Perfect Mashed Potatoes

3 mins read

Smooth and creamy, these simple mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to all your favorite family meals. Basic ingredients come together to create a flavorful, buttery, and creamy mashed potato that everyone will love!


All about these Mashed Potatoes…

  • Smooth & Creamy: The use of the sour cream allows us to use less butter, and still end up with epically creamy mashed potatoes. Plus the tang of the sour cream adds to the flavor.
  • Simple: we are using basic ingredients to make a simple mashed potato. These of course can be dressed up with fresh herbs, cheeses, or whatever else you want to add, but this is a great simple, basic mashed potato recipe you can build off of.

Ingredients Needed:


Notes on some ingredients:

  • Potatoes: Either gold or russet potatoes work well with this recipe. Gold potatoes are often a preferred option thanks to their creaminess when mashed and their natural subtle buttery flavoring.
  • Milk: use your milk of preference, you could also use a heavier cream if you prefer.
  • Sour Cream: allows us to use a little less butter, and gives a light tang to the potatoes. Be careful not to add extra sour cream as it can be overpowering.
  • Salt: taste and adjust as needed.

How to Make (step-by-step):


How to make Homemade Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Once boiling it can take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Drain & Dry the potatoes. This is a quick and easy step of just adding the potatoes back into the pot, placing them back over the heat for a brief 2 minutes, letting more of the excess moisture evaporate off. Then mash the potatoes. Use your preferred method of mashing.
  4. Add warm milk, butter and salt, then stir in the sour cream.

Methods for mashing potatoes:

  • For Rustic: Meaning a mash that still has some chunks, but mostly smooth. Use a handheld masher, like this OXO Stainless steel potato masher (affiliate link)
  • For Epically Smooth and Creamy: these potatoes come out smoother than silk! Use a Potato Ricer, like this OXO Good Grips (affiliate) version.
  • For Whipped Mashed Potatoes: These potatoes come out light and airy. Just be careful not to overmix. Then you will end up with gummy mashed potatoes. Use a hand or a stand mixer. This KitchenAid Hand mixer (affiliate) will get it done.

Expert Tips & Tricks:

  • Pick your potatoes wisely– choose either a starchy Russet potato or a waxy Yukon gold. My personal preference is the Yukon Golds which give a creamy, buttery mash.
  • Peel and chop your potatoes before boiling– this allows for quick and even cooking of the potatoes.
  • Salt your water– after you add the potatoes to the pot, cover with cold water, add a generous helping of salt. We will have a chance to salt to taste later on as well when making the final dish.
  • Start with cold water- cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil as opposed to adding potatoes to already boiling water.
  • Don’t over mix- one method of mashing potatoes is to use a hand mixer or stand mixer. If we’re not careful the potatoes can become over mixed which gives them a gummy, almost glue like texture.
  • Warm your milk and butter before adding to the potatoes. This keeps your mashed potatoes nice and warm and helps them to absorb the moisture easier.
  • Adjust to get the right consistency. If your potatoes aren’t creamy enough, add a bit more milk, or stir in a bit more sour cream.

Mashed Potatoes: FAQS

Should you mash potatoes hot or cold?

Always start boiling the potatoes in cold water, but be sure to mash them while they are still warm.

How many potatoes should I make to feed people?

Since mashed potatoes is one of those recipes that we prepare often for large gatherings and holidays, you might be wanting to make a large batch! To give you an idea, you want to allow about 1/2 pound of raw potato per person. So if you are expecting 15 people you will want to plan to make about 8 pounds of potatoes..always round up!

Why do you put milk in mashed potatoes?

Potatoes absorb liquid extremely well, adding milk allows the potatoes absorb the liquid and become creamy at the same time.

What to serve these potatoes with:

Recipe first published October 15, 2019 updated October 26, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.

Photography by the talented

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