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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

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These is the best mashed potatoes recipe. Creamy and rich with a buttery flavor that makes these the perfect addition to every dinner! My all-time favorite side dish recipe that is always a crowd favorite. The perfect recipe for beginners and incredibly easy to customize.

This recipe was originally published November 13, 2014. It has since been updated to include fresh photos and helpful tips.

Mashed potatoes in a white bowl with tabs of butter resting on top

Recipe Features:

  • Quick Recipe: Less than 30-minutes and you’ll have a great side dish!
  • Comfort Food: Nothing screams comfort like a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Looking for a vegetarian side? This is the one.

Friends, when I tell you this is the perfect recipe for beginner cooks, I mean it is THE PERFECT RECIPE for beginner cooks. A good recipe for basic mashed potatoes belong in any home cooks recipe box. These are quick to make, incredibly basic, but still full of delicious buttery flavor. The secret? Heavy cream and BUTTER.

If you’ve been nervous to try your hand at this tasty side, don’t be. I’ve tested this recipe dozens of times and timed it perfectly. No more lumps or mushy potatoes!

russet potatoes, butter, and heavy cream laying on a brown table with a blue napkin

Ingredients for Easy Mashed Potatoes

I love how adaptable this recipe can be. Add or take away a few ingredients and you have a completely new flavor, but it’s always best to master the original version. Here is what you will need to get started.

  • Potatoes- Make sure you wash your potatoes well to remove any dirt or grime before dicing.
  • Butter- The key here is to use salted butter. If you’re leaning towards unsalted be sure to add a little extra seasoning.
  • Cream- Milk will do in a pinch, but heavy cream really adds a texture that will elevate your potatoes.
  • Salt and Pepper- Basic but the best seasoning for the job.

Pair this homemade mashed potatoes recipe with an easy turkey gravy for an easy side dish that is sure to impress. Whether this is going to be served for Thanksgiving, Sunday dinner, or just any ol’ occasion… You will not be disappointed.

Potato Peels and a peeler sitting on a paper towel

How to make mashed potatoes:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sizes. Add to a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with cold water, until the potatoes are covered fully.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, about 15 minutes depending on the size you chop the pieces.
  4. Drain into a colander and allow to sit for several minutes so the potatoes can dry fully, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. While the potatoes are cooling, add the cream and butter to the same pan used to cook the potatoes. Heat on low until the butter is fully melted.
  6. Transfer the potatoes back to the pot with the cream and milk. Mash with a potato masher or a hand held mixer until smooth.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mashed potatoes in a bowl with pats of butter on top

Tips and FAQ’s:

This creamy mashed potatoes recipe is fairly simple once you have made it a time or two. Below are some of the most common questions I’ve been asked.

What potatoes are best for mashed potatoes?

This is such a touchy question with a lot of personal feelings attached. Baking potatoes are what I use most often, because they are inexpensive and cook quickly. A very close second option is Yukon Gold. We grew these in our garden this year and boy-oh-boy do they give you a delicious flavor.

What can you add to mashed potatoes to add more flavor?

This recipe is extremely basic and gives you the most amazing base to play with. If you want to add a little flavor I suggest the following:
– Add roasted garlic
– Include 6 cloves of raw peeled garlic while boiling. Mash them right in with the potatoes.
– Mix in a dab of sour cream or cream cheese
– Sprinkle with cheese, like cheddar or parmesan
– Don’t be afraid to play with the seasonings! Garlic salt or onion powder will go a long way to boosting the flavors.

Why are my potatoes lumpy?

Lumpy potatoes can ruin the recipe texture, so why do they happen? There are two common reasons your potatoes are filled with lumps. First, make sure you cut the potatoes into even sizes before boiling. This will ensure an even cooking time for all. Last, if you prick the potatoes with a fork and they aren’t quite soft enough, keep cooking. You want them to be soft enough that they break apart easily when poked.

How do you fix dry mashed potatoes?

Easy peasy. Occasionally potatoes will soak up all of the added moisture from the cream and butter and end up a little dry. Simply add a few tablespoons more of the liquid and give them a good stir.

side view of a bowl of mashed potatoes with butter

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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These are the best mashed potatoes recipe. Creamy and rich with a buttery flavor that makes these the perfect addition to every dinner! My all-time favorite side dish recipe that is always a crowd favorite.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs baking potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cream, or milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sizes. Add to a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with cold water, until the potatoes are covered fully.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, about 15 minutes depending on the size you chop the pieces.
  4. Drain into a colander and allow to sit for several minutes so the potatoes can dry fully, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. While the potatoes are cooling, add the cream and butter to the same pan used to cook the potatoes. Heat on low until the butter is fully melted.
  6. Transfer the potatoes back to the pot with the cream and milk. Mash with a potato masher or a hand held mixer until smooth.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Baking potatoes are what I use most often, because they are inexpensive and cook quickly. A very close second option is Yukon Gold. We grew these in our garden this year and boy-oh-boy do they give you a delicious flavor.

This recipe is extremely basic and gives you the most amazing base to play with. If you want to add a little flavor I suggest the following:

  • Add roasted garlic
  • Include 6 cloves of raw peeled garlic while boiling. Mash them right in with the potatoes.
  • Mix in a dab of sour cream or cream cheese
  • Sprinkle with cheese, like cheddar or parmesan
  • Don’t be afraid to play with the seasonings! Garlic salt or onion powder will go a long way to boosting the flavors.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

Calorie count is an estimated based off of a third party.

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