Perfect Mashed Potatoes

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Heavenly mashed potatoes recipe using buttery Yukon Gold potatoes, cream, butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Everybody seems to have their favorite way of making mashed potatoes. Some cook them with the peel on, some without. Some add a little of the cooking water to the mashed potatoes for extra starch.

I have found that the single thing that makes the biggest difference for making perfect creamy, heavenly potatoes is the type of potatoes you use.

Most people use starchy Russets for mashed potatoes. With their high starch and low water content, they’re good for baking, for making French fries, and for mashing. Here’s my secret though—even better than Russets for mashing are Yukon Golds.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

They’re a little more expensive than Russets, but worth it. They’re naturally creamy when mashed, never mealy, and have a slightly buttery flavor all on their own. Yukon golds make the most perfectly creamy, buttery mashed potatoes.

How to make mashed potatoes

Can you reheat mashed potatoes?

Absolutely! You can even make ahead and freeze mashed potatoes. Just make sure that you don’t skimp on the butter or cream. It’s the fat that helps the potatoes reheat well.

Our favorite way to reheat mashed potatoes is to just put them in the microwave (covered) for a couple minutes, and then give them a good stir before serving.

You can also put them in a slow cooker (a couple hours on low), or reheat in the oven or on the stovetop. Just stir occasionally, and add more butter and seasoning if needed to serve.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Always put potatoes in cold water to start, then bring to a boil. That way the potatoes cook more evenly.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) butter
  • 1 Tbsp milk (or more)
  • Salt and Pepper

Recommended equipment—a potato masher

Method

1 Cover peeled, cut potatoes with cold, salted water, simmer until tender: Place the peeled and cut potatoes into a medium saucepan. Add cold water to the pan until the potatoes are covered by at least an inch. Add a half teaspoon of salt to the water.

Turn the heat on to high, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can easily poke through them with a fork.

2 Melt butter, warm cream: While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter and warm the cream. You can heat them together in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.

3 Drain cooked potatoes, mash with butter, cream, milk: When the potatoes are done, drain the water and place the steaming hot potatoes into a large bowl. Pour the heated cream and melted butter over the potatoes.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Then use a strong wooden spoon (a metal spoon might bend) to beat further.

Add milk and beat until the mashed potatoes are smooth. Don't over-beat the potatoes or the mashed potatoes will end up gluey.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Showing 4 of 115 Comments / Reviews

  • Kelly K

    The only way to make Mashed Potatoes for me. So perfectly delicious and fluffy. I use Yukon Gold when available… by far the best for mashers.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • BriarRose

    There is no denying that Gold Yukon’s are excellent for mashed potatoes, however they can be hard or impossible to find and even be more expensive. We usually get them as a special thing for Thanksgiving. But what we have found that in our opinion is even better, is reasonably priced and seems to be available all the time is Klondike Rose. They are cross between a yellow and red potato, both of which are excellent for mashed potatoes. It’s all about the starch to water ratio in the potatoes. We prefer skins on and if you cook them right, you can just use a big spoon, no need for the unnecessary “one trick pony”, the potato masher.

  • Frank Castle

    Using Yukon Golds, which is just a superior variety of the common butter potato is not exactly a “secret” lol. That being said this is a good instructional on the preparation of mashed potatoes. Too many people over mix the potatoes which you addressed here. And the proportions seem pretty spot on. All in all I’d say this is a good go-to recipe. Cheers :)

  • Candace

    How do you heat this up? Stove top or in the oven? I saw you had a bake ahead recipe but already had the ingredients for this one :( Can I still make this one ahead of time?

  • Gitu

    Can I make this ahead of time? Do they warm well?

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