Homemade mashed potatoes are a staple side dish in almost every household. Creamy, buttery, and lightly salted, this wonderful side dish completes any meal. This recipe makes the best-mashed potatoes, and once you try it, it’ll become your go-to method.

Serve these creamy mashed potatoes with our crockpot beef tips and gravy for a hearty and delicious meal!

A bowl of mashed potatoes topped with butter and greens.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for homemade mashed potatoes is the last one you’ll try; it’s that good! The rich potatoes don’t take long to cook and mash into the most decadent side dish. You can serve these potatoes for a Thanksgiving meal, for a simple dinner, or as a side for a potluck or party. They’re versatile and so easy to make and a classic – just like the baked rice recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Side dish for all ages. This wonderful side dish is a hit with babies that are just learning to eat, for picky toddlers and teenagers, and for adults alike.
  • Perfectly smooth. These potatoes are silky smooth from the butter, milk, and the secret ingredient- sour cream!
  • Double or triple the recipe! To serve a large crowd, use a larger pot and scale the recipe up for a side dish to be loved by the entire gathering. Or, make extra to freeze for later!
  • Serve with any main. The potatoes pair well with gravy but can be served with poultry, seafood, or red meats and complement countless main course dishes.
Step by step pictures of how to make mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potato Ingredients

Here is an overview of the ingredients for the mashed potato recipe. The ingredients are minimal but yield great flavor.

  • Potatoes- we have found that the best potatoes are Yukon gold, russet potatoes, or Idaho potatoes for the creamiest mashed potatoes.
  • Butter- to control the saltiness, use unsalted butter and add salt to the potatoes when boiling them.
  • Milk- whole milk or 2% milk can be used for the potatoes. Be sure to follow the instructions below to warm the milk for it to incorporate into the potatoes.
  • Sour cream- this “secret” ingredient adds a new level of creaminess and a light tangy flavor without overpowering the dish.

For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

How to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

  • Prep: Peel and cut your potatoes. In a large pot, submerge potatoes until about 1 inch under cold water and season with a teaspoon of salt.
  • Cook: Over medium to high heat, cook potatoes until they are fork tender (about 20-25 minutes).
  • Make liquid mixture: In a separate saucepan, add your butter and milk. Cook over medium heat until your milk is warm. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the sour cream. Once combined, place the saucepan back on the heat to keep warm.
  • Mash: Drain your potatoes and begin mashing them with a hand mixer until they are nice and creamy. Stir in your warm milk mixture and continue mixing to your desired consistency.
  • Serve, and enjoy friends!
A bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with pepper and greens on top.

Substitutions and Variations

All of the add-ins, substitutions, and different variations to the recipe you want to make.

  • Add cheese: For cheesy mashed potatoes, add your favorite cheese (mozzarella, four cheese blend, Mexican cheese, or Parmesan work) when you add the milk and butter. Grate your cheese from a block to help it better incorporate into the mashed potatoes.
  • Garlic mashed potatoes: Level up your mashed potatoes by sauteing some garlic cloves in the butter before adding the milk. This small change will add so much flavor to your potatoes.
  • Add fresh herbs: Infuse your mashed potatoes with your favorite aromatic. Adding fresh rosemary or thyme to the warming milk will give your potatoes a remarkable flavor. Just make sure to remove the stems before adding the milk to your potatoes.
  • Loaded mashed potatoes: Twist the classic loaded baked potatoes into loaded mashed potatoes! Serve a plate of mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions/chives, and even a dollop of sour cream if you like!

Serving Suggestions

Though there are countless ways to serve mashed potatoes, here are some classics that we love!

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

Recipe FAQs

Which potatoes are best to use in mashed potatoes?

For the creamiest mashed potato recipe, use Yukon gold potatoes. They have thinner skin and a natural, buttery flavor. Russet or Idaho potatoes can also be used, especially if you prefer a thicker, less creamy mashed potato. They have more starch and you may need to use more milk to achieve your desired consistency.

Why are my mashed potatoes lumpy?

If you under-boiled the potatoes, you may end up with a lumpy mash. Be sure to cook the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a knife.

What is the best way to mash potatoes?

To achieve the best texture, we prefer to use an electric hand mixer to mash the potatoes. This allows the liquid to be incorporated slowly and lets you create that perfect consistency. You can also use a potato ricer, or even a potato masher if you prefer to do it by hand.

Do I have to peel the potatoes?

You can peel them or leave the skins on! This depends on personal preference, the look you are going for, and what you want to serve the potatoes with.

Store & Reheat

  • Storage: For easy refrigerator storage, seal cooled mashed potatoes in an airtight container and keep for up to four days.
  • Freeze: You can easily freeze your mashed potatoes for an easy dinner in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to place your cooled potatoes in a freezer bag or container. Store for up to one month.
  • Reheat: The easiest way to reheat your mashed potatoes is by placing them in the fridge overnight, allowing them to that, and then baking them in an oven-safe dish at 350 until warm throughout. Top with some cheese and you have yourself a creamy, cheesy baked potato dish that takes little to no time to assemble.

More Potato Recipes

If you enjoyed this recipe for mashed potatoes, here are a few other potato recipes you’ll surely love!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Author: Valentina
5 from 6 votes
This recipe for homemade mashed potatoes is the only one you’ll need! The mashed potatoes turn out creamy, fluffy, and buttery and can be served with chicken, pork, beef, or seafood.
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 the potatoes and cut them into 1/2″ cubes for faster and more even cooking. In a large pot, add cold water and completely submerge the potatoes until they are an inch underwater. Season the water with salt.
  • On medium to high heat, cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender. This should take approximately 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your potatoes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add your butter and milk. Warm your milk on medium heat for a few minutes. Once your milk is warm, not hot, remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in your sour cream. Once fully incorporated, add your saucepan back on the heat and just keep warm. You don’t want to burn your milk.
  • Once the potatoes are fully cooked through, drain water.
  • Using a hand mixer, mix the potatoes until they are creamy and have no lumps.
  • Slowly strain the milk mixture into the potatoes while mixing. Do this until the potatoes become creamy.
  • Garnish with melted butter and fresh herbs.
  • Serve and enjoy, friends.


Store: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
*Best potatoes: For the best mashed potatoes, use Yukon gold, russet or Idaho potatoes. 


218kcal Calories37g Carbs8g Protein4g Fat2g Saturated Fat11mg Cholesterol931mg Sodium1244mg Potassium7g Fiber2g Sugar155IU Vitamin A32.3mg Vitamin C147mg Calcium9.2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 931mg40%
Potassium 1244mg36%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 155IU3%
Vitamin C 32.3mg39%
Calcium 147mg15%
Iron 9.2mg51%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)