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.
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.
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.
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
- Cheddar Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Chopped chives or dried herbs
Other Serving Suggestions:
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- 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
- Fill a medium stockpot 3/4 full with cold water and set on the stove.
- Wash and dry russet potatoes.
- Peel skins off potatoes. If you come across brownish-black spots, cut these out.
- On a wooden cutting board, cut the potatoes in half, then in half again.
- 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
- Pour in half and half.
- With a 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.
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LIFVER Serving Bowls, 36 Ounces Porcelain Large Bowls Set, White Bowl Set for Salad, Soup, Dessert, Set of 4
Cuisinart HM-50 Power Advantage 5-Speed Hand Mixer, White
KitchenAid KO008OHOBA Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher, One Size, Matte Black
9" Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer with Sturdy Handle and Wider Hook - Perfect for Quinoa
Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board, 8-Inch × 6-Inch, Natural
Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler, Red/Green/Yellow
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g