In French recipes, this style of mashed potatoes is called pommes de terres à la fourchette, which sounds glamorous for a dish of humble home-style potatoes mashed with a fork. You can make them as smooth as you like, or keep them rough and chunky.–David Tanis

LC Maverick Mashed Potatoes Note

There’s a sort of honesty, a frankness, about these fork-mashed potatoes that we respect. We also appreciate how these puds are indulgence defined with their easy execution, deceptively rich taste, and lack of bowls and beaters to clean. Yet as much as we swoon for a simple mash, there are times when plain mashed potatoes just aren’t quite…enough. When it’s one of those times, turn to the variations galore that follow the recipe.

A pot of fork-mashed potatoes with a fork resting inside.

Fork-Mashed Potatoes

5 / 2 votes
These fork-mashed potatoes, made with just potatoes, cream, olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper, taste indulgent, yet are deceptively simple to make.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories409 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) butter


  • Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them in salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the milk or cream in a small saucepan over mediumish heat until just under a boil.
  • Pour the hot milk or cream over the potatoes and add the olive oil and butter. Use a large fork to mash the potatoes to whatever consistency you like, then transfer to a warm serving bowl. (When making mashed spuds for the multitudes and desperately want to save some last-minute fuss, we rely on the Julia Child trick to making them ahead of time and keeping them warm. You should, too. Just place your pot or pan of just-mashed potatoes in a slightly larger pot of hot, but not simmering, water. Balance the lid on top, making sure it’s left slightly ajar—the handle of a wooden spoon that’s been stuck in the mash works quite swell—and then forget about them while greeting guests, taking coats, shaking cocktails, and tending to the foods that do require last-minute fuss. Just before serving, stir the potatoes ever so slightly. If the mash appears slightly dry, stir in a smidgen more milk or butter or, if you’re feeling flush, both.)


Mashed Potato Stir-Ins, Add-Ons, And Cook-Alongs Note

Next time you feel like fancying up a pot of potatoes, turn to these inspirations from the intrepid team of Leite’s Culinaria recipe testers, who divulged their tried and true tactics. You can reveal your own favorites in a comment below…
Just stir any of these right into the mash…
Cheese, glorious cheese, whether Cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago, the blues (we could go on….)
Roasted garlic
Minced chives
Chipotles en adobo
Bacon and scallions
These indulgences can be added on in addition to or in place of the milk.
Crême fraiche, cream cheese, sour cream, or cream
Milk or cream that’s been infused with the essence of fresh herbs (simply warm the moo juice, toss in a few sprigs, and set aside to steep)
Slip a few of these roots into the pot along with the spuds.
Celery root
Rutabagas and carrots (known as rotmos in Sweden)
Sweet potatoes
Heart of the Artichoke

Adapted From

Heart of the Artichoke

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 409 kcalCarbohydrates: 51 gProtein: 7 gFat: 21 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 19 mgSodium: 31 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 David Tanis. Photo © 2010 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This fork mashed potatoes recipe is simple and easy, and makes me ask, “Why didn’t I think of this?” As I was mashing the potatoes with my fork, it reminded me of growing up with my godmother, who would often serve boiled potatoes that I’d smash on my plate before adding big hunks of butter to them. This recipes goes just one step further, adding warmed milk to make them smooth and creamy. One thing that I really like is the ease of making this recipe for just the two of us, knowing that I can easily multiply it for a crowd.

If you like mashed potatoes at all, you’ll really like this recipe. It’s nothing fancy or outrageous—just good mashed potatoes. I usually use a potato masher for this kind of thing, but a fork yields a different, rustic texture. One note: At first, I thought that there was too much liquid, but it works its way into the potatoes without having to “whip” them into submission. I’d make this again, but with my masher, as it’s just easier that way.

I love mashed potatoes. I REALLY LOVE these mashed potatoes. They take me back to my boyhood. Simple, perfect. A pat of butter, a bit of sea salt and some coarse black pepper are all you need for a wonderful treat!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    One of the best cookbooks I’ve seen! I love the Wild Mushroom Ragout and Fennel Soup and this recipe, too, will go on my favorites list. I like the idea of mix-ins…I’m tempted to put a colorful flourish right in the middle of a big bowl of all that potato yumfulness. Maybe a dollop of vivid purple beet puree…spiked with a drop or two of wine…? I’d like to try edamame or butter beans mixed in too. Or just eat them pure and rustic the way they were meant to be. I predict a future comfort food in the tasting. 🙂 Many thanks for sharing the recipe…cheers!

    1. Wow, Nik, I like where this mashed potato brainstorming is going. Sounds like you’ll have a stunning dish no matter what you do. I’m so glad you found this recipe!