Ah, the humble potato. First found in the Americas, potatoes have become one of the most popular staple foods worldwide. Almost every country has at least one dish they love to make with potatoes. From the Americas to Europe, Asia to Africa unique mashed potatoes have found their way into the hearts and kitchens of people worldwide.

Whether as a standalone dish or a vital component of a more giant recipe like Shepherd’s Pie, mashed potatoes have become a global culinary delight.

Today, we embark on a culinary journey to explore how mashed potatoes can be prepared. From the classic Western recipe to unique variations worldwide, mashed potatoes’ versatility is truly a testament to its global appeal.

Why Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest recipes to make, not to mention one of the most affordable. Potatoes are also one of the healthiest, low-cost foods you can eat.

The humble potato, often underestimated, is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s one of the few foods that can sustain a person for an extended period, making it a reliable and healthy choice. You could thrive on potatoes alone for years with a balanced diet and some vitamin supplements

We need to give potatoes more credit. So today, we will celebrate the many delicious ways people prepare this versatile tuber around the globe.

Beyond Classic Mashed Potatoes

Now that we’ve explained Western takes on mashed potatoes, we’ll spice things up by looking at different prep methods worldwide. Grab your passport—we’re going on a potato world tour!

Moroccan Mashed Potatoes

moroccan style mashed potatoes with spices

There are two ways to make this dish: Western Style and Maakouda Batata. Western Moroccan Potatoes involve using olive oil instead of milk and butter and topping it with spices. Maakouda Batata involves mashing the potatoes to make a crispy, creamy cake.

Cooks often flavor Western Moroccan Mashed Potatoes with cumin, coriander, and paprika, giving them a unique and aromatic taste. This method keeps the dish dairy-free and adds a Mediterranean flair.

Maakouda Batata, on the other hand, takes mashed potatoes to a new level by transforming them into savory potato cakes. Cooks mix these cakes with spices and herbs, shape them into patties, and then fry them until they are crispy on the outside while remaining soft and creamy inside. People often serve them as a snack or appetizer, and they are popular street food in Morocco.

Lebanese Potato Kibbeh

delicious lebanese potato kibbeh patties

Admittedly, kibbeh is not just a Lebanese dish. At this point, it’s a favorite genre of platters eaten throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean. Potato kibbeh gives mashed potatoes a little more shape and flavor.

How does it differ from Western potatoes? Kibbeh includes many spices, such as basil, mint, black pepper, and sumac. You can grab a recipe for this must-try dish here.

Lebanese Potato Kibbeh combines mashed potatoes with bulgur wheat, onions, and fragrant spices. The mixture is then shaped into small torpedo-like patties and either baked or fried. The result is a dish with a delightful contrast of textures – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Kibbeh is often served with a side of yogurt sauce or tahini, enhancing its flavors even further.

Israeli Kosher Mashed Potatoes

israeli kosher mashed potatoes with garlic and rosemary

Mashed potatoes are just as much a mainstay side dish in Israel as stateside. Many Jewish families choose to keep things extra Kosher. How? They swap the milk for olive oil and add Kosher salt. Of course, they don’t always keep it plain. In Israel, adding garlic and rosemary to their mashes is standard. Yum!

Israeli Kosher Mashed Potatoes are a perfect example of how simple ingredients can create a flavorful dish. Using olive oil instead of butter or cream not only keeps the dish kosher but also adds a rich, fruity flavor that pairs beautifully with the earthy taste of the potatoes. Adding garlic and rosemary elevates the dish, making it a flavorful and aromatic side dish that complements a variety of main courses.

Chinese Spicy Mashed Potatoes

chinese spicy mashed potatoes or lao nai yang yu

You didn’t think China would be left out of the potato-riffic fun, right? In parts of China, families serve plates of Lao Nai Yang Yu, also known as “granny potatoes,” because they’re popular among people with no teeth. This dish features deliciously savory fennel, garlic, and Chinese chili paste

Chinese Spicy Mashed Potatoes, or Lao Nai Yang Yu, are a comforting and flavorful dish that combines the creaminess of mashed potatoes with the bold flavors of Chinese cuisine. Garlic, fennel, and chili paste add a depth of flavor and a bit of heat, making this dish a perfect side for any Chinese meal. The name “granny potatoes” reflects the dish’s soft texture, making it easy to eat and beloved by people of all ages.

Indian Aloo Bharta

indian aloo bharta mashed potatoes with mustard and onions

Ask any Indian friends you have, and chances are they’ll tell you about aloo bharta. This is India’s take on mashed potatoes—a classic comfort food for almost every season. Moreover, every single family seems to have their take on aloo.

Like this one, most recipes involve mustard, onion, and garlic for a savory-spicy kick. Of course, you can always find different recipes to try out. There are hundreds of ways to make it!

Aloo Bharta is a traditional Indian dish that elevates mashed potatoes to new heights with its complex and robust flavors. Adding mustard seeds, onions, garlic, and various spices creates a comforting and exciting dish. Aloo Bharta is often served as a side dish with Indian bread or rice and is a staple in many Indian households.

Kenyan Irio

kenyan irio mashed potatoes with corn and peas

In most parts of Africa, potatoes act as a major staple. They aren’t just for dinner. They’re also a breakfast, lunch, and even a dessert staple. In Kenya, they have a mashed potato dish called Irio—a must-have.

Irio translates into “food,” and it is made by mashing potatoes, corn, and peas together. If you want something simple, filling, and surprisingly forgiving, this write-up can help you make your platter.

Kenyan Irio is a vibrant and nutritious dish that combines the creaminess of mashed potatoes with the sweetness of corn and the earthiness of peas. Thanks to its colorful ingredients, this dish is not only delicious but also visually appealing. People often serve Irio with grilled meats or stews, making it a versatile side dish that complements a wide range of African cuisine.

Irish Colcannon

irish colcannon with cabbage and green onions

Few countries are more enthusiastic about potatoes than Ireland. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Ireland is the place to go if you love potatoes. More often than not, they stick to basic mashed potatoes—butter and milk, with a bit of salt.

However, they also have several other mashed potato dishes: Champ and Colcannon. Colcannon is made by adding cabbage and green onions to the mix. Champ is regular potatoes, but it includes scallions.

Irish Colcannon is a hearty and comforting dish that combines the creaminess of mashed potatoes with the crunch of cabbage and the mild flavor of green onions. This traditional Irish dish is often served during special occasions and holidays and is a beloved comfort food in Irish households. Adding cabbage and green onions adds texture and flavor, making Colcannon a unique and delicious take on mashed potatoes.

What Should You Serve With Mashed Potatoes?

Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with anything savory. Mashed potatoes are straightforward to work with as a side dish, regardless of your chosen recipe. However, most mashed potato dishes are delicious and pair best with savory dishes.

If you enjoy meat, it’s often best to serve some that match the same flavor profile as your potatoes. For example, Lebanese potato kibbeh works well with Mediterranean meat dishes like shish kebabs, gyros, or kafta.

On the other hand, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, it’s best to work with grilled vegetables. “Meaty” veggies like portobello mushrooms or eggplants can help give you that same “stick to your ribs” satisfaction that meat eaters crave.

Of course, you should still mix and match if you’re craving a specific dish. Who’s to say that aloo bharta won’t work well with an excellent burger? Potatoes are versatile like that.

Raise A Spoon For Mashed Potatoes!

If there was ever a global meal that every culture appreciates, it’s mashed potatoes. Those who haven’t enjoyed Western mashed potatoes can breathe easily. After all, there are plenty of other global renditions you can try. The beauty of mashed potato lies in their versatility and adaptability, allowing each culture to add its unique twist to the recipe of this beloved dish.


  1. What are the best potatoes for mashing? Russet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes are the most popular choices due to their creamy texture and flavor.
  2. Can I make mashed potatoes without milk or butter? You can use alternatives like olive oil or plant-based milk to make dairy-free mashed potatoes.
  3. How can I make my mashed potatoes more flavorful? Add herbs like rosemary or garlic, or mix cheeses and spices to enhance the flavor.
  4. What dishes pair well with mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes pair well with savory dishes, including meats like shish kebabs and grilled vegetables like portobello mushrooms.
  5. Can I freeze mashed potatoes? Yes, mashed potatoes can be frozen. Store them in an airtight container and reheat thoroughly before serving.

For more delicious Mediterranean recipes and dishes, check out our to-go menu and our catering menu.