Our Favorite Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This is our favorite homemade mashed potatoes recipe (skin-on or peeled). Learn which potatoes to use and how to cook them so that they are creamy and delicious. Jump to the Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe or watch our quick video below to see how we make them in our kitchen.

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.

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How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes with Skin-On or Peeled Potatoes

Our recipe is pretty simple. Think of it as an everyday recipe – one that you 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.

How to Make the Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes (Skin-On or Peeled)

Homemade Mashed Cauliflower RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Our Creamy 20-Minute Mashed Cauliflower Recipe. It’s a great, low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

What are the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?

We use waxy and thin-skinned potatoes. Small yellow, white, or red potatoes are perfect. They are quick to cook and make the best skin-on mashed potatoes! We are usually short on time, so the smaller potatoes allow us to skip peeling and just slice in half or quarters. They are also creamier than more starchy potatoes, like russet potatoes. So if you love creamy mashed potatoes, choose one of the small, thin-skinned varieties.

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.

How to Cook the Potatoes

Don't forget to salt the potatoes for the best mashed potatoes.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.

Mashing Them

Add a combination of milk, chicken stock, or cream to the cooked potatoes.From there, we add some liquid and melted butter to make the potatoes 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). And that’s it. Perfectly, creamy mashed potatoes.

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Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Recipe updated, originally posted November 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Our Favorite Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

Think of this as an everyday recipe – one that you can adapt based on what you have in the fridge. Nothing is overly decadent, although, you could easily turn them into something that is. We call for 1 cup of liquid to be added to the potatoes. At home, we usually use equal parts milk to chicken stock. You could use all milk or all chicken stock. Or, replace some milk with heavy cream for extra decadent potatoes. A tablespoon or two of cream cheese wouldn’t hurt, either. The trick to great mashed potatoes is seasoning up front. Adding a hearty amount of salt to the water seasons the potatoes while they cook – we use at least 1 tablespoon. This is similar to salting pasta water.

Makes approximately 6 servings

You Will Need

2 pounds yellow, red, or white potatoes

Salt, plus more to taste

1 cup milk, chicken stock or a combination, see our homemade chicken stock recipe

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Splash cream, optional


  • Prepare Potatoes
  • Scrub then dice potatoes, making sure they are similar in size. (We often leave the skin on the potatoes, but it is completely up to you). Drop potatoes in a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of salt and cover with water.

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a low simmer. Cook until the 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. Leave them for about 5 minutes to absorb excess steam that can make mashed potatoes watery.

      Pour in the warm butter mixture then mash the 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 splash of cream (if using). Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes so that the potatoes thicken, and then serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • You can 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.
  • For stiffer mashed potatoes, reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe to 3/4 cup from 1 cup.
  • For extra fluffy potatoes, use a food mill. Pass the 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).
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We have omitted salt since you will need to add to your tastes. We assumed 1/2 milk to 1/2 stock and added a splash of cream.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 182 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 28 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 2 g / Total Fat 7 g / Saturated Fat 4 g / Cholesterol 18 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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14 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Sheila Willis November 17, 2017, 3:28 pm

    These sound great. I would like to make them for Thanksgiving. I want to make them the night before and warm them in my crock pot the day of. Do you think that will work with this recipe. If so, is there anything I would need to do to them before serving? Thanks.

    • Joanne November 17, 2017, 3:35 pm

      Hi Sheila, This will work great. I’d keep a little extra milk/broth on hand for splashing into the crockpot just in case the potatoes seem too thick the next day. Otherwise, it should work really well for you.

  • Shaun October 9, 2017, 3:06 pm

    Great recipe. I’ve made these many times using a recipe very similar to this but I’ve never heard of covering them with a dishtowel. When you return the potatoes to the saucepan and cover, is the saucepan still on a burner at low temp or is it off? I have an electric stovetop so the burner stays hot for quite a long time. Thanks!

    • Joanne October 11, 2017, 3:45 pm

      We slide the pan off of the heat.

  • Robert September 24, 2017, 6:52 pm

    First timer on this site, made them last night, skin off and added crushed garlic with liquids.
    Delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Ashley August 3, 2017, 1:44 pm

    Best mashed potatoes. Had it with steak and corn. Left them with the skin on & family really enjoyed.

  • Paula September 30, 2016, 5:06 pm

    Great technique. Your recipes are always winners and I appreciate the level of detail you go to. Can’t fail. I just made these, and need to quit eating them to save some for the turkey I’m roasting. Used red potatoes, skins on. Also added a tad of garlic at the end.

  • Juanita February 14, 2016, 9:33 pm

    5 Stars

  • Demiera February 4, 2016, 12:25 pm

    Thank you for this recipe!! Made it last night to go with a rotisserie chicken and some corn. Hubby works late so I wasn’t awake to see his reaction, but when I woke up this morning I found that he had polished off the rest of the pot! Sure sign that it was a hit! I’m definitely adding this to my rotation. (Oh, and I kept the skins on ;D)

  • Djana December 14, 2015, 11:21 pm

    Made these for thanksgiving and now dreaming of them for christmas. So so so good, everyone loved them. It was the one thing that was not leftover and i made double your recommendation per person! p.s. With skins 😉

  • Lisa November 17, 2014, 8:16 pm

    I love your style….”you can do it this way but you can also do it that way”….spoken like a true cook! I love adaptable recipes. I usually don’t like to comment on things I haven’t made yet, but I couldn’t resist saying how much I appreciate what I have read so far. I have you bookmarked and I look forward to trying your recipes!

  • Deema Mauladad April 25, 2014, 12:45 am

    So yummy!!!! Best mash I have ever made!!! This went well with the turkey meatloaf recipe from this site- dinner was a hit!

    • Joanne May 16, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Glad you loved it!

      • Sue August 17, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Your forgetting the most important ingredient, if you like of course. Buy a bulk Garlic, ( use a whole one) cut the top off, drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt, wrap up in tin foil twice, bake for 30mins, or until caramelized. Carefully squeeze out caramelized garlue and mix in with all of the above. I also sometime use garlic butter, instead of butter. You will not regret, its the best tasting Garlic mash potatoes you will ever eat. :)))


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