The Best Technique To Add Onions To Mashed Potatoes

Of all the potato recipes out there, we'd be hard pressed to name one more iconic than mashed potatoes. Usually a simple yet satisfying combination of boiled potatoes mashed with butter and milk or cream, mashers are a classic side dish that are a must at the Thanksgiving table, but are also at home piled next to everyday comfort food such as baked chicken or pork chops.

As delicious as plain, buttery mashed potatoes are, the dish's seemingly infinite customizability is a trait that endears it to many. A blank canvas for a huge variety of flavors, basic mashed potatoes can be jazzed up with a variety of toppings ranging from crunchy garlic chips to crumbled bacon to shredded cheddar cheese (via Southern Living). It's also a great idea to mix flavors right into the potatoes before serving them; Think of classic sour cream or bright green peas (via Fine Cooking).

One ingredient pairing that seems to go exceptionally well together is potatoes and onions, a combination that shows up in so many dishes ranging from hash browns to pierogies. And if you want to bring some delicious onion flavor to your mashed potatoes, there's one method that will reliably provide the tastiest result.

Caramelize your onions before mixing them into mashed potatoes

Potatoes with onions is a classic combination many people love, with the two root vegetables coming together in sweet, earthy union. For that reason, onions are a common mix-in for mashed potatoes: Think sliced green onions, or even those crunchy fried onions from a can. Another great way to get concentrated onion flavor into your mashed potatoes? Caramelize the onions first.

According to Food52, caramelized onions bring a sweetness and depth of flavor to mashed potatoes that no other type of onion add-in can match. The site goes all-in on caramelized onion flavor in its recipe, which goes a step further after slow cooking the onions, puréeing them with a hand blender before folding them through the fluffy potatoes to ensure rich onion flavor in each bite. Alternatively, you can simply caramelize a naturally sweet onion such as Vidalia, set it aside, and then gently stir it throughout your mashers, as recommended by Serious Eats

Whichever route you choose, your dinner guests are sure to love the deep, rich flavor that caramelized onions bring to this classic side dish.