Even the most classic dishes need a refresh every now and then. These chive and lemon zest mashed potatoes are perfectly creamy and have a bright, peppy flavor that complements anything you serve them with.
I know what you're thinking. Lemon zest in mashed potatoes?! But before you default to the same mashed potato recipe you've been making for decades, consider this: The holiday meals that usually include this classic side dish tend to be heavy with meats, other starchy foods, and a whole dessert table waiting in the wings. So, wouldn't a zip of citrus be a pleasant surprise — and a welcome bright note among crispy turkey skin and gravy and brown sugar–topped root veggies?
Yes. The answer is yes. (And just wait till you try these potatoes topped with butter or a ladle of turkey gravy!)
The Recipe, Step by Step
Time needed: 22 minutes.
These zesty mashed potatoes come together in just over 20 minutes, and once you master the recipe, you can play around with your own flavor combinations. Here are the basic steps:
- Boil the potatoes.
Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes while the water comes to a boil. Then, carefully drop the potatoes into the boiling water and cook until you can pierce them easily with a fork or paring knife. Since the potato pieces are small, they will only take 10 to 12 minutes to cook.
- Drain the potatoes and heat the butter and milk in the empty pot.
Dump the potatoes into a colander in the sink, then return the pot to the stove. Pour the milk into the pot, add the butter, and heat until the butter melts completely.
- Return the potatoes to the pot and add lemon zest, chives, and other seasonings.
Dump the potatoes into the pot and add lemon zest, finely chopped fresh chives, salt, and pepper.
- Mash it up!
Use a potato masher or handheld mixer to mash the potatoes to your desired smoothness. If they look too thick, drizzle in a little more milk and keep mashing. (They will thicken a bit more as they sit, though, so you want them to be slightly wetter than you normally like.)
Looking for more Thanksgiving and holiday dishes? Check out Every Night Meals' holiday recipe collection.
Chive and Lemon Zest Mashed Potatoes
- Large pot
- Potato masher or electric hand mixer
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 1¼ cups whole milk, plus more as needed (up to 1½ cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (from 1 small lemon)
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- While the water heats up, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks.
- Carefully lower the potatoes into the boiling water. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- As soon as the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander and return the empty pot to the stove over medium-low heat. Pour in the milk and butter. When the butter is completely melted, return the potatoes to the pot and add the salt, a few grinds of black pepper, the chives, and the lemon zest.
- Mash with a potato masher or an electric hand mixer until the mashed potatoes are as smooth as you like them. If they seem too thick, drizzle in up to ¼ cup more whole milk and continue mashing. The potatoes will firm up a little more as they sit.
- Serve hot with butter and/or gravy.