Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage

Guest author Garrett and I made these mashed potatoes the other day. So good! ~Elise

The story of my first Thanksgiving away from home is one I tell with pride. Sure, we all have epic disasters in the kitchen and Thanksgiving horror stories to tell, but mine is epic. The dinner was a wreck: the cornbread burned, the turkey was frozen inside, the green bean casserole was served as a soup, the bacon for the stuffing caught fire, I forgot to add sugar to the cranberry sauce, and my roommate exploded a pie in an aluminum pie plate in the microwave. In total we set off the fire alarm three times. Picking over the wreckage we were somehow able to glean enough food for an actual meal but the experience had jarred for us all.

Still, one dish came out perfectly – the mashed potatoes. Not regular mashed potatoes, but loaded with salty goat cheese and mellow bits of sage mashed potaotes. Dreamy and creamy, they were the biggest (and only) hit of the night.

Many years later and I’ve tinkered the recipe with Elise. We took out the cream in lieu of more goat cheese and added browned butter to the mix. The result is the smoothest potatoes you’ve ever had with a nutty, earthy flavor. It’s a dish that can save any Thanksgiving dinner.

Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1.5 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese chevre


1 Place the potatoes and salt in a pot and fill the pot with cold water until the potatoes are covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, then bring the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Drain the water from the potatoes.

2 Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and brown the butter. The butter will foam for a bit before calming down. When the butter turns to a light amber color watch for it to turn to a nutty brown (this can happen very quickly). Immediately take off heat. Add the chopped sage to the butter (it may cause some foaming). Pour over the potatoes.

3 Add the goat cheese chevre, and milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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  1. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    Wow! What a story! I’ve definitely had my share of Thanksgiving disasters! Once I made mashed potatoes so salty nobody could eat them. Apparently I had so much going on I triple salted the potatoes without realizing. Great recipe! Cheese and mashed potatoes is my favorite combo :)

  2. Seth @ Boy Meets Food

    LOL. One or two of those types of disasters in a big meal is a slight embarrassment, but when it is almost every dish, that is one of those nights that is just begging for pizza! I am pretty sure all of us who experiment with creating new recipes have seen our share of failed, inedible disasters. I feel for you (and totally know how it feels), but hey at least one good thing came from that night…

    I have been experimenting with browned butter in things ever since I started making the Spaghetti Factory’s Mizithra Pasta. I have tried it in mashed cauliflower, over boiled veggies, and saw someone use it in Rice Crispy Treats (can’t wait to try that one).

  3. Megan

    I’m also wondering if these would be okay to make in advance and reheat, or keep them warm in a slow cooker?


    Treat them as your would any other mashed potatoes. Should be fine if you want to reheat them later. ~Garrett

  4. Keron

    I make something very similar to this, but add caramelized leeks and garlic. I love the idea of adding brown butter. Yumm…..

  5. Christen

    My first TWO Thanksgivings, I managed to leave in the bag with giblets inside the turkey. Not once, but twice. FYI, the bags are oven proof. ;)

  6. Lindsay

    I am skeptical about the plausibility of your story…you know how to brown butter but not thaw a turkey? They do look heavenly.

    My story takes place back in 2002. ;) ~Garrett

  7. Angela

    I’ve been tinkering with my mashed spuds ever since cookery school in Ireland, where I learned from the potato experts what NOT to do: they whipped the spuds in a mixer with a whisk fitting! This completely changes the texture, and not in a good way I think, I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this? I’ve played around with cold and hot milk, and peeling or not the potatoes before cooking them, but I’ve found the single most important part of making mash is cooking the potatoes to just the right texture, (not overcooked, and definitely not undercooked). Overcooked and all the little cellulose linings on the potatoes’ starchy cells collapse and you end up with glue. Undercooked and I think we all know what happens! Anyway, I guess you could say I’m a mash fanatic. Your addition of salty browned butter and creamy blue cheese sounds just gorgeous. Perfectly balanced. Thank you.

  8. Emily

    I’m making these for Thanksgiving this year – goat cheese + Browned butter + sage = YUM….why is it browned butter always sounds so much better than regular melted butter?

  9. Mirescu

    I was wondering how this would work with another root vegetable (taters are the devil in my house). Either swedes or turnips should do fine. It’s hard to go wrong with goat cheese and butter, I’m thinking.

    I’m not sold on sage, but I’m hard pressed for another herb that might meld well with the other ingredients. Thyme might work. Have you tried the recipe with another herb?

    I have not, sorry. I imagine thyme would be quite nice though. ~Garrett

  10. Diana

    I posted sage brown butter mashed potatoes recently. I love the addition of goat cheese which makes anything better! I leave the skins on my potatoes though because I like a chunky texture to my mashed potatoes.

  11. Ariel

    I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner and they were the BEST DISH out of the entire meal! My boyfriend couldn’t stop raving about how delicious they were. I added a couple cloves of roasted garlic to add another note of flavor. Mmm, I’m drooling now.

  12. Sharnee

    Just made these for dinner to go with steamed green beans and a roasted chicken with lemon, garlic & rosemary. The potatoes were a MAJOR hit with my family! Thank you for the delish recipes!

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