The Best Mashed Potatoes recipe comes together with boiled potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk! Making homemade mashed potatoes is so easy and the rich and fluffy consistency makes it fantastic for make-ahead mashed potatoes! Learn all the tips to make a creamy mashed potatoes recipe like a pro.  

how to make the best mashed potatoes recipe by mashing boiled potatoes in a pot

Need some ideas for leftover mashed potatoes? Try these Stuffed Mashed Potato Pancakes with braised cabbage or make our TGI Friday’s Mashed Potato Casserole with Cheesy Chicken (SO GOOD!) Shepard pie is always a smart way to transform leftovers into a delicious casserole when you’re wondering what to do with leftover mashed potatoes!

Mashed Potatoes

I pretty much have this mashed potato recipe memorized–it is my favorite way to make mashed potatoes! These mashed taters are as easy-to-make as mashing boiled potatoes then adding milk, butter, and salt–all with the help of a hand mixer. I love my mashed potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream because you can freeze mashed potatoes this way.

This mashed potatoes recipe has been a family-favorite side dish served with meat and other tasty sides for years! I’d bring these mashed potatoes as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner regularly as I was in charge of bringing the potato side for family gatherings! And when potatoes are what’s for dinner I already know how many potatoes the children need to peel (super basic!)

It’s the BEST mashed potatoes recipe and highly adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand. If all I have is Russet potatoes, I’ll use those, however, Yukon Gold, Idaho, or any potatoes will work! And if you like mashed potatoes with heavy cream use that instead of milk. There are just so many variations like using buttermilk for mashed potatoes when you’re out of sour cream too.

the best mashed potatoes recipe

Make-Ahead:

Not only are these smooth mashed potatoes indulgent the day of making but leftovers can easily be refrigerated for prepping this mashed potato side ahead of time for another meal! Better yet, you can freeze mashed potatoes and reheat them by baking them in the oven (no one will even know!) Freezer potatoes are a huge time-saver, especially for holidays when you have so many other things to make!

If you’re looking to make the best homemade mashed potatoes recipe, with a perfectly whipped and ultra-light consistency this is the only indulgent, and buttery smooth recipe that you need to pin! It’s amazing!  

 

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Also known as sour cream potatoes, the only way to freeze mashed potatoes so that they reheat to a creamy consistency is to use cream cheese and sour cream. Because the richness from these dairy products adds a substantial amount of fat to the potatoes they won’t separate or taste gritty!

I will sometimes intentionally make a double batch specifically for freezing afterward, this is great for when you know you’ll be having a chicken dinner to accompany a side of creamy potatoes. Plus, if you have a bag of potatoes going bad soon, turn them into freezer mashed potatoes before they sprout!

To Freeze: prepare the mashed potatoes as directed. Spread in a disposable 13×9 pan and cool completely. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 6 months.

To reheat: place the frozen pan of mashed potatoes into a pre-heated 330°F oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until potatoes is heated thoroughly. how to freeze mashed potatoes

Q&A

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mash?

For perfectly boiled fork-tender potatoes cook for 25 minutes! I get perfectly fork-tender potatoes every time with this timing! Matter of fact every time I cook potatoes whether in soups or boiling the potatoes before mashing I always used this cooking time-it doesn’t matter what size the potatoes are-25 minutes is perfect timing for the potatoes to finish cooking.

Keep in mind I’m referring to average-sized potatoes if you’re using commercial baking potatoes you will have to adjust the timing. I will usually cut my extra-large potatoes into fours and the regular-sized taters in half for easier mashing later.

Baby potatoes can be left whole and so can peeled garlic cloves if making garlic-infused mashed potatoes.    

How to boil and steam potatoes for mashed potatoes

 

How To Make Mashed Potatoes?

There are two popular potatoes to use for making this recipe–russet or Yukon Gold. Since Russet potatoes are starchy it is only ideal to use extra dairy products like sour cream or cream cheese to bind the starchy flakes of potato flesh. Golden potatoes are usually a creamy potato, to begin with, once boiled which can easily be made with basic milk and butter, however adding that extra richness of creams makes these freezer-friendly and full of flavor! The most important handy kitchen tool to use when making mashed potatoes is a hand mixer! I will only make mashed potatoes with a hand mixer even though I have a stainless steel potato masher utensil! It is the easy way to make perfectly whipped mashed potatoes right in the pot! Simply attach the beaters and mash up the chunks of boiled potatoes (or boil the potatoes whole.)

  1. To Make Simple Mashed Potatoes choose the potatoes of choice (or use a blend of starchy and waxy Russet potatoes or buttery Yukon golds.)
  2. Peel the potato skins (or leave skins on for extra nutrition this works best with mashed red potatoes and garlic.) Then cut the potatoes into chunks for even cooking (I like to quarter or halve my potatoes.)
  3. Transfer the potatoes into a large 5-quart pot. Cover potatoes with water about 3/4 full so you use some of the starchy water from the potatoes for mashing and not waste too much of the nutrient-dense water.
  4. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook for 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Strain the starchy water into a bowl and set it aside.
  5. With the drained potatoes still in the pot, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter. Cover and steam the solids with the potatoes for 5 minutes. This melts the ingredients and makes for creamy potatoes.
  6. Using a hand mixer with the beaters attached, mash the potatoes until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the pot. You do not have to worry about overmixing if you haven’t added the liquid yet. Potatoes can beat long if beating without the liquid. However, once you add the liquid you want to avoid overmixing because the potatoes can turn gummy.
  7. Add the salt, milk, and part of the reserved starchy potato water. Beat until smooth.
  8. Serve warm with gravy or as a side to meat and vegetables.

Chef’s Tip: if prepping potatoes ahead of time for a big event like catering, submerge the cut potatoes into ice-cold water overnight. Then bring the pot of potatoes to a boil and prepare as needed. Note: for smashed potatoes, roughly mash the potatoes by steaming the potatoes dry, then shaking the pot of hot potatoes covered.

Is Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free?

Potatoes are a vegetable making them completely gluten-free! Gluten is usually found in grains like rye or wheat. However, make sure the gravy to your mashed potatoes is made from cornstarch for a gluten-free potato dish.

Heavy Cream or Milk?

Many mashed potato recipes call for either milk or cream, and sometimes I even use both! Heavy whipping cream adds richness to plain mashed potatoes whereas milk is much lighter and great for making ultralight whipped potatoes. Milk can stretch out the mashed potatoes making it seem like there are more potatoes in a serving. If you can’t settle between cream or milk use Half and Half!

Can I Make This Dairy-Free?

This is not a vegan recipe since it’s loaded with dairy products like cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream. However, to make Vegan mashed potatoes: sub in vegan butter, plain almond milk, and vegan approved cream cheese. 

Ingredients For Mashed Potatoes:

This recipe makes easy mashed potatoes for the home cook because most ingredients are probably right in your fridge! Once you learn how to make homemade mashed potatoes you can whip this up anytime! It takes simple ingredients to make a pot of Classic Mashed Potatoes and no fancy equipment.

ingredients for mashed potatoes including Yukon Gold potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt, and milk.

Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese- I used to use 1 (8oz) package of Philadelphia cream cheese but found it works just as good if not better with a smidge less. Plus it stretches out the potatoes without using a ton.
  • Sour Cream- Daisy brand is my favorite brand! Some other sour creams seem to be diluted thinner, not Daisy’s.
  • Butter- 1 (4 oz) stick of butter is perfect for 13 medium potatoes.
  • Seasonings- salt is all I really use to season my mashed potatoes. Feel free to use garlic salt or dried chives for more flavor.
  • Water or Broth- cook your potatoes in  2 cups of chicken broth in place of 2 cups of the water called for in this recipe or, season the water with bouillon cubes or chicken stock powder for extra flavor. I will also repurpose part of my starchy potato water for mashing the potatoes.
  • Potatoes- Yukon gold potatoes are the best for creamy mashed potatoes but Russet or any white potatoes like Chef potatoes or Idaho potatoes will work too.
  • Milk- makes a lighter whipped potato dish with an ultra-light and fluffy texture. The cream makes the potatoes richer and denser.
  • Fresh herbs-(optional) use dried or fresh parsley as a garnish.

Note: if you cannot find mushroom bouillon cubes, make your own! Simply strain the juice from your mushrooms when they fry. That’s your homemade mushroom broth; add it to the simmering pot of potatoes.

What Size Pot To Make Mashed Potatoes?

This recipe yields about 12 servings. Use a 5-quart pot to boil the potatoes. For every pound of potatoes use a quart-sized pot. 

How To Store Mashed Potatoes?

Leftovers can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Anything longer should be frozen.

To Reheat: simply revive the mashed potatoes by reheating them in the microwave with a splash of water or milk. Mashed potatoes reheat great in a skillet too with a splash of milk. 

How To Make-Ahead: 

To prep mashed potatoes ahead of time simply prepare and make the potatoes according to the directions. Spread mashed potatoes in a 13×9 baking dish. Cool completely then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 

Reheating Oven Instructions: place the baking dish into a 350°F oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Microwave Instructions: You can also store the mashed potatoes in a glass bowl covered in plastic wrap for reheating in the microwave. Simply poke the plastic wrap with a fork then microwave for up to 14 minutes over high stirring once in between. If microwaving in smaller portions place 3-4 cups of mashed potatoes into a glass bowl and microwave stirring every 3 minutes, until hot. 

Crock-Pot Reheating Instructions: mashed potatoes reheat great in a slow cooker, especially if you go off to church and leave the potatoes in the crockpot over warm or low until you come back. Set at warm or low for 2 hours. If in a rush heat over high for up to 1 hour. 

Can I Make In The Crock-Pot?

To make crockpot mashed potatoes simply toss the cubed potatoes into your favorite slow cooker and cover with water. This works great if your day is busy and you want to come back to it later.

  1. If the time allows for a slow and easy dinner, cube the potatoes into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Transfer into a 6-quart slow cooker and cover with a liter of water.
  3. Cook over high for 5-6 hours.
  4. Drain the potatoes reserving the water and add the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter. Cover and steam until the butter has melted.
  5. Then whip with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in the milk and part of the potato water until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes? 

  1. If you have this handy pressure cooker cube the potatoes into 1 or 2-inch cubes.
  2. Pour 2 cups of water and salt to the bottom of the pot and add the potatoes.
  3. Pressure cook over high for 12 minutes. Drepessurize for 5 minutes then release the pressure by turning the valve.
  4. Drain and reserve the liquid. Place the pot of potatoes back into the instant pot and add the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter then cover with the lid to steam and melt the butter. 
  5. Using a hand mixer whip the potatoes over high until smooth. Add the milk and part of the reserved water until desired consistency. 

What Are The Best Potatoes To Use?

I used large Yukon Gold Potatoes for these Ultra-light whipped mashed potatoes, however, there are many that can be used when mashing boiled potatoes. Here are the common potato varieties to be used:

  • Russet Potatoes (Burbank)- these oblong taters have starchy and dry flaky flesh when cooked. With added dairy, the potatoes can mash beautifully and make for a light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
  •  Idaho potatoes- is another high in starch potato variety that is great for baking, boiling, and mashing.
  • Yukon Golds- this waxy potato is low in starch, high in sugar and moisture, making deliciously smooth mashed potatoes without the addition of dairy products that commonly enhance regular potatoes.
  • Red Potatoes (Red Bliss)- fall into the waxy sort. Since these potatoes are small they can be hard to peel so just leave the skins on when boiling.
  • White or Yellow Potatoes- are all-purpose cooking potatoes with white or yellow flesh and are typically cheaper.

Mash Variations?

Pack extra nutrition, into your mashed potatoes by leaving the skins on and repurposing the starchy potato water that the potatoes boiled in. Here are some flavorful ideas to turn basic mashed potatoes into a loaded potato dish with savory fillings or toppings! Or go back to the basics and make taters like grandma!

  1. Infused melted butter mixture: melt your butter with sea salt and herbs such as sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, or tarragon.
  2. Loaded Mashed Potatoes- top your creamy goodness with crisp bacon, grated cheddar cheese, and spicy jalapenos for a hearty dish!
  3. Basic Mashed Potatoes- to make simple mashed potatoes omit the cream cheese and sour cream. Simply add butter, salt, and milk to the boiled potatoes.
  4. Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes- increase the sour cream to 1 cup.
  5. Garlic Mashed Potatoes- peel a small head of garlic cloves and add to the boiling water when cooking the potatoes. Mash with the potatoes.
  6. Mashed Red Potatoes- leave the skins on red-skinned potatoes and cook in boiling water as directed. This is best boiled with garlic cloves and then mashed together.
  7. Mashed Sweet Potatoes- to use sweet potatoes omit the sour cream and add 2 Tbsp of brown sugar or 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Proceed with the recipe. 
  8. Cheesy Mashed Potatoes- for all the cheese lovers sprinkle a generous amount of your favorite melting cheese into the whipped mashed potatoes or sprinkle over a casserole to make ahead.

What To Serve With Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed Potatoes are best served as a side to meat, vegetables, or fluffy dinner rolls. 

 

Equipment To Make Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

  • 8-Quart Pot– if doubling the portion. This recipe will work in a 5-quart pot too.
  • Hand Mixer– for the BEST mashed potatoes always whip your potatoes with a mixer for light and fluffy taters! 
  • Disposable Foiled Pans- for storing, freezing, or reheating the potatoes–perfect for make-ahead mashed potatoes! 
  • 6-Quart Instant Pot– if you want mashed potatoes in as quick as 6-12 minutes!
  • 7-Quart Slow Cooker– to make ahead and bring to a potluck (it works like an oven on the go!) 

More Potato Recipes To Make:

The BEST Tips For Making Mashed Potatoes:

  1. To get a head start on prepping the raw potatoes for a make-ahead event (like a wedding) soak the uncooked potatoes overnight in ice-cold water until the morning. Then make per instructions. 
  2. This recipe is great to make ahead and refrigerate! Reheat in the microwave, bake in the oven, revive in the Instant Pot, or keep warm in a Crock-Pot! 
  3. Add Extra Seasoning to flavor your mashed potatoes like cajun seasoning, Italian herbs, or a variety of dried seasoning like chives. 
  4. Steam your potatoes after cooking, this steams dry the potatoes and allows the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter to melt for easy mashing. 
  5. Invest in a hand mixer for the best-whipped potatoes! Even chefs who cater to large crowds beat their mashed potatoes! 
  6. Don’t over mix once you add the liquid! You can beat the steamed potatoes with the dairy solids for 5 minutes or longer but once you add the liquid you only want to blend everything together otherwise you’ll get gummy potatoes. 
  7. Use lots of butter for silky smooth mashed potatoes. 
  8. When using cream cheese and sour cream the potatoes can be frozen and reheated well. 

How To Make Mashed Potatoes: 

BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
The Best Mashed Potatoes recipe comes together with boiled potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk! Making homemade mashed potatoes is so easy and the rich and fluffy consistency makes it fantastic for make-ahead mashed potatoes! I teach you all the tips to make a creamy mashed potatoes recipe like a pro.  

Equipment

  • 5-quart pot
  • hand mixer

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 13 Potatoes (5 pounds)
  • 6 oz sour cream (3/4 cup)
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water the potatoes cooked in

Instructions

Instructions:

  • how to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes in a pot
    In a large pot, boil peeled and halved potatoes in 1 1/2 quarts of water for 25 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Drain and reserve the water. Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream directly into the pot of potatoes. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the potatoes to steam until the butter melts (5 minutes.)
  • Using a hand mixer beat the potatoes for 5 minutes until no chunks of the potatoes remain.
  • how to mash in the salt, water, and milk to a mashed potato recipe
    Mix in the salt, milk, and reserved water. Continue to beat until well blended.
  • perfectly whipped mashed potatoes in a pot ready to be served
    Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat until serving.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: and keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes. 
  • To Freeze Mashed Potatoes: spread in a disposable 13x9 pan and cool. Cover and freezer for up to 6 months. Bake frozen a pre-heated 350°F for up to 1 hour. 
  • To Bring to a Potluck: Transfer prepared mashed potatoes into a slow cooker and keep warm for 2 hours if hot or keep over low setting if cold. 
  • Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes cook in as quick as 6-12 minutes! See my Instant Pot Instructions! 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingSodium: 515mgCalcium: 40mgVitamin C: 1mgVitamin A: 526IUSugar: 1gPotassium: 51mgCholesterol: 44mgCalories: 148kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 9gFat: 16gProtein: 1gCarbohydrates: 1gIron: 1mg

 

 

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2 comments

    • Al

    I have decided to give my feedback on this recipe, because every time we make it, it comes out delicious. Thank you, this is the best mashed potatoes I have ever had!

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Thank you for the feedback!

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