To take any meal to the next level, make caramelized onion mashed potatoes. The enhanced flavor from the onions is amazing.
I’ve made this before, but never considered it a real “recipe.” It’s something done to boost the flavor of the potatoes. A couple nights ago we had a polish sausage with sauerkraut, so naturally caramelized onion mashed potatoes was in order. MaryJo loved them so much that she convinced me to make a blog post…so now it’s a real recipe.
How to make caramelized onion mashed potatoes
When I was working on this post I thought about calling it ‘Thanksgiving Day Mashed Potatoes’ but it’s not just a Holiday recipe. As a matter of fact you should try to make this at least once a month, just because your taste buds deserve it.
We have found that the more onions you use, the better the flavor, so this recipe uses 1 onion per pound of potatoes. I use my wonderful, Zwilling J. A. Henckels Madura Plus forged non-stick skillet to caramelize the onions and 2 chopped onions is about all you can do at one time. If you are making the caramelized onion mashed potatoes for a crowd, you can cook the onions a day or two ahead, refrigerate, then heat them up before adding to the potatoes.
Caramelized onions aren’t burnt onions. They are slow cooked and take 30 to 45 minutes to bring out the sweet goodness they contain. Start with some oil in your skillet on medium heat then add the onions. Let them start to become opaque for 4 to 6 minutes, then turn the heat down to low so that the oil just boils gently around the onions. Stir them around every few minutes. If you see that they begin to char, lower the heat some more. The caramelization starts gradually and once the color starts, stir more frequently until you reach the medium brown color you’re looking for.
The peeled and cut up potatoes were boiled for 12 minutes, drained and a cup of potato water reserved. I used my KitchenAid hand mixer to whip the potatoes and used about 3/4 cup of the potato water to make a nice consistency to the potatoes.
Add the onions and blend in until they are evenly distributed. I grabbed a spoonful of the onions to make a little garnish on the top of the potatoes…you can do this too, but it was mostly to make the pictures a little more interesting. Hey, mashed potatoes are not that photogenic, know what I mean?
There you have it. Caramelized onion mashed potatoes is now a real recipe. Proof is in the totally printable recipe card below. Joe x
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes
- 2 large yellow onions
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- Dice the onions or slice thinly. Add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and a couple pinches of salt. Cook on medium heat until the onions start to become opaque, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Lower the heat to low so that the oil gently boils around the onions. Stir occasionally. The onions will slowly begin to turn a light brown color. If they begin to char, lower the heat. Once the caramelization starts, stir more frequently until the onions are a medium brown color, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- While the onions are cooking, peel and cut the potatoes into approximately 1 inch pieces. Place in a saucepan and add water to 1 inch above the potatoes. Place on the stove on high. Once boiling, cook for 12 to 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the water.
- Mash the potatoes using the reserved water until creamy. Add the onions and blend in until fully incorporated. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve hot.
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My Scandinavian heritage has always required gravy on mashed potatoes, but this is a delicious alternative when gravy is not available.