The BEST Mashed Potatoes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes that come out perfectly creamy every time! These are truly the best mashed potatoes.

Potatoes are my kryptonite (ok, potatoes and Stuffing).They are an easy side dish and go perfectly with Mushroom Salisbury SteakCrock Pot Pork Chops and of course a roast turkey!

A bowl of creamy mashed potatoes topped with fresh parsley and melted butter.

Potatoes are great however they’re prepared – baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and or in a Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole. Homemade mashed potatoes are at the top of my list!

The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

This is an easy mashed potato recipe but it’s important to start with the right kind of potatoes.

The best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes are starchy potato, such as a Russet or Idaho potato is ideal, Yukon gold makes great mashed potatoes too. I sometimes like to leave some of the skin on if I’m using a Yukon gold potato, I love the texture it adds to the mashed potatoes.

Other Ingredients

This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes so there are no additions of cheeses or exotic spices. Of course you can add those if you’d  like.

  • Butter: This is one place where there really are no substitutes. Add real butter to your potatoes and plenty of it. I prefer salted if it have it but unsalted works and the potatoes can be salted to taste.
  • Cream/Milk: I use regular whole milk in this recipe, you can also use cream if you have it on hand. Remember to heat the dairy for the best potatoes.
  • Garlic/Seasonings: Again, keeping this recipe simple, I simply add salt & pepper. If you’d like a little bit of garlic, chop a few cloves and let them boil with the potatoes.

A wooden spoon full of light and fluffy mashed potatoes

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes are super simple to make with very few ingredients. You can make them in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, but I really do think the best mashed potatoes are a simple classic. 

The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is to get the consistency right. Here are a few tips for perfect mashed potatoes:

  1. Drain well: I usually let them sit about 5 minutes or so to completely drain or even drain well and put them back in the warm pot for a few minutes to make sure all liquid is evaporated.
  2. Mash by Hand: Use a hand masher or a potato ricer. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a very gluey or gummy texture. You can still get buttery smooth creamy mashed potatoes mashing by hand.
  3. Butter is Your Friend:. There are places you can skimp on butter and this is not one of them.  I like to use salted butter and lots of it (but you can use unsalted season yourself). Butter helps your mashed potatoes get a creamy… well, buttery texture.
  4. Heat Your Cream:  Heat your milk/cream before adding.  This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better.  Add cream/milk a little a a time to get the right consistency.

Cream cheese, garlic, and butter added to homemade mashed potatoes can add a delicious tang! You can really add whatever toppings you love the most, mashed potatoes are very forgiving!

Creamy mashed potatoes getting mashed with pepper and butter.

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashed

Potatoes should always be placed in cold salted water and brought to a boil, this helps them cook evenly. 

The length of time you need to boil the potatoes for entirely depends on how big they are cut. I quarter them so they generally take about 15 minutes.  To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork. If it is easy to pierce the potato, it is ready to go!

Make Ahead

Mashed potatoes can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Follow the recipe as directed and cool completely. Refrigerate.

To reheat, they can be placed in a casserole dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir in a little bit of warm cream/milk if needed. You can also reheat these in the microwave stirring occasionally or even on low in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.

a close up of a pile of creamy mashed potatoes with melting butter.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes

You sure can, frozen mashed potatoes reheat pretty well in the oven with a little milk. To freeze, scoop them into a plastic freezer bag and press flat (this helps them defrost and reheat evenly)! When you reheat them, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of potatoes and stick them in the oven to reheat.

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes

I have four words for you. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

4.89 from 18 votes
Review Recipe

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Fluffy, creamy and buttery, these are literally the PERFECT mashed potato.


  • 4 pounds potatoes russet or Yukon gold
  • 1/3 cup salted butter melted
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic optional

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, place in cold salted water.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  3. Heat milk on the stove top (or in the microwave) until warm.
  4. Add butter to the potatoes and begin mashing. Pour in milk a little at a time while using a potato masher to reach desired consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Add milk/cream a little bit at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 243, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 75mg, Potassium: 981mg, Carbohydrates: 42g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 235%, Vitamin C: 13%, Calcium: 61%, Iron: 1.9%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword mashed potatoes






These are the perfect mashed potatoes! They are fluffy, buttery, light, and go perfectly with just about any main dish! #spendwithpennies #potatoes #potato #mashed #mashedpotatoes #butter #starch

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author


pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I have been looking for the desired combination of butter to cream and this was it. People said this was the best mashed potatoes from me.
    Followed recipe except I steamed the potatoes. Surprisingly reheating a day later they were still good with flavor.

  2. I don’t know where the recipe originates from, but potato pancakes. There are no real measures. Add 1 or 2 eggs depending how much mashed you have left and flour. Roll them out, about 1/8″ thick and panfry in lard, oil, wich ever you prefer. Serve with meal as a substitute for potatoes or add on.

    Personnaly, slater with butter and stuff your face.

    You can also add grated cheese, extra spices, garlic, whatever you fancy.

    1. Hi Justine, we have only made this recipe as written but if increasing the potatoes I would try increasing your milk to 1 ¼ cups of milk with 6 tablespoons or so of butter. Add them slowly until it reaches your desired consistency.

  3. Haven’t tried this, but I wish recipe creators would list how much salt and pepper to use, as a starting point. “To taste” is not helpful. You might say, “2 tbsps. of salt, or to taste,” to give readers an idea. Ina Garten, for instance, always lists a definite amount.

    1. The reason it says “to taste” is because everyone has a different level of saltiness/”pepperiness” preference. Add a pinch or two, taste, then add more as needed, then taste again

    1. Do you cover the potatoes when they are sitting in the cold water? How long do they sit on the cold water?

      Then how long do you boil?

  4. these came out really well holly! thanks for the recipe and helpful tips. your 5-star rating for this one is well-earned!

  5. Hi Holly! How long do you leave the potatoes on cold water? Is it the same water you use to cook? Or you drain them and then add more water?

      1. No, the reason it takes longer than you said because your instructions are not clear. Step 1, you said add the potatoes to cold water. Step 2, you said add potatoes. One would know that they must be brought to a boil, but you didn’t specify that in your directions. That adds to the cooking time.

  6. I made these for Thanksgiving and they turned out PERFECT!!!! I used half and half because that’s all I had. I usually eyeball ingredients for mashed potatoes and the results are, not surprisingly, inconsistent. Sometimes they end up gummy or too loose. I followed this recipe to the T and they were the most delicious mashed potatoes I ever made. Thank you!!!!

    1. Potatoes can vary in size so it can depend on what type.

      1 pound of potatoes is about 4 small potatoes or about 2 larger russet potatoes. I hope that gives you a gauge, keep in mind that mashed potatoes are pretty forgiving so you can adjust the milk/cream/butter to get the right consistency. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. What is the best way to make mashed potatoes at home and bring to a family party approx. 1 hour away and either keep warm and/or reheat without wrecking the consistency or flavor?

    1. Covering them with foil should keep them warm. If you need to reheat, add a splash of milk to keep them from drying out.

  8. Can’t wait to try your recipe it sound so yummy!!!! Can you add shredded cheese to the mashed potatoes?  If so, which kind do you recommend & when should it be added 

    1. You could add any shredded cheese that you enjoy. Cheddar would be great! I’d suggest adding it in just after you’ve mixed in the milk. Enjoy!

  9. These were awesome! Was perfect! I just put 1/2 cup butter instead of 1/3. I made them with my Kitchen Aide mixer. YUM. I’m going to make your shepard pie right now so they will go on the top.

  10. I like to boil my potatoes with skins on in order to keep all the nutrients on and under the skin. It seems like everyone or most people peel and cut potatoes to boil faster. Am I doing it wrong? Everything else you do is exactly how I make them.

    1. It’s not wrong to boil with the skins… the great thing about cooking is that there are many different ways to make a dish! Enjoy!

  11. hi Holly! Love all your recipes! If you opt to put the garlic in with the potatoes, do you put the cloves in whole? Do you keep them in while mashing? I mash by hand because we like lumps! TIA

  12. Hi, I just made this recipe and they were the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever made.  Sort of made myself sick because I kept going back for more potatoes!  I used heavy whipping cream instead of milk and did opt to add the garlic with the potato’s while they cooked.  So light and delicious.  Thank you.

  13. I want to try this and your loaded mashed potato bombs! I may or may not completely LOVE potatoes haha If I have tonight I’ll do a market run so I can at least try one of these recipes tomorrow. thank you