Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Instant pot mashed potatoes in a bowl garnished with herbs

The Spruce / Emily Baker

  • Total: 18 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Pressure and Release: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
583 Calories
30g Fat
19g Carbs
58g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 583
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 191mg 64%
Sodium 694mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 58g
Calcium 103mg 8%
*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.)

Mashed potatoes are one of the top comfort foods, but they often seem like a bit of a time-consuming project that you have to properly plan for. However, if you're using a pressure cooker instead of waiting for water to boil and then the potatoes to cook, making mashed potatoes is no longer a chore. These Instant Pot mashed red potatoes are a snap to put together because the pressure cooker cuts the cooking time considerably—they're ready in about 20 minutes.

The recipe calls for red-skinned potatoes, but feel free to use Yukon Gold (they make for creamy mashed potatoes, too) or another kind of potato in this recipe. The amount of butter can be adjusted as well, or use olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil in place of the butter. Similarly, you can use water, but potatoes taste even better if cook them in a low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock. Fresh herbs, such as parsley and/or chives, are a classic add-in for these Instant Pot mashed potatoes.

If you don't have an Instant Pot or similar multi-cooker, another brand will work as well. Just follow the manufacturer's guidelines for setting and releasing steam. 

1:53

Click Play to See This Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes (red-skinned, about 6 to 7 medium potatoes)
  • Optional: 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more, to taste)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
  • Optional: fresh chopped parsley
  • Optional: fresh chopped chives

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot mashed potatoes
    The Spruce / Emily Baker 
  2. Rinse and scrub the potatoes, and remove any eyes or imperfections. If desired, peel the potatoes. Cut into 1-inch to 2-inch cubes.

    Scrubbed potatoes cut into cubes
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  3. Put the potatoes in the Instant Pot. If you are adding garlic, peel the cloves and mince.

    Potatoes in instant pot
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  4. Add the salt to the potatoes along with the water or stock.

    Add salt
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  5. Cover the pot and make sure the vent is set​ to "seal."

    Instant pot lid set to seal
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  6. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes and then quick release.

    Instant Pot set for 8 minutes for potatoes
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  7. In the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, warm the half-and-half (or milk) with the butter until the butter has melted.

    Butter and half-and-half warming in a saucepan
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  8. Place a large sieve or colander over a bowl and drain the potatoes and garlic over a bowl or large measuring cup to reserve the cooking liquid.

    Chopped cooked red potatoes draining in a colander
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  9. Put the potatoes and garlic in a separate large bowl and mash with a potato masher to break them up.

    Potatoes and garlic in a bowl with a potato masher
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  10. Add the warmed cream and butter mixture and continue mashing until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Add some of the cooking liquid to the potatoes to reach your desired consistency.

    Hot milk and melted butter added to mashed potatoes
    The Spruce / Emily Baker
  11. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Gently stir in the chives and/or parsley, if using.

    Instant pot mashed potatoes with chives and parsley in a white serving bowl
    The Spruce / Emily Baker

Why Did My Mashed Potatoes Turn Out Gummy?

It's an all-too-common problem: gummy mashed potatoes. This happens when the starches in the potatoes become overworked during the mashing process. It's also important to make sure the potatoes are drained well and are as dry as possible before mashing. To completely avoid any possibility that your potatoes will turn out gluey, many people are devoted to using a ricer to guarantee fluffy mashed potatoes.

Tips

  • This recipe is made with red-skinned potatoes which are low in starch, or "waxy." For fluffier mashed potatoes, use russets or baking potatoes, which are high in starch, or use a medium starch potato such as Yukon Gold or long whites.

Recipe Variations

Mashed potatoes are a blank slate and are easily adaptable. Here are some variations.

  • Replace the cream or milk with coconut milk or broth.
  • Replace half of the potatoes with cauliflower for a lighter mash lower in carbs.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of chopped cooked cabbage or kale to the pot for a traditional Irish-inspired colcannon.
  • Replace one-third to one-half of the potatoes with peeled and cubed rutabagas for a delicious mashed potato and rutabaga combination.
  • To make mashed potatoes in the microwave, try this easy recipe for microwave mashed potatoes.