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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