Best Mashed Potatoes

Quick: Name one thing better than creamy, buttery, steamy, perfect mashed potatoes! See? You can't! So, put down the instant potatoes, grab your favorite spuds, a large pot, and a masher and let's get this party started.

Though people have many different thoughts on mashed potatoes like keeping the skin on the potatoes vs. peeling them, using milk vs. cream, or butter vs. sour cream, we on the Delish Test Kitchen team put our culinary noggins together to create these near-perfect spuds. They combine all of our absolute favorite things about mashed potatoes but still allow you to customize to your heart's content.

Making these homemade mashed potatoes is insanely easy. But what actually separates amazing mashed potatoes from subpar ones? See our top tips below. 

Go For a Mix of Potatoes

Russet potatoes (the classic brown-skinned ones used for baked potatoes) are the classic go-to for mashed potatoes, but you don't have to stick to only those. We like using a mix of russet and Yukon gold, which have a super-creamy texture. Russets cook slightly faster, are starchier and fluffier, and taste less sweet; Yukons are a little more moist, a little waxier, and they hold their shape better. Russets are blank slates that will drink up the milky, buttery flavors you put into your mash; Yukons will come with a natural creamy flavor even before the dairy hits the pot. Why use just one type when you can use more?

Peel—Or Don't

This is the age-old debate: Should you peel your potatoes for mashed potatoes?! Many people in the Delish kitchen fall into the camp of people who happen to love the texture that the skin adds, but it's entirely up to you. Keeping the skins on will make for a more textured mash with a little more fiber and nutrients. Eliminate the skin and you will have the smoothest mash in all the land!

Use All The Butter

Our recipe calls for a whole stick, but real butter enthusiasts might even want to use another few tablespoons. Live it up! We like to melt our butter with milk in a saucepan so the milk is warm when it hits the mashed spuds.

Go For Full-Fat Everything

Starchy potatoes need serious fat to turn them creamy, so skip low-fat varieties for sour cream and milk, which will produce drier mashed potatoes. Holidays or not, treat yourself!

Don't Be Afraid of Going Heavy on Seasoning

Mashed potatoes are begging for salt and pepper. Potatoes need a lot of salt, so go heavy! This will help bring out their buttery flavor and ensure they don't taste lackluster.

Add All the Mix-ins

We're obsessed with loaded mashed potatoes—who isn't?!—so we totally encourage you to stir in shredded cheddar or grated Parmesan, cooked bacon bits, chives, the works, right after you add the melted butter-milk mixture. Any addition of fresh herb or cheese will only help your mashed potatoes taste amazing.

Have leftovers? Have no fear!

We have over a dozen recipes that can help you use them from fried mashed potato balls to waffles!

Made these perfectly creamy spuds? Let us know how it went in the comments below. 

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Yields: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 25 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 30 mins
3 lb.

mixed potatoes, such as russets & Yukon Golds

Kosher salt

1/2 c.

(1 stick) butter, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

1/2 c.

whole milk

1/2 c.

sour cream

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until totally soft, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.
  2. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter with milk until warm.
  4. Pour over warm milk-butter mixture and stir until completely combined and creamy. Add sour cream and stir until combined.
  5. Season mashed potatoes generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and top with remaining two tablespoons butter. Season with more pepper before serving.

Parker Feierbach
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