Never have lumpy mashed potatoes again! Here, we talk about the Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe and how to make creamy mashed potatoes perfect every single time. These mashed potatoes are are silky-smooth, SO flavorful and perfect for a crowd.
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 is my tried-and-true method for making mashed potatoes, I promise, they come out PERFECT every single time and they truly are the best creamy mashed potatoes recipe.
These whipped potatoes are smooth as silk, full of garlicky goodness, and of course, lots of butter! I’d say they’re ever-so-slightly elevated with the addition of clarified butter and slow-steeped garlic but they’re still totally reminiscent of the old-school mashed potato recipe we all know and love.
They’re also really easy to double or triple to serve a giant crowd. Trust me, this is THE BEST MASHED POTATO RECIPE you will find on the internet. I promise!
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, mashed potatoes, 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 mashed 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. The mashed potatoes can have lumps. The starchy flesh can turn gummy in an instant. The mashed potatoes can be grainy. And worst of all, the mashed potatoes can be completely and utterly flavorless. It’s a hard, unappreciated job making the best mashed potatoes.
Over the years I’ve humbly mastered this mashed potato recipe 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.
Say hi to the best mashed potatoes recipe you’ll ever make.
Best potatoes for 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 potato.
A russet potato has the perfect amount of starch, is forgiving, and the best part, yields the fluffiest mashed potatoes.
Ingredients in The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Russet potatoes. Like we discussed before, I prefer to use a russet potato to achieve the creamy mashed potatoes. You’ll need about three pounds of russet potatoes.
Butter. You can’t make the best mashed potatoes recipe without butter amirght? This is not a time to be stingy, butter is your friend in mashed potatoes.
Garlic. I don’t like for my Thanksgiving mashed potatoes to be overly garlicky, so instead we infuse the butter with garlic, for a very subtle garlicky undertone.
Heavy cream. Another essential ingredient. Heavy cream makes this creamy mashed potatoes extra luxurious and gives them the best mouthfeel you can’t achieve with milk.
Sour cream. For just a touch of tanginess and added flavor.
Salt. Potatoes don’t have any salt in them, so you need to give them a little bit of help!
How to Make the Creamiest Mashed Potatoes
Follow these steps on how to make the creamiest mashed potatoes and you will thank me later. Let’s get started!
Cook the potatoes. Add peeled and diced potatoes to a large stock pot. Cover with water. You want the water to be about 1-2 inches over the potatoes.
Season your cooking liquid! This is SO important! Because potatoes naturally have no seasoning or taste, you want to be able to flavor the mashed potatoes in each step. When you salt the cooking liquid, you ensure ample flavor infuses into the actual potato itself. Cook until they are fork-tender. It should take about 20-25 minutes.
Infuse the butter with garlic. We add lots of flavor to these creamy mashed potatoes by infusing the butter with a little bit of garlic. All you have to do is heat the butter up in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Once the white solids (the milk solids) rise to the top of the butter, spoon them out and add the garlic.
Let the garlic cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Pull the garlic out and toss it out. Reserve the garlicky butter and keep warm over a very low heat.
Dry the potatoes! You don’t want any excess moisture in the mashed potatoes. The only moisture you want should be from the cream, butter, and sour cream. Watery mashed potatoes is no bueno.
Once you drain them, let them sit for 1-2 minutes in the colander until they don’t have any excess moisture on them.
Rice the potatoes. I am so thankful for purchasing a ricer years ago, it’s been a total lifesaver and produces creamy mashed potatoes every single time. I’ve had countless people ask if they can substitute something else, and the answer is no. Ricers are inexpensive, stored easily and you’ll use it time and time again. I have this one and love it.
Working in batches rice the potatoes back into the pot you cooked them in.
It’s very important to rice potatoes when they are still hot. Hot potatoes = smooth mashed 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. Make sure your cream is hot and add to the mashed potatoes. Then you’ll want to add lots and lots of butter. More specifically, the garlicky butter you infused.
Work quickly and do not over-mash! This is as important as any other step, working quickly, again, facilitates in a lump-free mashed potato, but it also keeps the mashed potatoes from becoming gummy, something I know first-hand.
Once you add all the cream, butter, and salt to the potatoes, use a hand mixer to whip them up. ONLY MIX UNTIL THEY ARE COMBINED. Add sour cream. Whip one more time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
How to reheat mashed potatoes
I know it may seem like an obnoxiously long list of steps, but they’re all insanely easy to follow. I can assure you, it will put perfect mashed potatoes at 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. Here’s how:
- Gently reheat the mashed potatoes on the stove over a low heat. Stir frequently to avoid the mashed potatoes sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- If there’s more heating real estate in the oven, transfer the potatoes to an oven-safe dish and let them warm up in a 300 degree oven. Keep warm until serving.
Do I need to heat the sour cream?
No! You want the cream and the butter to be hot but it’s totally fine if the sour cream comes from the fridge. If you can remember, try to take the sour cream out of the fridge about 30 minutes before adding it so it’s room temp. If you don’t remember, no big deal.
How can I make this Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe for a large crowd?
I would just double or triple there recipe. However, I would start off by using about 1/2 cup less of heavy cream. If needed, add more.
What are milk solids?
When you slowly heat up butter, there will be little white solids that come to the top of the butter. These are the milk solids. I like to remove them in this recipe so the garlic and butter don’t burn when we cook the garlic. If you want to skip this step, you totally could, just make sure to keep a really good eye on the butter while the garlic cooks in it. When the milk solids are still in the butter, it has a tendency to burn a little bit easier.
Do I have to use sour cream?
No, but I do believe sour cream contributes to the overall amazing flavor of these creamy mashed potatoes. There’s a reason this the Mashed Potatoes Recipe!
Can I use whole milk instead of cream?
Yes. However, heavy cream is what makes these so luxurious, so keep that in mind!
Variations on mashed potatoes
- Cream cheese mashed potatoes (Tried it, loved it!)
- Roasted garlic paste
- Pesto mashed potatoes (That beautiful color!)
- Add garlic powder
- Make cheesy mashed potatoes! Add in shredded cheddar, gouda, or even goat cheese for a tangy twist.
HOWEVER, I would suggest you make them as is the first time around, because honestly, these mashed potatoes really don’t need anything else.
- 3 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
- 1 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 7 cloves 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
- stock pot
- Melt 1 stick of butter on a low heat in a small saucepan. Continue to keep warm on a low heat until white milk solids rise to the top, remove milk solids. Add smashed garlic and cook on low to infuse the garlic. Cook for 15 minutes. REMOVE GARLIC CLOVES AND DISCARD, keep butter warm over a low heat.
- While the butter melts and garlic cooks, add potatoes to a medium pot and fill with water making sure all potatoes are covered, Season water liberally with salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes, making sure to get rid of ALL excess moisture. VERY IMPORTANT! I like to let them drain for a few minutes in the colander and then blot them with a dry paper towel.
- While potatoes are still hot, pass through a ricer and add back to the same pot you cooked them in. (I rice them into the pot.)
- Pour in warm melted butter, salt, and warm cream. Use a hand held mixer on a medium speed until the potatoes are whipped and butter is incorporated, about 2-3 minutes, max. Do not over mix. 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 two tablespoons of butter and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley.