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These Creamy Mashed Potatoes are easy enough for a weeknight and only contain three ingredients! A simple recipe from a professional chef for fast, delicious, creamy mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are my guilty pleasure. I don’t make them that often but some meals demand creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. They are the perfect side dish for the best meatloaf recipe, these breaded mushroom pork chops, my easy tomato chicken bake, or baked halibut.
In my opinion, mashed potatoes are essential anytime there is sauce that needs to be captured for the perfect bite. As I type this, I’m thinking about my spicy peach pork chops and baked chicken and shallots.
You could also mash extra potatoes and make potato dinner rolls! Cool them down and refrigerate for up to a week! This is a winning strategy for Tuesday night or a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu!
Table of Contents
How to fix loose mashed potatoes?
When you accidentally add too much milk, you can fix loose mashed potatoes by adding potato flakes. The taste and texture will be noticeably different to discerning palates, but most will be none the wiser! Worst case, you can add potato starch, but the raw starch will be uncooked and you will certainly taste it.
Do you have to cut potatoes before boiling them?
I do not cut my potatoes before boiling them. This is especially true if I am making mashed potatoes for bread or creamy mashed potatoes. Small pieces of potatoes absorb more water. This water will be in your bread or mashed potatoes and will dilute the flavor and change the texture. This is extra true if you have decided to peel the potatoes.
How to get the perfect creamy mashed potatoes texture?
To make the perfect creamy mashed potatoes, cook the potatoes until they pierce easily with a cake tester or knife. Then mash while they are still hot. Mix in all the cubed butter at once then add hot milk until you reach the desired consistency. Try not to over-mix or beat too aggressively. This will activate the starches and the texture will be more gummy.
How to reheat mashed potatoes?
Mashed potatoes thicken as they cool, so reheating with a little milk will help loosen and smooth them back out. Have a little extra warmed milk on hand to stir in until the desired consistency is achieved. The texture will never be the same as when they were just made, but it will be close!
Ingredients for Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: I use Yukon Gold Potatoes for mashed potatoes but you can also use red potatoes. I find the flavor is richer and the resulting dish more complex.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for cooking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding.
- Whole Milk: I generally use whole milk for creamy mashed potatoes, because I don’t make them very often. The richness of whole milk will make them extra creamy, but you could use low-fat or skim milk as well.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt heightens the flavor of the mashed potatoes. Without salt, they will be bland.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper is optional but a nice complimentary flavor. I typically buy black pepper in a pepper mill or I buy the whole peppercorns to refill my pepper grinder. I love this one because it is no mess! Fresh black pepper tastes completely different than pre-ground.
Variations & Substitutions
- Herb Infusions: The easiest way to change the flavor of creamy mashed potatoes without adding any more work, is to add fresh herbs to the cooking potatoes. I like to use rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage. You can also add whole spices to the pot. Just be sure to pick them out before mashing.
- Extra Creamy: Mix in some cream cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream before the milk. This will add an extra level of creamy.
- A little bit healthier: Try making mashed potatoes and parsnips instead! The flavor is also heavenly.
- Extra smooth: Transfer the hot potatoes into a ricer, and process them until smooth. This will mash them more perfectly than the stand mixer.
- Mix Ins: Mix it all in! Make loaded mashed potatoes will all the fixings of loaded potatoes or all the flavors of your favorite vegetable casserole recipe. You could even go all the way and make Broccoli Cheddar Mashed Potatoes!
Professional Chef Tip
If you are using a stand mixer to mash the potatoes and your mixer has the paddle attachment with the rubber scraper on the side, use this attachment to get the smoothest mashed potatoes possible in the stand mixer!
Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Place potatoes in a pot and fill with cold water just to cover. Season generously with kosher salt. The resulting mashed potatoes will need less additional salt if seasoned with the cooking water.
- Bring to a boil uncovered and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender. They should pierce easily with a fork, paring knife or cake tester.
- Once cooked, strain using a colander or large sieve.
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix with the mixer on low until a smooth puree has formed. This step can also be done by hand with a wooden spoon or in a food processor.
- Add all the butter to the hot potatoes and mix until completely melted and incorporated.
- Remove from the stand mixer and slowly add the warmed milk a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. They will thicken as they cool.
- If too much milk is added, you can thicken with potato flakes. The taste and texture will be noticeably different to discerning palates, but most will be none the wiser!
- Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.