Caramelized Vidalia Onion Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Slowly caramelized onions lend a touch of sweetness (and plenty of interest) to creamy mashed potatoes. Jennifer Olvera

Mashed potatoes are a crowd-pleaser—that's a statement of fact. But if you're looking to change things up, ones stippled with caramelized onion offer a perfect fix. Here, they're made extra creamy with lots of butter, milk, sour cream, and a touch of cream cheese. Mash them by hand if you like to leave a bit of texture (I do); otherwise, briefly whip them with a hand-beater before folding the sweet, slowly caramelized onions into the mix.

Speaking of onions, don't try to rush the caramelization process. I've found it works best to "steam" them, lid-on, at a low temperature for about 20 minutes before adding a touch of sugar. Then, raise the heat and let them brown, adding small amounts of water and stirring so they don't burn. You can also cut some corners and give our 15-minute caramelized onions a shot.

Note: You may prepare the potatoes up to two days in advance. Store them in the refrigerator and microwave them, covered, for about 8 minutes before serving. If they seem a little dry, add additional milk in 1/4 cup increments.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large, even chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese


  1. Cover potatoes with salted water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer uncovered until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat until melted. Add onions, cover, and cook, stirring periodically until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Remove cover, add sugar, season with salt and pepper and stir. Raise heat to medium-high and allow to caramelize, stirring often and adding water a tablespoon at a time if onions begin to burn, about 15 minutes longer.

  3. When potatoes are done cooking, drain in a colander and return to pan. Add remaining 5 tablespoons butter, milk, sour cream and cream cheese. Mash potatoes by hand using a potato masher, leaving some texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Fold in onions. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days and reheat in a covered heavy dish in the oven or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently.

Special equipment

Potato masher