These are the BEST Mashed Potatoes! They’re creamy, light, fluffy, and so easy to make! All you need is four simple ingredients to make this classic homemade favorite.
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes are simple to make but there are a few key directions that must be followed to achieve that creamy, smooth, and fluffy texture that everyone expects and loves.
Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes:
- Russet Potatoes– This is the best kind of potato for mashing because it easily mashes and absorbs butter and milk. Peel and cut to roughly the same size pieces.
- Butter– This needs to be at room temperature in order for the potatoes to absorb it. Cut into chunks and let them sit on a plate while the potatoes cook.
- Milk (or cream) – You can use any percent fat. The higher the fat, the richer the potatoes. I typically use whole or 2%. The potatoes absorb milk best when both are warm. You can either heat it in the microwave for about 50 seconds or on the stovetop in a pot. Try to not to boil it.
- Salt– The salt is added to the water as soon as the water starts boiling. This not only lowers the boiling point but also penetrates into the potatoes giving them better flavor. If you forget to add it to the water, only add 1 teaspoon directly to the potatoes when mashing.
How to make Mashed Potatoes:
Time needed: 25 minutes.
Wash dirt off potatoes and peel (rinse any additional dirt off if needed). Cut into roughly 2 inch pieces.
Place potatoes in a 3 quart pot and cover with cold water 1 inch above the potatoes (about 5-6 cups). Bring water to a boil over high heat, add salt, and reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 12-15 minutes until potatoes can easily be poked with a fork without resistance.
Drain very well in a colander, place back in the hot pot (heat off) and allow excess water to steam off potatoes for 2-3 minutes.
- Mash & Mix
Add room temperature butter and heated milk. Mash the potatoes while mixing in the milk and butter either using a hand masher, electric hand mixer, or electric stand mixer at a low speed (do NOT use a blender or food processor). Mash until smooth and creamy.
- Garnish & Serve
Place in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cracked pepper, chopped parsley, and extra butter.
Russet or Yukon Gold. Russets, also called “Idaho potatoes” or “baking potatoes” are starchy and dry which allows them to break down into a smooth creamy mash as well as absorb cream and butter better. Yukon potatoes have a natural buttery flavor but are more dense so the mash won’t be quite as fluffy.
Mashed potatoes are best fresh but you can get a head start on them. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes and place in cold water in the fridge for up to 4-5 hours.
This ultimately depends on how large the potatoes are cut. For 1 inch pieces, check for doneness at 10 minutes, for 2 inch or larger, begin checking at 14 minutes. Altitude also affect boiling time. Higher altitudes require long boiling time.
1.) Place potatoes in cold water so they cook evenly. 2.) Don’t overcook-Cook just until potatoes can be pierced with a fork with no resistance (they should NOT fall apart). 3.) Drain thoroughly and let them steam off in the hot pan. 4.) Use warm milk and room temperature butter. 5.) Do not overwork. A food processor or blender is too powerful. Many claim a food mill or ricer works best but I just use an electric mixer on low speed just until mashed and creamy and have always had fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, cloud-like potatoes.
Warm potatoes in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute. Warm in the oven at 350 degrees F in a casserole dish covered tightly with foil. Heat for about 15-20 minutes.
If dry, stir in about 1 tablespoon warm milk for every cup of mashed potatoes.
Yes! Reheat in a foil covered casserole dish in the oven and stir in a little warm milk.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES:
- Pot & Skillet Set– These are the skillets and pots I use. They have a heavy bottom making them sturdy and cook the food evenly. I use these multiple times a day.
- Electric Hand Mixer– This is one of my most used kitchen gadgets. It’s great for frosting, whipping egg whites, cookie dough…
- Peeler– This is my favorite peeler. It has a good grip and is nice and sharp.
LOOKING FOR MORE THANKSGIVING SIDE DISHES? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Asparagus Casserole
- The BEST Thanksgiving Stuffing
- 3-Ingredient Roasted Green Beans
The Best Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, washed, peeled, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons table salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed, room temperature
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk (or half-and-half), warm
- Place potatoes in a 3 quart pot and cover with cold water 1 inch above the potatoes (about 5-6 cups).
- Bring water to a boil over high heat, add salt, and reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 12-15 minutes until potatoes can easily be poked with a fork without resistance. Drain very well in a colander, place back in the hot pot (heat turned off) and allow excess water to steam off potatoes for 2-3 minutes.
- Add room temperature butter and warm milk. Mash the potatoes while mixing in the milk and butter either using a hand masher, electric hand mixer, or electric stand mixer at a low speed (do NOT use a blender or food processor). Mash until smooth and creamy.
- Place in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cracked pepper, chopped parsley, and extra butter.