Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage

Side DishMashed PotatoesPotatoesBrown Butter

Creamy mashed Yukon gold potatoes with goat cheese, sage, and here's the best part—BROWN BUTTER! So incredibly good. Brown butter makes those potatoes taste like heaven.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • Pepper


1 Boil the potatoes: 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 lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes.

Drain the water from the potatoes.

2 Brown the butter: Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. (Use a stainless steel saucepan so you can see the butter browning.) Let the butter melt and continue to watch it as it cooks. The butter will foam for a bit and then calm down.

After a few minutes, flecks of brown will appear at the bottom of the pan. When you see this, and the melted butter takes on a nutty aroma, take it off the heat. (See How to Brown Butter.)

3 Add sage and pour over potatoes: Add the chopped sage to the butter (it may cause some foaming). Pour over the potatoes.

4 Add the goat cheese 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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Mashed Potatoes Browned Butter

Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

9 Comments / Reviews

No ImageMashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Stacey

    I gave this recipe a whirl in July at our first annual “Thanksgiving in July – Recipe Test Meal” – my family has stuck to traditional family favorites for years, fearing that the new and different will just leave us craving the old favorites. We decided to try out the new recipes on a non-holiday and this was my pick. These potatoes are AMAZING. And the recipe is easily scalable.

    My family liked them so much that my nephew asked for them as part of his birthday dinner and they have made it on to the official request list for this year’s Thanksgiving table.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Show Replies (1)
  2. 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!


  3. 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.


  4. 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

  5. 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.

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