Food for Soul

The Best Ultimate Mashed Potato Recipe


The key to these perfectly creamy mashed potatoes is not overstirring them once the half-and-half has been added.

Something magical happens when you mix together tender russet potatoes with a little butter, heavy cream, and some salt. They transform into a comfort food staple so heavenly and delicious that their presence is practically demanded at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and anywhere that families gather together to feast. 

It’s a dish that can be simple to make—but like all classic foods, it can also be deceptively difficult to get just right. For the creamiest, savoriest, most delicious mashed potatoes, read our tips and techniques and then try our recipe. Once you do, you’ll see that it’s really the only basic mashed potato recipe you’ll ever need. Here are 6 tips for making everyone’s favorite side dish legendary:

homemade thanksgiving garlic mashed potatoes with salt and pepper

Use Russet Potatoes
For good, fluffy, light mashed potatoes, you want spuds with a high starch content, which is why we recommend russets. So skip the waxy varieties like Yukon golds, which tend to result in heavier, gluier mashed potatoes.

Use a Large Pot of Salty Water
Salty water not only helps season the potatoes, but it also keeps potato flavor from leaching out into the water! It’s the same reason you want to heavily salt pasta water: It keeps the ingredient from becoming bland.

Rinse (Then Rinse Again)
Dice up your potatoes (deciding whether or not to leave the skins on) and then rinse some of the starch off under cold water. Then, after boiling your potatoes, rinse them again before mashing. This will also help keep them from becoming gluey.

Skip the Light Ingredients
Mashed potatoes—especially when you’re making them for a holiday feast—benefit from having lots of fat mixed in with all that starch! So go ahead and use the good stuff: full-fat butter and heavy cream. Skip the milk and/or margarine, if you can. You can worry about saturated fat next week.

Mash By Hand
If you’ve got a potato masher (or, even better, a potato ricer) use it! Though food processors and stand mixers are great for a lot of things, when it comes to mashed potatoes, they’ll almost certainly result in a less tasty side dish.

Don’t Over-Stir
For the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious mound of mashed potatoes, you want the starches and the fats to just combine without getting too tangled up. So go slow and stop as soon as it looks good. Give it a taste and add a little more salt, or black pepper, or whatever else you want, and then serve it up!

CAL/SERV:260YIELDS:6PREP TIME:0 hours 10 minsTOTAL TIME:0 hours 40 minsINGREDIENTS2 1/2 lb. 

russet potatoes, diced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper4 tbsp. 

unsalted butter3/4 c. 

heavy creamThis ingredient shopping module is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on their web site.


  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15-25 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander and return to the pot. Add melted butter and, using a potato masher, mash potatoes to desired consistency. (For a smoother texture, pass potatoes through a ricer instead.)
  3. Stir in cream and 1 teaspoon salt to combine and until potatoes are creamy. Do not over-stir or potatoes will become gluey. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. 

 Looking to vary it up? Try these delicious add-ins:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: