Easy Mashed Potatoes

Easy mashed potatoes are something every home cook needs to know how to make. Read on.

Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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. This recipe has been updated. Originally published November 13, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead Of Time

When you’re juggling aperitifs and dinner guests and last-minute dinner assembly, what you really need is a side dish that you already made an hour or two ago and can simply warm up and serve. This recipe fits the bill. Just follow the Julia Child Law of Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes. She makes her mash, puts it in a heatproof bowl, perches it atop but not touching a pot of gently simmering water, and then tops 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 done that, perhaps because instead we plop a big chunk of butter in the center of the mound of warm spuds. We’ve heard no complaints yet.

Easy 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. (You’ll probably be able to slip the peels off with your fingertips.) 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 Easy Mashed Potatoes

  • 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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