Easy Mashed Potatoes

These easy mashed potatoes are creamy and impressive and easy to eat by the entire bowlful and something every home cook needs to know how to make, whether for weeknights or special occasions.

A white bowl filled with mashed potatoes and topped with a square of butter

These easy mashed potatoes are a must for home cooks on those nights when work and home are crazy and you need a comforting side dish that almost magically materializes in minutes. Simple enough for weeknights. Stunning enough for weekend dinner parties.–Renee Schettler

Easy Mashed Potatoes

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 20 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 2 reviews
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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 and let them cool enough to handle.

Slip the peels off the potatoes with your fingertips or, if that’s challenging, 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.

Tester tip: If you don’t have a ricer or food mill or masher, you can also press the potatoes against the side of the pan with a slotted spatula.

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. Originally published November 13, 2013.

Print RecipeBuy the What’s a Hostess to Do? cookbook

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    How Do I Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead Of Time?

    • We’ve got the best make-ahead advice ever for this recipe. And it comes straight from Julia Child. When you’re juggling aperitifs and dinner guests and last-minute dinner assembly, make your mash, put it in a heatproof bowl, perch it atop but not touching a pot of gently simmering water, and then top it with a pot lid kept slightly askew by a wooden spoon stuck in the spuds. The mash can be kept for up to an hour or two like this. Stir before serving and, if it seems slightly dried out, simply add a touch more milk. (Although to be honest, we’ve never needed to add milk because instead we plop a big chunk of butter in the center of the mound of warm spuds. We’ve heard no complaints yet.)

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is my new go-to easy mashed potatoes 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. 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.

    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.

    This simple recipe for easy 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.


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    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. It works! A faster way to get mashed potatoes on the dinner table and have them still taste great. The skins slipped right off. Mashed up with the potato masher. Not a hint of gumminess. It worked great with russet potatoes as well. We even kept them warm with the Julia Child law and, except for the loss due to “just another taste,” they held up fine for 45 minutes. Thanks for another great recipe.

          1. Terrific to hear, Mary Joan! So glad this recipe works as wonderfully for you as it does for us. And I love the “just another taste” issue. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

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