Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Here’s a great classic potato dish you shouldn’t be without. (Not sure which potato dish to pair with which main course? Use mashed potatoes when there’s a delicious, meaty sauce to catch.)–Susan Spungen

LC The Julia Child Law Of Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Note

Most nights, when work and home life are crazy (and have those of us of a certain generation screaming for Calgon to take us away), you need a side dish that can magically materialize like 20 minutes ago. This recipe fits that bill. But, in keeping with the theme of the book from which this recipe is taken, some nights, when you’re juggling dinner guests and polite chitchat with last-minute dinner assembly, you need a side dish that you literally made an hour or two ago. This recipe fits that bill, too. That is, as long as you follow the Julia Child Law of Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes. She makes her mash, puts it in a heatproof bowl, tops it with a pot lid kept slightly askew by a wooden spoon stuck in the spuds, and then sets that bowl atop but not touching a pot of simmering water. The mash can be kept for up to an hour or two like this. If it dries out slightly, simply add a touch more milk. Although to be honest, we’ve never done that, perhaps because instead we put a big ole pat of butter in the center of the mound of spuds. We’ve had no complaints yet.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1 teaspoon plus 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • 1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes.
  • 2. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Push the potatoes through a ricer or food mill and put them back in the saucepan or mash them with a masher in the pan. (If you don’t have a ricer or food mill, you can press the potatoes through a slotted spatula.)
  • 3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Add the butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and the pepper, then add as much warm milk mixture to the potatoes as needed to create the desired consistency, stirring until well combined. Serve immediately.

In Advance Advice

  • We’ve got the best make-ahead advice ever for this recipe, and it comes straight from Julia Child. Take a peek above the recipe at the LC The Julia Child Law Of Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Note.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Nov 13, 2013

This is my new go-to mashed potato recipe. Mashing potatoes can be a bit of work, but this recipe cuts down the prep work by peeling the potatoes after they’re cooked. It took about 7 minutes for the potatoes to be cool enough for me to handle with my fingers, and an additional 4 minutes to peel them. I didn’t have a ricer or food mill, so I used a potato masher. While I was peeling the potatoes, I warmed the milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes on 80% power. I used the entire cup of milk. The resulting mashed potatoes were creamy and fluffy, not gluey. The flavor was comforting, rustic, and amazing. While I could eat a bowl of these without any enhancement, these would make an incredible meal topped with cheese and bacon.

Testers Choice
Carrie S.

Nov 13, 2013

This simple recipe for mashed potatoes is simply delicious! This isn’t one of those intensely buttery, rich, potato purée recipes. These mashed potatoes are far more casual and far less rich, but still yummy and a great weeknight side. I found that not peeling the potatoes and chopping them up before they were boiled was a helpful time saver. Removing the potato skins after boiling was super easy. Just make sure to let the potatoes cool down a bit. It took 10 to 15 minutes before I could handle the potatoes with my bare hands. The skin slips off so easily—this approach was so much better than peeling potatoes beforehand! I made this recipe twice. The second time I had to improvise since I didn’t have a ricer or masher available. I ended up pushing the potatoes through a slotted metal spatula. The results were a bit chunkier, but my husband preferred them this way. Since the potatoes do cool off a bit before you mash them, make sure to heat the milk as that helps warm them up again.

Testers Choice
Shannon Parrish

Nov 13, 2013

These mashed potatoes were deliciously creamy and comforting. I loved using Yukon Gold potatoes versus russets as they seemed to yield a creamier texture. Instead of pushing the potatoes through a food mill, I simply combined the ingredients in the blender. The consistency was so creamy that it resembled a savory pudding. Next time, I’ll add some grated Parmesan to further enhance the flavor. While I followed the directions to peel the potatoes after cooking, I was left with these questions. Why peel after cooking instead of before? Does doing this lessen the amount of water absorbed by the potatoes? Do the skins add flavor? Whatever the answers, I loved the end result and definitely plan to make these potatoes again!

  1. Rosana Leite says:

    Olá! Aqui no Brazil também fazemos este purê com a mesma receita, deliciosa! É um acompanhamento ideal para um arroz branco, uma carne assada ou um bife a parmegiana. Na verdade é bem vindo em todos os eventos cotidianos , amo batata!

    Grande abraço,

    PS: Espero que seus bichinhos estejam bem.

    • David Leite says:

      Caro Rosana, obrigado por escrever. Acho que a fascinação Português e brasileiro com batatas é incrível. Como nós os amamos! E eu amo o purê de batatas, de estilo Português. Muitos e muitos de manteiga. Como você pode dar errado!

      E os nossos dois gatos morreram. Mas ainda temos diabo do gato, que é um punhado, mas nós o amamos.

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