The best mashed potatoes are easier than you think! These easy mashed potatoes are made extra smooth and creamy thanks to a couple of simple ingredients, plus, the trick to the lightest, fluffiest potatoes ever!
Homemade mashed potatoes have got to be one of my all-time favorite comfort food side dishes. It’s the dinnertime side my mother made the most of growing up, and sadly, the side I make the most sparingly as an adult. Not because they’re hard, not because I don’t still adore them, but mostly because you can only stretch a pair of jeans so far. If only they would grow with me. But alas they won’t, and when it comes to mashed potatoes, I want the real deal.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MASHED POTATOES
How ’bout a little Mashed Potato 101? Start with Russet potatoes.
HOW TO CUT AND BOIL POTATOES FOR MASHED POTATOES
Peel them using a vegetable peeler, and cut them into cubes. To easily cut Russet potatoes, quarter the potatoes lengthwise and cut into 1″ cubes. Add the cubes to a large saucepan, and cover with water by 2″. Then, you’ll bring the potatoes and water to a boil, and let ’em go until fork tender.
HOW TO GET ‘EM LIGHT AND FLUFFY
Here’s where the perfect comes in: The trick to super light and fluffy mashed potatoes is to add them back to the saucepan after the water has been drained, and return them to the heat. Then, you stir them (using a sturdy spoon) until you start to notice a film building up on the bottom of the pan. This is an indication that the excess moisture has evaporated, meaning the potatoes are no longer water-logged. Removing that excess water makes for perfectly fluffy potatoes. This is a trick I picked up from my favorite cookbook author, Mr. Rick Rodgers, in his Big Book of Sides. And, let me tell ya — it works.
WHAT TO PUT IN THE POTATOES
When it comes to mashed potatoes, I want them decked out, lusciously smooth and creamy. Want to know what goes perfectly with mashed potatoes and also happens to be smooth and creamy? It’s good ol’ fashioned butter that does the trick. Want to know what else helps to make them creamy? You’ll never guess. Just kidding, it’s super obvious — it’s cream. And, this my friends, is precisely why I save them for special occasions.
Real potatoes, real butter, real cream — real ingredients — make all the difference in the world.
ON TO THE MASHING…
There is more than one way to mash a potato, but the easiest is probably with your handy-dandy potato masher. However, the potato masher won’t necessarily ensure a smooth consistency, so if lumps aren’t in your wheelhouse, than a potato ricer might be the best option for you. You could also enlist the help of an electric handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. However, do not beat the potatoes on a speed higher than medium-low, or they could become somewhat chewy in texture.
So there you have it: The best mashed potatoes ever. They don’t require fussy ingredients, and they certainly don’t require a great deal of time. Perfectly rich and decadent, light and fluffy, and absolutely everything a scoop of mashed potatoes should be. Please, enjoy.
Homemade mashed potatoes made with Russet potatoes, butter, and cream.
- 4 Russet potatoes peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” chunks
- 3/4 cup unsalted, room temperature butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed (in the microwave is fine)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add potatoes to a medium-sized saucepan, fill to cover with water by 2 inches and place over medium-high heat. Allow to come to a boil and reduce to a rapid simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Strain the potatoes and place back into the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the potatoes around until a slight film develops on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. This is an optional step, however it aids in releasing any excess moisture from the potatoes, making them lighter and fluffier.
Add butter, cream, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash using a wooden spoon, a whisk or a handheld mixer on low speed until smooth to your liking. Serve and enjoy.