These smooth and creamy Buttery Mashed Potatoes are a classic side dish nobody can pass up!Jump to Recipe
What's not to love about a bowlful of piping hot mashed potatoes?! It's one of those side dishes I just love! Growing up, I didn't even know that instant mashed potatoes were a thing - Mom always makes homemade.
When we were little, my sister and I were always in charge of peeling the potatoes and Mom would take it from there. Though she never follows a specific "recipe," hers are always the best!!
- Potatoes - I prefer to use Russet potatoes.
- Butter - I use salted butter.
- Milk, Half and Half or Heavy Whipping Cream
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Cook the Potatoes
Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Place them in cold water until you're ready to cook, as this will keep the potatoes from turning brown.
When ready to cook, add the potatoes to a large pot with cold water with salt. Make sure the water covers all of the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the burner down to medium. Let the potatoes boil for 15 minutes and check to see if they're done (they should be very tender when poked with a fork).
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water.
Mash and Add Flavor
You can mash the potatoes using a potato masher or with a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. The most important thing to remember is to NOT overmix potatoes. The starches will be overworked and will get goopy and sticky...no thanks!
As soon as the potatoes are mashed, you'll add the softened butter and warm milk. Lastly, you'll season with salt to taste and serve warm!
You'll want a starchy potato that'll absorb the flavor of the butter and stay light and fluffy. Russet potatoes is my go-to option!
If you'll be waiting more than 30 minutes to enjoy the potatoes, I do recommend putting them in a slow cooker on the "warm" setting.
I highly recommend adding warm milk rather than cold milk. Why? It'll absorb into the potatoes better and will keep the potatoes hot. Nobody wants cold mashed potatoes!
Mashed Potato Flavor Variations
Creamy Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes - Place several peeled cloves of garlic in a small baking dish and add a tablespoon of oil. Stir to coat the garlic. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and aromatic. Add the garlic when you're mashing the potatoes.
Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes - Add ½ cup of room temperature sour cream when you add the warm milk. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives at the very end.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes - Add 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese when you add the warm milk. Top with crumbled bacon and sliced green onions, if desired.
Tips for Making Great Gravy
So now you've mastered mashed potatoes, but want the perfect gravy to pour on top. Here are a few tips to make sure you've got it down!
- Warm the drippings.
- Use cornstarch + cold water as a thickener.
- Add the thickener a little bit at a time to avoid over-thickening.
- Use a whisk when adding the thickener and stir frequently to avoid lumps.
- If you do get lumps, simply use a strainer to remove them.
Other Delicious Side Dishes
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - This is one of the best sides for any holiday meal! It's got smooth mashed sweet potatoes on the bottom and a crunchy, buttery pecan topping - yum!!
Cornbread Pudding - This is a creamy side dish with sweet corn mixed into a cornbread-like batter. It's super easy to throw together and is a must at any holiday gathering!
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots - These are the most delicious side dish! They're easy to make, full of flavor and have just the right amount of sweetness!