I believe mashed potatoes should be two things: rich and creamy. With that in mind, here's my go-to recipe for the best creamy mashed potatoes you're ever going to find!
I don’t believe you need to wait for a holiday to enjoy mashed potatoes, but I know many people who only eat them once or twice a year. If that sounds like you, it's even more important to go all out with your potatoes!
It's time to say goodbye to plain mashed potatoes with butter and salt. These babies have whipping cream, sour cream, butter, and just a couple other easy ingredients that make them the perfect side dish for all of your holiday meals.
They're so smooth, so rich, so creamy...and so addictive! You've been warned...
A Love Note to Mashed Potatoes
People are known for different things, and one of the things I’m most proudly known for is my love for mashed potatoes.
My family still talks about how when I was young and I’d make up a plate at family holiday dinners, my whole plate would look entirely white because it would just consist of mashed potatoes, perogies, and a white bun.
Honestly? Not much has changed, and I don’t suspect it ever will.
Mashed potatoes are probably the ultimate vegetarian comfort food, and it isn’t hard to see why!
I consider myself somewhat of an expert on mashed potatoes, well at least when it comes to eating them.
So in addition to my recipe for the best creamy mashed potatoes you'll ever have, I've compiled extra helpful tips for making them! Wanna get right to the recipe? I get it...click the handy "Jump to Recipe" button to get right to it.Jump to Recipe
Tips for Making the Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes Ever
Whether you’re eating them every day or annually, your mashed potatoes should always be mind-blowingly delicious. Here are my seven tops tips for the best mashed potatoes EVER!
1) Size Matters
Don’t Cut Your Potatoes Too Small!
When you’re cutting your potatoes before you boil them, it might be tempting to cut them into very small pieces so they’ll cook faster. But this actually just ends up letting more water into the potatoes. And the more watery your potatoes are, the less flavorful they’ll be!
Cut them into larger chunks and spend the few extra minutes cooking them, and you won’t be disappointed!
PS. Try to cut your potatoes all the same size, or else some pieces will cook faster than others.
Another way to ensure they cook at the same speed is to place them in the water when it’s cold and bring them to a boil in the water, instead of just adding them once the water is boiled.
2) Start with the best mashing potatoes
Not just any old potato will result in perfect creamy mashed potatoes!
Choose Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes before anything else.
3) Use heat to your advantage
Heat is your important when it comes to mashed potatoes, and there are a few ways to use it to your advantage.
First, don’t add cold liquid to your potatoes.
When you’re adding milk or cream to your mashed potatoes, make sure it’s heated up first, and the potatoes will absorb it much better.
Another way to use heat to your advantage is not to let your potatoes cool before you mash them.
Rice them while they’re hot and they’ll stay WAY fluffier!
4) Add your seasonings at the same time as your liquid!
The sooner you add your seasonings (i.e., garlic and other herbs) the longer they have to infuse the potatoes. AND, if you add uncooked garlic at the end, you risk biting into raw garlic with your potatoes. Eek!
5) Don't skimp on the salt
The same way you add salt to the water before you cook pasta, you’ll want to do this with your potatoes!
Add the salt to the water before you boil the potatoes, and the potatoes will absorb the salt better. And along with butter, salt is a potato’s best friend!
Be sure to add some more once they’re mashed, and keep taste-testing them until you get just the right amount.
6) A potato ricer gets you the creamiest mashed pototoes
While food processors are super handy tools, they’re not ideal for mashing potatoes.
Always opt for a potato ricer when you’re making ultra creamy mashed potatoes instead. Why? Well, when potatoes are mashed, they release starch. And if they release TOO much starch by being overworked (i.e. in a food processor), they’ll end up all sticky and gummy. A ricer gets them juuuust right.
After you rice your potatoes, use a hand mixer to incorporate the heavy cream and sour cream is what really takes them to the next level of creaminess...don't skip this step!
7) Creamy mashed potatoes need...cream!
Of course, mashed potatoes with just salt and butter are good, but cream really takes them to the next level.
In this recipe (my go-to) we use heavy/whipping cream and sour cream.
But no matter what, I always use one a combination of milk, sour cream, buttermilk, cream, cream cheese, or my personal favorite mashed potato additive, Boursin cheese!
This is no time to count calories (well, there’s never a time for that if you ask me) or worry about your waistline.
When you add some form of cream to your mashed potatoes, it gives them the rich and satisfying texture and flavor that make them such a beloved staple at any family dinner!
Okay, your turn! Please tell me your best tips and tricks for your favorite mashed potatoes so I can give them a go.
What is the easiest way to mash potatoes?
Mashing potatoes in the food processor might be the easiest method, but it doesn't necessarily yield the best results. Instead, use a ricer. A ricer will give you mashed potatoes that are light and fluffy, without the lumps. If you don't have a ricer, you can use a potato masher or even a fork, but it will take a little more work. Your elbow grease is VERY worth it though.
Do you peel potatoes before boiling?
You don't have to, but I absolutely prefer mashed potatoes without skin. It's just a personal preference.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to mashed potatoes. Some people like them smooth, while others like them with a bit of texture. I'm in the smooth camp. I like to use a hand mixer to get them really smooth.
Interested in smashed potatoes too? Try my smashed potatoes with cheese and chipotle sour cream next.
The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 3 lbs Russet potatoes or Yukon golds, washed well, peeled, and cut into large chunks
- 1 stick + 2-4 tbsp butter divided
- 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more, to taste
- black pepper
- Wash potatoes thoroughly. Peel them well. Cut them into large chunks. Place them in a large pot of cold, heavily salted water.
- Bring to a boil, and once boiling, cook for 15-20 minutes or until a fork pierces them easily.
- Drain well, and return the potatoes to the pot on the element for a few minutes until the excess moisture evaporates. Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes and add them back to the pot.
- Heat 1 stick of butter on the stovetop until it’s melted. Add the heavy cream, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue cooking on low heat until warm.
- Add the heated cream/butter mixture to the potatoes and mix with hand mixer for about 2 or 3 minutes until creamy and well-incorporated.Add the sour cream, salt, and pepper, and use the hand mixer again just until blended.Taste test, and add more salt/pepper accordingly.Transfer to serving dish. Top the potatoes with an extra 2-4* tablespoons of butter.Serve hot!
If you have any potatoes left over, (but let's face it, these go fast!), use them for these mashed potato patties with cheese and onion!
Another potato side dish that's great for Christmas or Thanksgiving is cheesy potato gratin.
And of course, we've got a classic, cheesy scored baked potato recipe right here.
Now, go and EAT YOUR HEART OUT!
xo - Chelsea Kram
Very informative! Thank you!!