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Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

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3-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light cream
1/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) jar onion confit

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Adding sweet caramelize onions to creamy mashed potatoes is simply inspired.

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Mashed potatoes are one of the most important recipes for Thanksgiving dinner. This classic side dish can present challenges to cooks, especially if they are not experienced in the kitchen. But with my tips and tricks, you can turn out fluffy, velvety smooth, and flavorful mashed potatoes for the big dinner next week. And with this recipe for Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes you will never make any other type again!

Most people view mashed potatoes as a vehicle for the gravy. And that’s just fine. But why not add one simple ingredient and push this simple recipe up to the next level? This ingredient is something you can purchase online and at large grocery stores. It adds so much flavor and it’s even good for you!

The secret ingredient is caramelized onions, otherwise known as onion confit.

You can certainly make your own onion confit. Just cook chopped onions in butter and olive oil, along with a pinch of sugar and some salt, for 45 minutes to an hour or until the onions are golden brown and very soft. But I think Thanksgiving dinner is complicated enough. I buy onion confit. All you have to do is stir it into the potatoes for a fabulous twist on a classic recipe.

Tips for the best Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes:

  • You must use Yukon Gold potatoes because they have a natural buttery taste and beautiful gold color. And cook the potatoes until they are soft. Undercooked potatoes will never mash smoothly.
  • You may want to use a potato ricer before you mash the potatoes for super smooth results. This strange implement turns the potatoes into little threads that mash beautifully.
  • And don’t skip the step of warming the cream and butter together. Warm cream will absorb into the potatoes better.

Why this recipe works:

  • Perfect mashed potatoes are excellent all on their own, but they can be kind of bland. They need a lot of butter and cream. So for a delicious version that’s a little lighter in the calorie department, add caramelized onions for a sweet and flavorful note.

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Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1" cubes. As you work, put the potatoes into a large pot filled with cold water.


Add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt to the pan with the potatoes and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.


Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are tender. The potatoes are done when you can easily pierce the pieces with a fork.


While the potatoes are cooking, combine the butter and light cream in a saucepan and heat over low heat until hot.


When the potatoes are tender, drain in a colander and immediately return to the hot pot. Place the pot over low heat.


Mash the potatoes using a potato masher, adding the hot butter mixture gradually as you work. Then beat in the sour cream and most of the onion confit (save some for garnish).


Taste the potatoes for seasoning; you may want to add more salt, along with some pepper. Serve immediately or transfer the potatoes to an ovenproof dish and cover. Keep warm in a low oven until serving time.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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