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Layered Sweet and Savory Mashed Potatoes with Fried Onions

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: about 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 6


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

For the Onions

  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rings
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk


  1. Place two large pots of water on the stovetop. To one pot add the sweet potato chunks. To the other pot add the russet potato chunks. Set heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are completely softened through and meet no resistance when tested with a fork or knife. Drain into separate colanders.
  2. While the potatoes boil, in a small saucepan combine the milk, cream and butter. Heat over medium heat until until the mixture is warmed through and the butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (or the pot that you cooked the potatoes in), place the cooked and drained sweet potatoes. Add half of the warmed milk and butter mixture. Use a masher to mash and smooth the potato pieces. Add a good amount of salt and pepper, tasting the mixture until you reach your desired seasoning.
  4. Spread potatoes into a large (I used a 10-inch) cast iron skillet, or another large casserole dish. Spread onto an even layer.
  5. Return the russet potatoes to their pot (or a large bowl, if you life dirtying a lot of dishes). Add the remaining milk and butter mixture and mash to your desired consistency. Mashing the potatoes with a potato masher will leave a few lumps in the potatoes. That’s fine by me! If you want perfectly smooth potatoes, consider using a ricer. Season your russet potatoes to your desired seasoning and spread over the sweet potatoes in the cast iron or casserole dish.
  6. To make the fried onions, in a medium saucepan, heat about inches of oil. Add a fry thermometer, place the pan over medium heat and bring to 350 degrees F.
  7. In a large bowl toss together flour, salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl toss together onions and buttermilk.
  8. Transfer all of the buttermilk coated onion rings to the flour mixture. Toss until well coated.
  9. Carefully transfer some of the flour coated onions to the hot oil and try until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a rings when golden brown, bring the oil back up to temperature, and continue frying all of the onions.
  10. Pile the fried onions atop the potatoes in the skillet (or casserole dish). Serve warm, or if you’d like, toast under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.
  11. You can make and layer the potatoes ahead of time, cover and store in the refrigerator until mealtime. Heat, covered, in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through. Make the fried onions just before serving.


  • Serving Size: 8