Mashed Potatoes are a staple side dish, and with this recipe, you can be sure that they turn out perfect every single time. This mashed potatoes recipe is creamy, perfectly seasoned, and amazing.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to give you this amazing Mashed Potatoes recipe. This is one of my husband’s favorite part of of the holiday meal. While he is a firm believer that they need to be served with corn or creamed corn, I have no doubt that you will love them however they land on your plate. This simple recipe is one that you can lean on over and over.
If you find yourself loving these all year long, you will see three great dinner recipes at the bottom of the post that these are perfect for.
Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
The best potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes are Yukon gold. They are subtly creamy and buttery and have a high starch content which prevents them from absorbing too much water. If you prefer Russet potatoes, I recommend using a mixture of both Yukon gold and Russet potatoes for a happy medium of texture.
While you can boil whole potatoes, cutting them into smaller pieces before cooking will help them to cook evenly and faster. This will help achieve the perfect texture and a more predictable prep time. You are looking for pieces that are about 2 to 3 inches wide at the widest point.
How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes
Here is a brief overview of how to make the best homemade mashed potato recipe. For the full measurements and instructions, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Cook the potatoes. Place your peeled and diced potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. If you prefer the texture that the skins add, skip peeling the potatoes but make sure to wash them very well.
- Add salt. Once boiling, add the salt and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft.
- Mash the potatoes. Use a potato masher first to mash the potatoes. Then add your butter followed by the milk. As you can see from the photos, I like doing this right in the pot that boiled the potatoes.
- Blend until smooth. Use a hand mixer to finish blending the potatoes.
- Season the potatoes. Start by adding only half the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder listed. Taste and add more if desired. The amount you see listed in the recipe card is the final amount I add, but tastes vary.
The Key to Smooth Mashed Potatoes
If you’ve ever had lumpy potatoes, it might have turned you off from the dish all together. But truthfully, smooth mashed potatoes is very easy to accomplish. This recipe will get you there, but the key point you don’t want to skip over is in the boiling of the potatoes. The potatoes need to be super tender before you blend them. You should be able to stick a fork in them and have them easily break in half.
Adding Milk to Mashed Potatoes
Milk is added to make the potatoes more creamy. I use skim milk because it’s what we usually have in our fridge, but a higher fat milk, half and half, or even heavy cream can be used. Placing the butter in the hot potatoes before the cold milk allows it to melt, saving you time from melting the butter yourself.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
This recipe also works great in the Instant Pot! This will keep your stovetop clear, and makes this recipe a little more hands off. The result is the same delicious creamy recipe.
- Garlic mashed potatoes. While this recipe does have some garlic in it, it’s subtle to add just enough flavor. To really impress with this recipe, roast a garlic head in the oven. Mash the roasted garlic and add it to the potatoes when you add the butter.
- Make them loaded. Mix in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of crisply cooked bacon bits to the potatoes. For some extra zip, you can also add in 1/4 cup horseradish.
- Vegan mashed potatoes. To make this recipe vegan, swap the milk for a non-dairy alternative and use vegan butter.
- Sweet potatoes. Check out this recipe for mashed sweet potatoes.
- Spice it up. Add a teaspoon of cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning for an extra flavor kick.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
If you are a gravy lover like my husband, you are going to love this Turkey Gravy over these delicious homemade mashed potatoes. It is easy to make with drippings from any roasted turkey. We also have instructions for how to make it without first roasting a turkey.
Yes. Once they are completely cool, add them to a freezer safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to three months.
For vegan mashed potatoes, use non-dairy milk and replace the butter with vegan butter.
They can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
To make mashed potatoes ahead of time, prepare the recipe as directed and store them, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat before serving in the oven, crockpot, or microwave.
Storing and Reheating
Store your leftover potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The best way to reheat mashed potatoes is to place them in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop. Add a splash of milk if needed. If you are reheating a large portion for guests, you can also place them in the crockpot on high for one hour, stirring halfway through.
If you are looking for a creative way to use leftovers, these Loaded Potato Cakes are perfect!
What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes
For ideas of what to eat with this mashed potato recipe, check out these picky eater approved favorites.
If you try this delicious recipe or any of my other recipes, leave a comment letting me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and quartered
- 3/4 cup milk (I used skim, but a higher fat milk can be used)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add the potatoes to a large stock pot. Fill with water and cover so that there is an inch of water above to top of the potatoes. Salt the water and bring it to a boil. (Read here to make vegan mashed potatoes and other mashed potato variations.)
- Once at a roaring boil, add the salt. Boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until you are able to easily mash a potato with the back of a spoon. Drain the potatoes.
- Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. Add in butter first so the hot potatoes can melt it. Then add in the milk. Using a hand mixer, blend the potatoes until smooth.
- Add half the amount of salt, garlic powder, and black pepper listed. Taste and add more until it is the taste you prefer.