Our Favorite Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Our favorite homemade mashed potatoes recipe that works with skin-on and peeled potatoes. 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.

Watch Us Make Our Favorite Mashed Potatoes Recipe

How to Make The Best Mashed Potatoes

We adore mashed potatoes and make them often. Since we make a batch almost every week, we wanted to share our favorite way to make them. 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 stock (vegetable or chicken stock). And when we’re feeling feisty, we add a spoonful of sour cream or splash of cream.

While you can think of this as an everyday recipe and one that you can adapt based on what you have in the fridge (or whoever is making it), it’s also perfect for entertaining or for holiday meals. (We always make a batch of these potatoes and our seriously good mushroom stuffing for Thanksgiving.)

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

What are the best potatoes to use?

I use thin-skinned potatoes like creamers (or baby potatoes) or Yukon Gold. 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.

If you love fluffy mashed potatoes, use starchy potatoes (like Russet or Idaho) or for a combination of fluffy and creamy, use both waxy potatoes (like Red Bliss or baby potatoes) and starchy potatoes.

Adam and I go back and forth about peeling the 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.

Our Best Tips For Making Mashed Potatoes

Adam and I might disagree when it comes to peeling the potatoes, but we don’t disagree when it comes to cooking them. Here are our best tips for making them in your kitchen:

Cut the potatoes into a similar size. You want the potatoes to cook evenly and keeping the potatoes a similar size helps with that. I cut mine into medium chunks (1 to 2 inches). At that size, the potatoes take about 15 minutes to cook.

Salt the cooking water. No matter what potato you choose to cook, don’t forget the salt. A tablespoon of salt should do it. Just like when you add salt to pasta water, the salty water seasons the potatoes. They won’t taste salty, only like awesome potatoes.

Just like seasoning pasta water, it is important to season the cooking water for mashed potatoes.
Just like seasoning pasta water, it is important to season the cooking water for potatoes.

Simmer until fork tender. When I can easily pierce a potato with a fork, they are done. Cooking longer than that means that the potatoes will be overcooked, which makes them like glue.

Drain them well. Once the potatoes are done, I 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.

Add warm butter and milk or stock. 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. Warm liquid absorbs better than cold and it keeps the mashed potatoes nice and hot.

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.

Adding the butter, milk (or stock) warm helps the potatoes to absorb it and keeps the mashed potatoes nice and warm.
Adding the butter, milk (or stock) warm helps the potatoes to absorb it and keeps the mashed potatoes nice and warm.

Hand Mash. Most of the time, we use our handy potato masher, but for extra creamy 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). I don’t recommend using a food processor and if you use a hand blender, be careful not to over whip the potatoes since over mixing makes mashed potatoes sticky and gluey.

Make them extra creamy. When I want ultra-creamy mashed potatoes, I add a dollop of sour cream. The tanginess of sour cream cuts the richness of the butter and makes the potatoes so creamy.

Add extra flavors. You can add a variety of extra ingredients to mashed potatoes. Try garlic (fresh or roasted garlic), fresh herbs, chives, scallions, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and even cooked and crumbled bacon.

What To Serve With Mashed Potatoes

I can pretty much eat these mashed potatoes without anything else on the plate. That said, there are so many options for what to serve them with:

Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

More Easy Potato Recipes

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

  • PREP
  • COOK

Our favorite way to make mashed potatoes. Think of this as an everyday recipe – one that you can adapt based on what you have in the fridge. 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 stock (chicken or vegetable). Or, replace some milk with heavy cream or sour 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


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

3 tablespoons butter or use olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Splash of cream or a dollop of sour 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 or sour 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. The mashed potatoes will be a bit fluffier.
  • For stiffer mashed potatoes, reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe to 3/4 cup from 1 cup.
  • For extra creamy 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 database 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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

29 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Rosa November 25, 2017, 10:08 pm

    Will try this recipe! I made mashed potatoes for thanksgiving and used white potatoes but they came out too gluey. I think I overprocessed them?

    • Joanne November 27, 2017, 1:20 pm

      Next time, if you love extra smooth fluffy potatoes, try using a food mill.

  • Robin November 25, 2017, 5:34 pm

    I love this recipe! I did the butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup whole milk and cup of veggie broth. It’s so delicious and I left the skins on the red potatoes-excellent!

  • Cheyenne Schoen November 23, 2017, 8:57 pm

    I used this recipe for my thanksgiving dinner tonight and the taters were a HIT! After dinner I looked over your recipe again and noticed you were from Walla Walla. So am I! Small world.. thank you for this great recipe!

  • Jaye November 22, 2017, 3:49 pm

    A wonderful simple recipe. I made it a couple days ago. My boyfriend refilled it 3 rounds. Love it !

  • afroditi November 21, 2017, 12:12 pm

    hi i love this recipe!!! just have one question, the “cream” is heavy cream?

    • Joanne November 22, 2017, 4:14 pm

      You can use heavy cream, milk or a combination.

  • 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. :)))


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: