Satisfy your cravings for comfort food with these irresistibly creamy mashed potatoes. Made with tender, fluffy potatoes and a touch of butter and milk, these easy mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to any meal.
Why you'll love this recipe
There's nothing quite like a warm and creamy bowl of mashed potatoes to make you feel all cozy inside, and this recipe is as easy as it is delicious. All you need is some butter, milk, salt, pepper, and of course, potatoes.
Simply peel and boil your potatoes until they're soft and tender, then mash them up with a generous "pat" of butter and a splash of whole milk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and voila! You'll have a bowl of the most comforting, velvety-smooth mashed potatoes you've ever tasted.
Each spoonful is pure comfort, with the rich, buttery flavor perfectly balanced by the delicate creaminess of the milk. And with only four ingredients, it's a recipe that's easy to remember and whip up anytime you're in the mood for some serious comfort food.
To whip up a delicious batch of easy mashed potatoes, you'll need a few key ingredients:
- Russet potatoes. I use Russets for my mashed potatoes because they create the fluffiest texture when mashed. They're perfect for smooth, creamy mashed potatoes.
- Butter. Adds richness and the delicious buttery flavor! You can use either salted or unsalted.
- Milk. Milk also contributes to the creamy texture of these potatoes and makes them easier to mash. I like to use whole milk.
- Salt and pepper. These are nothing fancy. I use regular table salt and pepper.
When selecting flavorful potatoes, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Look for potatoes that are smooth and firm. They should not be too soft or wrinkled.
- Avoid potatoes that have large bruises, cuts, or soft spots.
- Avoid potatoes that have large sprouts or a lot of small ones. This can indicate that the potato is old or wasn't stored correctly.
- Smell the potato! I do this every time I buy a sack of potatoes. They should have a clean, earthy smell. Avoid the ones that smell musty or moldy.
Wash, peel, and cut the potatoes into chunks that are roughly the same size. Place the potatoes into a large pot and add enough water to cover them.
Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are soft and fork-tender, about 16 to 18 minutes.
When the potatoes are fully cooked, they should be tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork or knife without any resistance. If the potato feels soft and slips off the fork or knife easily, then it is likely done.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the pot (or a large bowl).
Add the softened butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth and free of lumps.
For a crowd
If you are planning a special occasion such as a holiday, wedding, or large family gathering - especially Thanksgiving - you can easily double or even triple this classic mashed potato recipe to ensure that everyone has enough to eat.
Once you have finished making the mashed potatoes, you can transfer them to a slow cooker and keep them on the "WARM" setting until it's time to serve. This will help keep the mashed potatoes at a consistent temperature and prevent them from becoming cold or overcooked.
Your guests are sure to love this classic and comforting side dish- I know I do!
Mashed potatoes can be customized to your liking in several ways:
- Add more butter to make them even richer and creamier.
- Throw in some crumbled bacon for a smoky, salty flavor.
- Make it cheesy! Stir in some shredded cheddar, parmesan, goat cheese, or cream cheese.
- Make your mashed potatoes tangy and creamy by adding a spoonful of sour cream.
- Create a whole new depth of flavor by adding in roasted or sautéed garlic.
I personally love my mashed potatoes with a glob of sour cream and a pinch of chives!
Tips & tricks
Choose the right potato. Russet potatoes are the best for making classic mashed potatoes because they have a high starch content and low moisture content. This will result in a smooth and fluffy texture. Yukon gold potatoes are also a great choice.
Don't over-mix. Be careful not to over-mix the potatoes, as this can make them gluey and dense. Mix the potatoes just enough to combine all the ingredients and create a smooth consistency.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Taste the mashed potatoes and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. If they need more, add it gradually and taste again until you get the perfect flavor.
- Large Stockpot. Easily fit all 5 pounds of potatoes in a large stockpot (with plenty of room to spare).
- Potato Masher. Achieve the perfect texture with the classic potato masher!
Transfer leftover potatoes to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a little milk or butter to help them regain their creamy texture if needed.
If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use them in Twice Baked Potato Casserole!
More easy sides
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Easy Mashed Potatoes
- 5 lbs potatoes I use Russet
- ½ c softened butter salted or unsalted
- ¼ c whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Scrub, peel, and quarter the potatoes. Place cut potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes until soft and fork-tender, about 16 to 18 minutes. Drain and return to the pot or a large bowl.
- Add the butter, milk, salt, and pepper, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher, until smooth.
- Serve warm!
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
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