Thrilled to share The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes Recipe with you today! A staple recipe everyone needs!

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.

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.

Do I Need To Peel My 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.

Once they’re peeled, cut each potato in half and place down so they’re flat on your cutting board.

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.

Boil Potatoes Until They’re Fork Tender

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.

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.

Drain your potatoes.

Season Your Potatoes

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.

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.

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.

Tips For Making Mashed Potatoes

*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
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, holiday, mashed potatoes, potatoes, thanksgiving
Servings: 12
Calories: 212 kcal
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 get where I'm going? Once you've mastered the classic mashed potatoes, you can try lots of fun variations. Hope you enjoy!!
Nutrition Facts
The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 527mg23%
Potassium 873mg25%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 93mg9%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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