Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

The Spruce / Loren Runion

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
423 Calories
23g Fat
49g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 817mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 22mg 109%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 1256mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A bowl of hot, perfectly mashed, buttery potatoes is one of those dishes that will never go out of favor. They are the backbone of both British and Irish cuisine and a must-have at the American holiday dinner table. Although we've probably all had our fair share of lumpy potatoes, perfect mashed potatoes are actually quick and easy to make—all you need is a pan, water, potatoes (Yukon Gold are best), a masher, lots of butter, and about 25 minutes of your time. 

Mashed potatoes are an ideal accompaniment to roast turkey and chicken, sausages, and roast meats, and are part of certain British and Irish dishes, especially the classic bangers and mash and the famous bubble and squeak.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes (peeled and quartered)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (cubed)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. Put the quartered potatoes into a pot of cold water, add the teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.

    potatoes in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. Once boiling, lower the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and soft when pierced with a sharp knife.

    potatoes cooking in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside.

    Drain the potatoes in a colander

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  5. Place the milk and butter in the pan used to boil the potatoes and return the pan to the heat.

    milk and butter in the pan used to boil the potatoes

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  6. Warm gently until the butter has melted into the milk.

    milk and butter mixture in the pan used to boil the potatoes

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  7. Add the potatoes and mash using either a potato masher, a fork, a food mill, or a potato ricer.

    mashed potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  8. Whip the mashed potato lightly with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

Best Potatoes for Mashing

Not all potatoes are created equal when it comes to mashing as each has a different amount of starch. Yukon Gold potatoes, a yellow variety, have the perfect makeup for turning into mashed potatoes. They have a dense, uniform flesh and a medium level of starch, as well as a natural buttery flavor, meaning the potatoes already have a head start on that signature taste. Also, when cooked, Yukons don't become grainy, mushy, or watery like other potato varieties can. Although many reach for the Russet when making mashed potatoes, this spud has a high starch content which means it will absorb water when boiled, resulting in flavorless, watery, and gluey mashed potatoes. If you need to use Russets, bake instead of boil before mashing with the other ingredients.

Best Tool for Mashing

There are a few tool choices when it comes to mashing potatoes, from a simple fork to a food mill. Well-known restaurant chefs use a food mill, which creates velvety smooth results; a potato ricer turns out noodle-like strands of potato that need to be fluffed up with a fork prior to mixing with other ingredients. The most familiar tool, a potato masher, produces quick results, but the mixture will not have a uniform smoothness—and that goes double when using a fork.