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This is the best mashed potatoes recipe, hands down! Here’s how to make creamy, perfectly seasoned potatoes that everyone will love.

Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
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“Best mashed potatoes recipe” is a bold claim, but we stand behind it. These really are the best mashed potatoes! They’re swirled with fresh garlic sauteed in butter, milk, and a little sour cream, then mashed into fluffy oblivion. For the creamiest texture you can whip them with a stand mixer. Elevate them with our secret ingredient that will have everyone at the table raving. (We’ve tried it, and it works!)

Best type of potatoes for mashed potatoes

There are several controversies when it comes to the best mashed potatoes, and the first is about the type of potatoes. What’s the best type of potatoes for mashed potatoes? We think it’s a combination.

  • Yukon gold potatoes have a buttery texture and rich flavor. The yellow flesh of a Yukon gold potato is more robust than a russet potato, and the buttery flavor and texture carry the dish. We like to use ¾ Yukon gold potatoes in our best mashed potatoes.
  • Russet potatoes are starchy and add the classic fluffy texture. Use ¼ russet potatoes in the potato mixture, or up to half the recipe.
  • Use peeled or unpeeled potatoes, depending on your preference. We love the look and texture of potato skins in our potatoes, but sometimes we like a smooth mashed potato. You can do either here! The benefit of unpeeled is it’s less work and you keep the nutritional value of the potato skin.
Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Tips for the best mashed potatoes

There are lots of variations in method when it comes to mashed potatoes. Some people use a stand mixer, some use a potato masher. Some chefs use garlic, some heat the dairy before adding it to the mixture. Here’s what we’ve found makes the very best mashed potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes into even 1-inch chunks. If you cut some smaller than others, the potatoes don’t cook evenly. You run the risk of small uncooked lumps in your mash (it’s happened to us!).
  • Boil the potatoes until they are very tender. You don’t want to go overboard, but make sure they fall right apart when you prick them with a fork.
  • Sauté fresh garlic in butter, then add the milk. Allow the potatoes to steam while you sauté the garlic. It will make the kitchen smell amazing and is the essential flavoring for these potatoes. Remove the heat and add the milk, which warms the milk before mashing (which is important for the texture).
  • Add the potatoes, sour cream and salt and mash with a masher. Use a simple potato masher to mash everything into the very best mashed potatoes.

Keep reading for two tips to step them up!

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

How to make smooth creamy mashed potatoes

How to make the best creamy mashed potatoes? Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip them until they’re beautifully fluffy and smooth!

First, mash the potatoes with garlic, butter, and sour cream by hand to get all the ingredients combined (if you prefer, use the paddle attachment on the stand mixer for that part). Then transfer the mixture to the mixer and mix on low speed with the whisk attachment. It makes the best smooth, creamy texture! One caveat: make sure not to over-whip or the texture can become too thick and gluey.

Variation: garlic mashed potatoes

Love garlic? As garlic afficionados, there’s never such thing as too much garlic in our house! To transform these best mashed potatoes into garlic mashed potatoes, increase the garlic from 4 cloves to 6 cloves for a noticeable garlic flavor. (You can go up to 8 cloves if you like a bold garlic flavor, but we can’t guarantee there won’t be complaints about garlic breath.)

Secret ingredient: prepared horseradish

This best mashed potatoes recipe tastes great with simply garlic, butter, sour cream, and salt. But want to take it even further? Add prepared horseradish.

We learned this trick from a friend, who brought these incredible mashed potatoes to a Friendsgiving once. They had this irresistible savory, tangy, creamy flavor and no one could guess the secret ingredient. Turns out prepared horseradish takes mashed potatoes from good to irresistible without infusing spicy flavor. The quantity specified in the recipe below is enough to taste it but not identify it as horseradish.

This recipe tastes just as good without horseradish, so you can omit it if desired. Or, you can highlight it even more, making Horseradish Mashed Potatoes with up to 4 tablespoons to infuse the signature spicy flavor.

Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe

A note on serving size

This mashed potatoes recipe uses 4 pounds of potatoes, which is enough for about 8 servings. If desired you can make a half recipe for 4 servings, but we find that the half batch feels small when feeding a family. We prefer making the full 4 pounds and having leftovers (see below).

Storage for leftover mashed potatoes

Our best mashed potatoes last for up to 4 days refrigerated in a sealed container. Rewarm them on the stovetop, adding a bit of milk if they are very thick. We do not recommend freezing mashed potatoes, since it causes the texture to become very runny.

The best thing to do with leftover mashed potatoes? Make Mashed Potato Pancakes or Potato Waffles! They have incredible flavor and you can serve them either savory or sweet. We’ve eaten them for breakfast or as a side for salmon for dinner and they taste great both ways!

Mashed potato pancakes

Dietary notes

As written, this mashed potato recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, do the following:

  • Replace the butter with vegan butter.
  • Use oat milk, or the dairy-free milk of your choice.
  • Omit the sour cream, and add additional milk until smooth and creamy.

More potato recipes

We hope you’ll agree that this is the best mashed potatoes recipe! Let us know if you make it in the comments below and what you think, whether it’s for a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas or an everyday dinner. Here are a few more potato recipes you’ll love:

This best mashed potatoes recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan and dairy-free, see the Dietary Notes section above.

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Mashed Potatoes

Our Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

This is the best mashed potatoes recipe, hands down! Here’s how to make creamy, perfectly seasoned potatoes that everyone will love.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 large)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes (1 large; or more Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced (or 6 cloves for garlic mashed potatoes)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for boiling
  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
  • Variation: 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (in a jar)*

Instructions

  1. Wash and roughly chop the potatoes into even 1-inch chunks (peel or leave them unpeeled if you don’t mind the texture of skins). Try to make the chunks as even as possible.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, cook until they are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes (pierce a piece of potato with a fork to assess doneness). Drain and allow to steam while sautéing the garlic in Step 4.
  4. When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in the same pot. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned. Remove the heat and pour in the milk, stir for 15 seconds to warm the milk. Then add the potatoes back to the pot.
  5. Mash the potatoes with a masher. Add the sour cream and 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt and mash more until a creamy texture forms. (If using prepared horseradish, mash it in as well.)
  6. Optional: For the creamiest mashed potatoes, transfer to a stand mixer. Add the whisk attachment and whip on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy (take care not to over whip or the potatoes will become too thick and gluey).
  7. Serve immediately garnished with chopped fresh chives, if desired. Leftovers store up to 4 days refrigerated. Rewarm them on the stovetop, adding a bit of milk if they are very thick, or use them cold in mashed potato pancakes or potato waffles.

Notes

*Adding prepared horseradish is a secret ingredient that makes mashed potatoes taste incredible; using the quantity specified is enough to make them taste complex but not spicy. Feel free to add more if desired or omit.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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