Happy Thanksgiving mashed potatoes

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Happy Thanksgiving mashed potatoes

Mark Bittman captured the spirit of the season so well in his article published in The New York Times.

I believe we all have people in our lives that make the world a better place.

  • Saeng Sivanthong has created beauty on my hospital campus as a landscaper for many, many years. 
  • Eddie Daniels welcomes patients as a receptionist in our Spine Surgery offices with the best smile ever. 
  • Selene Corona treats every woman she helps as a medical assistant in our OB-GYN offices with respect and caring. 
  • Kalu Afu has been making salads with care for our hospitalized patients' meals for over 30 years. 

I am really privileged to work at Kaiser Permanente. As it's the season for many of us to gather with families in the kitchen, I've looked back over my recipes for a favorite side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

Some version of mashed potatoes is served in many homes. Here's an excellent version I first posted in 2008 modified a bit. In addition to mashed potatoes, I will be trying some of the fantastic-sounding recipes from farmers in the Capay Valley just north and east of San Francisco. I have visited some of the farms there. It is a magic place on the planet. Check these out too.

Best to you. 

Servings: 6


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 3 big leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup non-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mince fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pot. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. 
  2. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and sauté the leeks and shallots until they begin to caramelize. 
  4. Add the leeks/shallots to a blender or food processor. 
  5. Add the milk. 
  6. Puree them just until smooth. 
  7. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the sour cream and butter. Mash them with an old fashioned potato masher or the back of a spoon. They will be a bit chunky but have character. 
  8. Add the pureed allium family and parsley and mix in. 
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  10. Rewarm the potatoes at dinner time, covered, in a 350 degree oven.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 334
  • Total fat: 9 gm
  • Saturated fat: 3 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 12 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 59 gm
  • Dietary fiber: 4 gm
  • Sodium: 145 mg
  • Protein: 6 gm