Best Mashed Potatoes
Best Mashed Potatoes
5 from 1 vote
Craving some comfort food that hugs you from the inside out? Look no further, my friend. My take on mashed potatoes is your golden ticket to creamy, buttery heaven. It’s not just a side dish; it's the main event on your plate. Let's dig in, shall we?
Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes. This dish is the epitome of comfort, warmth, and nostalgia all wrapped into one creamy spoonful.  Its origins can be traced back to the British Isles, but let’s face it, this dish has found a home in almost every cuisine and culture around the globe.

You might think it’s easy to make—and you’d be correct—but to elevate it from just ‘good’ to ‘mind-blowingly awesome’ is where the fun lies. 

When it comes to difficulty, mashed potatoes could be deemed as the “Renaissance Man” of culinary projects.  

Simple enough for a kitchen novice but with a depth that can be explored by a seasoned chef. You’re not aiming for rocket science here. All you need is some basic cooking skills and a love for good food. 

Now, shall we talk about variations? Of course, we shall! The recipe can be modified in many ways to cater to your personal preferences. How about adding a hint of garlic for that extra kick? Or maybe a sprinkle of cheese for that gooey texture? The possibilities are endless, darling. 

What I adore about this recipe is the clever use of butter and milk. These two, when melded into the soft, steamy potatoes, create a luxurious, velvety texture that dances gracefully on the tongue. The warm infusion of these ingredients adds a depth of flavour that screams “more, more, more!” 

But don’t forget the seasoning! Salt and pepper are the classic choices, but if you’re feeling adventurous, why not play around a bit? You could opt for some rosemary or perhaps even a dash of paprika. Seasoning is the paint to your culinary canvas; don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines. 

Oh, and before you ask: “But what should I garnish it with?”—let me save you the worry. A sprinkle of freshly chopped chives or parsley not only adds a burst of colour but also a subtle layer of flavour that complements the dish beautifully. 

Finally, let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the act of serving this culinary masterpiece.  

You can pair it with various mains, from a hearty steak to a humble vegetable stew. The mashed potatoes are versatile, complementing a wide array of dishes, making them a constant favourite in households and fine dining establishments alike. 

So, are you ready to embark on this culinary journey to create the most soul-warming, taste-bud-tingling mashed potatoes ever? Of course, you are. Let’s get cooking! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Alright, my kitchen comrades, before we delve into the nitty-gritty of mashing and stirring, let’s talk about the stars of the show—the ingredients! Selecting the right components can elevate your mashed potatoes from “meh” to “magnifique!” So let’s get to it, shall we? 

Potatoes: The cornerstone of this dish. I opt for a starchy variety like Russets or King Edwards. Starchy potatoes break down easily, resulting in a creamier, smoother mash. If you’re looking for a lighter texture, you might consider Yukon Golds. They’re less starchy but still yield a respectable mash. 

Butter: The unsung hero that offers a velvety, rich texture. Butter adds a level of indulgence that’s downright sinful. For a dairy-free alternative, you can use a plant-based butter or even olive oil. The latter gives an earthier tone to your mash. 

Milk: This liquid gold takes your potatoes from kindergarten art to the Louvre masterpiece. The milk ensures a creamy, silky texture that’s easy on the palate. Lactose-intolerant? No problem! Almond or oat milk will do the trick without altering the dish’s essence too much. 

Salt: The magic wand of the culinary world. Salt brings out the inherent flavours of the dish. While table salt is the go-to, sea salt can add a distinct mineral tone. Don’t go overboard; it’s easier to add more later than to balance an overly salty disaster. 

Pepper: The yin to salt’s yang. It adds a subtle heat, providing a layered taste profile. If you’re feeling a bit wild, try white pepper for a milder heat or even a pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick. 

Chives or Parsley (Optional): The greenery isn’t just for aesthetics. Chives bring a mild, onion-like flavour, and parsley adds a fresh, herbal note. If neither tickles your fancy, dill or even a sprinkle of thyme could be your go-to garnish. 

In conclusion, these ingredients, while simple, each play a crucial role in creating that bowl of mashed potato nirvana.  

By understanding the why’s and how’s of each component, you’ll become the Picasso of the Potato, the Shakespeare of Starch, the…well, you get the idea. Let’s mash those spuds and create something extraordinary! 

The Art of Choosing the Perfect Potato for Mashing 

Ah, the potato. That humble, unassuming tuber that sits quietly in your pantry, awaiting its moment of glory. When it comes to mashed potatoes, the type of potato you use can make or break the dish. Let’s delve into why this is and which potatoes make the cut. 

Starchy potatoes like Russets or King Edwards are the A-list celebrities in the mashed potato world. They have a high starch content, which means they break down well when cooked. This results in a creamier texture that absorbs butter and milk like a sponge, leaving you with a velvety, luxurious mouthfeel. 

On the other hand, there’s the option of waxy potatoes like Red Bliss or New Potatoes. They offer a more textured and less creamy result, which some people may prefer. However, their lower starch content makes them a less popular choice for achieving the creamiest mashed potatoes possible. 

And then there are the all-rounders, like Yukon Golds. These gems are a middle-ground potato, offering a balance between waxy and starchy. Their naturally buttery flavour makes them an excellent choice for those looking for something in between. 

In the end, the potato you pick depends on the texture and flavour profile you’re aiming for. Whether you go for starchy, waxy, or somewhere in between, remember that a good mash starts with the right potato. 

The Role of Seasoning in Mashed Potatoes 

Let’s be real—seasoning is the spice of life, especially when it comes to mashed potatoes. While potatoes, butter, and milk lay the foundation, it’s the seasoning that elevates the dish from good to exquisite. 

Salt is the starting point. It enhances the natural flavours of the ingredients and turns up the volume on your taste buds. Think of it as the opening act that gets the crowd going. While regular table salt does the job just fine, experimenting with sea salt or even Himalayan pink salt can offer nuanced differences. 

Then there’s the pepper. The iconic duo of salt and pepper never disappoints.  

Pepper adds a subtle heat and complexity that dances in the background without overwhelming the senses. White pepper offers a milder heat with less intensity, suitable for those who want to keep the spice level in check. 

But why stop there? Seasoning can extend beyond the basic salt and pepper. A pinch of garlic powder can add depth, while a dash of nutmeg offers a hint of warmth and spice. For a rustic take, rosemary can be the herb that gives your mash a Mediterranean flair. 

Don’t forget that the seasoning journey isn’t over until the dish is plated. A final garnish, be it chives, parsley, or thyme, can add a pop of colour and a fresh flavour that cuts through the creaminess. 

In summary, seasoning is not to be overlooked. It’s the secret sauce, the finishing touch, the encore in your mashed potato concert. So next time you’re mashing those spuds, make sure to season with flair. 

Unlocking the Secret to Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Butter and Milk 

You’ve picked the perfect potato, and got your seasoning game on point, but if you think you’re ready to mash, hold your horses!  

We need to talk about the dynamic duo of butter and milk. These two are the secret agents behind that creamy, velvety texture we all crave in mashed potatoes. 

Start with the butter. Oh, the glory that is butter! This fatty delight contributes a depth of flavour and richness that’s unparalleled.  

Butter acts like the perfect emulsifier, giving your mashed potatoes a smooth and silky finish. It’s not just about the fat content; the milk solids in the butter also bring a nuanced taste to the dish. 

Next up is milk. This is your liquid lifeline to the creaminess. Think of it as the balancing act, a way to make your mashed potatoes lighter without losing that rich flavour. Warm it up with the butter, and you have yourself a blend that’s ready to transform your potatoes from a lumpy mass into a creamy dream. 

Feeling adventurous? Well, consider subbing some of that milk for cream. Cream offers an even richer flavour profile and a denser texture. If you’re all about that luxurious mouthfeel, the cream could be your secret weapon. 

The trick lies in the temperature. Both the butter and milk (or cream) should be gently warmed before adding them to the potatoes. Cold dairy products can lead to a less consistent mash and could even result in a gluey texture. So, make sure they are warm, but not boiling, for that perfect blend. 

The Importance of Cooking Time and Technique 

Ah, the boiling pot, where potatoes meet their destiny. Cooking time and technique are often overlooked but play an essential role in achieving the perfect mash. Not enough time in the pot, and you’re left with a lumpy, uneven mess. Overdo it, and you’ll have a gluey, unappetising gloop. 

Let’s talk size. The chunks of your potatoes should be roughly equal to ensure an even cooking time. This avoids having a mix of undercooked and overcooked pieces, which would make for an inconsistent texture. 

Once your potato chunks are in the pot, start them in cold water with a generous pinch of salt.  

This allows for gradual, even cooking, preventing the outer layer from becoming mushy while the inside stays hard. The salt in the boiling water seasons the potatoes from the inside, giving you a uniformly flavoured mash. 

After the water has reached a boiling point, reduce the heat to a simmer. This ensures that the potatoes cook thoroughly without breaking apart. A simple fork test will tell you when they’re done: the chunks should break apart easily but not disintegrate. 

Lastly, draining and warming are crucial steps post-boiling. Make sure to drain the potatoes well to avoid a watery mash. Allowing them to sit in the hot pot for a minute or two helps evaporate any remaining moisture, ensuring your final dish is as creamy as possible. 

Elevating Your Mashed Potatoes with Garnishes and Toppings 

Oh, you thought we were done talking mashed potatoes? Think again. This time we’re diving into the world of garnishes and toppings. Yes, your perfectly creamy mashed potatoes are stunning on their own, but a little embellishment never hurt anyone. 

Let’s start with herbs. Chives and parsley aren’t just there to add a splash of colour; they bring a fresh, slightly sharp contrast to the richness of the butter and milk. Chopped finely, they can also add a pleasant crunch, providing an unexpected textural element to your mash. 

Cheese, anyone? A sprinkle of sharp cheddar, a few dollops of tangy blue cheese, or even some grated Parmesan can work wonders. The cheese melts slightly when it hits the warm potatoes, and oh boy, you’re in for a treat. It’s like mashed potatoes and cheese had a beautiful baby. 

Now, for something a little unconventional—bacon bits. Yes, you read that correctly. Crispy, salty, and utterly irresistible, bacon bits can take your mashed potatoes from a side dish to the main event. This is not for the faint of heart, or those watching their waistline, but it is undeniably delicious. 

Finally, let’s talk about spices. While salt and pepper are the staples, a light dusting of paprika or even a dash of cayenne pepper can add a subtle smokiness or a kick of heat, respectively. These aren’t just for decoration; they bring another layer of complexity to your already fabulous mashed potatoes. 

The Perfect Pair: What Main Courses Go Well with Mashed Potatoes 

The velvety mound of mashed potatoes on your plate is begging for some companionship, and who are we to deny it? Let’s delve into what main courses pair superbly with mashed potatoes, making your meal a harmonious union of flavours and textures. 

If you’re a traditionalist, roasted meat is your go-to. The rich juices of roast beef or turkey meld beautifully with the creaminess of the potatoes, each complementing the other in a dance of savoury flavours. 

Feeling fishy? A well-prepared salmon or cod would happily swim onto a plate beside some lovely mashed potatoes. The flaky texture of the fish contrasts beautifully with the smooth potatoes, and if you’ve added some herbs to your mash, even better. 

Vegetarians fret not. Mashed potatoes pair wonderfully with grilled or roasted vegetables. Think grilled bell peppers, zucchinis, and aubergines, all bringing their unique textures and flavours to the plate. 

For something a bit lighter, consider chicken. A well-marinated grilled chicken breast or a saucy chicken cordon bleu can make your mashed potatoes sing. The lighter meat balances the richness of the potatoes, creating a well-rounded meal. 

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but more like a starter pack to elevate your mashed potato pairings. The ultimate duo depends on your personal taste preferences and the specific flavours you’ve incorporated into your mash. 

The Science Behind the Creaminess: Why Starch Matters in Mashed Potatoes 

Gather ’round, my culinary comrades, because we’re diving into the science of mashed potatoes. I promise this will be the most riveting science lesson you’ve ever had. Forget the periodic table; today, it’s all about starch. 

Starch is the reason potatoes can either turn into a gloriously smooth mash or a gummy disaster.  

Different potato varieties have different starch contents, and it affects how much liquid they absorb. High-starch potatoes like Russets are the A-listers of mashed potato land. They absorb butter and milk like a charm and give you that creamy, fluffy texture we all love. 

But let’s not completely dismiss the waxy, low-starch types. They have their place in the culinary world, but let’s just say they’re more suited for potato salads or roasting.  

Waxy potatoes hold their shape well but are less absorbent, which means they’re not ideal candidates for that creamy, dreamy mash you’re after. 

You can even get all mad scientists about it and mix different types of potatoes to strike your own balance. Want fluffiness with a bit more structure? Go half Russet and half Yukon Gold. Customization is the name of the game, my friends. 

To sum up, the type of starch in your chosen potatoes can make or break your dish. Choose wisely and let the alchemy of cooking do the rest. 

Vegan Mashed Potatoes: Swapping Out the Dairy 

Just because you’re dairy-free doesn’t mean you have to forsake the delightful indulgence that is mashed potatoes. Welcome to the brave new world of vegan mashed potatoes, where creaminess knows no bounds. 

First off, butter, who? Vegan margarine or even coconut oil can easily take its place. These fats offer the richness that’s usually provided by traditional butter. Coconut oil even adds a slightly exotic, nutty flavour. Intriguing, isn’t it? 

Next in line is the milk. Almond, oat, or soy milk can step in here quite comfortably. Just make sure you go for the unsweetened versions; we’re making mashed potatoes, not a smoothie. 

Don’t skimp on the seasonings. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it should be bland. Sea salt, cracked pepper, and perhaps a dash of garlic powder can elevate your dish to gourmet levels. Herbs like chives or parsley are always a good idea for that finishing touch. 

And for those who miss that cheesy flavour, nutritional yeast is the secret weapon. It offers that cheesy, umami kick without a drop of dairy. Sprinkle some on and revel in your culinary genius. 

So, there you have it. With the right substitutions, vegan mashed potatoes can be just as decadent and satisfying as their dairy-laden counterparts. 

Mastering the Leftover Game: Transforming Mashed Potatoes 

Let’s talk leftovers, shall we? Mashed potatoes are heavenly fresh, but they don’t lose their charm when day-old. Trust me, there’s a whole smorgasbord of options awaiting yesterday’s spuds. 

First up, potato pancakes. Yes, you heard that right! A little bit of flour, an egg for binding (or egg substitute if you’re going vegan), some spices, and voila! Shallow fry these babies, and you have a breakfast dish that’s not your regular cereal or toast. 

How about croquettes? These breadcrumb-coated wonders are filled with your creamy mashed potatoes and maybe some cheese or veggies. Just shape, coat, and fry, and you’ve got yourself a dish worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant—or at least a really good food truck. 

Shepherd’s pie is another spectacular option. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use your pre-made mashed potatoes as the topping for this hearty, meat-filled (or meatless, if that’s your jam) casserole. Just layer it on top of your filling and bake until golden brown. 

Lastly, let’s not forget potato bread. Blend in some flour and yeast with your mashed potatoes, let the dough rise, and bake your way to carby delight. This bread has a slightly different texture and taste, which adds a lovely twist to your sandwiches or toast. 

So the next time you’re fretting over excess mashed potatoes, just remember: Leftovers are basically opportunities in Tupperware. Get creative! 

The Sweet Side of Mashed Potatoes: Dessert Edition 

Hang on to your chef’s hats because we’re about to get unorthodox—mashed potatoes in dessert. Shocking, I know, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. 

Starting with the basics, mashed potato truffles. Imagine silky mashed potatoes, sugar, and cocoa powder coming together to form a blissful union. Rolled in crushed almonds or desiccated coconut, these little orbs are a textural symphony. 

Another sweet treat is the potato cake. These are not your grandmother’s coffee cakes but rather a sophisticated blend of mashed potatoes, flour, sugar, and butter. With a consistency somewhat like a dense pound cake, it’s a delightful way to end a meal. 

Mashed potatoes can also be a filling for sweet pierogi or dumplings. Combined with sugar, vanilla, and perhaps a little cream cheese, you’re in for a dessert that’s off the beaten path but delicious nonetheless. 

Sweet potato bread is also worth mentioning. Replace regular mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes, add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for that spiced flavour, and you’ve got a loaf that smells and tastes like autumn. 

If all else fails, simply sweeten your mashed potatoes with some sugar and a splash of vanilla extract, shape them into little patties, and bake. What comes out are dessert patties that can rival any cookie or brownie. 

When you open your mind to unconventional culinary adventures, mashed potatoes prove to be quite the versatile star of your cooking show. From savoury classics to sweet novelties, the possibilities are endless 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

If you’re a fan of my Mashed Potatoes, then hold onto your seat because I’ve got some more palate-pleasing recipes that are right up your alley. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on these! 

First off, if you’re looking to turn those heavenly mashed potatoes into a full-on meal, why not try my Shepard’s Pie?  

It’s a comforting blend of meat, vegetables, and a mashed potato topping that’s a match made in heaven. This dish is the epitome of Irish comfort food—every bite will make you feel like you’re wrapped in a warm, cosy blanket. 

Feeling adventurous? Then my Meat and Potato Pie will hit the spot! Imagine flaky pastry enveloping a filling of seasoned meat and—you guessed it—mashed potatoes. It’s as if this pie is hugging your taste buds, and honestly, who could ask for anything more? 

Now, if you’re into snacking, let me guide you to my Potato Fritters. These crispy golden nuggets are a delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. You know the crispy edges that everyone fights over? Imagine that but in every single bite. It’s snack heaven. 

But wait, there’s more! Have you ever had Potato and Spinach? This dish combines creamy mashed potatoes and wilted spinach into a symphony of flavours.  

The spinach brings a slight bitterness that complements the rich, buttery goodness of the potatoes. It’s a delicious twist on two classics that you absolutely need to try. 

Last but not least, let’s talk about Cheese and Onion Pasties. Imagine taking your mashed potatoes, throwing in some sharp cheese and savoury onions, and then wrapping it all up in a flaky pastry. It’s portable, it’s tasty, and it’s the perfect thing to accompany you on a picnic or for a quick weekday lunch. 

So there you have it! My top picks for those of you who are as in love with mashed potatoes as I am. I’d love to hear what you think about these recipes, so don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments below. 

Mashed Potatoes

Best Mashed Potatoes

by Nabeela Kauser
Craving some comfort food that hugs you from the inside out? Look no further, my friend. My take on mashed potatoes is your golden ticket to creamy, buttery heaven. It’s not just a side dish; it's the main event on your plate.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine British, Western
Servings 4
Calories 262 kcal


  • 800 g Potatoes Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50 g Butter
  • 120 ml Milk
  • Salt To taste
  • Black Pepper To taste
  • Chives Optional


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly sized chunks. This ensures they cook evenly.
  • Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until they are fork-tender.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them well in a colander.
  • Return the drained potatoes to the pot and let them sit for a minute or two to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  • Using a potato masher or a fork, start mashing the potatoes until they are broken down into a coarse texture.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the milk to the melted butter and warm it gently. Do not let it boil.
  • Pour the warm milk and butter mixture into the mashed potatoes gradually, while stirring and mashing, until you reach your desired creamy consistency.
  • Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to distribute the seasoning evenly.
  • If desired, garnish the mashed potatoes with chopped fresh chives or parsley.
  • Serve the mashed potatoes hot as a side dish. They go well with a variety of main courses.


Feel free to adjust the amount of butter and milk according to your taste preference for creaminess.
For extra flavour, you can also add roasted garlic, grated cheese, or sour cream to the mashed potatoes.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 104mgPotassium: 891mgFibre: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 366IUVitamin C: 39mgVitamin D: 0.3µgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Food, Mashed Potato, Potato, Recipe, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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