Learn how to make Mashed Potatoes that come out perfectly creamy every time; creamy, delicious, and fluffy!
Mashed potatoes (and stuffing) are the best part of any holiday meal. The tips below ensure perfection every time!
The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
The best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes are starchy potatoes liike Russet or Idaho potatoes. Yukon gold work too but they’re more buttery and not quite as starchy.
If you’d like, leave some of the skin on if using Yukon gold potatoes. The skin adds texture.
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 I 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.
How To Make Mashed Potatoes
The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is to get the consistency right.
- 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.
- 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.
- Butter is Your Friend: There are places you can skimp on the 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.
- Heat Your Cream: Heat your milk/cream before adding. This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better. Add cream/milk a little 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!
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 entirely depends on how big they are cut.
I quarter my potatoes and boil them about 15 minutes. To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork and if it is easy to pierce the potato, it is done!
To 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.
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.
- Loaded Mashed Potato Egg Rolls
- Shepherd’s Pie – Family favorite!
- Colcannon Recipe (Cabbage and Potatoes)
- Loaded Twice Baked Potato Casserole – Great side dish
- Baked Potato Soup – Creamy and amazing!
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
- 4 pounds potatoes russet or Yukon gold
- ⅓ cup salted butter melted
- 1 cup milk or cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic optional
- Peel and quarter potatoes, place in cold salted water.
- Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.
- Heat milk on the stove top (or in the microwave) until warm.
- 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.
- Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)