Never have lumpy mashed potatoes again! Here, we talk about the Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe and how to make them perfect every single time. These guys are silky-smooth, SO flavorful and super easy to throw together.
For more awesome potato recipes, check out these Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes, these Pumpkin and Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes, or these Four-Ingredient Brie and Brown Sugar Hasselback Sweet Potatoes.
Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
I first posted the recipe for these Creamy Dreamy Mashed Potatoes around Thanksgiving in 2014, three years ago! They’ve been one of the most popular recipes on the blog around the holidays since then, so I thought it was time to give them a little love again. We updated some of the old photos, and re-shared it just so we can make sure it doesn’t ever get forgotten.
This my tried-and-true method for making mashed potatoes, and I promise, they come out PERFECT every single time.
These guys are smooth as silk, full of garlicky goodness, and of course, lots of butter! A must in the perfect mashed potatoes recipe. They’re also really easy to double or triple to serve a giant crowd, which I love.
Why mashed potatoes??
Mashed potatoes are often the overlooked middle child of the Thanksgiving table. While you may preach that everyone gets the same amount of love, and equal attention is paid to all three children, really the middle child always gets the short end of the stick – or so I’ve heard.
On Thanksgiving, after you’ve lovingly prepared Grandma’s dressing and taken the time to make green bean casserole from scratch, the potatoes are oftentimes a dish that get completely overlooked or haphazardly put together minutes before turkey time.
They happen to be one of the simplest additions to the lineup of food on the big day, BUT they’re also one of the easiest sides to screw up. There can be lumps. The starchy flesh can turn gummy in an instant. They can be grainy. And worst of all, they can be completely and utterly flavorless.
Over the years I’ve humbly mastered the mashed potato process, and I think I have few key tips that will ensure that you too, can become a pro at whipping up the perfect mashed potato. Thus ensuring equal love to all sides.
What potatoes should you use for creamy mashed potatoes?
First things first, what kind of potato should you use?? I’ve tried every potato out there — russet, yukon gold, red gold, etc. — and while they all yield tasty mashed potatoes, for me, classic is best, which means you want to go with the russet.
It has the perfect amount of starch, is forgiving, and the best part, yields the fluffiest mashed potatoes.
How to make the best mashed potatoes recipe
- Season your cooking liquid! This is SO important! Because potatoes naturally have no seasoning or taste, you want to be able to flavor the potatoes in each step, so we start at the beginning. Salting the cooking liquid ensures ample flavor is infused into the actual potato itself.
- Use a ricer. I am so thankful for purchasing this guy years ago, it’s been a total lifesaver and produces silky smooth mashed potatoes every single time. I’ve had countless people ask if they can substitute something else, and the answer is no. These guys are inexpensive, stored easily and you’ll use it time and time again. I have this one and love it.
- Rice potatoes when they are still hot. Hot potatoes = smooth potatoes.
- Add hot liquid to the hot mashed potatoes. Adding cold cream, milk or butter will actually cool the potatoes down, which will in turn risk a lumpy mash.
- Lots and lots of butter.
- Work quickly and do not over-mash! This is as important as any other step, working quickly, again, facilitates in a lump-free end result, but it also keeps the potatoes from becoming gummy, something I know first-hand.
I I know it may seem like an obnoxiously long list of steps, but they’re all insanely easy to follow, and I can assure you, it will put perfect mashed potatoes are your table in less than 30 minutes. Of course you can also make them ahead of time, and re-heat them later, which I’d actually suggest for Thanksgiving Day. Just gently reheat them on the stove, or if there’s more heating real estate in the oven, transfer the potatoes to an oven-safe dish and let them warm up in there.
Because I didn’t actually make these on Thanksgiving, it was just Kevin and I inhaling these, so this recipe isn’t going to feed a group of 10+ people, I’d say this is more geared towards six people, but it’s easily doubled or tripled if you have a large Thanksgiving crowd.
Variations on mashed potatoes
- cream cheese (Tried it, loved it!)
- roasted garlic paste
- pesto ( Can you imagine the beautiful color?!)
- garlic powder
HOWEVER, I would suggest you make them as is the first time around, because honestly, they really don’t need anything else.
Check out these posts for more delicious potato side dishes:
Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Secrets and tricks to making PERFECT creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes every single time.
- 3 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes cut into large cubes
- 1 stick unsalted butter + 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 head of garlic cloves individually smashed with the back of a knife.
- 3/4 cup warm heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Melt 1 stick of butter on a low heat in a small saucepan. Continue to keep warm on a low heat until milk solids rise to the top, remove. Add smashed garlic and cook on low to infuse the garlic, 15 minutes. Remove garlic and keep warm.
While the butter melts and garlic cooks, add potatoes to a medium pot and fill with water making sure all potatoes are covered, Season liberally with salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes, making sure to get rid of ALL excess moisture. VERY IMPORTANT!
While potatoes are still hot, but manageable, peel and then pass through a ricer and add back to pot. (I rice them into the pot.)
Pour in melted butter and salt. Use a hand held mixer to beat the potatoes until whipped and butter is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Do not over mix. Add warm heavy cream, beat again until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add sour cream and use the mixer on the lowest setting to mix until smooth, another minute or so. (Sour cream does not need to be at room temperature or warm.) DO NOT OVER BEAT. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to serving dish. Melt remaining butter and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley.