An easy, classic way to make THE BEST mashed potatoes that turn out perfectly creamy and fluffy every time!Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links to cooking items we love & use. If you purchase through one of these links we may earn a small commission.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe. The full recipe card and ingredient list can be found at the bottom of the page.
- 4 pounds russet or Yukon potatoes
- ¾ cup whole milk or more for a smoother texture
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Step 1: Prepare the potatoes
Peel the potatoes and dice into 1” cubes.
Step 2: Boil the potatoes
Add 1 teaspoon salt to a large pot of cold water. Add the potatoes to the pot (the water should cover the potatoes by about 1”). Bring the pot to a boil. Gently boil for 15 - 20 minutes. The potatoes should be cooked through and tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
Step 3: Melt milk & butter
While the potatoes cook, add the milk and butter to a small saucepan to heat; or heat in a small bowl in the microwave. The milk and butter should be hot but don’t let the milk come to a boil.
Step 4: Mash the potatoes
Add the heated milk and butter along with salt and pepper to taste to the potatoes in the large pot. Mash until the potatoes to your desired consistency. Add more milk and/or butter if you prefer creamier potatoes.
Step 5: Serve
Serve immediately, optionally with a pat of butter or chopped parsley on top.
- Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes work best for this recipe.
- Milk: you can use any milk or non-dairy milk alternative (almond, oat, etc.) in this recipe. For the creamiest mashed potatoes, use whole milk or heavy cream.
- Garlic: add 1 tablespoon (or more, if preferred) of minced garlic.
- Bacon: crumble and add a few strips of cooked bacon to your mashed potatoes for some flavorful crunch.
- Cheese: stir in up to 1 cup of cheddar cheese to turn these into cheesy mashed potatoes
- Herbs: to add herbs to your mashed potatoes, stir in a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley or chives
- In the fridge: cool and store in an airtight container for 3 - 4 days
- In the freezer: cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month
Frequently Asked Questions
To make your mashed potatoes creamier, stir in more butter and milk. Add both, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If your potatoes feel too thick, add more milk.
Gummy potatoes are caused by over-mixing them. To avoid this, mash your potatoes with a hand masher or fork; or if you use a handheld mixer only mix until the potatoes are barely combined and smooth.
Boil the potatoes for 15 - 20 minutes: they should be tender all the way through when pierced with a fork. Depending on how large you cut your chunks of potatoes, you may need to boil them for more or less time.
Yes, you can make mashed potatoes ahead of time. When you're ready to serve your potatoes, reheat them in the oven (covered) at 350°F until warm. Add extra milk and butter if the potatoes start to dry out.
The trick to making these mashed potatoes (or any mashed potatoes!) is to add a little butter and milk at a time. Start by adding close to the amount that the recipe recommends, and then add more until the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
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