This Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe is simple and delicious that you can whip up in no time. Amazingly fluffy and creamy with only 5 ingredients. Mashed potatoes are an all-time favorite and a popular side dish all year round.
This classic mashed potatoes recipe is basic and versatile that you can amp the flavor with some of your favorite ingredients or with brown gravy.
During the holidays, this homemade mashed potatoes are always the most popular side dish during our celebration. Whether having turkey, ham or ribeye roast, mashed potatoes are the star at our dinner table as well.
Have you tried Mashed Sweet Potatoes? They are awesome too!
We like it simple so it doesn’t overpower our meat and perfectly pairs with gravy.
If press for time especially on the day of your celebration, these mashed potatoes can be prepared a day early. In my opinion, the best mashed potatoes are freshly made but at least you have an option. It takes 45 minutes or less of your time to get it on the table.
What potatoes to use
For the best mashed potatoes, I find the mixture of Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes create the fluffiest and creamiest dish. Russet potatoes are high in starch and lower in moisture while Yukon is medium in both areas with buttery flavor.
Starchy potatoes are best to used when making mashed potatoes. Their flesh breaks down easily and blends well with other ingredients.
I used to make it with only Russet potatoes and it was delicious until I tasted my friend mom’s recipe. Her mashed potatoes were creamier and she makes it with both potatoes.
With these combination, you can achieve the smoothest mashed potatoes or if you prefer a little bit chunkier.
I am not saying, you can’t make it with red potatoes, creamers or baby potatoes. You can, but texture is not as fluffy or creamy.
Tips to make this easy mashed potatoes
- I prefer to steam the potatoes instead of boiling. Steaming potatoes work for me all the time avoiding over soaking it in water.
- Make sure potatoes are thoroughly cooked. If not, you’ll end up with lumpy mashed potatoes that are not cooked. Also, good luck mashing it.
- If you like your potatoes very smooth and fluffy, use a ricer. It can be time consuming though. Another kitchen tool to use is a potato masher (or this masher) although it is known to leave lumps. What works for me is a combination of masher and a big spoon. You can achieve a smooth, creamy mashed potatoes by alternating these tools.
- Leave butter in room temperature until soft before adding to mashed potatoes.
- Do not overwork or over mixed the potatoes, they will end up gluey and pasty.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to taste your mashed potatoes before serving. No one will enjoy a bland mashed potatoes.
Note: If you are serving it with gravy, consider the salt content in the gravy.
How to make mashed potatoes
Steam potatoes for 30 minutes or until soft over medium heat. Note: If a knife goes all the way through at the center, it is cook.
Peel the potatoes or leave the skin on. Cut the potatoes in cubes and place in a big bowl.
Lightly mash the potatoes with a potato masher then slowly incorporate the heavy cream until blended. Stir-in softened butter and season with salt and pepper.
Continue mashing until desired consistency is reached but do not overmixed.
Note: If you like a very smooth consistency, alternate using the masher and a big spoon.
Once smooth and creamy, fold in the chives.
Taste then add more salt and pepper if desired.
Can I boil potatoes instead of steam
Yes, you can. In a pot, cover whole unpeeled potatoes with water, season with salt then cover pot with lid. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Cooking time varies depending on the size of potatoes.
As soon as it is done, remove potatoes from the pot so you don’t end up with watery spuds.
To check if potatoes are done, pierce it with a knife at the center. If the knife goes all the way through the center, it is done.
What other ingredients to add to mashed potatoes
This easy mashed potatoes recipe is basic and delicious but it is also versatile. I keep mine simple especially if I am serving it with meat flavored with herbs and gravy.
If you like to amp the flavor more, here are some ingredients you can add.
- Sour cream
- Herbs – fresh or dried herbs like parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage or oregano
- Garlic – roasted or sauteed
- Cream cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Bacon bits
- Any shredded cheese of your choice
- Green onions
- Sweet onion
- Shallots – crispy or caramelized shallot
Storing and reheating
Store in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in 30 second increments in the microwave.
I don’t really suggest freezing leftovers. I don’t enjoy the texture after being frozen. If you do, divide it into portions in a zip lock bag and freeze up to 2 weeks, for vacuumed food saver you can freeze up to a month.
Thaw frozen mashed potatoes in the fridge overnight or submerge in warm water (make sure it is sealed). Every 10 minutes, warm water in the microwave and submerge zip lock bag until thawed.
Frequently asked questions
Can I freeze mashed potatoes?
Yes, you can but it will not retain its fluffy, creamy texture.
What can I substitute heavy cream with?
You can use any of the following or a combination of heavy cream and whatever you like to use. Half and half, evaporated milk, unsweetened almond milk or vegan dairy-free alternatives like soy milk.
Can I add garlic to mashed potatoes?
Yes, I suggest roasted or sauteed garlic. Garlic powder will work as well.
Can I use red potatoes, creamers or baby potatoes?
Yes, you can but texture is not as fluffy or creamy.
Other delicious potato side dish
Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 2-2 ½ pounds Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 cup warm heavy cream or a little bit more if you like
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup chives chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or more
- Salt to taste
- Wash potatoes. Steam whole unpeeled potatoes over medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender. Time will vary slightly depending on the size of the potatoes.
- Remove from steamer. When cool to touch, peel potatoes and cut into cubes and place in a big bowl. Note: You can keep the skin-on if you like.
- Warm heavy cream in the microwave for 30 – 45 seconds.
- Lightly mash potatoes with potato masher (or this masher) then add ½ cup heavy cream and continue mashing. Add remaining heavy cream and mash them well until smooth but do not over mix. Note: Over mixing can make them gluey or pasty. Also, it is best to alternate using a masher and a big spoon for creamy mashed potatoes or use a ricer.
- Stir-in softened butter, salt and pepper. Taste, add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Fold in chives.
- Serve warm.
- If you like to add a little bit more heavy cream and butter, you may do so.
- To keep mashed potatoes warm, place it in a warm oven or reheat in the microwave covered with saran wrap with a little opening for about 2 minutes, stirring after a minute.
- If you don’t have a steamer, you can boil potatoes instead. It is mentioned in the post above.
- You can make this mashed potatoes recipe a day early but stir-in the softened butter before serving. Refrigerate and warm in the microwave then stir-in butter.
- Store leftover in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in 30 second increments in the microwave.
- I don’t suggest freezing leftover as texture is not as fluffy and creamy. But if you still like to freeze it, I have detailed instructions in the post above.
- Check the post for more tips and other ingredients you can add to mashed potatoes.