Times have changed and we’ve all gotten a little lazy making mashed potatoes from a box. And while this is a great option for quick weeknight meals, I am going to show you how to make Homemade Mashed Potatoes with real potatoes.
Making Homemade Mashed Potatoes has never been simpler, thanks to my basic mashed potatoes recipe! And you can jazz them up with your favorite toppings!
A basic mashed potatoes recipe only has a few ingredients:
- Salt & Pepper
It is that easy. Now, of course you can get fancy with your spuds and liven them up a bit. I’ll be including a list of ways to customize your mashed potatoes a little later in the post.
Let’s get to some other burning mashed potato questions.
The number one question I get when someone asks how do I make homemade mashed potatoes is about the potato itself. What is the best potato for mashing?
- Russet – Russets are probably the potato that 90% of mash is made from due to a higher starch content.
- Yukon Gold– Also high in starch, these come in second.
- Red Potatoes– Lower starch content and therefore higher risk of pasty potatoes.
- Plain White – Also low in starch.
The next question is undoubtable about whether you should peel the potato or not. For me, it depends on the type of potato I am using.
One thing remains the same for all though, there is an abundance of nutrients in the potato skin, including dietary fiber.
For Russets, I peel my potatoes. The skin is leathery and rough, making a weird texture that I don’t care for. But for thinner, more buttery skin, like red or yukons, feel free to leave them on, if desired.
The next is always what is the best homemade mashed potato recipe and from here I think two things come into play. One- nostalgia from your own childhood taters and two- personal preference.
But knowing the most basic of recipes will help you build your own delicious version of this classic.
People also want to know what is the best way to mash potatoes. As in, what tool to use. You have a few optoins:
- Classic potato ricer– stimulates the least starch, medium texture, manually operated can be challenging.
- Crank ricer- Larger and therefore harder to store, but the benefits of a classic ricer with less work.
- Hand potato masher– requires the most work, stimulates minimally starch, slightly larger texture
- Blender/Food Processor– Easiest and fastest, but can easily over mix and creates more dishes, least texture, most fluff
- Handheld Electric Mixer– Can use right in the pot, easy and creates smooth potatoes
- Two forks- go old school for chunkier mashed potatoes and just use two forks
- Immersion blender– in theory this should work great, but doesn’t for such a thick mixture.
Now to the fun part, the creative part! What can you put on top of your homemade mashed potatoes? A LOT!!!!
Fill those bad boys up:
- Crumbled bacon
- Sour cream
- Creme fraiche
- Minced roasted red peppers
- Blend in 3 ounces cream cheese
- Any other type of freshly shredded cheese
- Fresh herbs
- BBQ Meatballs
- Shredded BBQ Meat (chicken or pork)
- Horseradish Cream Sauce
If you liked these easy mashed potatoes, check out these other potato side dishes:
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Questions you might have about how to make mashed potatoes:
Can I use purple potatoes?
Yes! Purple potatoes make excellent mashed potatoes and are linked to life longevity. Plus, they are pretty.
What if I don’t want to milk or cream?
To lighten your homemade mashed potatoes, feel free to use chicken stock instead of cream or milk. Start with half and add in as needed. It isn’t as thick, so you might not need as much.
Why are my mashed potatoes so sticky?
You probably overworked them. It is a common mistake since people think the more they whip them, the fluffier they will get.
When potatoes are agitated, starch is released. The more you agitate, the more starch. The result is gummy, gluey, sticky, plasticy potatoes.
How do I fix sticky gluey potatoes? I hate to tell you this, but no you can’t. After the starch is released, there is no way to bring it back.
What you can do is top them with as much stuff and butter as you possibly can to cover up the sticky texture.
How many potatoes do I need per person? The general rule is 1/2 pound per person. You can also estimate by 1 medium potato per person.
Keep in mind that most recipes are by pound and you’ll rarely ever hit that on the dot. It is easy to adjust the amount of liquid needed after they cook, just add it slow.
How do I thicken my homemade mashed potatoes? You can thicken mashed potatoes by adding adding 1 tablespoon of either flour, cornstarch, powdered milk, arrowroot or Pecorino Romano cheese.
Mix this with 1 tablespoon water and then fold in by hand to prevent overworking the mixture. Sometimes these can be a little grainy. Add sparingly.
I also keep a box of instant mashed potatoes around at all times. It might be considered cheating by some, but I’ll add a tablespoon or two of dried potatoes, if needed.
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Easy Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven 3/4 with water, Bring to a boil.
- Carefully add prepared potatoes. Boil for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain potatoes in a colander and return to the cooking pot.
- Add cream, butter, white pepper and fine sea salt.
- Using a potato masher or hand held electric blender, blend to desired consistency, being mindful to not overmix. Add cream (or milk), 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
- Garnish with chives, scallions or additional butter.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!