The BEST Mashed Potatoes recipe you’ll ever make, these homemade mashed potatoes are rich, buttery, creamy, and easy to make. They’re the perfect side dish for holidays and weeknight dinners!
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What Are the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?
Yukon gold potatoes or Russet potatoes are widely considered to be the best potatoes for mashed potato recipes.
- Yukon Gold are yellow potatoes with a thin skin and a rich, buttery flavor.
- Russet potatoes are white potatoes that have a high natural starch content, meaning they yield super fluffy mashed potatoes.
For this recipe, we use a combination of both so you get an incredible flavor and a soft, airy texture. Yum!
Ingredients in Mashed Potatoes
Every mashed potatoes recipe is a little bit different, but here’s what we use to make the absolute best mashed potatoes recipe ever! Don’t forget to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete ingredients and instructions.
- Potatoes – We use a combination of yellow and white potatoes for a taste and texture that will knock your socks off.
- Garlic Cloves – Two cloves add depth to the flavor, enhancing the savoriness.
- Salt and Black Pepper – Adjust to taste.
- Whole Milk – This is key to creating an ultra-creamy texture. Other milk varieties can be used, but the taste and texture will change slightly.
- Sour Cream – Technically optional, this is our secret weapon to taking these mashed potatoes to a whole new level of creamy while adding a satisfying tangy taste.
- Toppings – Serve your potatoes plain, or top them with fresh chives, green onions, thyme, or freshly cracked black pepper.
Pro Tips for The Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Cut the potatoes. To speed up the cooking time, cut the potatoes into chunks before boiling.
- Boil the potatoes well. You need your potatoes to be so tender a fork slides right through. Otherwise, they’ll be super difficult to mash and won’t taste great.
- Drain the potatoes. Set your potatoes aside in the colander for a few minutes to really make sure all the liquid is drained. This will prevent your mashed potatoes recipe from becoming runny.
- Mash by hand. We highly recommend using a potato masher or potato ricer to mash the potatoes by hand. A food processor or hand mixer can also be used, but they have a tendency to break down the starch too much, creating a gummy consistency.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
We create the best mashed potatoes by cooking them in a pot on the stove.
- Peel the potatoes. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin from the potatoes. Or, leave the skin on for a chunkier, more rustic texture.
- Boil. Place the potatoes in a large pot, and submerge them in cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt. Then, bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow the potatoes to simmer until they’re fork-tender.
- Heat the liquids. In a separate saucepan, heat the whole milk and butter over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Stir occasionally to combine.
- Mash. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and return them to the pot. Then, mash the potatoes and garlic together.
- Combine. Add the warm milk mixture, stirring to combine and continuing to mash. Stir in the sour cream until smooth.
- Serve. Adjust the seasonings to taste, and add your garnishes of choice before serving.
- Swap the sour cream. Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt or plain cream cheese for a similar flavor and creamy texture.
- Add cheese. Make cheesy mashed potatoes by stirring in your favorite cheese. Gouda, cheddar, or parmesan all taste great.
- Loaded mashed potatoes. Stir in sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, chopped green onions, and jalapeños for a flavor-loaded side dish.
- Vegan. Make this recipe vegan-friendly by using plant-based butter and sour cream.
- Sweet potatoes. Swap out the yellow and white potatoes for sweet potatoes, and follow the same instructions, adjusting the boiling time as needed.
- Seasonings. Stir in seasonings like Ranch, Old Bay, Italian Seasoning, Everything Bagel Seasoning, or anything you like best to give the flavor a new twist.
- Gravy. Skip the garnishes, and enjoy your mashed potatoes with gravy instead.
- Broth. Infuse more savory into the potatoes by boiling them in chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
- Store: Once cooled, leftover mashed potatoes can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to three to four days.
- Freeze: Spread the potatoes evenly in a pan, cover them tightly with aluminum foil, and keep them frozen for up to six months.
- Reheat: Allow your mashed potatoes to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm them in the microwave, stirring every two minutes or so.
Or, place them back in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and warm them covered for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Add an extra splash of milk or melted butter as needed to freshen them back up!
More Potato Recipes
- Creamy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Greek-Inspired Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- Lemon Greek Potatoes Recipe
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
The BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 4 1/2 pounds potatoes half gold, half yellow
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions thyme, or freshly-cracked black pepper
- Peel the potatoes, if desired. Chop them for a shorter cooking time.4 1/2 pounds potatoes
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and cover them with cold water. Add a generous pinch of fine sea salt to the water.1 teaspoon salt
- Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate saucepan, heat the whole milk and butter over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Stir occasionally to combine.1 cup whole milk, 6 Tablespoons butter
- Once the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander, and return them to the pot.
- Mash the potatoes and garlic using a potato masher until they are smooth and creamy.2 large cloves garlic
- Gradually add the warm milk and butter mixture to the mashed potatoes while continuing to mash and mix. This will help make the potatoes creamy.
- Stir in the sour cream, and continue to mash and mix until everything is well combined. For a creamier consistency, can add more milk or sour cream as desired.1/2 cup sour cream
- Taste the mashed potatoes, and adjust the seasoning with salt as needed.1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Serve the creamy mashed potatoes hot, garnished with choice of toppings such as chopped fresh chives or green onions, a sprinkle of thyme, or freshly-cracked black pepper.Toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.