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The BEST Mashed Potatoes (how to make mashed potatoes)

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These are BEST mashed potatoes, incredibly buttery and creamy, easy to make and the perfect addition to every meal.

I’ve included all of my best tips below to make sure they are absolutely perfect every time!

plated The Best Mashed Potatoes with butter

We Love Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes (and stuffing) are the best part of any holiday meal and the perfect side with almost anything! They go especially well with sauces, gravy or things like Salisbury steak, beef tips, or Swiss steak.

  • Below I’ve shared my favorite tips and tricks for creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes each and every time.
  • They are so buttery and creamy, nobody can resist (and anyone can master perfect mashed potatoes)!
  • Mashed potatoes are great on their own and of course, served with turkey and gravy, holiday meals or just as good ol’ comfort food.

The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

The best potatoes for mashed potatoes are Russet or Idaho potatoes because of their high starch content.  Yukon gold potatoes are another good option, the texture of Yukon gold is a  bit more buttery and not quite as starchy.

If using Yukon gold potatoes, you can leave some of the skin on for a bit of texture. Russet or Idaho potatoes have a tough skin that should be peeled first.

ingredients to make The Best Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients in Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes so there are no additions of cheeses or spices but 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 the 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 warmed whole milk in this recipe, but cream also works if you have it on hand. Remember to heat the dairy for the best potatoes.
  • 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. Chives are great in this recipe too (add with the butter).

Ingredients to make mashed potatoes. Butter, milk, potatoes, salt and pepper

Tips for the Best Mashed Potatoes

The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is consistency.

  • Drain Well: I usually let them sit for 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 for the creamiest potatoes. A hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can work but it can also break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a gummy texture.
  • Add BUTTER! 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 adds a creamy and… well, buttery texture.
  • Heat the 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.

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.

  1. Peel the Potatoes: Peel the potatoes (per recipe below).
  2. Cut into quarters and place into cold salted water (cold water helps to ensure they cook evenly).

peeled potatoes to make The Best Mashed Potatoes

  1. Boil the Potatoes: Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. The length of time you need to boil the potatoes depends on how big they are cut. I cut my potatoes into quarters and boil them for about 15 minutes.  To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork to poke the potato and see if it is tender!

potatoes in a pot of water to make The Best Mashed Potatoes

  1. Mash the Potatoes:  Once well drained, mash with the potatoes with a hand masher and with melted butter, warmed milk, and salt & pepper per the recipe below.

Mashing potatoes in a bowl

To Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time

Follow the recipe below and allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To Heat the Potatoes for Serving

Spread them into a greased casserole pan, dot with butter if desired and cover. Bake at 325°F until the butter melts and the potatoes are heated through, about 35-40 minutes. If you’d like a browned crust, bake uncovered.

top view of The Best Mashed Potatoes

Freezing Mashed Potatoes

You can freeze mashed potatoes and they 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 thaw quickly). When you reheat them, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of potatoes and place them in the oven to reheat (or microwave stirring occasionally).

They are an easy side dish and go perfectly with Mushroom Salisbury SteakCrock Pot Pork Chops, and of course a roast turkey!

Got Leftovers?

I have four words for you. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes.

Did you love this Mashed Potatoes Recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

The Best Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy, creamy and buttery, these are absolutely PERFECT mashed potatoes.


Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

  • Peel and quarter potatoes, place in a pot of cold salted water.

  • Add garlic (if using) & bring to a boil, 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 heated milk a little at a time while using a potato masher to reach desired consistency.

  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

  • 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 for the creamiest potatoes. A hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can work, but it can also break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a gummy texture.
  • Add BUTTER! 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 and season potatoes to taste). Butter adds a creamy and… well, buttery texture.
  • Heat the Cream:  Heat your milk/cream before adding.  This keeps the potatoes hot and it absorbs better.  Add cream/milk a little a time to get the right consistency.

To Make Ahead
Follow the recipe below and allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To Heat the Potatoes for Serving spread them into a greased casserole dish and dot with butter. Bake at 325°F until the butter melts and the potatoes are heated through, about 35-40 minutes (you may need more or less time based on the shape of the dish and the amount of potatoes). If you’d like a browned crust, bake uncovered.

Calories: 209, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 798mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 238IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 2mg

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

Keyword creamy mashed potatoes, how to make the best mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, the best mashed potatoes

Course How To, Side Dish

Cuisine American

The Best Mashed Potatoes with a title
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The Best Mashed Potatoes in a bowl with writing
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