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How to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

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Learn how to make homemade mashed potatoes that are easy, fluffy, and the perfect side dish. Creamy mashed potatoes are delicious for holiday meals or used as a topping on your favorite casserole.

Russet potatoes for mashed potatoes

Easy mashed potatoes

Who doesn't love a big pile of mashed potatoes topped with gravy on their plate? It is probably one of the most popular side dishes I look forward to at any holiday meal.

Believe it or not, making mashed potatoes from scratch is very easy as long as you have the right tools and ingredients. I'm going to share my secret ingredient for making these spuds creamy and delicious every time.

Tools for making mashed potatoes

There are a few helpful tools to have in your kitchen that will help make your potatoes.

  • Potato Masher- this is a funny looking tool but one that is used often in my kitchen. When I want to make rustic mashed potatoes, meaning lots of lumps and chunks, I use this tool. I don't remember where I got mine, but I found a potato masher on Amazon that will work great!
  • Handheld Mixer– For really creamy potatoes, this gets the job done. I have this Cuisinart hand mixer and I like it because I can make my mashed potatoes all in the same pot.
  • Peeler– I really like using a horizontal style peeler because it makes peeling so much faster. These Kuhn Rikon peelers are inexpensive and work really well!
  • Strainer or colander– When you need to strain food from hot liquid, this is what you need. A big pot of pasta or cooked potatoes is easily drained in a colander.
potato masher for rustic mashed potatoes
Mashed potato ingredients

How to make homemade mashed potatoes

Okay, you have your tools and ingredients and now it's time to make a batch of creamy mashed potatoes.

Fill a medium stockpot 3/4 full with cold water and set on the stove.

Wash and dry russet potatoes. With your peeler, peel skins off potatoes. If you come across brownish black spots, cut these out. Follow our cooking tip below on how to do that!

Cooking Tip: If you have a black or brown spot on the potato, also known as “eyes”, you can scoop them out with the tool on your peeler. If using a vertical style peeler, the tip of your peeler is a mini scoop to help you shovel out these spots. Have a horizontal style? The little circle off to one side is the scoop tool.

On a wooden cutting board, cut the potatoes in half, then in half again. Make cuts as even as possible so that potatoes cook evenly.

Place potato chunks in the pot of water. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

Allow the potatoes to cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until they are fork tender.

Drain potatoes from hot liquid and return to pot.

Add butter and cream cheese (my secret ingredient for creamy mashed potatoes!)

Now pour in half and half. Some folks like to use heavy cream or milk, but I find half and half works the best.

With hand mixer, mash cooked potatoes with beaters a few times to break them up a bit before blending. On low speed, mix potatoes until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

How to reheat mashed potatoes

If you have a microwave, place mashed potatoes in a small bowl and cover with a paper towel. Cook for 30 second intervals until heated through.

To reheat on the stove, place potatoes in a small sauce pan with a tablespoon of milk or half and half. Simmer at low heat until done, stirring to make sure potatoes do not stick to the bottom of the pot.

How to make easy mashed potatoes

What to make with leftover mashed potatoes

I love using leftover homemade mashed potatoes for creamy soups or toppings for casseroles! Some ideas:

Dollop potatoes on top of turkey pot pie instead of traditional pie crust.

Spread on top of Shepherds pie

Top with roasted garlic and shrimp

Toppings suggestions

  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Chopped chives or dried herbs

Other Serving Suggestions:

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How to make the BEST homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Yield: 6

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Spoon of creamy mashed potatoes

Homemade mashed potatoes are easy to prepare. Mixing cooked russet potatoes with butter, cream cheese, half and half, and salt and pepper create the ultimate of side dishes to have for dinner or holiday meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium Russet Potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • 2 oz. Cream Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium stockpot 3/4 full with cold water and set on the stove.
  2. Wash and dry russet potatoes. 
  3. Peel skins off potatoes. If you come across brownish-black spots, cut these out.
  4. On a wooden cutting board, cut the potatoes in half, then in half again.
  5. Place potato chunks in the pot of water. 
  6. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  7. Allow the potatoes to cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until they are fork-tender.
  8. Drain potatoes from hot liquid and return to pot.
  9. Add butter and cream cheese
  10. Pour in half and half.
  11. With a hand mixer, mash cooked potatoes with beaters a few times to break them up a bit before blending. 
  12. On low speed, mix potatoes until smooth, about 1 minute.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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