We adore mashed potatoes and make them often. Since we make a batch almost every week, we wanted to share how we do it. The recipe varies slightly depending on who makes it. Adam likes to keep the potatoes unpeeled and I usually peel. Sometimes we use milk, sometimes we add a splash of chicken stock. And, when we’re feeling feisty, we add a splash of cream. Enjoy!
You May Also Like our Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe. It’s a great alternative to mashed potatoes.
How We Make It — Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Our recipe is pretty simple. Think of it as an everyday recipe – one that can adapt based on what you have in the fridge (or whoever is making it). Nothing is overly decadent. Although, you could easily turn them into something that is.
Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes and How to Cook Them
We go for waxy and thin-skinned potatoes. Small yellow, white or red potatoes are perfect. Since we’re usually short on time, they allow us to skip peeling and just slice in half or in quarters. They are usually much creamier than more starchy potatoes, like russet potatoes.
You can still use russet (baking) potatoes — we do if they are all we have. The mashed potatoes won’t be as creamy, but they will still taste great.
Adam and I go back and forth about peeling potatoes. Adam loves keeping the skins on and I prefer when the potatoes are peeled. It’s safe to say that whether or not our potatoes are peeled depends on who’s making them.
We don’t disagree when it comes to cooking the potatoes, though. No matter what potato you choose to cook, don’t forget the salt. We cover the potatoes with an inch or so of water then generously salt the water. A tablespoon of salt should do it.
By salting the water, the flavor of the potatoes really comes out. They won’t taste salty, only like awesome potatoes.
Once your potatoes are done, drain them, return them to the saucepan and cover with a clean dishtowel for about 5 minutes. This helps the potatoes absorb excess steam that can make mashed potatoes watery. Another option is to tumble the cooked potatoes onto a baking sheet and set aside for 5 minutes.
From there, we add some liquid and melted butter to make things extra creamy. For the liquid, we usually add equal parts of milk and chicken stock. You could add all milk or all chicken stock. You could even add a splash (or two) of cream to the potatoes to make them really creamy. A tablespoon or two of cream cheese wouldn’t hurt, either.
We stick to 1 cup of liquid for 2 pounds of cooked potatoes. For stiffer mashed potatoes, reduce the amount of liquid to 3/4 cup from 1 cup.
Most of the time, we use our handy potato masher, but for extra fluffy potatoes, use a food mill. Pass cooked potatoes through the smallest disk of a food mill then stir in milk or chicken stock and butter. (It’s best the potatoes are peeled for this).
You May Also Like These Simple Sides
- Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
- Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (a great alternative to potatoes)
- Simple Potato Salad Recipe (we include lots of tips to make it best)
- 2 pounds yellow, red or white potatoes (russet potatoes will also work, here)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup milk, chicken stock or a combination of both
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare Potatoes: Scrub then dice potatoes, making sure they are similar in size. (We often skip peeling potatoes, but it is completely up to you). Drop potatoes in a large saucepan, add the tablespoon of salt and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a low simmer. Cook until potatoes fall apart when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
- To Finish: Heat the milk or chicken stock and the butter until warm and the butter has melted.
- Drain then return the potatoes to the saucepan and cover with a clean dishtowel for about 5 minutes to absorb excess steam that can make mashed potatoes watery.
- Pour in the warm butter mixture then mash potatoes until creamy. (Don’t worry if the potatoes seem a bit thin at first, they absorb the liquid after a minute or two). Stir in the pepper and, if needed, a little more salt. Let stand for 5 minutes so that the potatoes thicken and then serve.
2. For extra fluffy potatoes, use a food mill. Pass cooked potatoes through the smallest disk of a food mill then stir in milk or chicken stock and butter. (It’s best the potatoes are peeled for this).
3. We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.