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How to make mashed potatoes

How to make mashed potatoes

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There are few things more delicious, comforting or simple to make than a great dollop of buttery, smooth mashed potatoes!

Christmas side dishes

1 / 12

Amazing roast veg

With honey, herbs and balsamic

Roasting your veg in a wood-fired oven gives them the most amazing, crispy, slightly chewy texture – but if you don't have one don't worry, a regular oven is great too!

As well as being the ultimate comfort food, mashed potatoes can also be jazzed up into something really special. They’re a super-versatile alternative to roast potatoes for your Christmas dinner, and have the added benefit of soaking up all those lovely meat juices and gravy.


Give your spuds a bit of heat with a grating of fresh horseradish or a spoonful of wholegrain mustard. Or, for something a little more decadent, grate mature Cheddar cheese into the mash, place in a ovenproof dish and bake in a hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until it goes deliciously crispy and oozy.


You’ll need:
2kg Maris Piper potatoes
50g unsalted butter
100ml milk

  1. Peel the potatoes, chopping any larger ones so they’re all a similar size.
  2. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes, then tip back into the pan and mash well.

  4. When the potatoes are almost smooth, add half the butter, the milk and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Mash again until smooth, adding a splash more milk to loosen, if needed, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  6. Spoon into a warm serving dish and dot the remaining butter over the top.

Have fun serving up your mash. Put it all into a big bowl for the table, smooth the edges using a palette knife so that it has a conical point in the middle – then create a spiral shape around the sides. Check out Jamie’s recipe for Clapshot in Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook, on sale now, for more styling inspiration.


Mashed potatoes will keep for two to three days in the fridge, or you can freeze them in an airtight container. To defrost, allow the mash to come up to room temperature then place in a heatproof bowl, cover with tin foil and place over a pan of very gently simmering water until hot all the way through. (See more clever ideas for freezing food.)


You can do loads of tasty things with leftover mash. Potato cakes are a great option: mix day-old mash with blanched greens and a handful of chopped fresh herbs, shape into patties and pan-fry in a little oil until crisp and golden. Serve topped with a poached egg and smoked salmon for a quick-fix brunch.

Or why not mix mash with some grated cheese and spring onions, then bake in a hot oven for a gooey cheese and onion side dish?

Learn more about the humble potato at the Vegepedia or for more festive potato recipes, check out our guide to making roast potatoes with sage & orange. And make sure you pick up a copy of Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook – it has a whole chapter dedicated to potatoes.

Finally, take a look at our Christmas hub for extra inspiration, for everything from cocktails and edible gifts, to special diet recipes and tasty leftovers.

How to make mashed potatoes recipe

Learn how to make mashed potato with our simple step-by-step recipe. Mash potato has never been easier and this recipe will take only 25 minutes to prepare, cook and mash.

You can add whatever flavourings you like to mashed potatoes, depending on how you’re feeling. Try grated cheddar cheese mixed through, spring onions, garlic or pesto for example to various different meals.

How to Thicken Runny Mashed Potatoes

1. Add a Thickening Agent

If you have flour, cornstarch, or powdered milk on hand, you can thicken up your mashed potatoes in a jiffy!

In fact, cornstarch has 2x more thickening power than flour, so that&rsquos usually my go-to. But either will work.

Add one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Be sure to mix well before adding another tablespoon.

Important Note when using cornstarch: Don&rsquot overstir! Once the mashed potatoes are nice and thick, let it set. Any further agitation can cause the cornstarch to thin.

Also, make sure your runny mashed potatoes are warm so that it fully dissolves into the mixture.

2. Heat on a Stovetop

One way to thicken mashed potatoes is to add more heat. In a large pot, heat the runny potatoes over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Follow these tips when heating on a stovetop.

  • When stirring runny mashed potatoes, use a fork instead of a spoon or a ladle. This helps to avoid too much stirring and will allow excess liquid or moisture to evaporate more quickly.
  • Be careful not to stir too much! Overworking the potatoes can ruin the texture and make it too sticky or even gluey.
  • Don&rsquot cover the pan! You might think that more heat will thicken the potatoes faster but we actually want excess moisture to have room to escape so keep the pot uncovered.

3. Heat in an Oven

Another way to thicken mashed potatoes is by baking it in an oven as adding heat allows the excess liquid to dissolve or evaporate.

Follow these steps to save your potatoes.

  • Preheat your oven to 300F.
  • Once your oven is heated, place the mashed potatoes in an uncovered bowl or pan.
  • Bake your potatoes for 15 minutes or until all the excess moisture has dried out.

4. Heat in a Microwave

Here&rsquos a quick and easy tip. For thicker mashed potatoes, simply pop them in the microwave for a few minutes.

  • Place your mashed potatoes in an uncovered bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Make sure your container is microwave safe!
  • After a minute, take out the bowl to lightly stir and check if there is less moisture.
  • Repeat these steps until your potatoes are in the desired consistency.

Keep in mind that although this might be the quickest way to thicken the potatoes, you can only use this method for smaller amounts.

5. Strain

Another way to reduce the moisture in runny mashed potatoes is by straining. All you need is a cheesecloth and a strainer.

Follow these steps when straining.

  • Take a cheesecloth and pour your soupy potatoes in.
  • Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together tightly to remove moisture and form a ball of potato.
  • Place the cheesecloth over a strainer and leave for up to an hour.
  • Take out your strained and thick potatoes and serve!

After straining the potatoes, it&rsquos also a good idea to take the extra step of reheating them on a stovetop, oven, or microwave. This ensures that all extra moisture has dissolved and you can serve the matched potatoes warm!

Make sure to save the drained liquid. You can use it to make gravy or soup&hellip Nothing goes to waste!

6. Add More Potatoes

If you have extra potatoes, adding them to runny mashed potatoes will definitely thicken the consistency and might even make it taste better.

Here&rsquos the best way to add potatoes.

  • Grate or shred your potatoes.
  • Cook the shredded potatoes in a pan to soften them.
  • Once softened, set aside to cool before draining with a cheesecloth and strainer.
  • Mash your potatoes with a fork.
  • Add this to the runny mashed potatoes.

Depending on how much potato you added, you may need to reheat. If you added a small amount, definitely heat everything again so you can enjoy your new and improved thick potatoes warm!

7. Add Parmesan or Hard Cheeses

If you want to improve not only the texture of your mashed potatoes but the taste as well, adding flavorful thickening agents like cheese will definitely do the trick.

Parmesan is an excellent thickening agent. It has a versatile flavor that matches many other dishes including mashed potatoes. Pecorino is also a great option if you&rsquore looking for an even stronger, more savory flavor.

With any cheese you add, make sure they are finely grated if you want the texture to be thick but also smooth.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes are super creamy and super luxurious because of the heavy cream!

From Julie Deily of The Little Kitchen.

Butter, Plus More For Serving

Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

Peel the potatoes, rinse them and cut them into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Add to a large pot and add enough water to cover all of the potatoes. Heavily salt the water. I use about 1 tablespoon salt.

Place pot on your stove and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and boil for 5&ndash10 minutes, until potatoes easily break apart with a fork or a butter knife. Turn off heat.

Drain potatoes and return pot to the hot burner (that&rsquos turned off). Leave the pot on the stove for at least 10 minutes, uncovered.

Add butter and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so the butter is evenly distributed. Mash the potatoes to desired consistency. Add sour cream and mix together. Add heavy cream or milk and mix together. Add more if you like creamier potatoes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Add an extra pat of butter on top before serving. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and reheat to serve.

I love me some mashed potatoes. You can safely say I&rsquom obsessed with any kind of potatoes, honestly. Tell me I&rsquom not the only one! For the holidays, for special occasions, and to go along with any good comfort food meal, potatoes have to be involved.

For this recipe, I tried heavy cream instead of milk to bring the mashed potatoes together, and it makes them heavenly! Recently, at a restaurant, I had some mashed potatoes that were so creamy and smooth but not watery. I wondered if it was heavy cream and after trying it out, I know for sure it was! This is the only way I&rsquoll make mashed potatoes from now on.

To make the best, creamiest mashed potatoes, you have to peel them. Just like Ree, I don&rsquot like peeling potatoes. So sometimes I enlist help with peeling.

Rinse the potatoes after peeling them.

Make ahead tip: you can peel the potatoes a day ahead if you want. Just put them in a pot or container and fill with water to cover to keep them from browning. Store in the refrigerator until you&rsquore ready to cut up and boil.

Cut the potatoes into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Add the potatoes to a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Then, add salt (I add about 1 tablespoon of salt).

Bring the potatoes to a boil. Allow them to boil for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the potatoes break apart easily with a fork.

Be careful not to burn yourself when grabbing the potato to test!

Turn off the heat, drain the potatoes, and return the pot to the same burner. Let the potatoes sit for 10 minutes on the burner, with the heat turned off.

If you have ever had watery mashed potatoes, this might be the step you skipped. This ensures the rest of the water at the bottom of the pot evaporates, so you don&rsquot have watery mashed potatoes.

Add butter and allow it to melt. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Mash the potatoes. If you like them super smooth, it might take a few minutes to mash them. I like a few small chunks in my mashed potatoes so I don&rsquot mash them for that long.

Mix in sour cream and heavy cream. You might need to add additional heavy cream, if needed.

Add salt and pepper and mix together. And I always serve them with an extra pat of butter on top!

Ahhhhh, these mashed potatoes are amazing. I know you&rsquoll love them. They&rsquore perfect just like this, or you can elevate them with the addition of a few more special ingredients!

20 Delicious Ideas for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

You can never make too many mashed potatoes&mdashor have too many leftover mashed potatoes. Maybe the kids aren't crazy for cranberry sauce or your Dad doesn&rsquot love green beans, but mashed potatoes are the one side dish everyone can agree on (and always get passed around for seconds). Even so, leftover mashed potatoes can leave you with that age-old holiday conundrum: what to do with the leftovers?

You can always eat leftover mashed potatoes straight from the fridge, use them as a topping for shepherd's pie, or thin them out with chicken broth and simmer with sautéed leeks, thyme, and a splash of white wine for soup. Or you can make one of these delicious recipes. It's a win either way.

Remember that proper storage is key: always use an airtight container and keep them on the highest shelf in your refrigerator. You can store them (and other leftovers) for up to four days. When reheating, add a bit more milk and a pat of butter to preserve their creamy texture.

1. Pick Your Potato

When it comes to how to make homemade mashed potatoes, not all spuds are created equal. The starchy variety are definitely best for the job (think Idaho and Russets) because they break apart easily and produce that perfect light and fluffy texture when mashed. Oh, and they&rsquore awesome at soaking up all manner of creamy and buttery goodness.

Granted, velvety Yukon Golds bring more flavor to the table (but aren&rsquot ideal mashers), so you can always add a few to the pot with your Russets or Idahos for a bit of a boost. Or go for sweet potatoes! Just avoid waxy specimens like New Potatoes or Red Bliss, which tend to get gummy and tough when mashed.

2. Cook Them

Now onto how to cook potatoes. The traditional method for how to make mashed potatoes from scratch is to place peeled, uncut potatoes in cold, salted water. That&rsquos right: Bring them to a boil with your water, or they tend to cook unevenly. Yes, you can cut them up to save cooking time, but know that they&rsquoll absorb more water that way (which hampers their ability to sponge up butter and cream).

Granted, boiling isn&rsquot the only way to cook a potato. You can prepare them in an instant pot or even a microwave &ndash anything that gets them tender enough for mashing, as long as you take the same steps to prevent them from soaking up too much water.

3. Mash Them

How to mash potatoes? The key is handle them as little as possible. Never throw your tubers into a blender or food processor, or you&rsquoll be on the fast track to creating cement. If you&rsquore ok with a few lumps, stick with a hand held masher. Or if you&rsquore into super smooth purees, turn to tools like ricers or food mills instead.

4. Douse Them in Dairy

Adding liquid is essential for creating a luscious, velvety texture. Think milk, half-and-half, cream, or a combination of two or three. If you want to lighten them up, you can swap stock for part of the dairy, or select vegan options like almond milk instead. But whatever you use, be sure to warm it first. It will help your potatoes absorb the liquid better, and keep you from ending up with a cold mash.

5. Finish Them With Fat

We&rsquore talking plenty of good quality butter &ndash preferably unsalted, so you can control the seasoning yourself. But there&rsquos room to play here too, by experimenting with olive oil, dairy-free butter, or even duck or bacon fat!

6. Select a Winning Recipe

As you can see, making mashed potatoes is about as straightforward as it gets. But that doesn&rsquot mean they need to be basic. Check out the recipes below for more mashed potato inspiration.

Homemade Mashed Potato

Finally, the 10 lbs of potatoes were consumed and we now have the 4th recipe derived out of it. I did not imagine that a $2 bag of potatoes would go such a long way. We were able to make the homemade potato chips, crispy French fries, potato and leek soup, and here we are with our homemade mashed potatoes.

Everyone knows what homemade mashed potatoes are. I think that a formal description is not necessary – but did you know that Mashed Potato is also a dance popularized during 1962 to the mid 60’s? I was not born yet during that time but I heard that the moves are pretty cool.

This homemade mashed potatoes recipe resembles the ones that you find in restaurants and top food joints. The ingredients are common, the procedure is simple, and the taste is awesome. Try it yourself – oh, and make sure you top it with KFC Style gravy for a double awesome experience.

Recipe Summary

  • 8 medium russet potatoes (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 head peeled garlic cloves (about 15)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces

Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a 5-quart saucepan, combine potatoes and garlic cloves cover with water (about 8 cups) by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

Drain return garlic and potatoes to pan. Stir over medium-high heat until dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil pour over potatoes. Add butter and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mash until smooth and creamy.

The One Secret Ingredient Bobby Flay Uses to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes

Bobby Flay features Bobby's Favorite Mashed Potatoes, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Related To:

Thick, gluey mashed potatoes have been a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving table for the last five years. I wish I could blame someone else for the unfortunate pile of spuds, but it’s been 100 percent my fault. The reasons: my misguided use of a handheld potato masher and I was missing one super key and surprising ingredient.

This year, things are going to be different, finally — and it’s all thanks to Bobby Flay.

“Everybody wants mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving,” Bobby says in his Favorite Mashed Potatoes class on the Food Network Kitchen app.

This may be true, but no one wants mashed potatoes that could double as wall spackle. Fortunately, by following Bobby’s tips and tricks from his class, there’s no way any of us will end up with a gummy mash ever again.

In addition to revealing his favorite kitchen tool to process the spuds (not a potato masher!), Bobby shares a bunch of other super smart secrets.

One big mistake that he thinks many people make is not immediately incorporating ingredients into just-cooked potatoes while they’re still hot.

“You can always tell when someone dressed cold potatoes to make mashed potatoes, they’re just not as good,” he says.

When it comes to dressing his hot potatoes, Bobby goes beyond classic milk and butter by adding one surprising ingredient that coincidentally is also the secret to his perfect scrambled eggs.

“Creme fraiche to me is really the way to go,” he says.

The French cousin of sour cream, creme fraiche helps the mashed potatoes become ultra creamy. Plus, it adds a little tang that makes his luscious mash the ultimate foil to turkey and all of the other side dishes happening on the holiday table.

“I like to pump mine up, just a little bit extra, especially for Thanksgiving,” Bobby says.

For more smart tips, check out Bobby’s Favorite Mashed Potatoes class and more classes on how to make delicious Thanksgiving dishes on the Food Network Kitchen app.

I personally wouldn&rsquot make them from scratch in a crock pot as I find it much faster to just cook potatoes on the stove top. However keeping mashed potatoes in the crock pot over warm heat for a later event is brilliant! It keeps potatoes piping hot for up-to hours and that can help tremendously if you&rsquore hosting a dinner or event.

To make ahead mashed potatoes, simply make per instructions and cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer. I like to use a disposable foil pan for this that way you can just transfer the pan right into the oven when needed or toss in the freezer if not using.

How to make mashed potato

Learn how to make mashed potato that’s smooth, creamy and very delicious. Perfect for sausage and mash.

For 2 people, use approximately 250g/9oz of floury potatoes such as Maris Pipers or King Edwards.

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into even sized chunks. As a guide, chop large potatoes in half, then quarters, then, if needed, halves again chop medium sized potatoes in half and, if needed, in quarters and for small potatoes, just cut them in half.

Put the potatoes in a large pan of water over a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.

Boil for 10–15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but still a little firm. When you can break the potatoes with a fork or cut them easily with a knife, they're done.

Drain in a colander, and leave for 5 minutes to prevent the mash getting soggy.

Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of butter and 50ml/2fl oz of whole milk in a pan over a low heat, until combined.

Add the potato and mash with a potato masher, until smooth. The more you mash, the fluffier and lighter the potatoes will become. Add more milk for a creamier mash.

Watch the video: How To Make The Creamiest Mashed Potatoes (May 2022).