Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Thyme | Complete your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table with these super savory, lush browned butter mashed potatoes with fresh thyme. These 4 simple ingredients will turn your ordinary mashed potatoes into a star side dish.
Can I ask you a few questions?
First, have you ever browned butter? And do you love mashed potatoes? Also, do you need a new, show-stopping side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner, or maybe your Christmas dinner? Try these Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with fresh Thyme.
- browned butter is fantastically nutty and easy to make
- fresh thyme is wonderful with potatoes
- the whole dish is only 5 ingredients
- it's freakin' delicious, seriously
If you've never made browned butter, let me help you get started. Browning butter is as simple as heating butter over medium heat for about eight to ten minutes, until the dairy solids separate and brown and turn nutty and delicious. As long as you stir while you go and don't let it burn, you'll be just fine.
Browned butter takes mashed potatoes from ordinary to amazing. Browned butter is also fantastic over pasta with Mizithra cheese and it's great in sweet baking as well, such as in cookies and brownies.
If you love mashed potatoes (or if you find them boring and lacking pizazz!) this potato side dish will find its way onto your list of favorites. The browning of the butter and the use of fresh thyme makes this dish taste so incredibly special that it's easy to see why it deserves a spot on your holiday table. These simple everyday ingredients also make this dish a great weeknight side dish. Try them today!
How to Make Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Thyme
What is browned butter?
Browned butter is butter cooked over medium heat until the milk solids separate and drop to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown. This results in a nutty flavor.
How to make browned butter
To make browned butter, set a stick of butter in a small pot. Heat the pot over medium heat, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes. The milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pot and begin to brown. Stop the cooking process by pouring the butter into a small bowl. Strip the leaves off of a few thyme stems and drop into the butter. They will snap and pop. Set aside until needed.
How to make mashed potatoes
To make mashed potatoes peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Set the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Drain the potatoes and set the pot back onto the still warm element. (You don't need to turn it back on). Let the remaining water cook off of the potatoes for a few minutes.
Add most of the browned butter (reserving some for garnish, if desired), the cream, milk and salt and pepper. Use a potato masher and mash the potatoes, combining all of the ingredients.
Place the potatoes in your serving dish. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and use the spoon to make some little valleys on the surface. Drizzle the reserved browned butter, letting it settle into the little valleys. Scatter more fresh thyme over the top if you like. Serve hot.
Questions About Making Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Thyme
What potatoes do you use for browned butter mashed potatoes?
I use russet potatoes. From my ten pound bag, I weighed out 3 pounds of potatoes. For me, this was about 8 medium-sized potatoes.
What is browned butter?
Browned butter is butter that has been cooked to separate the milk solids. The milk solids brown and the butter turns amber. The result is a nutty flavor. If you pour off the liquid and let it cool, this is Ghee.
How do you make browned butter?
You cook it slowly while stirring and being careful not to burn it until the solids drop to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown and the liquid butter turns amber.
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes with Thyme
- 3 lbs russet potatoes (roughly 8 medium potatoes)
- ½ cup butter
- a few sprigs of thyme
- ¼ cup cream (or plain yogurt, or sour cream)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Peel and cut potatoes into chunks.
- Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat butter over medium heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring constantly. The butter will melt and then turn bubbly, then foamy. Once the butter is golden brown and the surface of the butter is covered with white foam, browns bits will have collected on the bottom of the pot. It’s done at this point. It will smell nutty and slightly sweet. Be careful during this process not to burn it. Pour butter into a small bowl so the cooking process stops. Strip a few thyme stems of their leaves and toss the leaves into the butter. They will pop and spit in the hot butter. This is fine. Stir and let them sit.
- Drain potatoes and return pot to warm element (without turning it back on) to dry potatoes out further.
- Add most of the browned butter and thyme to the potatoes, leaving behind a tablespoon or two to drizzle on top. Add the cream, milk, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes and mix everything together. Place potatoes into your serving dish, use the back of a smooth the surface and then make some little valleys for the rest of the browned butter to settle into. Use a spoon to drizzle the rest of the butter over the top of the potatoes. Scatter more fresh thyme on top if you like. Serve hot.
- For the cream, you can substitute sour cream or plain greek yogurt for a more tangy result.