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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

How to make Perfect Mashed Potatoes: Light, fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes can be yours if you follow these simple tips!

Perfect Mashed Potatoes - A Family Feast

Today we’re showing you how to make Perfect Mashed Potatoes – light and fluffy, as well as creamy and lump-free with the perfect seasoning to go along with your Thanksgiving menu!

Making mashed potatoes is really very simple in theory – but so many people (including myself) have struggled to get it right! There’s nothing worse than mashed potatoes that are too dry, too soupy, or too lumpy!

Perfect Mashed Potatoes - A Family Feast

So here are a few tips and tricks:

  • First of all – use either Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. When cooked, these types of potatoes yield the perfect texture for mashed potatoes.
  • General rule of thumb is 5-6 ounces of raw potato per person.  So, one pound of raw potatoes will make approximately three servings once the final recipe is complete.
  • We recommend using a potato ricer to mash your potatoes. While a potato masher also works, it sometimes leaves larger lumps behind in your mashed potatoes. Using a potato ricer ensures that the mashed potatoes are a uniform size and consistency – and a deliciously light texture.

potato-ricer-collage

  • Also – never, ever use an electric mixer to mash your potatoes! The potatoes will turn out the consistency of glue!

More specifics for making perfect mashed potatoes are listed in the recipe below. This perfect mashed potatoes recipe is (admittedly) very rich and very special using lots of fresh garlic, butter and cream so it’s perfect for a special holiday meal indulgence. You can lighten this recipe up by swapping in milk and using less butter if desired.

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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes - A Family Feast

Another thing to note: This recipe is written for a busy home cook who is trying to serve their Thanksgiving menu foods on the table at the same time. We share our tips in the recipe for keeping the mashed potatoes hot – but not overcooked – while the last-minute foods for your meal are cooked.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds russet potatoes (about five large potatoes)
  • 1 head of garlic (or about 8 large cloves)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fit a medium to large pot with a steamer basket and bring water up to the bottom of the basket. Set aside.
  2. Have a large stainless steel bowl standing by that will fit in the pot once the steamer basket is out. The bowl should be large enough to hold onto the rim of the pot without touching the bottom. That bowl will be used twice, see next step.
  3. Fill the stainless steel bowl half filled with water and set on your counter.
  4. Place a cutting board near the bowl half filled with water.
  5. Begin peeling and cutting the potatoes one at a time, placing pieces into the bowl of water. Cut each potato in half the long way then each half in half the long way again. Then cut each of these quarters into thirds giving you twelve 2” sizes pieces. Repeat for the other potatoes placing in the water as you cut.
  6. Peel the garlic and cut each clove in half from top to bottom and lay them in the steamer basket. Drain the potatoes and place on top of the garlic. Cover and bring the pot to a boil then reduce to medium simmer and simmer 25 minutes covered or until the potatoes are fork tender. Check after 20 minutes.
  7. While the potatoes are steaming, heat half the cream and butter in a sauce pan just until the butter melts.
  8. When the potatoes are done, use a potato ricer with the insert with largest holes and push the cooked potatoes and cooked garlic through the ricer into the same stainless steel bowl used before. Alternatively if you do not own a ricer, use a hand potato masher and mash in the same bowl. Using the large holes on the ricer will make the potatoes a tiny bit lumpy which is what we want here. Add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes and mix vigorously with a firm wooden spoon. If your family likes mashed potatoes with no lumps, take the mashed potatoes that you just added half the cream and butter to and with a spatula, press the mixture through a fine sieve. This step is not necessary unless you like them really finely mashed.
  9. Take the pot that the potatoes were cooked in and fill with water just high enough to reach the bottom of the stainless steel bowl bottom and bring to a boil. Place the bowl of mashed potatoes over the hot water and lower the heat and cover until ready to serve.
  10. Heat the remaining cream and butter with the salt in the same sauce pan as before.
  11. When your dinner is ready and you are ready to serve, add the remaining hot cream and butter to the warm potatoes and whip or beat, adjust seasoning and serve in serving bowls garnished with chopped chives.
  12. If you are making this all in one step, heat all of the cream, butter and salt and add to the potatoes that you mashed. Adjust seasoning and serve with chives for garnish.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. These look Heavenly! I love your photography! Pinned!

  2. I always use a hand electric mixer for my mashed potatoes and they have NEVER come out like glue. My whole family always requests my mashed potatoes and I have a chef in the family who says they are the best he’s ever had.

    • Thanks for sharing Lisa!

      • I agree, Lisa. I only had them turn out like glue once in my life, but I had used a different kind of potato and was told it was because of the type of potato I used. I’ve used russets for mashed from that point on, with an electric beater and they turn out perfectly every time. I do mash them quite a bit before hand with either the beaters or, if I’m having company and do not want lumps, I mash them with a fine potato masher before whipping them.

    • The use of an electric mixer is fine, you just need to be sure not to over mix. You also need to be careful with the amount of liquids that you add in. I’ve used mine with excellent results.

  3. I always use my mixer for mashed potatoes, and they are perfect! I would never consider ricing potatoes for 16 holiday dinner guests.

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