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mashed potatoes in bowl with scallions

How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes

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Here’s how to easily make the BEST mashed potatoes ever. They’re delicious, so full of flavor and super light and fluffy. Just a few small but important details will take this classic side dish from good to amazing!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 252
Author Annalise


  • 4 lbs Yukon gold or yellow potatoes , peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Add chopped potatoes to a large pot of salted cold water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are just fork tender. Drain potatoes.
  • (Optional step) Spread potatoes into an even layer on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Dry potatoes will absorb the milk and cream better, resulting in super smooth potatoes.
  • Just before you're ready to mash the potatoes, warm butter and cream/milk in a saucepan until butter is melted.
  • Return potatoes to the pot and add half of butter mixture, salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash until mostly smooth. Add remaining butter mixture and mix till smooth. (For the lightest potatoes, do this final mixing with an electric mixer for about 30-60 seconds.) Be careful not to over work the potatoes, or they'll become gummy and thick.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours.


  • Peel potatoes if you want, or you can leave them on.
  • Yukon golds will produce the best flavor and texture, but you can use russets or red potatoes if you really want to. (Russet potatoes will need to peeled.)
  • To make more than 4 hours in advance: Place prepared mashed potatoes in a greased casserole dish and top with an additional 2 tablespoons of cubed butter. Cover with foil and store in the fridge for up to several days. To reheat, warm in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Stir until smooth and serve. 
  • Optional garnishes: Pats of butter, chopped chives or other herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 7mg