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What seasoning does first watch use on their potatoes?

First Watch is a popular breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant chain with locations across the United States. They are known for their extensive menu filled with fresh, made-to-order items including omelets, pancakes, salads and more. One of their most popular side dishes offered is their roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Potato Preparation

According to First Watch employee interviews and online research, here is some insight into how First Watch prepares their famous roasted garlic mashed potatoes:

  • They start with fresh, Russet potatoes. The potatoes are thoroughly washed, peeled and cut into uniform cubes.
  • The potato cubes are added to a pot and covered with cold water. They are cooked over medium-high heat until fork tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Once cooked, the potatoes are thoroughly drained to remove all water.
  • While still hot, the potatoes are mashed along with butter, roasted garlic, cream and seasoning.

Roasted Garlic

One of the signature flavors in First Watch’s mashed potatoes is the roasted garlic. They take whole garlic bulbs and roast them in the oven until they are soft and caramelized. The roasted garlic adds a sweet, deep garlicky flavor to the potatoes.

Roasting the Garlic

To roast garlic, First Watch likely follows this simple process:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim the top off a head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap the head of garlic in foil.
  5. Roast for 40-60 minutes until softened and golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool before handling.
  7. Squeeze the softened cloves out of their skins and mash into a paste.


In addition to roasted garlic, First Watch uses a special blend of seasonings in their mashed potatoes recipe. Based on the flavors detectable in their potatoes, some of the seasonings likely include:

  • Salt – First Watch seasons the potato water when boiling and the mashed potatoes to balance flavors.
  • Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper adds spice and flavor enhancement.
  • Butter – Real butter adds richness and binds the potatoes.
  • Heavy cream – The cream contributes to the smooth, creamy texture.
  • Chives – Fresh chives provide flavor, color and texture contrast.
  • Cheddar cheese – Aged cheddar cheese also boosts flavor.

Approximate Seasoning Ratios

Based on tasting their potatoes and researching some similar roasted garlic mashed potatoes recipes, here are approximate seasoning ratios First Watch might use:

Ingredient Ratio
Cooked potatoes 5 lbs
Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick)
Roasted garlic 6-8 cloves
Heavy cream 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup grated
Chives 1-2 Tbsp chopped
Salt and pepper To taste

Using this general ratio as a guide, First Watch’s chefs can adjust ingredients as needed to achieve the perfect bold, garlicky potato flavor profile they want for their menu.

Cooking Process

Here is an overview of the full cooking process First Watch likely uses to prepare their roasted garlic mashed potatoes:

  1. Peel, cube and boil Russet potatoes until fork tender.
  2. Drain potatoes thoroughly and return to hot pot.
  3. Mash potatoes while still hot along with roasted garlic paste.
  4. Add butter, heavy cream, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.
  5. Continue mashing until desired smooth and creamy consistency is reached.
  6. Fold in fresh chives.
  7. Taste and season additionally as needed.
  8. Serve potatoes immediately while hot.

Mashing Method

The way the potatoes are mashed also affects the final texture. First Watch most likely uses a manual masher or ricer for rustic texture versus a stand mixer that can over-whip.


For any leftover portions, First Watch likely reheats gently on the stove over low heat along with a splash of additional cream or milk to thin if needed.

Dishing it Up

First Watch serves their roasted garlic mashed potatoes in individual crock bowls alongside their breakfast and lunch entrees. A sprinkle of paprika or chives over the top adds extra flavor and visual appeal.


Some favorite meal pairings at First Watch featuring their garlic mashed potatoes include:

  • Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
  • Farmhouse Scramble
  • Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
  • French Toast & Chicken Tenders
  • Tuscan Vegetable Omelet

The roasted garlic potatoes complement both savory and sweet dishes.

Copycat Recipe

Want to recreate First Watch’s popular roasted garlic mashed potatoes at home? Try this copycat recipe:


  • 3 lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Boil the potato cubes for 15-20 minutes until very tender.
  2. Drain and return to the hot pot.
  3. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the potatoes.
  4. Add the butter and mash well until smooth.
  5. Stir in the cream, cheddar cheese, chives, salt and pepper.
  6. Mash again until well combined.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!


First Watch’s roasted garlic mashed potatoes are creamy, garlicky perfection. They take fresh Russet potatoes and roast garlic bulbs to add deep flavor. Balance that with butter, cream, cheddar cheese and chives to make a savory, irresistible side. While their exact measurements are secret, you can get close following this recipe and method. Make a batch to complement your next breakfast, brunch or dinner!