Learn How To Make Mashed Potatoes From Scratch! Easy mashed potatoes recipe! Simple to make!
I cook my mashed potatoes by placing them in salted, boiling water. I learned the cooking method years ago from various cook books and my mashed potatoes are always perfect! Some people frown upon this method and prefer to place the uncooked potatoes in a pot of cold water, but renowned chefs Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal both put their potatoes into boiling water, so it’s simply a different method of boiling potatoes. In fact, old Betty Crocker cook books actually have mashed potato recipes using this cooking method.
When making mashed potatoes, hand mashing or using a food mill or potato ricer is the preferred method. I’ve never done it that way and my potatoes have always turned out great, but I’m careful not to over beat them or the result will be gummy potatoes, so use your discretion when choosing the method. It’s also important to drain potatoes thoroughly after boiling, as excess water can result in sticky potatoes. After draining, I return the potatoes to the pot and toss them gently over low heat, to dry any excess water.
When making many side dishes for a meal, like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, I usually make my mashed potatoes first, transfer them to the serving bowl and pop them in the microwave out of the way. This way, there’s one less pot on the stove, so everything else has room to cook and my potatoes are already done. Just before serving, I reheat the potatoes. Stir the potatoes gently, then turn the microwave on high and heat for 1-2 minutes and gently stir again. Repeat heating and then stirring, until the potatoes are heated through. I’ve done this for many years and my potatoes always come out great and with no rushing around at the last minute.
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Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 2 pounds potatoes – washed, peeled and cut into uniform pieces – I use russet or red potatoes
- 1/3 to ½ cup whole milk – plus more if needed
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter – softened – more if needed
- ½ tsp. salt or to taste – plus more for boiling the potatoes
- Fine ground black or white pepper to taste
- Note: I used fine ground black pepper to season the mashed potatoes in the video, but I often use fine ground white pepper. Also, you can leave the skin on red potatoes, as it is very thin. It also adds a nice dash of color to the finished dish.
- Boil the potatoes: Bring about an inch of water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Carefully add potatoes to boiling water. Cover pot with lid and bring water back up to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes thoroughly. Return drained potatoes to pot. Over low heat, toss potatoes in the pot to dry any excess water. Excess water can lead to sticky potatoes.
- Mash the potatoes: Use potato masher, potato ricer, hand mixer or stand mixer. If using a hand mixer or masher, you may leave the potatoes in the pot if you wish. I using a non-stick pot, mix or mash in a large bowl. Mash or beat potatoes on medium-low speed until smooth and no lumps remain. Over beating the potatoes can cause them to become gummy, so don’t put the mixer on high. Hand mashing or using a food mill or potato ricer is the preferred method. I’ve never done it that way and my potatoes have always turned out great, but I’m careful not to over beat them, so use your discretion when choosing the method.
- Heat the milk in microwave or on the stove top in a small pot, until hot. Gradually add the milk to the potatoes as you continue to mix or mash. Start with 1/3 cup of milk and add up to ½ cup or more. The amount of milk needed will vary according to the type potatoes used and your desired consistency. More milk will make creamier potatoes, while less should yield a more fluffy potato.
- Add the soft butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. I used about ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Beat on medium-low to medium speed or mash the potatoes, until desired consistency. Add more heated milk and butter for a creamier texture. Enjoy!
- Note: When making many side dishes for a meal, I usually make my mashed potatoes first, transfer them to the serving bowl and pop them in the microwave out of the way. Just before serving, reheat the potatoes. Stir the potatoes gently, then turn the microwave on high and heat for 1-2 minutes and gently stir again. Repeat heating and then stirring, until the potatoes are heated through.
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