Easy Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

These easy Mashed Potatoes are creamy, buttery and are the perfect side dish with almost any meal. They only need 5 ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes!
Side Dishes make the meal, especially holiday classics like Green Bean CasseroleBaked Mac and Cheese and Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing.

Easy Mashed Potatoes in bowl with butter and pepper


The perfect mashed potatoes to serve alongside your steak, Baked Ham (ours may be the best you’ll ever have) or turkey in the holiday season and it makes enough for a crowd! Easily halved for smaller meals, this recipe is simple and open to your favorite add ins!

Mashed Potatoes are a time tested side dish recipe that pairs perfectly with most steak or chicken recipes. Classic mashed potatoes are usually made with russet potatoes, but if you’re not in the mood to peel them you can also use Yukon Gold or red potatoes.


  • In a large pot, add potatoes and boil for a total time of 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and a fork goes through easily.
  • Drain the potatoes. Add back to the pot and set aside.
  • Heat the butter and milk in a separate pan, or microwave until butter is melted.
  • Add butter and spices to the potatoes. Mash potatoes together until there are no large lumps.

Easy Mashed Potatoes collage of prep steps

For this recipe you may want to use your largest stockpot WITH a basket. You can buy a large fryer, like this one that comes with a basket. Plus since it is a fryer it is going to do double duty for you. This All-Clad one makes a great wedding registry item, but it is totally unnecessary to buy something that expensive.



If you don’t have a traditional potato masher, you can use another common kitchen tool to achieve creamy mashed potatoes. An electric hand mixer is so much easier and faster, that you’ll be pulling it out to mash all of your potato recipes from now on.

Easy Mashed Potatoes on plate with butter and pepper


If you have sour cream that you want to use up, you can use that instead of milk in this mashed potatoes recipe.

Sour cream can help the potatoes have a nice creamy texture, while the flavor goes really well with a savory side dish like this. The rule of thumb is to add ½ cup sour cream to replace one cup of milk, and add more as needed once you are mashing the potatoes.

You can also add evaporated milk in place of milk in your recipe if you’re looking for a shelf stable option.

You can also add cream cheese or mascarpone cheese for an extra creamy and tangy texture like in thisRichest, Cheesiest, Crispy Mashed Potatoes.


Potatoes can come in all shapes and sizes. If using large potatoes, use 1-2 per person. If small, use 2-3 potatoes per person.

A good rule of thumb is to go by how many pound of potatoes you have. A 3 pound bag of potatoes should feed 5-6 people comfortably, which leaves you at about ½ pound per person.

Mashed Potato Flavor Variations:

  1. Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes: Add your favorite herbs! Fresh minced rosemary or sage would be wonderful.
  2. Brown Butter Thyme Mashed Potatoes: Brown the butter before adding it in with the warmed milk and add some fresh thyme.
  3. Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes: Caramelize onions deeply in the butter and add goat cheese.
  4. Cheddar and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes: Add cheddar and sour cream (1 cup cheese, ½ cup sour cream).
  5. Garlic Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes: Add olive oil instead of butter and mince up as much fresh garlic as you can handle.
  6. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Roast a head of garlic and add the whole head of it to the potatoes as you mash them (don’t worry roasted garlic has a sweet, muted flavor).
  7. Bacon Mashed Potatoes: Bacon fat used in place of butter and bacon crumbles throughout.
  8. Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Add your favorite baked potato toppings, cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream.
  9. Spinach Artichoke Mashed Potatoes: Add spinach and artichokes to a food processor. Add ½ a cup of each to the potatoes with 2 cups of Parmesan Cheese.
  10. Cajun Mashed Potatoes: Add jerk or cajun seasoning to kick up the spice and flavor easily.


Easy Mashed Potatoes on plate with broccoli and chicken fried steak with gravy

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Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

These easy Mashed Potatoes are creamy, buttery and are the perfect side dish with almost any meal. They only need 5 ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes!
Yield 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side, vegetarian
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


For boiling

  • 5 pounds potatoes , (either Russet or a mix with Russet and Yukon)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt , for seasoning full pot of water

To Finish:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Peel and quarter potatoes and put in cold water until ready to cook (up to 4 hours ahead of time).
  • In a large stockpot bring 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil along with the potatoes and boil for 15-18 minutes.
  • Add the milk and butter together in a small saucepan and heat until steaming.
  • Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot on low heat and mash them well before adding in the milk and butter mixture, remaining salt and pepper and continuing to mash the potatoes until as creamy as desired.



For perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes use a ricer.


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 798mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 6.1mg

Easy Mashed Potatoes Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Mashed Potato RecipePerfect Mashed Potato RecipeCreamy Mashed Potatoes in green potEasy Mashed Potatoes collage

The perfect mashed potatoes to serve alongside your steak, ham or turkey in the holiday season and it makes enough for a crowd! Easily halved for smaller meals, this recipe is simple and open to your favorite add ins!
The perfect mashed potatoes to serve alongside your steak, ham or turkey in the holiday season and it makes enough for a crowd! Easily halved for smaller meals, this recipe is simple and open to your favorite add ins!
The perfect mashed potatoes to serve alongside your steak, ham or turkey in the holiday season and it makes enough for a crowd! Easily halved for smaller meals, this recipe is simple and open to your favorite add ins!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Sabrina,
    Hello, first time writing but not first time using your site successfully. I “goto” your site regularly for clear instructions but also for your explanations. I find this extremely helpful. This time with the mashed potatoes I am unclear. I was specifically looking to your site for an idea as to how much salt/what type of salt to add to potatoes while mashing (assuming a well-seasoned boil). Your recipe includes 2T to the boil and also notes 1 1/2 t Kosher salt but you don’t indicate adding it. I’m not sure this is the amt you add while mashing, maybe it’s best if added first to butter/milk. Would you clarify your approach on this. I want perfectly seasoned potatoes and you are always right on. Thank you.

    1. Hi! thank you so much for letting me know! you add it in with the milk, I have updated the recipe. Enjoy! And thank you for being a consistent reader!

  2. Love the simple ingredients in this recipe. The mashed potatoes were creamy and a big hit with the family. Making again for Christmas dinner!

  3. These mashed potatoes look amazing on their own but I do love how you added the different variations to this post too!

  4. Such a wonderful recipe to have on hand. Fabulous-looking mash that sounds like it is so easy to make I won’t even notice me cooking it 🙂

  5. An excellent recipe for plain mashed potatoes. Just he way I like them – nothing fancy, just comfort! BUT, if you are serious about making them, invest in a potato ricer. Look to spend $20 for a good one that will last a lifetime.

  6. Over 20 years ago, my son, who is now 31, was assisting me in the kitchen. His favourite meal is eggs, so he broke an egg into the mash and continued to mash the potatoes.These became a staple of our household, as they were the creamiest potatoes we had ever ate. Now he and his partner have two boys who always remind grandpa to put in the egg when having potato mash.I also have never tried bacon in mash, but could easily be converted to that particular delicacy. Will try it out on my grandkids next time they come up.

  7. Sabrina
    I make my mash the same way ”but” I catch the water. The butter gets
    mashed into the potato and use the water to get desired creaminess. The potato
    flavor goes way up. Just butter gives good mouth feel.Try.
    Charlie LOL

  8. I love using sour cream and cream cheese in my potatoes gives them such a nice flavor and texture ?? And Amen to using a mixer, game changer!

  9. Those mashed potatoes look so delish and worth the extra effort. I’ve bookmarked this page so it will inspire me as I plan our Thanksgiving menu.

  10. We love to eat mashed potatoes. I am always looking for ways to change them up. Thanks for the great ideas.

  11. This sounds so good. I’d love to get really good at making these potatoes so I can change them up with those add-ins from time to time.

  12. Oooh, rosemary in mashed potatoes? I never thought of that. I am totally going to try that for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Yummy! I love how we can add onions, garlic, or many other things to totally change the taste. Such an important part of the dinner table.

  14. Oh this is awesome. Mashed potatoes are huge in my house, my kiddos often request it this would be fun to have some add ins!

  15. Love how easy these are, and the add in ideas. Rosemary sounds just right for thanksgiving!! Perfect! I’d love it if you’d come share again over at #TryABiteTuesday on Caleigh’s Kitchen along with some other recipes!!

  16. About how many side servings would this be? My mashed potato loving daughter will be home. I am so glad to have a good mashed potato recipe

    1. Barbara, 12 easy since it is an entire 5 pound bag. Maybe a bit less if you have a lot of college kids home for the holidays!

  17. OMG, these are awesome ideas! I love bacon. I can’t believe I never thought of putting it in my mashed potatoes.