Lemon Garlic Mashed Potatoes

They’re unique but I’m betting these Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Chives will become your new favorite too, they are amazing!

Lemon, Garlic and Scallion Mashed Potatoes

The first time I made these Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Chives it was out of curiosity. I’ve been a loyal reader of Bon Appetit magazine for over 30 years and they’ve seldom (if ever) steered me wrong but it seemed a strange combination of ingredients for mashed potatoes.

I love lemon enough though to give them a try. After completing the dish and of course taking a small taste, I had to put the dish under lock and key so that I wouldn’t finish off the bowl before dinner. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration but just barely. Just one more little bite please?

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The lemon is obvious but not overly so…and mixed with garlic, green onion and buttermilk it makes for an outstanding side dish. I’ve made these for Thanksgiving on several occasions but realized a couple of years ago that these Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Chives are really perfect for spring.

Now our holiday table at Easter would not be the same without them. A prettier potato side dish can not be found!

Lemon, Garlic and Scallion Mashed Potatoes

When my kids were growing up; I seldom made mashed potatoes. Not because I didn’t love them but because the mashed potatoes for generations meant a completely smooth product seasoned simply with butter, milk, salt and pepper.

To get that smooth result, it meant a certain type of potato (OK, I can do that) and the dreaded peeling of the potatoes. I simply hated that job; I blame single parenting and the time elements of some things that turned me off but the truth is I also hate those mundane repetitious chores. Ask me about unloading the dishwasher. 🙂

What changed? The first time I heard about ‘smashed potatoes.’ And even better, leaving skins on! OK, I can get onboard with this for sure…and I have. Whether warm mashed potatoes or chilled potato salad, those skins stay on. I like using either Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes; both have a nice texture and a thin skin…perfect in either type of recipe.

These have a relatively short ingredient list; nothing too out of the ordinary, I think items most have in their pantry or fridge already (ingredients and full printable recipe at bottom of page):

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I never have real buttermilk; I keep a powdered form on hand or I add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to milk)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives or scallions (green onion)
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut in half (do not peel)
  • Chopped chives or green onion and lemon zest for garnish

In keeping with that habit of mine, I’ve made a lot of changes to the original recipe but nothing far from the original intent. I used red potatoes since I prefer a sort of chunky, skin on type of mashed potato (the smashed) and think the red skin is prettier. The recipe also calls for chives but I’ve often substituted scallions since they are always in my fridge; either one is fine.

I did up the garlic from the original recipe too. Interesting enough when I asked friends on Facebook if they had one ingredient that they would just out of hand double in a recipe, garlic was often seen on that list.

Along with vanilla, it ranks equally in my top two; the more the better…so more garlic it was. I felt better knowing my personal proclivity to multiple some ingredients was way more widespread than I had imagined! The result is absolutely amazing but don’t take my word for it…seriously make them!

PIN ‘Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic, and Scallions’

Lemon, Garlic, and Chives Mashed Potatoes Served on a Round White Plate
Lemon, Garlic, and Chives Mashed Potatoes in a Blue Serving Bowl

Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Scallions

A most unique flavor with lemon in the mix…and my favorite mashed potatoes!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Pasta, Potatoes, Rice & Grains
Servings 4 -6 Servings
Calories 247 kcal


  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • ½ cup chopped chives or scallions green onion
  • 2 pounds red potatoes cut in half (do not peel)
  • Chopped green onion and lemon zest for garnish.


  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes; do not brown. Take off heat and mix in lemon peel, then green onion. Set aside.
  • Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to pot and mash roughly; these are not meant to be the consistency of regular mashed potatoes. I actually use a metal mallet meant for tenderizing meat to literally smash them.
  • Add onion mixture, buttermilk and remaining 3 tablespoons butter and mash together. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with freshly grated lemon and green onion.


While we love these potatoes with a meal; I think I almost love them even more the next day if we have leftovers.
Mix with an egg, pat potatoes into a patty shape, dip into egg wash and then panko crumbs and fry them in a combination of butter and olive oil until browned for a great addition to your breakfast the following day!


Nutrition Facts
Mashed Potatoes with Lemon, Garlic and Scallions
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    1. Really glad you loved this recipe Betsy; it is one of our favorites. I don’t even save it for the holidays necessarily but nonetheless it will show up at either Thanksgiving or Christmas in our home; I’ve created some expectations!

  1. The first thing that struck me about this post were the photos. Absolutely beautiful. That got my attention, but when I read the ingredients in this recipe, I was intrigued. I would never have thought about putting lemon with potatoes, but I can imagine it’s delicious! Great post, Barbara!

    1. Thanks so much Bill for the sweet compliment and believe me; it was a HUGE leap of faith but one I just love. Try it, you’ll see!

    1. It has taken me a year of trial and error to think I might have found the best time and light. Meant a whole change in my schedule but afternoons were just too much; I was fighting it all the time. Morning? Ah…so that was the answer! And thanks…I’m a work in progress. 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      I love this recipe and the colors too. I am dairy free and made the recipe with unsweetened almond milk instead of buttermilk and extra virgin olive oil. It turned out really good. I had leftover fresh chives and that was good too. Everything I used in the recipe was organic. Thank you for sharing 🍴

      1. You’re welcome Sheri and thanks for your suggestions for making it dairy free! The lemon is unique enough I have to convince friends to give it a try…but it’s my favorite recipe for mashed potatoes!

  2. Wow! Would never have thought to add lemons to potatoes, but you’ve sold me on this recipe. I’ve got to give it a try now. The amazing food photography doesn’t hurt either. I promise I’m not drooling on my keyboard right now. (OK, maybe just a little!)

    1. Aw thanks Bonny; cooking I’m experienced at; learning food photography has been fun but a real challenge.

  3. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I have made your recipe for a linky party challenge, for the ultimate mashed potato recipe. I had never come across lemon in potatoes before so hopefully others find it as great an idea as I did. The link party is http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/ and I thought these mashed potatoes were really awesome!

  4. As soon as I saw this, I thought of the recipe for Cream of Leek and Potato Soup in the cookbook “From Our House to Yours” and the lemon made perfect sense. Thanks for sharing!

  5. You are so good with family-style dishes, love the flavor combo and I’ll add this to my recipe box along with your Cilantro Rice.

  6. As always, great photo! I’ve always operated under the premise that plain ol mashed potatoes are so good, why add any flavor to them at all. BUT, this past weekend we went to dinner at friends and she made mashed potatoes from the Co. Collage cookbook that had carrots and chilis. Delicious and I’m ready for any mashed potato combo.

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