Basic Mashed Potatoes
This mashed potato recipe is perfect if you’re looking for good, old-fashioned mashed potatoes. Made with Idaho potatoes, milk, butter, and optional garlic, this go-to recipe makes a classic holiday dish. Learn how to make mashed potatoes that come out smooth, creamy, and delicious every time. Serve with gravy or extra butter on top.
Ready to learn how to make the best mashed potatoes ever? You’re in luck! This top-rated mashed potatoes recipe, made with just a few ingredients, produces crowd-pleasing results every time.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these mashed potatoes:
- Boil the potatoes: Add the potatoes and garlic to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- Heat the milk: Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
- Mash the potatoes: Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, mashing with a potato masher or blending with a mixer until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season to taste.
You can use skim, low-fat, or whole milk, or even half-and-half for a richer taste.
How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
Peeled and quartered potatoes should be perfectly boiled after about 15-20 minutes. If you leave your potatoes whole, it will take a bit longer.
Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
The best potatoes for mashing depends on your personal preference, as some varieties will give you fluffy results while others will give you creamy results.
This recipe calls for baking potatoes (a.k.a. russets), which are ideal for light and fluffy mashed potatoes. A good all-purpose potato, such as Yukon Gold, is also always a crowd-pleaser.
Learn more: The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
How to Store Mashed Potatoes
Allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave, in the oven, or on the stove.
Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes in single or group servings for up to one month. Thaw them in the fridge overnight or reheat them from-frozen in the slow cooker, on the stove, or in the oven.
Get step-by-step instructions: How to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes
Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise
“Oh my word,” says Cheryl Gillam. “This is SO easy!! Potatoes were the perfect consistency!! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will be heating the milk and butter separately from now on. Who knew a simple thing like that would make all the difference?”
“My kids devour these when I make them,” according to one Allrecipes community member. “I beat an egg into the potatoes, and it makes them taste richer and creamier.”
“Excellent and simple,” raves deadlycynnamon. “I never warmed the milk/butter ahead of time, but it’s excellent. Also, I keep the skins on for health and taste (well-scrubbed). It’s delicious!”
Editorial contributions by Corey Williams
- 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste (Optional)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic, lower heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are almost finished, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.
Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Slowly add warm milk mixture, blending it in with a potato masher or electric mixer until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)