Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to mashed potatoes, defining “perfect” can be highly controversial. Should they be highly pureed and laden with cream and butter? Or chunky, along with the skins and other add-ins like garlic and herbs? (Discuss amongst yourselves!). Alex and I lean towards the second camp, so if you’re of the ultra smooth persuasion, you’ll be disappointed with our version of “perfect.” However, if you’re looking for a flavorful and easy version of this traditional side without the cream, butter, peeling, or strenuous whipping, give these creamy mashed potatoes a try. These mashed potatoes are silky without being whipped to death, and have just the right amount of texture from the potato skins.

creamy mashed potatoes

The secret to the flavor in this recipe is the green onions. (I’m planning on writing an ode to this vegetable at some point to convey just how much I love using it!). Since we’re lazy and don’t mind the added nutritional benefit of potato skins, we like to leave them on, but you could peel them if you’re so inclined. You can also adjust the quantities of sour cream and milk to your own taste, as well as add butter or cheese, but we find these creamy mashed potatoes tasty enough without!

How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes

This simple mashed potato recipe serves quite a few people, so you’ll likely wind up with leftovers (which is always a good problem to have). There are a few tried and tested ways to reheat mashed potatoes, but my preferred methods are the following:

  • On the stovetop: Stir a little milk into the mashed potatoes and reheat them over medium-low heat with the lid on. This will take around 10 minutes, but it’ll ensure that your mashed potatoes don’t dry out and that they’re warmed through evenly.
  • In the oven: Pop the creamy mashed potatoes into an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake them at 350ºF until warmed through (around 25 minutes or so). I prefer this reheating method when I have company coming over. I like to make the mashed potatoes in advance and have them ready in the oven so I can serve them immediately once dinner starts. Keep in mind that you might have to stir a little milk in to loosen up the potatoes.

You can certainly microwave leftover mashed potatoes, but I’ve found that they don’t heat through evenly and tend to get a little dried out this way.

Looking for more easy holiday side dishes?

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.



Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This is a flavorful, easy version of the traditional side without the cream, butter, or peeling. These mashed potatoes are creamy, with a little texture.


  • 2 pounds potatoes (about 5 to 6 medium potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 3 green onions
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop the potatoes (leaving the skins on) into 1 1/2 inch chunks and add them to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a vigorous simmer and cook the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, around 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the green onions.
  3. When the potatoes are done, drain them and return them to the pot. Mash them with a potato masher, then add 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup sour cream, the chopped green onions, and mash some more. Add more milk or sour cream for a creamier texture.
  4. Season liberally with salt and pepper and serve hot.


Feel free to add a little butter or cheese to these mashed potatoes.

Keywords: creamy mashed potatoes


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    November 11, 2010 at 5:03 am

    beat in hot olive oil infused with 2/3 garlic cloves…keeps the heat in the mash as there is nothing worse than cold mash!

    fry dollops of any leftovers (if there are any) the following day – lovely crispy potato cake for breakfast!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I love good mashed potatoes, nothing better, can have them just as a meal.

  • Reply
    Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having
    November 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I think I like a mixture of both. I like a lot of butter in my mashed potatoes, but I like them to be a little lumpy, not overly whipped. I’ll give your take on perfection a try!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I’m with you on the green onions and sour cream, but I agree with a previous comment that you need some garlic in there, too! I usually peel quite a few cloves and put them right in the water toward the end of boiling the potatoes to soften them, then mash them right along with the potatoes.

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