamy; they’re healthier thanks to the addition of the yogurt and plenty rich. Surprise! There is no butter added! Feel free to add some if you prefer.

Or for something a little different, try Cream Cheese Chive Duchess Potatoes –  delicious, individually portioned mounds of mashed potatoes that have been baked. Inside they’re creamy and fluffy while the outside is beautifully golden and crisp. The kids love these!

What is your favorite mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving?

Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Yield: serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Classic buttery russet potato mashed potatoes are elevated thanks to the addition of plenty of browned butter and fresh grated parmesan in this Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. They're perfect for Thanksgiving!


  • 3 pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves
  • 8 tablespoons Butter, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup Whole Milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup Finely Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, according to preferences
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, according to preferences


Add the potatoes to a large stockpot with hot water. Add the bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt to the water. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and allow the potatoes to cook until they are very tender, approximately 20-30 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, brown the butter. To brown the butter: Place a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the hot skillet and melt, whisking frequently. As the butter cooks, it will foam up a bit. Continue cooking and light browned specks will form at the bottom of the pan. The butter is done "browning" when it has a nutty smell and is golden brown.

Combine half of the butter in a large bowl with the whole milk. Set aside.

Once potatoes are tender, drain the water and discard the pay leaves. Press potatoes through a potato ricer (I use the OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer) and into the bowl with the butter and milk mixture. Add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper, if desired.

Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and drizzle the remaining browned butter over top.


If the potatoes are too thick, add additional milk until desired consistency is reached.

If needed, this can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Reheat to serve - a foil covered baking dish works well in the oven.