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Best Mashed Potatoes

Your favorite side dish recipe is here! Here is the recipe for the Best Mashed Potatoes. They are so smooth and creamy. And they are perfectly seasoned with simple ingredients like cream, butter, salt, and pepper.

Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes

It’s almost that time of year again to sign up for what you’ll be bringing to a holiday dinner. We’ve made the decision easy for you with this recipe for the Best Mashed Potatoes. I don’t use the word “best” lightly – that’s serious business to claim your recipe is the best.

But friends, this method for making homemade mashed potatoes truly is amazing. It’s one of our favorites that is always on the holiday dinner table. They are also so easy that you can make them any other time of year, too.

This recipe requires no peeling and no potato ricer. However, it does require lots of cream and butter, because, in our opinion, that’s the only way to make truly remarkable mashed potatoes!

If you are looking for super creamy mashed potatoes, check out our Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes!

a colander with whole potatoes on the counter with a container of cream, bowl of butter, salt and pepper

Recipe Ingredients

Here is what you’ll need to make these easy mashed potatoes. The recipe requires just a few simple ingredients. Remember, check the recipe card for the exact amounts.

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: These mashed potatoes are made with Yukon gold potatoes. They are buttery and creamy. But, you can use Idaho potatoes if you’re looking for fluffy potatoes. And instead, beat them with a stand mixer or hand mixer. The benefit to using Yukon gold potatoes is you don’t have to peel them! 
  • Salt: You’ve got to add some salt to this recipe! We like using kosher salt.
  • Salted Butter: Butter, butter, butter. Can you ever get enough butter in mashed potatoes? The answer is almost always no.
  • Heavy Cream: Use heavy cream for the richest potatoes, or substitute whole milk or half & half. Evaporated milk also works well.
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper: You could also try white pepper, though the taste is a bit earthier and smokey in our opinion.

Optional Toppings

a bowl of mashed potatoes next to a spoon and blue napkin

How to Make Mashed Potatoes from Scratch

Here are the steps you need to follow to make these amazing mashed potatoes. The steps are simple and quick.

Prep the potatoes. You’ll want to give them a good rinse before cutting them. Then cut them into 2″ sized pieces. There’s no need to peel them if you are using Yukon gold potatoes.

Place the potatoes in a large cooking pot. Add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt to a pot. Then you need to add enough water to cover the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes. Put the potatoes on the stove and boil for about 12-15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes. Pour the potatoes into a colander in the sink to strain them from the water.

Mash the potatoes. You’ll then put the potatoes back into the cooking pot. Start mashing with a potato masher.

Add the butter. Keep mashing until the butter is melted.

Add the cream little by little. Gradually add the cream and continue to mash the potatoes.

Season the mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and taste it to double-check your seasoning levels.

Serve the mashed potatoes warm. Don’t forget to add your favorite garnishes like chives…or more butter!

a top view of a plate of mashed potatoes and roasted chicken on top of greens

Tips for Success

Here are some helpful tips to follow when making this mashed potato recipe:

  • Making them ahead of time for a party: You can easily make these ahead of time for a big event. We will detail below what to do!
  • How to make them extra creamier: You can stir in some cream cheese to make them more rich and creamy.
  • How to make them a little tangy: Another option is to add plain Greek yogurt or sour cream to add a little tanginess.
  • Add garlic flavor: Add 3-4 garlic cloves in the water with the potatoes for a little extra garlic flavor. Or roast garlic and then add the roasted garlic to the potatoes as you mash them for roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
  • Check your seasonings: I like to season my mashed potatoes slowly, making sure to taste as I go! If your mashed potatoes are tasting a little lack luster, an extra pinch of salt will usually do the trick!
close up of a bowl of mashed potatoes with a spoon taking some out of it

How to Store and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

It’s really simple to store mashed potatoes. In fact, you’ll find these tips helpful when you want to make these potatoes for a large party.

Storing Mashed Potatoes

Make sure that the potatoes are cooled completely. You can store them in a casserole or oven-safe dish if you plan on making the dish ahead of time. Or, if you’re storing leftovers, simply find an air-tight container. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheating Mashed Potatoes

To reheat, warm potatoes on the stove, in the oven, or microwave. Add a little more milk and butter to make the potatoes moist again, as needed. 

If you are reheating a full batch, about an hour before serving, remove them from the fridge and let them rest on the counter to come to room temperature. Then pop them into the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until warmed through.

Then top them with a few pads of butter and a sprinkle of chives and black pepper before serving. (You do not want to go directly from the fridge to the oven with a glass casserole dish, they can crack or explode when going from a cold fridge to a hot oven.)

close up of mashed potatoes with butter, herbs, salt and pepper on top

Can I Freeze Them?

Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes! We like to freeze them in a gallon-sized freezer-friendly bag. This way they can freeze flat and not take up a lot of space in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

It’s best to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. And then reheat them gently. You’ll want to do so on the stove top on low heat so that you can add more milk or butter as needed.

mashed potatoes alongside a piece of roasted chicken
Yield: 10-12 servings

Best Mashed Potatoes

Close up of a bowl of mashed potatoes.

Look no further for the easiest and best-tasting mashed potato recipe! They're creamy, buttery, and ultra-decadent.

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes

  • 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Optional toppings

  • Chives or green onions, optional garnish
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Brown Gravy

Instructions

  1. Rinse potatoes with water and cut into 2 inch pieces. You can peel the potatoes, if you prefer, but you do not need to peel them if using Yukon gold potatoes.
  2. Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt to a large pot and cover with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a medium boil, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Potatoes are tender when a knife (or fork) easily goes through the potatoes.
  3. Pour potatoes into a colander to drain the water. Add potatoes back into the same pot.
  4. Using a potato masher quickly mash the potatoes. Add the butter and continue to mash until the butter is melted. 
  5. Then add the heavy cream, a little at a time, and continue to mix with the masher. Taste potatoes and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. 
  6. Serve warm with your favorite meal, garnished with chives and extra butter, if desired.

Notes

Storage:

  • Make sure that the potatoes are cooled completely. You can store them in a casserole or oven-safe dish if you plan on making the dish ahead of time. Or, if you’re storing leftovers, simply find an air-tight container. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat, warm potatoes on the stove, in the oven, or microwave. Add a little more milk and butter to make the potatoes moist again, as needed.
  • If you are reheating a full batch, about an hour before serving, remove them from the fridge and let them rest on the counter to come to room temperature. Then pop them into the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until warmed through.
  • Freeze mashed potatoes in an air tight container for up to 3 months. It’s best to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. And then reheat them gently. You’ll want to do so on the stove top on low heat so that you can add more milk or butter as needed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 483mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

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