This recipe for the Best Mashed Potatoes will become your favorite method of preparing potatoes. Sour cream is the key ingredient for the creaminess mashed potatoes, something butter and milk alone cannot give!

This recipe with make a great side dish for any meal.

A bowl of mashed potatoes topped with butter and greens.

How to make The Best Mashed Potatoes-

  • Boil mashed potatoes – don’t forget the salt!. Drain water.
  • Prepare milk/sour cream/butter mixture – you want it to be warm.
  • Mash the potatoes then add the milk mixture.
  • Cream potatoes.
  • Enjoy, friends!

TIP:   Be sure to mash the potatoes until creamy before adding the milk mixture. If you don’t mash them enough and add the milk, you’re more likely to have lumps.

NOTE:  Lumps in the mashed potatoes are a sign of undercooked potatoes.

Step by step pictures of how to make mashed potatoes.

How to cook potatoes-

  • Add your potatoes to a saucepan, cover them with about 1” water.
  • Salt the potatoes. By adding salt, it really brings out the flavors of the potatoes.
  • Bring potatoes to a soft boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
  • Drain water and then mash.

How to mash-

Some people only use a potato masherand will not switch to anything else. I prefer a hand mixer. It’s easy, quick and the consistency is wonderful – no chunky pieces.

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A bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with pepper and greens on top.

do i keep the skin-on or peel?

We like both! Depends on what you are going to serve the potatoes with. You can either peel the potatoes or keep the skin on and continue with the recipe!

I even like to keep the skin-on in some of my soups, like THIS one.

What potatoes do i use?

Though you can use Russets and Idaho potatoes for this recipe, with their high starch and low water content, the potatoes aren’t as creamy as thin-skinned Yukon gold potatoes.

If using Russet or Idaho potatoes use more milk. (For this recipe, use ¾ cup milk instead of 2/3 cup).

Close up picture of mashed potatoes in a bowl with greens and pepper.

What can I add to mashed potatoes for flavor?

You can add different ingredients to up the taste of creamy mashed potatoes. Try:

  • Minced garlic (add to the saucepan when cooking the potatoes).
  • Cheese (Add your favorite cheese when adding the butter/milk mixture to the mashed potatoes. Four cheese, Mozzarella, Mexican, or grated Parmesan are all great options.)
  • Herbs- your favorite herbs
  • Top with bacon bits as you would a loaded potato.
  • Top with cheese and green onion or chives.


Mashed Potatoes

5 from 5 votes
This recipe for the Best Mashed Potatoes will become your favorite method of preparing mashed potatoes. Sour cream is the key ingredients for the creaminess mashed potatoes, something butter and milk alone cannot give!
Author: Valentina
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut in half or quartered
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk (*see note)
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  • Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2" cubes Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with 1" cold water. Season water with salt.
  • Cook on medium/high heat until you can easily pierce through potatoes with a knife (about 20-25 minutes, depending on size of potatoes).
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan add the butter and milk and cook on med heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream. Return saucepan to stovetop to keep warm.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water.
  • With a hand mixer, mix the potatoes until creamy and no lumps.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the potatoes and mix until potatoes become creamy.
  • Garnish with melted butter and herbs. 
    Enjoy, friends.


*If using Yukon gold potatoes or any thin-skinned potatoes use 2/3 cup milk. For Russet or Idaho potatoes, use 3/4 cup milk. 


Calories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 8gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 931mgPotassium: 1244mgFiber: 7gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 32.3mgCalcium: 147mgIron: 9.2mg
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)