The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Wondering how to make mashed potatoes from scratch? My Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe is a staple recipe everyone needs! Perfect for family dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas and more!

best mashed potatoes

My Favorite Mashed Potatoes Recipe

With the holidays right around the corner I thought it would be nice to have a mashed potato recipe that you can either leave how it is written here, or use to add your favorite mix-ins. This is hands down one of my favorite recipes I use over and over again. Once you master the classic recipe, you can do all kinds of variations that work for so many occasions.

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How To Make The BEST Mashed Potatoes

  • Place cubed potatoes into a large dutch oven filled with water. Make sure water is covering all potatoes. Turn heat to high and when water starts boiling, set timer for 8 minutes. Check to see if potatoes are fork tender, meaning fork is easily pierced into potatoes. When fork tender, drain potatoes.
  • Place butter into a stand mixer bowl. Transfer potatoes into mixer and carefully start mixing on lowest speed to prevent potatoes flying out of bowl (I’ve learned from experience, lol!) Once potatoes start to mash slightl, slowly add warm milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Mix until well combined, without over mixing. I like to leave a few chunky pieces. Over mixing your potatoes will ruin the texture, so be sure to just mix until desired consistency. At this step, your classic mashed potatoes are done! I like to transfer them to a large dutch oven and keep on low until serving. I usually end up adding 1/2 cup more milk to my potatoes if I’m not serving right away, just helps thin out if too thick. Use your judgement.
  • Classic mashed potatoes are fantastic, but you can add so many great ingredients for more variations. To this recipe I’ve also added 4 ounces of cream cheese for an even creamier mashed potato. Shredded cheeses are fantastic added in as well. Really anything you like is great. I’ve done Asiago, Parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella. Play around with it, see what you enjoy. You can add bacon pieces, green onion, green chilies….you get where I’m going? Once you’ve mastered the classic mashed potatoes, you can try lots of fun variations.

best mashed potatoes

What Kind Of Potatoes Should I Use?

When I am making mashed potatoes I get the good ol’ Russet Potatoes. I like how they turn out every time. Doesn’t mean you can experiment with other varieties, but for my recipe, use Russet.

best mashed potatoes

Step 1: Peel Your Potatoes

First things first, give them a good rinse in the sink and start peeling. You can leave some of the skin on the potatoes if you like. Personal preference. Grab a friend or family member to help, this is the part of the recipe that takes the longest.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Step 2: Cube Potatoes Into 1 Inch Pieces

Cut each half in half again then cube into about 1 inch pieces. Your goal is to cut the potatoes the same size so they finish cooking the same time.

Into the dutch oven they go. I start with room temperature water and transfer my potatoes in. Make sure you have enough water that covers all potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Step 3: Cook Your Potatoes

Turn up the heat to high and when it starts boiling, reduce heat slightly and set your timer. I like to start with 8 minutes so I can check from there.

best mashed potatoes

How do you know when your potatoes are cooked?

You’ll know when your potatoes are done when your fork pierces through with slight pressure. If the fork goes in too easy, chances are you’ve over cooked your batch. That’s why I like to check my potatoes on the early side so I don’t over cook them. You want fork tender with a little pressure. If it takes no pressure to pierce your fork though, then…..oops 🙂  Better to check your potatoes early than too late.

best mashed potatoes

 

Step 4: Assemble Your Mashed Potato Ingredients

Here are my classic mashed potatoes MUST HAVE ingredients. I use butter, warm milk, salt, pepper, garlic salt and sour cream. We’ll talk about add-ins below.

best mashed potatoes

Step 5: Mash Your Potatoes (How To Mash Potatoes)

There are a number of ways you can mash your potatoes. Some use the good ol’ fashioned potato masher in a large bowl. Totally fine if that’s your thing. I find it easiest to do my potatoes in a stand mixer. Add your butter (at the bottom of the bowl here), your salt, pepper and garlic salt. Give a very gentle mix. For the first few mixes, carefully place your hands over the bowl so you don’t have any potatoes fly out….I am talking from experience, ha! Once you get some of the potatoes mashed, slowly add in your sour cream and warm milk. You want to make sure your ingredients are well combined without over mixing. If you’ve ever had grainy, weird textured mashed potatoes, chances are they were waaaaaay over mixed. Just use your good judgement, when you see everything is well combined, then you stop.

best mashed potatoes

Glorious mashed potatoes!! Once my potatoes are done, I generally place them into a dutch oven over low heat until ready to serve. Note that often times your potatoes get thick as they are left out. Simply stir in small batches of milk until desired consistency. I do this all of the time.

Mashed Potato Flavor Variations

Ok, let’s talk about what you can do from this stage of the classic mashed potatoes recipe. Here’s where it gets fun experimenting. To this recipe, you can also add 4 ounces of cream cheese for a creamy dreamy mashed potato. Shredded cheeses are fantastic added in as well. Really anything you like is great. I’ve done Asiago, Parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, even blue cheese and Feta…all for different batches. Play around with it, see what you enjoy. You can add bacon pieces, truffle oil, green onion, green chilies, hot sauce….you get where I’m going? Once you’ve mastered the classic mashed potatoes, you can try lots of fun variations. Hope you enjoy!!

The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Wondering how to make mashed potatoes from scratch? My Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe is a staple recipe everyone needs! Perfect for family dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas and more!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 212kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cubed, 1 inch pieces
  • 1 stick salted butter softened
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Salt

Instructions

  • Place cubed potatoes into a large dutch oven filled with water. Make sure water is covering all potatoes. Turn heat to high and when water starts boiling, set timer for 8 minutes. Check to see if potatoes are fork tender, meaning fork is easily pierced into potatoes. When fork tender, drain potatoes.
  • Place butter into a stand mixer bowl. Transfer potatoes into mixer and carefully start mixing on lowest speed to prevent potatoes flying out of bowl (I've learned from experience, lol!) Once potatoes start to mash slightl, slowly add warm milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Mix until well combined, without over mixing. I like to leave a few chunky pieces. Over mixing your potatoes will ruin the texture, so be sure to just mix until desired consistency. At this step, your classic mashed potatoes are done! I like to transfer them to a large dutch oven and keep on low until serving. I usually end up adding 1/2 cup more milk to my potatoes if I'm not serving right away, just helps thin out if too thick. Use your judgement.
  • Classic mashed potatoes are fantastic, but you can add so many great ingredients for more variations. To this recipe I've also added 4 ounces of cream cheese for an even creamier mashed potato. Shredded cheeses are fantastic added in as well. Really anything you like is great. I've done Asiago, Parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella. Play around with it, see what you enjoy. You can add bacon pieces, green onion, green chilies....you get where I'm going? Once you've mastered the classic mashed potatoes, you can try lots of fun variations. Hope you enjoy!!

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Keywords: best mashed potatoes, easy mashed potatoes recipe, how to make mashed potatoes, thanksgiving mashed potatoes

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11 Responses
  1. I had to write a girl the instructions for mashed potatoes. I couldn’t believe she had never made nor had them to eat. She was an adult with 2 boys! She is definitely not a “foodie”. I wish I had this post then to share with her.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! I feel like every time I make make mashed potatoes I mess it up and think, “How can I mess up mashed potatoes? It’s like the easiest thing, right?” Yes! Will definitely try this!

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Picky PalateWelcome to my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand & a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. Enjoy!

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