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Fork-Mashed Potatoes

A pot of fork-mashed potatoes with a fork resting inside.
These fork-mashed potatoes, made with just potatoes, cream, olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper, taste indulgent, yet are deceptively simple to make. Better yet, the only dishes you'll need is a pot and a fork.
David Tanis

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
4 servings
409 kcal


  • 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