When the family asks, “Are these Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes?” you know you’ve hit the dinner lottery and are now the best cook in the family!
Why We Love Grandma’s Mashed Potato Recipe
- Mashed potatoes are a great comfort dish that is a must-have at just about any Sunday supper or holiday dinner. They really are the perfect side to whatever you’re serving, from ham and turkey to chicken and steak!
- Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes aren’t fancy. Instead, they are simple, creamy, and taste like all of those magical family dinners you had as a kid.
- The first time I made this mashed potato recipe for my family they told me I had made them just like my grandma used to, just a little bit lumpy and super creamy. Hands down, it was the best food compliment I’ve ever gotten in my life.
- Five ingredients are all you need for these delicious and easy mashed potatoes. They’ll make every meal feel like a special Sunday dinner!
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes
POTATOES: For these mashed potatoes you’ll want to pick up about 8 medium-sized Russett potatoes.
DAIRY: Make these potatoes smooth and creamy by adding 2% or whole milk, along with unsalted butter.
SEASONING: A little salt and a little pepper are all you need for these homemade mashed potatoes.
How to Make Mashed PotatoesJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Bring a large pot about 3/4 full of water to boil. Peel and cube the potatoes and then add them to the boiling water. Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender, around 20 minutes.
STEP 2 Drain the potatoes and add them back to the large pot. Add the butter to the potatoes and mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
STEP 3 Pour in half of the milk and continue to mash the potatoes until the milk and butter are mixed in and only small lumps remain.
STEP 4 Pour the rest of the milk into the potatoes and stir the potatoes with a wooden spoon until the potatoes are creamy. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the potatoes and mix. Serve immediately or cover the potatoes with a lid to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Tips & Tricks
- If you prefer your mashed potatoes a little creamier you can add more milk to the potatoes until they reach the consistency you like.
- Season the potatoes to your taste- add more or less salt and pepper to achieve the flavor you like.
- The best potatoes for mashed potatoes are either Russets or Yukon Gold. Both varieties of potatoes have a high starch content that is perfect for creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes.
- Curious about what a potato masher is? A potato masher is a utensil that has a long handle with a flat bottom that can be either wavy or have a circle with small holes in it. Simply press the potato masher repeatedly throughout the pot of potatoes until they have been mashed and are smooth. Potato mashers are easy to use and a great tool if you make mashed potatoes often!
Mashed Potato Recipe FAQ
Why do you put potatoes in cold water for mashed potatoes?
Adding peeled potatoes to a bowl of cold water is one of my holiday cooking hacks. Submerging the potatoes in water will keep them from browning. So you can prep them ahead of time and pop the bowl into the fridge for cooking later in the day. Just drain the potatoes and add them to a pot of boiling water and you’re on your way!
As far as starting to cook the potatoes in cold water vs boiling water to start… Potatoes contain a good amount of starch, which is activated in hot water and can make potatoes stick together a bit more than when you start them in cold water. Cold water is thought to help the potatoes cook more evenly since there is less starch. Hot water can also cook the outer portion of the cubed potatoes faster than the inside which can lead to unevenly cooked potatoes. (Nothing crazy, but it is what it is.) Plenty of previous generations of cooks have put their potatoes into boiling water and those mashed potatoes were stellar. So, when in doubt, stick with how your Grandma made her mashed potatoes and you’ll always make a great side dish.
How long do you boil potatoes for mashed potatoes?
Boiling potatoes to make mashed potatoes can be pretty quick, which makes them an easy side dish to prepare. Potatoes take around 20 minutes of boil time to become fork tender but if you are making a large batch it will generally take a little longer.
While you don’t have to cube potatoes before boiling them, cutting them into similar-sized pieces will help the potatoes to not only cook faster but also more evenly. Cutting the potatoes to boil them also makes mashing them a lot easier.
Can you freeze mashed potatoes?
One of the best side dishes to freeze and enjoy later is mashed potatoes! There are a few tips to keep in mind when freezing, both in terms of flavor and food safety.
The milk and butter added to mashed potatoes are great sources of flavor but are also for texture when thawing mashed potatoes. The cream helps to prevent a lot of ice crystals from forming on the frozen potatoes, which could make the potatoes grainy and less delicious, so make sure you add the necessary milk and butter.
When freezing the potatoes place them in the refrigerator to cool first and once fully chilled, transfer the potatoes to a freezer-safe container or bag and remove as much air as possible. Freeze the potatoes for anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy the potatoes again, thaw them in a saucepan on the stovetop for best results, although they can also be reheated in the microwave or oven as well.
Other Recipes You May Like
- Baked Parmesan Red Potatoes
- Pesto Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Butter
- Scalloped Potatoes
Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes
- Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. While the water boils, peel the potatoes, rinse them, and cut each potato into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Add the potato cubes to the boiling water. Once the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high. Stir the potatoes occasionally and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the butter and use a potato masher to break up the potatoes and incorporate the butter.
- Pour in half of the milk, and use the potato masher to incorporate the milk into the potatoes. (You want the potatoes mostly smooth with some small lumps.)
- Pour in the rest of the milk and use a wooden spoon to incorporate the milk into the potatoes until smooth. (see note)
- Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Cover to keep warm or serve immediately.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.