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The PERFECT Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is coming up and if you’re in charge of mashed potatoes, this recipe has you covered! Super creamy, really fluffy, and perfectly seasoned. They’re super easy to make but a few tips and secrets will take a favorite side dish to the next level.

Fun fact, mashed potatoes are one of the first dishes I learned how to make! My childhood best friend’s older sister taught me how to make her famous recipe and ever since, my mom would always request me to make them to add to her dinner spread. It’s such a simple and easy side dish to make if done right. The goal is for them to be super creamy, fluffy, and seasoned to perfection! Simple is more when it comes to mashed potatoes and it’s all in the technique.

So What’s the Secret to Perfect Mashed Potatoes

There are a few tips and tricks I use in my kitchen to make the perfect mashed potatoes! Let’s dive right into them.

The next three tips revolve around the ingredients:

  • GARLIC: Garlic makes everything better. The secret is to add whole garlic cloves along with the potatoes in the boiled water. The garlic will soften along with the potatoes, making them also mashable. The flavor they add is just beautiful. If you try this, you’ll never make mashed potatoes any other way. This was my own little trick I learned by just being lazy.
  • CREAM CHEESE: My friend’s older sister said this was the secret to her mashed potatoes and now I never make mashed potatoes without adding a little bit. Some swear by sour cream but I like cream cheese more!
  • LOTS OF DAIRY: I personally like to just use whole milk since there’s already so much butter but feel free to swap it for half & half or heavy cream. You can also swap out only a portion of the milk for heavy cream if you want that extra richness. The milk and butter is what will keep your mashed potatoes from being dry so don’t be shy with it.

These next tips revolve around the process/technique:

  • After peeling the potatoes, do not add them to hot boiling water. Instead, add the peeled and chopped potatoes to a large pot along with the garlic and salt. Then pour in cold water and put the pot over high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat and let the potatoes simmer. Simmering the potatoes instead of boiling helps prevent them from crumbling.
  • Do not undercook the potatoes or you’ll have chunky mashed potatoes instead of smooth and creamy. Cook them until fork tender and then drain the water but then return the potatoes to the same pot. The residual heat in the pot will dry out any excess water on the surface of the potatoes! No one wants watery potatoes.
  • Make sure to use starchy potatoes NOT waxy. The best starchy potatoes to use are Yukon Gold or Russet. Use either or a blend of both! The reason why we don’t use waxy is because they turn out super gummy when mashed instead of fluffy. 
  • DO NOT cut the potatoes uneven when boiling them. You’ll end up with chunky raw potatoes in the mash.
  • Make sure to salt the water to incorporate some flavor into the potatoes. 
  • For the butter and milk, make sure to warm it up before adding to the mash so it doesn’t cool them down.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

The process can be broken down into 2 parts!

1. Boiling the Potatoes:

Start out by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into equal pieces, about 1 inch thick. Add them to a large pot and fill it with cold water just about 1 inch above the potatoes. Add 4 to 6 garlic cloves to the water along with salt – about 2 teaspoons. Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to medium and allow the potatoes to keep cooking until fork tender – about 12 minutes. Drain the water and then add the potatoes and garlic back to the pot so the residual heat can dry out any excess water on the surface

2. Mashing and Mixing:

While the potatoes are still hot, mash them along with the garlic using a potato masher or a stand mixer/hand beater until there are no more chunks and it’s super fluffy. Then it’s time to stream in melted unsalted butter, milk, cream cheese, salt, and black pepper. Mix all together, taste, and adjust the salt and black pepper to your taste. If you like the mashed potatoes more thick, add less milk. If you like the mashed potatoes more creamy and thin, add more milk. And that’s it!

Other Thanksgiving Recipes You Might Love

If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it. 

To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram! I’m also now on Pinterest pinning away so stop by and see what’s up.

The PERFECT Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is coming up and if you're in charge of mashed potatoes, this recipe has you covered! Super creamy, really fluffy, and perfectly seasoned. They're super easy to make but a few tips and secrets will take a favorite side dish to the next level.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 to 1 cup whole milk warm
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese room temperature
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves
  • parsley for garnish on top

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into equal pieces, about 1 inch thick.
  • Add them to a large pot and fill it with cold water just about 1 inch above the potatoes.
  • Add 4 to 6 garlic cloves to the water along with salt - about 2 teaspoons.
  • Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to medium and allow the potatoes to keep cooking until fork tender - about 12 minutes.
  • Drain the water and then add the potatoes and garlic back to the pot so the residual heat can dry out any excess water on the surface. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  • While the potatoes are still hot, mash them along with the garlic using a potato masher or a stand mixer/hand beater until there are no more chunks and it's super fluffy.
  • Then stream in melted unsalted butter, milk, cream cheese, salt to taste, and black pepper. I added about 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If using salted butter, add less salt.
  • Mix all together, taste, and adjust the salt and black pepper to your taste. If you like the mashed potatoes more thick, add less milk. If you like the mashed potatoes more creamy and thin, add more milk.
  • Garnish with parsley on top and enjoy warm!
Keyword mashed potatoes, thanksgiving
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