If you’re wondering how to make perfect homemade mashed potatoes, you’ve come to the right place. Today I’m sharing one of my family’s favorite holiday side dishes. Every Thanksgiving I’m in charge of making this fluffy, buttery, traditional classic. My family feels that after years of preparing it for our holiday dinners, I have this essential Thanksgiving recipe on lock down. So I can promise you one thing – if you follow this homemade mashed potatoes recipe exactly as written you’ll get the same scrumptious results you see here. A beautiful texture, heavenly aroma, and mouth-watering taste. Mmmm…let’s get started whipping up a batch right now!
How to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Making perfect homemade mashed potatoes starts with selecting the right type of potato that’ll make this side dish the best it can possibly be. I highly recommend Russet baking potatoes. Their white flesh is what you typically think of when visualizing a bowl of traditional mashed potatoes on an elegant Thanksgiving table. They’re the ideal choice for mashing because of their creamy, soft, fluffy texture. They’re also known for absorbing butter and cream very well. When mashed, Russet potatoes have a fantastic consistency. And for make-ahead mashed potatoes, hands down, Russets are the best choice!
My second potato choice for this homemade mashed potatoes recipe is Yukon Gold. Their flesh is light-yellow, they’re slight sweet, waxy, and just a basic all-purpose potato. But if you over-process Yukon Gold potatoes they can develop a gummy, gluey texture pretty darn quickly. So if you’re making and serving your mashed potatoes the same day – they’re absolutely wonderful. They have a beautiful flavor. But when prepping make-ahead mashed potatoes, it’s just too risky. They can turn out gunky and a bit odd tasting when rewarmed. So I highly recommend just sticking with the Russets.
How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
After scrubbing and peeling the potatoes you’re ready to begin. When making homemade mashed potatoes it’s important that they’re all done and ready at the same time. Because potatoes are of various sizes and thicknesses, the trick is simple. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and add them to a pot of heavily salted cold water. Not only will this same-size method ensure your potatoes cook evenly, but they will also cook a whole lot quicker than if you were to boil them whole or halved. After the cubed potatoes have been added to the pot, and the water level is above the potatoes, bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the potatoes to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until you can stick a knife all the way through them with no resistance. Potatoes like this are also referred to as “fork tender.”
Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes
While the potatoes are boiling, add the milk and butter to a small saucepan with a pour spout. Place the saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted – but do not allow the liquid to boil! Once your potatoes reach a fall-apart consistency, drain the potatoes into a colander and lightly shake it so all excess water is removed. Add the potatoes back to the same hot pot and place it over medium-low heat. Drizzle the milk/butter mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. With a potato masher, mash and mix the potatoes until they reach the desired consistency. Take care not to over-process the potatoes. You want them to be light and fluffy, not heavy and dense. Transfer your homemade mashed potatoes to a lovely serving bowl. Enjoy them with yummy homemade gravy.
How to Make Whipped Mashed Potatoes
If you own a Kitchenaid stand mixer, add the mashed potatoes to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the metal whip attachment, whip the potatoes just briefly – one to two minutes – until they look like the perfect homemade mashed potatoes you’ve been dreaming of!
Easy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
If you’re looking for an easy make ahead mashed potatoes recipe – this one’s perfect for that too! Here’s how to do it: After mashing or whipping the mashed potatoes, transfer them to a heavily-buttered casserole dish. Place several generous-sized pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and then cover the dish. Refrigerate your make ahead mashed potatoes until an hour and 45 minutes before you want to serve them. Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and place it on your countertop for an hour to allow the potatoes to come to room temperature. Tent the dish with foil. Warm the potatoes in a 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes or until your homemade mashed potatoes are completely warm all the way through.
Mmmm…Here’s one last view of these perfect homemade mashed potatoes! I wish there was a magical way I could hand a spoonful of this scrumptiousness to you right through this screen! For a new spin on this classic recipe, try my fabulous sour cream mashed potatoes.
Kitchen Tools to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes > SHOP THIS POST
Below are a few basic kitchen tools for making perfect homemade mashed potatoes. You can easily elevate the look of this finished recipe with a gorgeous serving dish. I love Polish pottery and their beautiful designs. When I’m planning to do make-ahead mashed potatoes I use a lovely casserole dish that can go from refrigerator to oven to table. When preparing for the holidays I make an effort not to match up my serving dishes and platters. I crave the warm and stylish farmhouse look of a variety of lovely serveware on my holiday table.
Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Every Thanksgiving I’m in charge of making this fluffy, buttery, traditional classic. My family feels that after years of preparing it for our holiday dinners, I have this essential Thanksgiving recipe on lock down.
- 4 pounds Russet potatoes
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Sea salt, to taste
- Optional garnishes: chives and additional pats of butter on top
- Scrub, peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. As you cube the potatoes add them to a stockpot filled with heavily salted cold water. The water level should be above the potatoes.
- Place the pot of potatoes and water on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the potatoes to simmer uncovered for about 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and flaky. A knife should be able to slide right through the potatoes with zero resistance.
- While the potatoes are boiling, add the milk and butter to a small saucepan with a pour spout. Place the saucepot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted (do not allow the liquid to boil!) or almost melted, remove the saucepan from heat.
- As soon as the potatoes are fork tender, transfer the potatoes to a colander and shake lightly to remove excess water. Transfer the drained potatoes back to the same hot pot. Drizzle 1/2 of the butter/milk mixture over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. With a potato masher, mash and gently mix the potatoes to distribute the buttery liquid and spices. If the potatoes need more liquid, slowly add the rest of the butter/milk mixture. You want to make sure the potatoes are not dry, but you don’t want them soupy either!
- OPTIONAL: Garnish with snipped chives and additional pats of butter on top.
WHIPPED MASHED POTATOES
For whipped mashed potatoes, transfer the mashed potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the potatoes just briefly, for about 1-2 minutes max. Don’t over-process your homemade mashed potatoes or you can end up with a texture that’s gummy and gluey. You want a consistency that’s light and fluffy!
MAKE AHEAD MASHED POTATOES
For make ahead mashed potatoes, transfer your mashed potatoes to a generously-buttered casserole dish. Place pats of butter on top of the mashed potatoes. Cover and refrigerate. About one hour, 45 minutes before serving time, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator. Allow the mashed potatoes to shed off the cold for about one hour. Tent the casserole dish with foil. Warm the room temperature mashed potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely warmed all the way through.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: lunch, dinner, holiday
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade mashed potatoes, mashed potato recipe, easy mashed potato recipe
?RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE MASHED POTATOES > PIN IT TO PINTEREST
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EASY HOMEMADE MASHED POTATOES > YOUR THOUGHTS
What is your favorite holiday side dish? Who in your family makes the best homemade mashed potatoes? Do you like this easy make-ahead mashed potato recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
19 thoughts on “Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes”
OMGoodness! Yes! That right there looks delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe and insightful information. I LOVE mashed potatoes and this was so good that I saved it in Pinterest.
I’m a huge fan of homemade mash. It always tastes better when you make it yourself. :)
Been looking for this recipe and thank heavens I found this. Indeed the perfect recipe. Very detailed and informative. I hope I will be able to successfully make it on my own.
I love homemade mashed potatoes. It’s a lot more wholesome than the one you find in the box.
There is something in this mashed potato that makes me wanna make one right now. It will be difficult to resist it. Thanks for the recipe!
These look divine and I will totally be trying them out. Here we come Thanksgiving!
I like my mash potatoes with fried chicken. This recipe looks easy to follow so I’m going to try making it. Perfect for the coming festival.
I’ve never actually made mashed potatoes before! I’ll have to try this recipe.
Oh my goodness now that looks like some delicious mashed potato, it has been ages since I had some as I am awful at making it – I must try your recipe.
Love all the tips in this recipe! Mashed potatoes are my favorite so I’m glad I can make them for myself now!
Homemade mash is the best. I am try to do better making food from scratch.
I love mashed potatoes that are soft and fluffy! Seems like your recipe nails this just right! It sure looks good!
Mashed potatoes is one of my favorite comfort foods and I cook them for dinners other than turkey day. I think the only time I didn’t like them was when they were made with red potatoes and got really gummy.
These sure do look perfect! Love my mashed potatoes!
I make the mashed potatoes every year for Thanksgiving and bring them to my mother’s house to save her the hassle of having to do all that work. I pretty much do what your recipe calls for except for the 2 sticks of butter. I’ll have to give this a try.
These look delicious! Mashed potatoes are an absolute must for Thanksgiving, so I’ll have to try them!
I love mashed potato! Or anything with potatoes in it! I never do mash at home but it’s defo something that needs to and will change thanks to your recipe!
Mashed potatoes and stuffing are my favorite side dishes. Your potatoes sound absolutely amazing. My grandkids want me to make mashed potatoes every time they come to visit. I need to try this recipe next time.
Buttermilk is also a really tasty addition for perfect mashed potatoes. Nothing can beat a heaping side of them!