Get ready to try the best-mashed potatoes recipe EVER! We’re excited to share step-by-step how to make creamy mashed potatoes the traditional way (and we’ll link you to an Instant Pot version, too!). Trust us, these potatoes are just heavenly!
Serve a plate with these mashed potatoes, and everyone is guaranteed to ask you for your tips on how to make the creamiest mashed potatoes. The best part is, they are so easy to make and only 3 ingredients!
Our guide on how to make creamy mashed potatoes results in the best-mashed potatoes recipe that is SO creamy and flavorful, you will want to make them for every occasion!
Homemade mashed potatoes are one of our FAVORITE foods to make. They use simple ingredients, are easy to make, and are undoubtedly delicious.
But when it comes to finding the best-mashed potatoes recipe, a question of how to make the creamiest mashed potatoes is often raised! We have the answer, and it’s easier than you might think.
What is the best potato for mashing?
The best potato for mashing is either a Russet potato or Yukon gold. They are dense but smooth and flavorful potatoes that make the creamiest mashed potatoes!
We recommend using Russet or Yukon gold potatoes when you make homemade mashed potatoes.
Should I salt the water for mashed potatoes?
Yes. Please! Salting the water to make creamy mashed potatoes. We use approximately 5 tablespoons of salt in the water for 2.5 pounds of potatoes. The potatoes will absorb some of the water they’re cooked in, so you’ll have very flavorful potatoes if you salt the water.
Keep this in mind later when you season your potatoes so you don’t accidentally over-salt them. Try a bite before you add more salt!
How do you make creamy mashed potatoes?
The key to making creamy mashed potatoes is all in the technique and two key ingredients: milk and butter. By mixing milk and butter into your mashed potatoes at the right time during the cooking process, you are guaranteed to enjoy the creamiest mashed potatoes possible.
First, start by getting everything you need ready, including tools and your mashed potatoes ingredients.
Here is the most important part of making the creamiest potatoes you have ever made. Once you taste these creamy potatoes, you will want to make your mashed potatoes like this every single time. It’s all in the steps.
Step 1: Add the potatoes to a large bowl or bowl in your stand mixer. And mix. Turn the mixer on low and do not add anything else at this time and mix until the potatoes are crumbly.
Step 2: Add the butter and continue to mix on low. We know, we know – you have to be patient!
Step 3: Slowly add the milk a little bit at a time and continue to mix on low. Continue this step until the milk is well blended and the potatoes turn into creamy heavenly mashed potatoes.
Step 4: Season with salt and pepper and continue to mix.
That’s it! 4 easy steps to the easiest mashed potatoes ever!
It really is that simple to make the best-mashed potatoes! We like to add green onions and add butter to our creamy mashed potatoes, but all you need are the potatoes, butter, milk, and salt and pepper for seasoning.
Want to make instant pot mashed potatoes? Keep scrolling for a guide on how to make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot, complete with photos and a video!
Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?
Yes! It is easy to make mashed potatoes ahead of time. To prepare your mashed potatoes ahead of time, follow our guide for how to make creamy mashed potatoes above, and then continue with these directions when ready to serve:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add your mashed potatoes to a casserole dish.
- Whisk 1 egg. Brush the egg over the top of your mashed potatoes.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly toasted.
How long can mashed potatoes stay in the fridge?
We recommend enjoying your mashed potatoes within 3 to 5 days of making and storing them in the refrigerator, and no longer.
Do mashed potatoes freeze well?
Yes! The butter and milk used in making mashed potatoes mean they freeze (and reheat) very well. Homemade mashed potatoes make especially good make ahead meals for this reason. So if you’re cooking up your Thanksgiving side dishes ahead of time and run out of fridge space, for example, you can easily freeze mashed potatoes if necessary. Simply freeze tightly sealed in a container of your choice.
The best way to reheat mashed potatoes:
When reheating mashed potatoes, you have a few options. Here are a few different methods we recommend to reheat mashed potatoes.
- In the oven: Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, as with our make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe above.
- In the microwave: Microwave for about 5 minutes (depending on the number of mashed potatoes you are reheating) at mid-power. Make sure to occasionally stop and stir so the dish is evenly heated.
- On the stove: Heat on the stove at low to mid-heat. As with microwaving mashed potatoes, make sure to occasionally stir.
If you’re reheating frozen mashed potatoes, we recommend thawing one day ahead of time in the fridge so they’re no longer frozen before reheating. When reheating, it’s a good idea to add a little more butter to freshen up the potatoes.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
You can make creamy homemade mashed potatoes in the instant pot, too! Follow the instructions in our Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes post for an easy step-by-step guide.
What goes with mashed potatoes?
Mashed potatoes go with everything! In all seriousness, pairing homemade mashed potatoes with a meal is an easy thing to do. They are one of the best side dishes you can make, in addition to being so easy. Here are some of our favorite recommendations for what to eat with mashed potatoes:
- Roast beef: Try one of our roast recipes with creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a match made in heaven, especially with our Dutch Oven Pot Roast, Instant Pot Pot Roast, or Boneless Prime Rib Roast.
- Steak: Our Easy Steak Diane Recipe, Porterhouse Steak Recipe, Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak, Picanha Steak (Sirloin Cap), Steak Foil Pack, and Grilled Chuck Steak are the best steak recipes to pair with mashed potatoes.
- Chicken and turkey: Naturally, the best-mashed potatoes pair with the Best Thanksgiving Turkey recipe perfectly! We also love this recipe with our Chicken Breast and Mushroom Recipe, Buttermilk Roast Chicken, and Chicken and Mushroom Pie.
- Ham and pork: Try serving this easy mashed potatoes recipe with our Honey Glazed Ham Recipe, Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy or Baked Apple Pork Chops, and everyone at the table will be asking for seconds.
Try these other easy side dish recipes:
- Irish Mashed Potatoes
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
- Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- Foil Pack Potatoes
- Gluten Free Au Gratin Potatoes
And definitely give our Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes a try. They are incredible for the holidays and are so cheesy!
Leave a comment!
Did you try these easy mashed potatoes? Leave us a comment and let us know! What are your favorite potatoes to use for mashed potatoes? Any tips or tricks? We love to hear from you.
And try more Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas!
- Large pot to boil water
- A mixer (a hand mixer works well)
- A large spoon
- Mixing Bowl
- 2.5 lbs. potatoes cut into small chunks
- 1/2 stick butter
- 5 Tbsp. salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- Chopped green onions for garnish optional
- Additional melted butter for flavor optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add 5 Tbsp. salt to the pot of boiling water.
- Bring the pot of water back to a boil.
- Add potatoes to water and boil for 20 to 25 minutes until tender.
- Drain water from the pot.
- Add half a stick of chopped butter to your pot with the potatoes.
- Using a hand mixer on medium, whip well until butter is fully incorporated and mashed potatoes are creamy. Slowly add two cups of milk while whipping.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl.
- Add in melted butter if desired. Mix with spoon to incorporate.
- Add green onions salt, and pepper for flavor, if desired.
- THE KEY TO CREAMY POTATOES: The key to creamy mashed potatoes is in the technique. Starting with the boiled potatoes and whipping them until fluffy, then slowly adding butter and milk, makes the creamiest mashed potatoes.
- IN THE OVEN: For a make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe you can prepare in the oven, follow the directions above. Whisk an egg and brush it on top before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly toasted.