Classic Homemade Mashed Potatoes

5 from 1 vote

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No holiday table is complete without a batch of classic, buttery homemade mashed potatoes, and this recipe is perfectly easy to make and yields a heavenly and fluffy bowl of mashed potatoes.

ham, green beans, stuffing and mashed potatoes on a white circular plate.
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We’re talking about the good stuff today! Mashed potatoes. Is there a better comfort food? I don’t think so… You can’t go wrong with potatoes and butter, right? And I’ll tell you, your holiday celebration needs these potatoes! I know you’ll fall in love with this recipe as much as we have!

I must say, russets are my favorite potato varietal to use in mashed potatoes. They’re forgiving and create the fluffiest end result in my opinion. When it comes to the great mashing debate, I’m firmly on team potato masher, and occasionally I’ll use a hand mixer to break down some of the chunks. You can do whatever method you desire to get the texture you like in mashed potatoes.

close up of mashed potatoes with melting butter on top.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Using russet potatoes and butter with a few other simple ingredients, you can have the best homemade mashed potatoes for your holiday table or any other occasion.
  • They’re so fluffy and buttery, and make the perfect vessel for gravy to sit inside.
  • Potatoes are one of the best comfort foods out there, and this simple recipe makes a buttery and extra-fluffy batch that you will love.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Potatoes –  I prefer russet
  • Butter softened
  • Milk – warmed
  • Salt

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

mashed potatoes in red dutch oven with butter melting.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

  1. Peel and chop potatoes.
  2. Boil until tender, then drain.
  3. Add melted butter, warmed milk, and salt.
  4. Beat until smooth and enjoy!
top view of cubed potatoes in a green bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make mashed potatoes without a masher?

A fork is a good substitute for a potato masher if you don’t have one, and it will create a slightly lumpy consistency. You can also use a hand mixer if you don’t like lumps.

What is the best potato for mashing?

I prefer russet potatoes, but Yukon golds also create smooth, fluffy, and flavorful mashed potatoes. Avoid using waxy potatoes, like red or white varieties, because they create a more pasty mashed potato texture.

How many potatoes is 5 pounds?

It depends on the size of your potatoes. Generally, 7 to 8 russet medium russet potatoes equals 5 pounds, but I’d recommend weighing them on the scale in your store’s produce section.

Expert Tips

  • If you’d like to thicken your mashed potatoes, you can heat them over the stove, stirring constantly, for 3 to 10 minutes to evaporate excess moisture. Remove them from heat once they’ve reached the desired consistency.
  • Many question how to mash your potatoes. I’m on the team potato masher and occasionally I’ll get out a hand mixer. I don’t think you need a ricer or any special equipment.
  • Be sure not to over-mix the potatoes, or else they might get a gluey consistency.
turkey stuffing and mashed potatoes on a white circular plate.

More Side Dishes to Consider

close up of thanksgiving dinner on a white plate
5 from 1 vote

The Best Mashed Potatoes

No holiday table is complete without a batch of classic, buttery mashed potatoes, and this recipe is perfectly easy to make and yields a heavenly and fluffy bowl of mashed potatoes.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • Butter, salt, and pepper, to taste
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Instructions 

  • Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches, and bring to a boil.
  • Add 2 teaspoons salt, and stir to combine.
  • Simmer until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Allow the potatoes to steam, lid off, for 3 to 4 minutes (letting them release more steam after draining helps them to be fluffier).
  • Add the milk, butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Use a potato masher to mash well. You can also beat them with a hand mixer if you prefer — just don’t over beat them.
  • Serve hot with additional salt, pepper, and butter to taste.

Notes

  • Russets are kind when it comes to extra-fluffy mashed potatoes.
  • There’s some hot debate on HOW to mash your potatoes. I’m on team potato masher and occasionally I’ll get out a hand mixer. I don’t think you need a ricer or any special equipment—they’ll be just delicious without the extra step.
  • I love how simple this recipe is. All you do is peel and cube some russet potatoes, boil them, and mash them with milk, butter, and salt to get some seriously dreamy mashed potatoes.
  • One way to thicken the mashed potatoes is heat them over the stove, stirring constantly, for 3 to 10 minutes to evaporate excess moisture. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 10 servings, Calories: 272kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 1021mg, Potassium: 976mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 2mg
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1 Comment

  1. Kristan Oakes says:

    5 stars
    These are the simplest, most perfect potatoes. Although I didn’t add all of the milk.