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Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. OPTIONAL: Garnish with snipped chives and additional pats of butter on top.


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!


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