Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish recipe that stand the test of time. They’re irresistibly creamy and buttery, making it hard to stop at one serving. So learn how to make homemade mashed potatoes perfectly.
Who else agrees that a mashed side dish is essential to a dinner table? That creamy texture and simple flavor complements just about any main dish from roast chicken and turkey, to prime rib and pot roast.
The only thing you have to decide is what vegetable or spud to use. Your options can range from mashed cauliflower (for a low-carb option), to mashed butternut squash, and mashed sweet potatoes. But today, I’m showing you how to perfect the iconic and original mashed potatoes recipe.
How To Make The Best Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are simple to make with just a handful of ingredients. To make the best mashed potatoes, it’s all about flavor and texture. And the good news is that you can adjust as you go!
Here’s how to make mashed potatoes, step-by-step:
- Peel the potatoes using a Y peeler (it’s much easier than a straight peeler) and cut them into large chunks or cubes.
- Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring the water to a boil, then cook the potatoes for 13 to 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter and warm the milk together in a small saucepan.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place them back in the warm pot.
- Pour the butter mixture on top of the potatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
- Mash the potatoes using a hand masher until they’ve reached your desired consistency.
- Taste test to see if they need more salt and pepper. You can also add more milk for a fluffier consistency.
- Garnish with diced parsley, add a pat of butter and serve immediately!
Helpful Tips: You don’t want to add cold milk and butter to your potatoes, as it will cool them down before serving. Also, the milk to butter ratio is different from my mashed sweet potatoes recipe due to the starchiness of russet potatoes. They require a bit more liquid.
What Type Of Potato To Use?
When it comes to making mashed potatoes, the one question we all have is: how do you make them creamy?
The answer to that is to use a batch of starchy potatoes, like russet potatoes. These brown skinned spuds are fluffy when they’re cooked, and have a slight buttery texture to them. That makes russet potatoes the best potato for a classic mashed potatoes recipe.
But if you don’t have russet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes make a great alternative. They’re also naturally creamy, but not as waxy as new potatoes.
Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time
Want to save time in the kitchen? Make a large batch of mashed potatoes ahead of time (always a great meal prep option), then enjoy when the craving strikes. You can store mashed potatoes in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
So how do you reheat them? Just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so, give them a stir and you’re ready to go!
Extra Flavors To Enhance Your Mashed Potatoes
While mashed potatoes are meant to be simple in flavor, it doesn’t hurt to switch it up a bit. Here’s a few variations that will give these spuds some kick.
- Add garlic if you love a more garlicky flavor. Melt it with your butter mixture or stir roasted garlic right in with your potatoes.
- Toss in crispy oven baked bacon bits, because it’s never a bad idea to add more bacon, right?
- Make them green with cabbage or kale to turn them into colcannon (an Irish favorite).
- Chop fresh herbs and stir them in for a light and refreshing flavor.
- Add a few tablespoons of cream cheese or goat cheese for an ultra creamy and smooth texture.
Mashed Potatoes Recipe Video
Want to see how I make the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes? Watch the video below!
Want More Potato Side Dishes?
Complete your dinner table with these delicious potato options!
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes
- ½ cup milk, or more for a creamier texture
- ¼ cup butter, or ghee
- salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Add Ins
- bacon bits
- chives or other herbs
- cream cheese or goat cheese
- roasted garlic
- Peel the potatoes with a hand peeler.
- Dice the potatoes into chunks and place them into a pot. Fill the pot with cold water, bring it to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter and milk in a saucepan until it's warm. Alternatively, you could melt and warm this in the microwave.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and place them back into the pot.
- Pour the butter milk mixture on top of the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a hand masher until the desired consistency. You can always add more milk or butter for a creamier consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Scoop the mashed sweet potatoes into a bowl, add a pat of butter, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!
- You can certainly make this recipe dairy-free and vegan by using a plant-based milk and butter alternative.
Yummy classic mashed potatoes!
What is the best method to keep these warm if it will sit out for a couple of hours?
I would wrap it with foil and keep it in the microwave.
I’ve been making mashed potatoes for over 50 years and wondered why sometimes they’d be creamy and other times, meh. This recipe showed me my mistake – sometimes I’d add cold milk and butter. What a difference heating the milk and butter before adding to the potatoes makes!!!
Glad this post was helpful to create the perfect batch of mashed potatoes!
great recipes especially the scalloped potatoes
Thanks so much Bernadette!
what can I substitute for milk?
You can use dairy-free milk as well, like almond milk or oat milk.
I made these at Christmas and they were excellent.
Thanks Daisy! A bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes is always the best during the holidays. :)
Delicious!!! I used vegan butter as we are both GF an d DF and they came out so good! Roasted garlic was a great suggestion. Next time I may do cameralized onions as well (like my mom used to).
Caramelized onions would be a delicious addition to this :)
The Best Mashed Potatoes!
Yay! Glad you love these mashed potatoes Shirley :)
Best mashed potatoes ever! I have never actually followed a recipe for mashed potatoes because it seems like a simple dish, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the seemingly simple things that are hardest to get just right. I think the game changer is pouring the butter milk mixture over the potatoes and then mashing. Perfect texture, not overly buttery or creamy, just right for me!
It’s definitely the little things that count, especially when it comes to simple recipes :)
These are soooo good and the instructions and tips are so helpful. I used half russet and half Yukon gold and this made an incredible combination. I will make these every year for thanksgiving now!
Wonderful! Glad you’ve found a winning mashed potatoes recipe :)
My go to recipe for mashed potatoes! My husband and I love how simple and delicious it is to make.
I always struggle with the proportions in mashed potatoes, resulting in gummy or lumpy mashers. Not this time! These were PERFECT! Creamy and delicious!
Glad this recipe gave you the perfect bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes :)
I can’t wait to make these mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving this year! I do have a serving portion question…..we will have 9 people for dinner and your recipe says 10 servings. But, only 2 lbs of potatoes? I would think you would need at least 4-5 to serve 10? Maybe we just like double serving sizes ;)
Hi Alison – If you’re party will most likely eat more than that, I would double the recipe :)
These Definitely Are the Best Mashed Potatoes I’ve ever made! SO delicious!
Love your tips and your never-fail recipes!
Hi Danielle- Happy to hear you loved these mashed potatoes!
I love your recipes and every one I’ve tried has been delicious! Thank you! Just wondering which milk you usually use when you make this? If I remember right, you’re dairy free.
Hi Michele – I’m so glad to hear you’re loving all the recipes so far! As for this one, I made it with macadamia nut milk (which was what I had leftover in my fridge), but you can use any non-dairy milk for this!
This is almost the same as my mashed potatoes recipe. All the add ins make this even better, especially the bacon bits!
Hi Anita – You can never go wrong with bacon :)
I love all your tips in your mashed potato recipe, plus the options to switch things up. A bowl of mashed potatoes is comfort food at its best!
Hi Deanne – I would have to agree completely :) Mashed potatoes are the best during the winter months!
Your recipes are so reliable! Just made a batch for dinner, with leftovers going in the freezer for later. Thank you for including basics, even mashed potatoes aren’t intuitive!
Hi Pearl- There’s nothing ever wrong with brushing up on basic recipes such as mashed potatoes! Glad you loved it :)
There is nothing better than fluffy mashed potatoes with butter. Yours look fantastic no leftovers on this one as everyone had seconds!
Hi Adriana – I definitely did not have any leftovers after making this one!
Love your photos – your mashed potatoes look so creamy and dreamy!
Hi Jill – Thanks so much! :)
These mashed potatoes topped with all that melted butter, the perfect side dish for Sunday dinners!
Hi Sharon – It really is the best complementary side dish :)