parmesan garlic smashed potatoes

Guess what? It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m off work early today! I’ve been working every day straight since November 1st, but today I was able to leave work in time to enjoy a bit of the gorgeous late fall sunshine and 75 degree weather we’re having here in North Florida.

Even though my work is crazy right now, and I won’t have a full day off for another week, I’m really very happy. I’m working with some great people – residents and medical students – who are proving to be fantastic young doctors. We’ve been doing lots of serious work, and the hours are long, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

Plus, they let me talk food with them. How great is that?

Last week I baked up a batch of Jennie’s chocolate chip cookies for my team. The cookies really don’t take all that much time to make and are SO much better than store-bought cookie dough. I think the bribe was successful. They let me go home early today. See? It worked.

One of them asked me last night about the first thing I planned to cook when I had my first day off. I was stumped. I have stacks of food magazines sitting around, waiting to be flipped through and pages torn out or earmarked. Even with all that inspiration lying around, I didn’t have a recipe in mind. And then I realized that it’s almost Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving! The thing about working for 19 days straight (13 so far) is that the time just flies by. It was just Halloween last I checked.

Time to put on my Thanksgiving Thinking Cap and come up with some menu ideas.

For now, I’ll share a mashed potato recipe with you. Our traditional Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are made by my dad. He’s our resident Mashed Potato Genius. His recipe is rich and creamy, and when the bowl of potatoes is set out on the table, I can’t keep my finger out of it. Just to taste it, you know, for seasonings. And maybe a second or third taste. And then I realize I’ve gotten out a tablespoon, and it’s all down hill from there.

This recipe is not that one, but it’s a close second. Just assume it’s calorie- and fat-free. Which it’s not. But you can pretend it is.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Parmesan Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Adapted from this recipe from Ina Garten. Her version of the recipe can also be found in her cookbook, which I love, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. To try to cut down on at least a little of the fat, I used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of full-fat sour cream in these potatoes. I didn't notice any difference in the flavor or texture.


3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (4 ounces; 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain.

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half, milk, and butter.

Put the potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix them for a few seconds on low speed to break them up. Add the minced garlic to the potatoes, then slowly add the hot cream and butter mixture to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of the cream and butter mixture should be folded in by hand to avoid splattering). Fold in the yogurt, Parmesan cheese, remaining salt, and pepper; taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

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22 Responses to “savory spinach, feta, and roasted red pepper muffins”

  1. RavieNomNoms — September 30, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Those muffins are beautiful! So many great flavors, I would have to imagine that these taste amazing!

  2. Cherine — September 30, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    Love the combination of those muffins!! I bet they’re addictive!!

  3. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — September 30, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    I love your substitution and for the very same reason you cite…where in the world are those peppers..I had thought of using sun dried tomatoes.

    Thanks so much for participating at – hoping some of your readers will join us!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — September 30th, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

      Barbara – I bet sun dried tomatoes would be a great substitution!

  4. Prerna@IndianSimmer — September 30, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    Thanks to twitter for suggesting that I might like your blog, because I LOVE your blog!
    This is the first recipe that I landed onto and I’m SO digging it. OK can’t write more ‘cos I’m off to the kitchen to bake some muffins 🙂
    Thanx for sharing this recipe. I’m sure my li’l one’s gonna love it!!

  5. SMITH BITES — September 30, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    The muffins look terrific and believe it or not, I can find peppadews in my area – which is really saying something because that just doesn’t happen. Peppadews are a sweet-hot pepper and I can see how they would pair with the other ingredients: sharpness of the feta and the earthiness of the spinach. Am glad you mentioned letting them cool to develop the flavor – great tip; beautiful muffins which I plan on making!

  6. Liz the Chef — September 30, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    A savory muffin never crossed my mind – this is a very exciting recipe. I can see little variations, depending on what’s on hand in the pantry and fridge. Thanks!

  7. Jason Phelps — September 30, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    I love this idea. These are going to come in handy at my next dinner party.

    Thank you!


  8. Nancy@acommunaltable — September 30, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

    These would be terrific with soup and a salad.. or split with a little chicken … or with eggs… well, I’ve done it again found ANOTHER recipe I am simply going to have to make!!!

    As for the peppedews… they do carry a jarred version at Trader Joe’s so if you have one by you or come across one, you can probably get them there! The roasted red bell peppers though are a great substitution since they are very close in texture and taste!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 8:11 am

      Nancy – We don’t have a Trader Joe’s, sadly. I may look in our Fresh Market (our version of Whole Foods) to see if they carry them. I really am intrigued by them now, and I really want to try them.

  9. Brian @ A Thought For Food — October 1, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    I saw these and was dying to make them! They really would be perfect for a dinner party!

  10. Bonnie — October 1, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

    I’m so happy to have found your blog and this delicious recipe. I’m also very, very happy to find your grandmother’s recipe for chess pie. The first time I had it was at a youth church dinner. It is one of my favorites!! I look forward to further visits.


  11. Sasha — October 2, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    Wow. These are indeed very unique muffins.

  12. GreenGirl — October 2, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    Spinach feta are a great combo, add roasted peppers and you have me hooked.
    I like to take my time in the kitchen and do almost everything from scratch, well, that’s just me 😛

  13. Chris — October 3, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    These look great to me. I like savory muffins and these are perfect.

  14. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — October 3, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    How come I missed those ones? Huh? And how come you didn’t send one my way? I think you do delivery, right? And yes, good work on the substitution – but ow you have me wondering about those peppers too!

  15. bunkycooks — October 3, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    I love savory foods this time of year. The bigger flavors, the better! These muffins combine many of my favorites.

  16. Pingback: Savory Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Muffins « Pragmatic Attic

  17. Sara — December 31, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

    I love all of the flavors in these muffins especially feta cheese & roasted red peppers!
    Happy New Year!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 1st, 2011 @ 10:18 am

      happy new year to you, Sara!

  18. Nichole — January 11, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Peppadews are scrumptious and worth looking for! They have a little heat balanced nicely with a sweet undertone. If your grocery store has an olive bar, try looking there. Bottled ones can usually be found near the pickled beans and asparagus, etc.

    I just don’t get the whole cupcake craze since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I am so enamored by savory muffins. I’m on a mission to try every one of them that I can find. These are definitely going on my list.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 11th, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

      Wonderful! Let me know how you like them.

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