Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes

For a guaranteed crowdpleaser with almost any home-cooked meal, master the art of creamy homemade mashed potatoes with this recipe. Right up there with my Grandma’s mac and cheese, they are among the ultimate side dishes that take any supper to the next level of comfort.

the best homemade mashed potatoes

The best potatoes for the creamiest mashed potato dish

The best potatoes for this recipe are starchy ones, so people mostly use Idaho russets or Yukon Gold. The biggest differences between them are the texture and flavor.

Russet potatoes have a lot of starch and taste earthier while Yukon Gold have medium starch and taste more buttery. While russets are fluffier they absorb more water, so to avoid mushiness, you must drain them thoroughly and not overcook them.

I use Yukon Gold potatoes for their creamier texture and buttery taste, and I don’t feel like I have to always peel them! It saves time to simply rinse the outside of the potato and cook them with the skins intact.

What to serve with creamy homemade mashed potatoes

While most people think of mashed potatoes and gravy as a Thanksgiving staple, we all know this dish gets a lot of mileage beyond turkey day. When you try my recipe, you may wonder what NOT to serve with this dish!

These mashed potatoes are great as a single side to a protein, like a grilled steak or fried chicken. For a big, downhome-cooking meal for the entire family, I love to make them along with several of my other tried-and-true classic dishes – baked chicken, my Grandma’s yeast rolls and mac and cheese, green bean casserole, and my mom’s best apple pie for dessert.

Those recipes are all linked here and check the recipe index at the bottom of this page to find them all together.

creamiest mashed potatoes

Ingredients needed to make this mashed potatoes recipe

  • Potatoes: I prefer Yukon Gold for this recipe to get the perfect creamy texture.
  • Butter: While the Yukon Gold potatoes already have a buttery flavor, you still need fresh butter to get the perfect flavor. This recipe calls for a little over 1/3 cup. Salted butter works best but you can always add more salt to the dish if you’ve only got unsalted on hand.
  • Mayonnaise: This isn’t a common ingredient in mashed potatoes for a lot of folks, but DO NOT skip it if you want creamy mashed potatoes. It’s the secret ingredient! It cuts the starchiness, brings the flavors together and adds a smooth texture.
  • Garlic: A few cloves of garlic take the flavor up a notch. If you’re not a fan, leave it out. Even if you’re on the fence about it, you’ll find the garlicky goodness of these potatoes irresistible.
  • Chicken Broth: Cooking your potatoes in chicken broth instead of water infuses a warm, rich flavor.
  • Milk or Cream: Is milk or cream better for mashed potatoes? It’s up to you! While cream will bring the richest flavor and texture, milk works almost as well. Just be sure to use whole milk.
  • Salt & Pepper: For this recipe, you’ll add some salt to the chicken broth while cooking the potatoes, then a bit of salt with pepper for extra flavor at the end.
  • Toppings: All of these are optional, but basically anything you could think to pile on a baked potato will also taste delicious as toppers for these – chives or chopped green onions, bacon, cheddar, sour cream … you decide!
ingredients for creamy mashed potatoes

Kitchen equipment needed:

  1. Mixing bowl
  2. Large knife
  3. Cutting board
  4. Saucepan
  5. Strainer
  6. Hand mixer or Potato masher
  7. Serving bowl

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few of the most common questions folks have about making these creamy homemade mashed potatoes. If you have a question you don’t see covered, please ask in the comments, and I will respond as soon as I can!

Is it better to boil potatoes whole or cut up for mashed potatoes?

It is best to cut your potatoes before boiling them for mashed potatoes. I aim for 1-inch cubes. The goal is to make them as similar in size as possible for even cooking so they are all fork-tender pieces primed for the mash.

Is it better to peel potatoes before boiling for mashed potatoes?

Since I used Yukon Gold potatoes, it’s okay to leave the skin on if you prefer. If you like the added texture, it also cuts down your prep time. Their skins are thin and soften a lot when cooked.

This only works well if you’re using a hand mixer as recommended in this recipe. If you are using a potato ricer, you’ll want to remove the skins. And if you opt for Idaho russets instead of Yukon Gold, absolutely peel the skins because they are thicker and tougher.

Is it best to cover potatoes when boiling?

While this is sometimes debatable, I swear by boiling potatoes uncovered as the best way to make mashed potatoes. Covering them can trap too much moisture and make them mushy instead of creamy like we want.

uncovered diced potatoes for mashed potatoes.

What is the best way to store and reheat leftover mashed potatoes?

If your family is like ours, you’re not going to have that problem with this recipe. It’s a champion dish for the Clean Plate Club!

But let’s say you do. The best way is to store them in a baking dish with an airtight cover, and they’ll be fine that way in the refrigerator for a couple of days. When it’s time to reheat them, add more butter and broth (or just cream) and stir well.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and then bake them, covered, for 10 minutes or so. The amount of butter and broth or cream you add and bake time will vary depending on how much you are reheating, but the goal with both is to keep them from getting dried out or too gooey.

You can reheat potatoes in the microwave, too. Just be sure to add fat and moisture as you would with the oven method, then microwave them on medium for a few minutes.

More Grandma-Approved Recipes To Try

If you like this recipe for homemade creamy mashed potatoes, you will love these other yummy recipes.

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Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes

For a guaranteed crowdpleaser with almost any home-cooked meal, master the art of creamy mashed potatoes with this recipe. Right up there with my Grandma’s mac and cheese, they are among the ultimate side dishes that take any supper to the next level of comfort.
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Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Laura

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled if desired
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 6 Tablespoon Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon + 2 Tbsp salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Optional toppings:

  • Extra butter
  • Chives
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  • Peel potatoes, if desired. 
  • Cut potatoes into large cubes and put them in a large pot with the chicken broth. Add enough water just to cover the potatoes and then about 2 tablespoons of salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Drain potatoes. 
  • While potatoes are cooking, heat the milk, butter and garlic in a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Keep warm.
  • Place hot potatoes in a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer (hand mixer) to mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add in milk and butter mixture, mayonnaise, the rest of the salt and pepper.
  • Beat on low until everything is well incorporated. Turn up the speed and mix until fluffy. 
  • Top with more butter, chives, cheese and/or bacon.

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