The Best (Cheesy!) Mashed Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

What kind of mashed potatoes do you like? My new favorite might be aligot, a traditional mashed potato dish in France, whipped up with tons of cheese and garlic. (Cheese lovers, get psyched!) Here, food blogger Mimi, who lives in the French countryside, agrees to share her recipe…

The Best Mashed Potatoes You’ll Ever Have
By Mimi Thorisson of Manger

Aligot is a traditional mashed potato dish from the Aubrac region in France. They’re the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had—the melted cheese is so rich in texture. Combined with garlic and crème fraîche, aligot is the star of all side dishes. The mash is so thick, forming ribbons of cheesy strands on your plate—it is quite an experience for any cheese lover. Tomme de Laguiole cheese is traditionally used for this dish; however, it’s not always easy to find. You can substitute this cheese with Cantal, Lancashire or Cheddar. Serve aligot with a juicy steak and a smashing glass of Bordeaux red wine. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Recipe: Best Aligot Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4

You’ll need:
2 cups potatoes (bintje or Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into chunks
4 tbsp. butter, cold and hard, just taken out of the fridge
14 oz. Tomme de Laguiole cheese, finely sliced (or substitute a cheese like Lancashire/Cantal/Cheddar)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2/3 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup warm milk
Salt and pepper

What to do:

Cook the chunks of potato in salted boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. When properly mashed, place the potatoes in a large pan and start the heat on low, stirring for 2 minutes to ‘dry up’ the mash.

Take off the heat, and add the butter one square at a time, stirring in a circular motion. Gradually add the warm milk to smooth the potatoes, continuing to stir.

Place the pan back on a low heat, and add the finely sliced cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper. You should be constantly stirring in a circular motion, lifting the spoon high so you get a nice ribbon-like effect, as if you were pulling strings with your spoon. Continue this process for up to ten minutes, or until all the cheese has melted.

When the cheese has melted perfectly, your aligot purée is ready! Voilà, c’est prêt! Serve immediately.

Amazing! Thank you so much, Mimi.

P.S. More best recipes, including roasted brussel sprouts and chocolate-chunk banana bread with bourbon.

(Photos by Mimi. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series)

  1. The perfect mashed potato for your favorite gravy! I love french cooking.

  2. I tried it for Thanksgiving and it was yummy! Although somewhat “runny” for mashed potatoes, it was no matter- still delish. Also, I couldn’t find the rare cheese option- which I bet would have made it even more amazing. Ahh well, maybe next time :)

  3. I’m guessing you add the creme fraiche around the time you add the milk? But that’s just a guess.

  4. Oh wow that looks absolutely amazing – I’m desperate to give this a try! Gorgeous photos too!

  5. um, wow, my two favourite things, cheese and potatoes, in one dish. this looks amazing, thanks so much for posting this!

  6. When do you add the creme fraiche?

  7. Cheesy anything is fine by me. :) Also, mashing potatoes by hand ALWAYS makes for award winning goodness. And, can I have that kitchen? It looks like it MUST be in rustic, rural France. *swoon*

  8. One more recipe to add to my list for Christmas!

  9. Now, I´m running into the kitchen…

    Yes! Great pictures.

  10. Looks delish. These are what my grandmother would call “splat” potatoes, named for the sound they make when you dish them on to your plate :-) Can’t wait to give this recipe a try.

  11. I don’t even like steak, but I would make them as an excuse to serve these potatoes as a side.

  12. I think I might have to request this for tomorrow!! Cheese AND potatoes? I’m in! Thank you, Joanna for all the wonderful recipes you’ve provided on the blog. xoxo

  13. I would like to live in a big vat of this, please. Thank you :)

  14. I used to have the most delicious mashed potatoes and I always wondered how they made them so good. I think this might have been it, thanks for sharing- I can’t wait to make at home!

  15. Wow! Those look delicious. For some reason I pictured calling my sister up and inviting her over for mashed potatoes and wine. That’s not even something we do, but it came into mind when I saw those pictures. Maybe it will become a new tradition for us.

  16. Yesterday I did one for dinner but yourS looks great!

  17. My stomach actually growled as I read this… oh my…

  18. that and sausages…dreeeaaaming!

  19. Oh my goodness – I LOVE Aligot and never had a good recipe. My favorite restaurant in Paris is Chez Flottes and Aligot is their specialty. Happy Thanksgiving, Joanna!! xoxoxo

  20. When do you add the creme fraiche?

  21. I need to try these! Unfortunetly my husband is lactose intolerant (and a serious cheese lover, so sad) so I don’t know if I will want to tease him with these.

    • Try Daiya cheese! I’ve used it to make “cheesy” cornbread and mac and “cheese” and it’s wonderful, but never mashed potatoes. It’s the only non-dairy cheese I’ve found yet that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

  22. That looks so creamy!! I actually had a discussion on Sunday about what potatoes were the best for mashing…I gotta try this…I love creamy potatoes & cheese!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Ergo – Blog

  23. I did that last night! But when I am too busy to make my own mash I buy Aunt Bessies frozen mash – delicious, for an after school meal for my hungry ones (UK, not sure if available in the US)

  24. What a genius idea to add cheese and garlic to the mix! Ha, need to try it this way. I bet it tastes really good:) Kisses

  25. Looks delicious and so loaded :) the best mashed potatoes i had were at L’Atelier by Joël Robuchon. To die for, so silky and delicious!!