Homemade Mashed Potatoes

These Homemade Mashed Potatoes are the easiest, most comforting side dish. All you need are a few ingredients and about 30 minutes to make the best mashed potatoes! Perfect for holidays or weeknights—potatoes are wonderful anytime. Makes 3-4 servings, but can easily be doubled.

Love festive side dishes? Be sure to check out Fresh Green Bean Casserole from Scratch, Brioche Bread Stuffing and Baked Sweet Potato Cubes with Butter and Bourbon!

Close up of a white bowl holding creamy mashed potatoes

Somehow, in my nearly 10 years of food blogging, I’ve never shared a classic mashed potato recipe… until now.

I don’t know why I never did it, other than I felt like the world didn’t need yet another mashed potato recipe.

Except you know what? I love these homemade mashed potatoes… so why would I not share them?

Why I love this recipe:

These homemade mashed potatoes are a staple in my house, and I make them on a bi-weekly rotation.

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    They pair nicely with weeknight meals, like Mustard Chicken and Broiled Steak. They also are gorgeous and tasty on the holiday table, alongside Browned Butter Sage Turkey and Whole Roasted Chicken.

    Basically, these mashed potatoes are perfect for anytime of year and any meal… and they’re really easy to make, so let’s make ‘em.

    Other side dishes that go well with everything: Lemon Pepper Green Beans | Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts | Green Bean Bacon Bundles | Spinach Madeline | Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic | Vegetarian Twice Baked Potatoes

    Looking for a specific side dish? Head on over to my Side Dish Recipe Index for inspiration!

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      Gold potatoes sit in a decorative bowl on top of a blue and white striped towel next to a bowl of milk, butter and seasonings

      What you need to make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

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      • Sharp knife and cutting board
      • Large pot
      • Potato masher, hand mixer or avocado masher tool
      • Liquid measuring cup
      • Colander

      In addition to these tools, you’re going to need a few ingredients, too, to make this classic mashed potato recipe:

      • Gold potatoes
      • Kosher salt
      • Unsalted butter
      • Whole milk
      • Black pepper

      We’ve been making these mashed potatoes for years, and you can do some riffs on ‘em, too.

      • To make the mashed potatoes dairy free and vegan, substitute an unflavored, unsweetened nondairy milk, like coconut milk or cashew milk. Use vegan butter instead of the unsalted butter, too.
      • Love garlic? Add ½ teaspoon of granulated garlic to the final mashed potato mixture! Taste it, and potentially add more if you’re into it.
      • Add extra creaminess and a little tang by adding 1-2 oz. of softened cream cheese.

      How to make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

      Before you get started, get out your ingredients. Scrub those potatoes, too. I find it’s easier to work in the kitchen when you’ve got everything you need nearby instead of wandering to grab what you need.

      In this recipe, I use gold potatoes, which I do not peel. If you don’t like potato peels or are using a russet potato, which has a thicker skin, I suggest using a vegetable peeler* (affiliate link) and removing the skins. 

      Using a sharp knife, chop the scrubbed potatoes into 1” cubes. These don’t need to be perfect—but the smaller the cubes, the quicker the potatoes will cook!

      Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with cold water. Season the water with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the potatoes to the water, then turn on the heat.

      Why do we wait to turn on the heat until the potatoes are in the water? This helps them cook more evenly. If you start the water before the potatoes are in it, you might have chunks of potato that are soft and ready to go while other pieces aren’t.

      Over high heat, bring the water and potatoes to a boil. Cook uncovered until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.

      Drain the potatoes in a colander, and put back into the pot… then add the butter, milk, salt and pepper

      Use a hand mixer (or a potato masher or even an avocado masher, as I used in these photos), to slowly blend the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

      Give the mashed potatoes a taste and add more seasonings, if necessary.

      Serve warm, and enjoy!

      A white bowl holds a serving of creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes while sitting on a blue and white striped towel

      Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

      Mashed potatoes as an entertaining dish? You bet!

      They pair with so many mains and other side dishes that this is a spectacular recipe to have in your back pocket for when you’re entertaining, whether it’s hosting a weeknight dinner for friends or a holiday meal for the whole family.

      The thing I love about mashed potatoes is they’re easy to make and easier to reheat.

      Here are a few more things to consider if you’re making these homemade mashed potatoes for an event:

      • Make ‘em in advance… or throw the diced potatoes in cold water until you’re ready to cook them. They can sit in the water for up to 24 hours before cooking. Throw ‘em in the fridge, and let them soak overnight if that works better for you.
      • Double or half the recipe. We’ve been making these homemade mashed potatoes for years, and this recipe works for larger and smaller crowds! Just use your math skills to do the calculations, and be sure to taste the end result before you serve it to confirm the seasonings are on point!
      • Reheating Mashed Potatoes: Yes! You can absolutely reheat the mashed potatoes. I like to do this in the microwave, but you could also transfer them to a casserole dish, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 or so minutes until warmed through.
      A bowl of mashed potatoes sits in front of a silver platter holding turkey, surrounded by other holiday dishes

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What can I use as a substitute for milk in mashed potatoes?

      You can use nondairy milk in this recipe if you don’t drink or consume cow’s milk products. Make sure that it’s unsweetened and unflavored.

      What is the best way to make garlic mashed potatoes from scratch?

      I would follow this recipe and add ½ to ¾ teaspoon of granulated garlic to the final potatoes. Taste ‘em and see how they are before adding additional granulated garlic.

      Do you need to soak potatoes before making mashed potatoes?

      No. You don’t need to soak potatoes before making them into mashed potatoes.

      How long can potatoes sit in water before cooking?

      Potatoes can apparently sit in cold water for up to 24 hours before you cook them. If you’re going to let them soak, I’d cover the pot and also refrigerate it.

      Can I let potatoes sit in water before cooking?

      You can! I’ll occasionally chop my potatoes around lunchtime (or shortly after at naptime.) I’ll put them in water and let them chill in the fridge until I’m ready to boil them at dinnertime.

      Can you cut potatoes before boiling?

      You absolutely need to cut your potatoes before boiling them for mashed potatoes. This will help them cook more quickly!

      Should you peel potatoes before boiling?

      It’s up to you about peeling the potatoes. Since this recipe calls for gold potatoes, I leave the skins on, but if you’re using a different type of potato—like a Russet—you might want to peel them before boiling them.

      Reheating mashed potatoes: How do you do it?

      You can do this one of two ways.

      1. Reheat them in the microwave in 30-45 second bursts. Stir after every time until they’re properly heated through.
      2. In a 300-325F oven. Place the potatoes in a casserole dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 30ish minutes, or until they’re warmed through.
      Close up of a white bowl holding mashed potatoes with a butter pat on top with the text 'how to make creamy mashed potatoes'

      Quick Tips and Tricks for making the Best Mashed Potatoes

      • Use your favorite type of potato! I love a gold potato because they’re nice and creamy (and don’t require peeling), but you can use red potatoes or Russet potatoes in this recipe, too.
      • Add in extra flavorings, like ½ (to ¾) teaspoon garlic powder or 1-2 oz. cream cheese for extra creaminess.
      • Make ‘em in advance and reheat them before your meal. You can do this in the microwave or the oven.
      • Store ’em in an airtight food storage container for 4-5 days. I bet they won’t last that long, though!
      A white bowl holds a serving of creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes while sitting on a blue and white striped towel
      Yield: 3-4 servings

      Homemade Mashed Potatoes

      Prep Time: 15 minutes
      Cook Time: 20 minutes
      Total Time: 35 minutes

      These Homemade Mashed Potatoes are the easiest, most comforting side dish. All you need are a few ingredients and about 30 minutes to make the best mashed potatoes! Perfect for holidays or weeknights—potatoes are wonderful anytime.

      Ingredients

      • 1 ½ lbs. gold potatoes, scrubbed
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to season put in water for the diced potatoes
      • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
      • ½ cup whole milk
      • ½ teaspoon black pepper
      • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

      Instructions

      1. Using a sharp knife, chop the scrubbed potatoes into 1” cubes.
      2. Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with cold water. Season the water with 1 teaspoon salt.
      3. Add the potatoes to the water.
      4. Turn on the heat to high, and heat the water and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
      5. Drain the potatoes, and place back in the saucepan.
      6. Measure out the butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
      7. Using a hand mixer (or a potato/avocado masher) on a low speed or a potato masher, slowly blend the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more seasonings, if necessary.
      8. Serve warm, and enjoy.

      Notes

      Reheat the mashed potatoes in the microwave (in 30-45 second bursts) until heated through OR put in a casserole dish, and reheat in a 300-325F oven for 30ish minutes covered with foil.

      Store in an airtight food storage container for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

      Quick Tips and Tricks for making the Best Mashed Potatoes

      • Use your favorite type of potato! I love a gold potato because they’re nice and creamy (and don’t require peeling), but you can use red potatoes or Russet potatoes in this recipe, too.
      • Add in extra flavorings, like ½ (to ¾) teaspoon garlic powder or 1-2 oz. cream cheese for extra creaminess.
      • Make ‘em in advance and reheat them before your meal. You can do this in the microwave or the oven.
      • If you don't want to make them in advance, chop the potatoes up to 24 hours in advance, and place in cold water. Store in the fridge until you're ready to boil them.
      • Double or half the recipe. We've been making these homemade mashed potatoes for years, and this recipe works for larger and smaller crowds! Just use your math skills to do the calculations, and be sure to taste the end result before you serve it to confirm the seasonings are on point!

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      As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

      Nutrition Information:

      Yield:

      4 servings

      Serving Size:

      1 serving

      Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 697mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

      Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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      About the Author:

      Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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      2 Comments

      1. Thanks for the exact measurements; I never know how much to use. And the gold potatoes make such a yummy mashed potato dish!

      2. Is there anything better or more comforting than mashed potatoes? These were absolutely FANTASTIC!!

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