Want to know the secret to the best mashed potatoes? Keep it simple with no fancy ingredients – just the right ratio of butter, cream and salt. Deliciously rich and buttery and exceptionally fluffy mashed potatoes will be the star of your meal.
They have the perfect ratio of butter, milk and cream making them the most rich and flavorful potatoes ever.
The make ahead option give you extra time in the kitchen.
The double mash makes them extra fluffy.
Mashed Potatoes Recipe Ingredients
I like my spuds pretty simple – no fancy whipped potatoes or crazy ingredients. Just 5 ingredients in fact.
Potatoes – I prefer russets for mashing, the insides are nice and fluffy and they don’t get too mushy.
Milk – warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Cream – also warmed.
Butter – melted with the milk and cream.
Salt – Lots of salt. That’s the key to the best potatoes! Cook them in salted water and add salt when you mash them and mix them. Potatoes are bland so salt is a necessary ingredient to elevate the flavor.
How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes
My recipe includes a make ahead option. You can make your taters a day ahead and store them in a covered casserole dish overnight. Pour a little melted butter/cream mixture on top and bake them.
Boil the Potatoes. Cook the chopped, peeled potatoes in salted boiling water until they are fork tender. Drain and put potatoes back in the large pot. Let them sit for a few minutes untouched, to let the last bits of water evaporate, then mash them up a few times with some salt.
Prepare the add-ins. Melt the butter, milk, and cream together in the microwave (or in a small saucepan on the stove) and stir into the potatoes, reserving about a ¼ cup for when you bake them later. Melting everything together brings the additions to the same temperature as the potatoes. Adding cold milk or butter just cools down the potatoes and they won’t mash as well. You can serve the potatoes at this point, or store them overnight for tomorrow’s dinner.
Make Ahead or Bake Now. Pour the potatoes into a large baking dish. At this point, you can either cover them with foil and pop them in the fridge overnight or cook them right away. When you’re ready to heat them up, just pour that extra reserved butter mixture (set it out on the counter for about 30 minutes first or microwave to melt) over the cold potatoes and pop them in the oven until they are warmed through and golden on top. The butter on top will give the potatoes a golden and crispy top and keep them from drying out.
Expert Tips and FAQs
Dice the potatoes in even sized chunks. This helps them to cook evenly.
Salt the water. A lot. The potatoes absorb the water and the salt helps bring out the yummy flavor.
The masher doesn’t matter. There are super fancy mashers out there and there are basic ones. I used a basic plastic masher from Tupperware ten years, and it worked perfectly! I now have this OXO Potato Masher and it’s great too. You can whip them with a hand mixer too, but I like the thicker consistency you get with a regular masher.
Melt the butter and heat the milk. Rather than trying to melt the butter into the potatoes, heat the milk and butter up so they are the same temperature as the potatoes. No risk of cooling the potatoes or curdling the milk.
Want extra creamy potatoes? Add a scoop of sour cream or cream cheese.
Garnish with fresh minced parsley or chives and freshly cracked black pepper for a beautiful presentation.
Why are my mashed potatoes gummy?
Unfortunately once your mashed spuds have become sticky and gluey, there is no going back. This result can happen when the potatoes aren’t drained well enough or have been overcooked, but most often this is caused by over-mixing. The more they are mixed, the more starch is released which is what caused that gummy texture.
In a 5 quart pot, boil about 2 inches of water. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt.
While the water is coming to a boil, rinse, peel and dice potatoes into one inch chunks. Place potatoes into boiling water and cover with the lid. (Water should be enough to cover the potatoes). Cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Remove from heat and drain. Place potatoes back into the pan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Mash several times with a potato masher.
In a small saucepan, add butter with milk, cream, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and place over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Reserve ¼ cup and set aside. (Or melt in the microwave).
Pour the half of the butter mixture over the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add more of the butter mixture until potatoes are light and fluffy.
Pour potatoes into a greased 9″x13″ pan. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake:
Pour remaining butter mixture over the top of the potatoes (you may need to melt in the microwave). Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Stir before serving, if desired.
*If baking immediately (while potatoes are still hot), reduce baking time.
This recipe will make anywhere from 8 to 12 people, depending on portion size. If serving a lot of sides such as for Thanksgiving dinner, they will go a little further.Storage: Once potatoes are completely cooled, store then in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.Freezing: Stored completely cooled in a freezer safe container for up to 4 months.Reheating: If frozen, thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Reheat in the microwave, or cover with foil and heat in the oven at 375 degrees.
Keyword make ahead mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.