This easy Mashed Potatoes recipe will take your homemade mashed potatoes from average to fantastic! Follow my simple tips and step-by-step photos for the most perfect light, fluffy mashed potatoes!
Why I love this recipe:
- Light and fluffy: We always use Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes for the best mashed potatoes, and I’ve listed three “Pro Tips” below, to help you avoid thick, gluey and bland mashed potatoes.
- The ultimate side dish: There are endless ways to serve Mashed Potatoes, and I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t like them (when made properly). Elevate them by serving them with Chicken Cordon Bleu or Braised Short Ribs. Make old fashioned comfort food like Hamburger gravy or Pot Roast.
- Leftovers! You can easily reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave. Just add a splash of milk to soften them, and some more seasonings if needed. Transform mashed potato leftovers into a new meal by serving over Cottage Pie.
How to make perfect Mashed Potatoes:
Peel Potatoes or you can leave the skins on, if you prefer.
Cook Potatoes: Cut the potatoes in half then add them to a large pot with about 4 inches of water (they don’t need to be completely covered). Cover pot with a lid, and cook, covered, until fork tender, but firm, about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want them mushy or falling apart.
Drain and Steam: Once they are fork tender, drain water completely from the pot and leave potatoes in the pot, covered with a lid, for about 10 minutes. This allows them to steam and dry, which helps us achieve a fluffy texture when they’re mashed.
Season: Add butter, milk, sour cream and seasonings.
Mash. Use a potato masher to mash the big pieces, and then use an electric mixer to beat them on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until light and fluffy. Avoid over-mixing them or they will get starchy and gummy.
- Rest potatoes after cooking. Drain the water from the pot, but leave the potatoes in the pot with the lid on. This gives them time to steam, which will result in fluffier potatoes.
- Don’t over-mix! As you mix potatoes, it causes them to release their starch. This is necessary for creamy mashed potatoes, but too much mixing releases too much starch and causes them to be thick and gluey.
- Taste before serving: I like to add a scoop of Better then Bouillon chicken base for great flavor, or add more salt and pepper, sour cream, or melted butter, until you reach the flavor you want. nt to add more salt and pepper, or an extra scoop of sour cream, or a little melted butter.
Make Ahead and Reheating Instructions:
To Make Ahead: Add a little extra milk to the finished potatoes to make sure they’re really soft and not too thick. The potatoes will absorb moisture as they rest. Spoon them into a casserole dish or large container then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
To Reheat: Remove from fridge 1 hour before baking. Taste and add additional seasonings as needed, or milk, to make sure they are soft. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warm. You could also reheat them in a saucepan on the stove, or in the microwave.
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- Cook Potatoes: Cut potatoes in half and place in a large pot with about 4 inches of water (they don't need to be completely covered). Cover pot with a lid, and cook, covered, until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. You don't want them "mushy" or falling apart.
- Drain and steam: Drain water completely from pot and leave potatoes in the pot, covered with a lid, for about 10 minutes. This gives them time to dry out, which helps them to be extra fluffy.
- Season: Remove lid and add butter, chicken bouillon, evaporated milk, sour cream and salt and pepper.
- Mash with a potato masher. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed, or more milk, until they are creamy, fluffy and smooth. I use an electric mixer to beat them on medium speed for a few seconds, until light and fluffy. But, be careful not to over-mix them or they will get starchy and gummy.
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*I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated October 2019 and November 2023.
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