A creamy, buttery yuca mash is a delicious variation on the traditional mashed potatoes. You’ll love this thyme infused mashed cassava as an anytime side dish all year long.
Once I learned how to cook yuca and realized how easy it can be to make such a simple root delicious, it became a favorite side for my whole family. We love serving yuca with mojo, trying out new and delicious yuca recipes, and of course, we love this simply creamy garlic mashed yuca recipe.
It’s no more complicated than mashed potatoes. But, you get to enjoy the sweet, subtle flavors of yuca which are complimented by cream, butter, herbs, and simple seasonings. Plus since yuca is available all year round, I can whip this up anytime, no matter the season or what I’m serving.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- It’s a versatile side dish that can be served with roasted meat, veggies, soup, or salad.
- Yuca mash is creamy, filling, and hearty, but healthy too.
- It’s an easy, 30 minutes side dish that tastes great with just a handful of simple ingredients.
There are so many things I could tell you about yuca, and you can find tons of facts in my guide on cassava root. But there are a few things I definitely want to mention here too.
Before you start cooking it’s important to have a yuca that’s in good condition. I always start by peeling the outer brown skin off. You can do that by making a slit from top to bottom and twisting your knife under it. Or just slice it into rounds and cut it off. Make sure you also remove the pink layer underneath.
Next, check it for any black. You can cut off a spot or two, but if black is veining through the root, it’s no longer safe to eat. If it’s white, then gather these other ingredients to make a delicious, garlicky cassava mash.
- Yuca – About 1.5 pounds, peeled as directed above.
- Garlic – Use 2 fresh cloves smashed with your knife to release that tasty garlic flavor.
- Salt – I love sea salt for this recipe!
- Butter – Use unsalted so you can control the seasoning.
- Milk – You’ll need around ¼ cup, possibly a touch more or less depending on the texture of the final mash.
- Thyme – I really prefer the fresh thyme. You can use dried but only use only a ⅓ of the amount called for.
- Pepper – Fresh cracked pepper to taste is the perfect finishing touch.
With your peeled yuca and other ingredients in hand you’ll also need a medium pot and a small saucepan to make this recipe.
Cut the yuca lengthwise into 4 wedges and use a knife to remove the fibrous inner core. Next, chop it into chunks. Add it to the pot with the salt, smashed garlic, and enough water to cover by 1-2 inches.
Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat so it can simmer for 20 minutes or so. When the yuca is very tender, drain it and the garlic, then return it to the hot pan. Add in the butter and let it begin to melt.
Then puree using a potato masher or an immersion blender. In a separate saucepan, gently heat the milk and add it to the mashed cassava. Start with just half and add more until you’ve reached a consistency that you like. Add in the fresh thyme then season your cassava mash with salt and pepper to taste.
When you’re ready to serve, a scoop of creamy yuca mash topped with a small bit of butter is the perfect side to lots of dishes. It’s so simple and tasty that I think you’ll end up loving this as much as my family does. If you need some inspiration for what to serve with it, try these favorites, there’s an option no matter the season!
- Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup
- Baked Panko & Herb Crusted Salmon
- Pomegranate Sheet Pan Chicken
- Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Yuca Mash with Garlic and Thyme (Mashed Cassava)
- 1.5 lb (680g) fresh yuca
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup milk , plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
- salt and black pepper , to taste
- First, you need to peel the yuca root. Trim off the ends and cut it crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Make a slit in the skin from top to bottom. Insert a knife under the skin and slightly twist it to loosen the skin. Alternatively, you can set each piece side up and cut the skin off using a knife.
- You have to get rid of both the waxy brown skin and pink layer inside. Also, if there are any dark areas on the white flesh, cut them off. If the discoloration runs throughout the whole root, it may have gone bad and you have to discard it.
- Next you have to remove the woody core (similar to pineapple). Set each piece side up and cut in half lengthwise. Next, cut in half once again so the root is now quartered and the core is exposed. Cut it off from each piece. Lastly, cut into chunks.
- Place the chunks together with garlic and salt into a medium pot filled with water (enough to cover the yuca root by an inch or two). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the root is very tender.
- Drain and return the yuca pieces and garlic to a hot pot. Add the butter and let stand for a couple of minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or potato masher until smooth.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until hot. Stir in the heated milk (start by adding half until you reach the desired consistency), fresh thyme, salt, and pepper into the mashed yuca. Serve warm.