Basic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes
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Easy Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Use baking potatoes for the best texture in these mashed potatoes.



  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet, or baking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup warmed milk or half-and-half, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. You should have about 8 cups of potato chunks.

Place potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Drain the potatoes thoroughly.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and break up or put through a potato ricer. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.

With an electric mixer, beat the potato mixture on medium speed just until light and creamy. Or use a potato masher and mash by hand. Avoid using an electric mixer if you're using waxy potatoes.

Recipe serves 4 to 6.


  • A potato ricer breaks the potatoes into much smaller pieces, which makes for smoother mashed potatoes.
  • A dollop of sour cream can add richness to the potatoes. Add some to the mashed potatoes, to taste, along with chives or parsley, if desired.
  • If you must keep mashed potatoes warm for a short time while making other dishes, put them in a buttered slow cooker and set it on warm or low. Or put them in a saucepan, cover, and keep them in the oven on warm or about 200 F.
  • Waxy potatoes,  such as red-skinned potatoes or round or long whites, tend to have a gluey texture if they're overmixed. They do have good flavor and can be attractive, especially if you leave red-skinned potatoes unpeeled. f you do use waxy potatoes, mash them gently. 
  • Mix about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar or smoked cheddar cheese into the hot potatoes before you add the warn milk.
  • To keep mashed potatoes warm for serving, transfer the hot mashed potatoes to a buttered slow cooker set on LOW or WARM.
  • To freeze individual portions, scoop portions onto a foil lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen potato mounds to heavy-duty freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 year. Reheat frozen mashed potatoes in a 350 F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, in the microwave at 50% power for about 5 minutes (stir occasionally), or on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring, until hot. Or defrost the potatoes in the refrigerator and put them in a buttered slow cooker on low for about 2 hours.

See Also

Smashed Red Potatoes With Garlic