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Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Mashed potatoes are a beloved comfort food no one can resist! Whether it’s a holiday feast, weeknight dinner, or BBQ party, mashed potatoes are always on the menu.

And this easy recipe yields the creamiest, most flavorful mashed potatoes I’ve ever tried.

Homemade mashed potatoes with chives and butter
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In addition to this incredible recipe, you’ll learn the most efficient way to cook mashed potatoes. Plus, you’ll find the secrets to achieving the creamiest, dreamiest, and most delectable spuds.

So, grab your potato masher and be prepared to wow everyone with your mashed potato-making skills!

Mashed Potatoes

These fluffy clouds of potato goodness are a go-to side dish. They’re perfect for family gatherings, cozy dinners, and holiday feasts. 

The combination of simplicity and indulgence makes this recipe stand out.

And the best part? Preparation is a breeze, and you can even make them ahead.

Trust me, once you try this recipe, it’ll become your go-to. It’s simple, comforting, and oh-so-delicious. Enjoy!

A glass bowl of chopped potatoes

Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

The best potatoes for mashed potatoes are those with a higher starch content. Here are the top choices for fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes:

  1. Russet Potatoes: High starch content, resulting in fluffy mash with a neutral flavor.
  2. Yukon Gold Potatoes: Medium starch, yielding a creamy texture with a buttery flavor.
  3. Mix of Russet and Yukon Gold: Combines the fluffiness of Russet and the rich flavor of Yukon Gold potatoes.

It’s best to avoid waxy potatoes like red or fingerling for mashed potatoes.


Ready to make the perfect mashed potatoes? It all starts with the right ingredients. Here’s a curated list to ensure creamy, flavorful results every time. 

  • Potatoes – I prefer either Russet or Yukon Gold. These varieties are starchy and perfect for achieving a fluffy and creamy mash. 
  • Milk – It adds creaminess and a slight sweetness. Whole milk is typically used for richer texture, but you can opt for a lower-fat version if desired.
  • Butter – It infuses the mashed potatoes with a rich, velvety texture and a buttery taste.
  • Garlic – It adds a deep, aromatic flavor that complements the earthiness of the potatoes.
  • Salt and pepper – It enhances the flavor and balances the creaminess of the mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes in a glass bowl with a potato smasher

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Ready to whip up the creamiest mashed potatoes? It takes more than just boiling and mashing. 

Follow these steps to achieve that dreamy, velvety texture that makes this dish a favorite. 

1. Prepare the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into even 1-inch cubes.

2. Boil the potatoes. Put the cubed potatoes into a pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Then, simmer them on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until they’re fork-tender.

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3. Drain and mash. Once cooked, drain the potatoes well using a colander. Return them to the pot. Add the minced garlic and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth.

4. Heat the dairy and mix. Heat the milk and butter on low until it’s melted. Gradually mix it into the mashed potatoes until you get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve hot. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving dish. Top them with a pat of butter or a sprinkle of fresh herbs if desired, and serve immediately.

Mashed potatoes topped with melted butter and sprinkled with chives, creating a savory and flavorful side dish

Tips for Success

When done right, mashed potatoes can elevate any meal. To ensure you hit those creamy, dreamy heights, here are some tips:

  • Choose your potatoes wisely. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are ideal for mashing due to their starchy content.
  • Start chilly. Begin boiling your potato cubes in cold water. This method ensures that the potatoes cook more evenly.
  • Mind the size. Cut your potatoes into even-sized chunks to ensure uniform cooking.
  • Mashem hot! Potatoes are best mashed when hot as they absorb milk and butter more easily.
  • Warm up the dairy. Heat your milk, cream, or butter slightly before adding it to your potatoes. This step makes it easier to mix, resulting in a creamier texture.
  • Boost the flavor. Don’t limit yourself to just salt. Roasted garlic, freshly ground black pepper, grated cheese, and herbs can elevate the flavor profile.
  • Leave them chunky. Not everyone loves super-smooth mashed potatoes. If you prefer a bit of chunk, mash them a little less. 

Consider pushing them through a fine sieve or using a potato ricer for an ultra-creamy result.

Recipe Variations

Here are a few playful spins on the classic mashed potato recipe to give them extra pizzazz:

1. Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Top them with a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese before serving your mashed potatoes.

2. Loaded Mashed Potatoes. Stir chopped bacon, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese into your mashed potatoes. Remember to top them off with a dollop of sour cream!

3. Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes. Swap half of the butter for cream cheese in this recipe. Top them with finely chopped fresh chives for an herby kick and a pop of color.

4. Vegan Mashed Potatoes. Swap out the dairy milk for almond or soy milk and the butter for a vegan substitute or olive oil. Stir in some nutritional yeast for a cheesy, nutty flavor.

5. Cajun Spiced Mashed Potatoes. Mix in a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to your basic mashed potatoes for a dish that packs a punch.

And there you have it! Seven different ways to jazz up your mashed potatoes. Mix and match these variations to your heart’s content, and keep those dinner menus exciting!

Homemade Steak with Mashed Potatoes

What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes’ fluffy, creamy goodness makes them a versatile canvas for different flavor pairings.

Here are a few of my fave dishes that are sure to wow at your next dinner:

Main event:

Side dishes:


Make-Ahead Method

Here’s a method for make-ahead mashed potatoes that will keep well and still taste great:

Preparation for storing:

  1. Boil and mash the potatoes. Follow the instructions in the recipe to boil and mash the potatoes. Add the butter, garlic, and milk, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cool and store. Cool the mashed potatoes to room temperature and transfer them to an air-tight container. 
  3. Refrigerate. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 to 2 days.

On the day you plan to serve:

  1. Remove the mashed potatoes from the fridge and preheat the oven. Transfer them to a greased casserole dish and cover it with foil. Set your oven to 325°F.
  2. Top them with butter and bake. Scatter small pieces of butter on top of the mashed potatoes. Bake them for 35 to 40 minutes until the butter has melted and heated through.
  3. If you’d like a golden top, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Or bake it uncovered all the way through.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Close-up of homemade mashed potatoes with butter and herbs

How to Store and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Properly storing and reheating mashed potatoes is crucial to maintaining their texture and flavor. Here’s how to do it:

To Store:

  1. Allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely to room temperature. Place the cooled mashed potatoes in an air-tight container. It’s best to store them in shallow containers to cool mashed potatoes quickly and evenly.
  2. Store the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator. They should keep for 3-5 days.

To Freeze:

  1. Cool the mashed potatoes to room temperature as above. Place them in airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  2. You can store mashed potatoes in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To Reheat:

You can reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop:

Microwave: Transfer a portion to a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or wrap. Heat it on high for 1-2 minutes, stir, then continue heating in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until hot.

Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the potatoes in an oven-safe dish and cover them with aluminum foil. Heat them for 20-30 minutes or until hot.

Stovetop: Place the mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, and add additional milk or butter if needed for moisture.

Note: For frozen mashed potatoes, defrost them in the refrigerator before reheating using one of the methods above.

Mashed Potatoes



Prep time


Cooking time





This recipe makes the absolute best mashed potatoes! They’re creamy, fluffy, buttery, and totally irresistible!


  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or more to taste

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring them to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Add the minced garlic. Mash the potatoes and garlic together with a potato masher until smooth.
  • Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted. Slowly incorporate the milk mixture into the mashed potatoes, mashing continuously until the potatoes reach the desired consistency. Season them generously with salt and pepper.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Start by placing your potato cubes in cold water and bringing them to a boil. This approach guarantees uniformly cooked potatoes.
  • If you like mashed potatoes with chunks, just mash gently. For ultra-smooth potatoes, use a sieve or potato ricer.
  • Add extra seasonings, cheese, herbs, and spices to elevate the flavor profile.
Mashed Potatoes

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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