Mashed Potatoes: the best-ever recipe for perfect mashed potatoes

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

If you're searching for a crowd-pleasing side dish that the whole family will love, look no further than these easy homemade mashed potatoes. Any holiday or family dinner will be made even better with a bowl of creamy homemade mashed potatoes on the table. They're an incredible side dish to serve on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter or occasions where you're feeding a large group.

Homemade mashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and buttery, and super easy to make ahead of time. These creamy mashed potatoes only take about half an hour to make, so they're ideal if you need to whip up a quick, tasty side dish just before your guests arrive.

Homemade Mashed Potato Ingredients

You don't need many ingredients to make fantastically flavorful, creamy mashed potatoes at home.

The best type of potatoes for making mashed potatoes are ones with high levels of starch. Use Russets or Yukon Golds. Yukon Golds have a better flavor and will give you the most delicious mashed potatoes ever.

In addition to potatoes, you'll also need heavy cream, butter, a dash of milk, some salt, and pepper. Simple yet totally delicious.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes are easy to make. For the best results, peel your potatoes before boiling them. You can save the peelings to make potato skin crisps, use them for hash browns, or add them to a casserole or soup. To make mashed potatoes, put the peel, quartered potatoes into a large pot filled with salted cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Put the lid on the pot, and cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're tender.

As the potatoes are cooking, warm the cream in a pot, then whisk in the butter until combined. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the cream to the bowl, then mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add a splash of milk and continue to mash the potatoes until smooth. Season your mash generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Tips for Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Putting the potatoes into cold water rather than boiling water helps them to cook evenly, which is essential for perfect mashed potatoes.

Don't skip warming the butter and heavy cream. Warming them will help them mix into the mashed potatoes more easily and be less work for you overall.

You can make mashed potatoes up to 2 days in advance.

To make slow cooker mashed potatoes, add potatoes, 1 ½ cups of milk, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook them on high for 4 hours. Mash the potatoes, then pour melted butter and cream over the potatoes and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

For Instant Pot mashed potatoes, put the potatoes, salt, and water into your pressure cooker. Set to high and cook for 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender. Do a quick release, then drain off any leftover liquid. Put the potatoes in a bowl and mash them until smooth. Pour melted butter and warmed milk over the potatoes and stir until they become creamy. Season well with salt and pepper.

Mashed Potato Variations

There are tons of fantastic mashed potato variations you can make. Try adding fresh chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil, cheese, bacon, pancetta, garlic, or chopped chives to your mashed potatoes.

You can use milk instead of cream, add sour cream or cream cheese for decadent mashed potatoes.

Or if you're dairy-free, olive oil and plant-based milk can be used in place of butter and heavy cream, and milk. Soy milk and rice milk have neutral flavors and would be the best option.

What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes

Serve your mashed potatoes as a side dish with anything from roast chicken or turkey, pot roasts, steaks, lamb, beef wellington, and more. Be sure to have a side of homemade gravy or melted herb butter to drizzle over your mashed potatoes to make them utterly irresistible.

What to Do with Mashed Potato Leftovers

Don't throw out your leftover mashed potatoes! They're perfect for making mashed potato cakes, croquettes, as a topping for savory pies like shepherd's pie or cottage pie, or to make homemade gnocchi.

You can also add mashed potatoes to soup to make it extra thick and creamy. They're amazing in leek and potato soup.

How to Store and Reheat Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Place leftover mashed potatoes into an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. To reheat them, cover and microwave them for 2 to 3 minutes then stir and serve them. You can also reheat mashed potatoes on the stovetop. Heat until warmed through.

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potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 pounds
Heavy Cream
4 tbsp
butter, melted
2 tbsp
Whole Milk
1 to 2 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste


Put the potatoes in a saucepan. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by at least one inch. Salt the water, then bring it to a boil. Lower to a simmer, then cover and cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Heat the cream in a saucepan. Add the melted butter, and stir to combine.

Drain the potatoes. Put them in a large bowl. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes. Pour in the milk and mash until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper, then serve warm with a knob of butter.

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