This is the best mashed potatoes recipe in my book. Soft, fluffy creamy mash. Easy to make, with just a few ingredients. Serve this with salmon or chicken with gravy or use it as a topping for your cottage pie, this easy recipe is a winner always. Learn how to make the best mashed potatoes with this easy guide, step by step photos included.
What is Mashed Potatoes, is it healthy?
Mashed potatoes also called potato mash is a creamy delicious side dish. It is made by boiling potatoes till they are soft them mashed with the addition of butter, milk and a few other ingredients.
This dish is usually served as a side to meats or vegetables and also as a topping for Cottage pie ( Shepherd’s pie).
As to if it’s healthy, that would depend on what your health goals are. If your goal is to lose weight, an occasional meal of Potato mash in moderation can fit into your weight goals but if you are on a keto / low carb journey, this cauliflower mash may suit your goals better.
What makes this the best mashed potatoes recipe?
A few factors can help you make the best mash
- The type of potatoes you use will determine how good your mash turns out.
- Don’t add potatoes to boiling water, instead start cooking potatoes in cold water.
- The amount of butter and Milk used, contributes to how creamy and delicious it will be.
- The temperature of the butter and milk matters. Cold milk and butter isn’t well absorbed and will cool down the mash. Whereas warm milk and melted butter mixes like a charm.
- To salt or not to salt the potatoes while cooking? I am for adding some said to start up the flavor.
- Do not over work your potatoes while mashing or they will become gummy.
Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
Sounds like a tongue twister right? But the kind of potatoes used can make or mar your creamy potato side dish.
I like to use Yukon gold when making mashed potatoes with the skin on like I did with my garlic mashed potatoes in the slow cooker.
Types of mashed Potatoes
There are different types of mashed potatoes which are based of the flavors and add ins. A few of them are listed below
- Classic Mashed Potatoes: only butter and milk is added.
- Sour Cream mash: butter, milk and sour cream.
- Cream cheese mash: butter, milk and cream cheese.
- Garlic Mash. Garlic is added to any of the above varieties
- Olive oil mashed potatoes: olive oil is used instead of butter
- Mashed Potatoes with herbs: herbs like parsley, sage are added.
- Yukon or Russet Potatoes
- Water or chicken broth ( broth or stock is used when making no drain mash like in the instant pot or slow cooker)
How to make Mashed Potatoes
This is just an overview with step by step photos. Full ingredients list and recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Pic 1-3; Cook Potatoes till fork tender
Pic 4-6; Add Flavorings and mash
How long to boil Potatoes for mashing
The length of time required to boil potatoes for mashing will depend on the size of the potatoes. If they are boiled whole, they would take longer than if they were cut into smaller quarters.
Usually potatoes cut in quarters get ready in 15-16 mins. Before turning off your heat and draining the potatoes, do the fork test. This simply means they are soft and easily pierced by a fork (fork tender)
Recipes with left over Mashed Potatoes
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Potato balls
- Potato Soup
What to eat with Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes are usually served as a side to chicken, fish, beef and vegetables. Whether with gravy or not. Below are some ways to enjoy your mashed potato side.
- Baked Salmon
- Beef sauce
- Beef, lamb, Chicken gravy and vegetables
- Ranch dressing (Minnesotans love this)
- A simple dollop of butter and chives
How to fix mashed Potatoes
When making potato mash, certain things can go wrong. Ranging from being gluey or gummy to being runny, being too dry or under cooked. Below are a few ways to fix these common issues.
Gluey Mash: This is the most difficult to fix potato mash problem, therefore the best way to fix this is to prevent it from happening in the first instance by not over working your potatoes during the mashing stage.
To fix this, it’s either you make a new batch and save the gluey batch for your cottage pie or if you have some leftover boiled potatoes, mash those and mix it with that gluey batch.
A Runny Mash: A runny mash means you added a lot of liquid to it. To avoid this, add the liquid a little at a time till you get to your desired consistency. Don’t pour all the liquid mentioned in a recipe at once.
To fix it, put the pot with the mash on the stove top. Stir on medium heat till it some moisture evaporates and it thickens. Alternatively, a table spoon or two of all purpose flour, potato starch, cornstarch or even powdered milk and cook over medium heat till it thickens.
Dry Mash: This is the easiest to fix. It means the mash lacks moisture. Add a little more then add some milk about a tablespoon at a time till you get to your desired consistency.
Undercooked Mash: If your potatoes are undercooked, they won’t mash properly or evenly and may lead to a lumpy mash make sure they are fork tender begin attempting to mash them.
To fix, Add some milk about a quarter cup to water and simmer on low heat for about 3 minutes then stir.
Is it Gluten free?
Potatoes are naturally gluten free, therefore this is a gluten free recipe provided it doesn't get contaminated with gluten during the cooking process.
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How to make the best Mashed Potatoes
- 2 ½ lbs Yukon gold or Russet Potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, then cut in quarters)
- 2 Tbsp Salt (for cooking)
- 4 Tbsp Butter (room tempor melted)
- ¾ cup milk or cream (warmed)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
Toppings and garnish
- chopped chives or parsley (preferably fresh)
- Put quartered potatoes in a pot, add enough cold water to cover the potatoes, add ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to boil.
- Boil till fork tender about 15 mins
- Drain completely with a colander and return to pot.
- Add butter, half of the milk and other flavorings to the potatoes and mash. Add the rest of the mikand more to loosen up the consistensy if you like. Try not to overwork the mash.
- Transfer to serving bowl, make some swirls with your spoon if you like, then top with melted butter and chopped parsley.
- Boil potatoes starting with cold water
- Try not to overwork the potatoes so they don't become gluey
- The best way to mash potatoes is by hand because using a hand mixer, immersion blender can overwork the potatoes and release starch increasing the chances of making the potatoes gluey.
- The only time i use a blender or hand mixer is when i make mashed potatoes without peeling the skin of the potatoes