The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe (No Peeling Needed)

The best mashed potatoes recipe is fluffy, creamy and comforting. It doesn’t require peeling or a potato ricer and can be made as light or as rich as you like. Get mashing!

Basic mashed potatoes are a must with a Thanksgiving dinner and roast beef or just about anything with gravy. This recipe is practically foolproof and definitely delicious.

mashed potatoes in bowl.

Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. Is there a “perfect” homemade mashed potatoes recipe online? All I know is that these are excellent. They should be. I’ve made them over 200 times I figure!  

What to expect

Easy recipe: Nothing fancy needed. Just 3 basic ingredients and some salt and pepper.

No ricer, stand mixer or hand mill needed: I use a handheld electric mixer, but you can even use a potato masher if you don’t mind a slightly less creamy texture and are willing to put some muscle behind the mashing. 

We skip heating the milk and butter separately. The hot potatoes heat them just fine.

We don’t use cream cheese, heavy cream or sour cream in the recipe – but of course, you can if you are looking for decadence.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

pile of yukon gold potatoes.
Ingredients: Yukon Gold potatoes. You will also need milk or cream and butter.

Potatoes: I find the best potatoes to mash are Yukon Gold potatoes. They are thin skinned so there is no need to peel them unless you want to.

Milk or cream: Use milk or cream from 0%-35% depending on how rich you want the potatoes. I use 2% milk and a splash of 10% cream. The more cream and butter you use, the richer they’ll be so it’s up to you.ย 

Butter: I used salted butter because that’s what I have on hand. Unsalted butter is fine too. Just adjust the salt as per your taste.

Substitutes:

  • Some people prefer to use russet potatoes (Idaho). I find the texture drier than Yukon golds. I sometimes use red potatoes – but be careful not to overbeat them as they are waxy potatoes and will become pasty.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter.
  • Milk can be substituted with broth or sour cream or Greek yogurt (fat free is fine).  

Variations:

  • Try adding a 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped, fried or caramelized onions to your mashed potatoes. Delish!
  • You can also add roasted garlic or a little garlic powder. Here is how to roast garlic.
  • Parmesan cheese is another popular add-in.
  • You can also add fresh herbs like parsley thyme or rosemary.

Step by step instructions

cubed potatoes with skin left on.
Cut potatoes into even pieces. Peel if you like. I don’t bother.
cubed potatoes boiling in salted water in pot.
Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water for 15-20 minutes until they are fork tender and easily pierced with a knife.
drained potatoes with butter and milk in pot not yet mashed.
Drain potatoes, “dry” hot potatoes over medium heat in the pot for a minute and add butter and milk (or cream).
mashed potatoes in pot.
Whip potatoes, butter and milk and adjust seasonings (salt and black pepper) to your taste. 
mashed potatoes in bowl.

Tips for perfect mashed potatoes

Here are my best tips based on lots of experience and research. 

Start with cold water covering the potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil. Don’t start with boiling water.

Don’t oversalt: Since you salt the water before boiling, watch not to oversalt at the end, especially if you are using salted butter. Taste and adjust as needed.

Don’t overbeat the potatoes or they can turn to glue (trust me!). The mashing takes less than a minute with an electric hand mixer. Oh, and don’t use a food processor or immersion blender. You can skip the hand mixer and just use a potato masher or a hand food mill if you like. The mashed potatoes will not have the same creamy texture, but they will still taste great.

How to keep mashed potatoes warm before serving: check the recipe notes below.

Serving portions

  • You will need about 1 pound (450 grams) of potatoes to make 2 cups of mashed potatoes or 3-4 servings.
  • Raw potatoes needed: Figure about 1/4-1/3 pound (113-151 grams) of raw potatoes per person, so one pound (454 grams) of potatoes will serve 3-4 people.
  • Mashed potatoes needed: Figure about 1/2 – 3/4 cup (125-250g) mashed potatoes per person. 

Make ahead

In the recipe notes below, you will know how to keep mashed potatoes warm, the best way to reheat mashed potatoes, and how to freeze them.  

What goes well with mashed potatoes

Well, in my view, creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect side with anything served with gravy and all roasts at the very least. Here are a few favorites to make with this easy recipe for mashed potatoes.

And don’t forget the gravy! Chicken gravy without drippings and beef gravy without drippings.

mashed potatoes in bowl p1

Love potatoes?

Here are a few of our best potato recipes.

If you love mashed potatoes and you’re looking to add extra nutrients and a hint of sweetness, try our root vegetable mash. Just delicious and a great way to hide some veggies for kids. 

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸwith a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

mashed potatoes in bowl.
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4.87 from 22 votes

The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe (No Peeling Needed)

The best mashed potatoes recipe is fluffy, creamy and comforting. It doesn't require peeling or a potato ricer and can be made as light or as rich as you like. Get mashing!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (or 6 smaller servings)

Equipment

  • electric hand mixer (or potato masher)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes Russet ok too
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream, Note 2 adjust as needed
  • 3 tablespoon softened butter (or 4 tbsp for extra richness)
  • salt and black pepper to taste (2-3 tsp to salt the water for boiling)

Instructions

  • PREPARE POTATOES: Wash and peel potatoes if desired. (I leave the thin skins on Yukon gold potatoes – extra nutrients and less peeling). Cut into even size chunks – the smaller they are, the quicker they will cook. 1 inch/2.5 cm is good. Place potatoes into pot with just enough cold water to cover them. Add 2-3 tsp salt. NOTE: Potatoes can sit in cold water for several hours before boiling – so this can be done ahead.
  • BOIL POTATOES: Bring to boil on high heat, then lower heat to medium and boil gently for about 15-20 minutes, depending on size of pieces. Potatoes should be fork tender and easy to pierce with a knife but not disintegrating.
  • DRAIN: potatoes in a colander. Place back in pot and shake over medium-low heat for a minute or two to dry them out and evaporate any remaining water (this will make them fluffy, not gluey). Stir in milk (or cream) and butter. Turn off heat.
  • MASH AND SERVE: Use an electric hand mixer (not a food processor or immersion blender) to whip potatoes, butter and milk for 30-60 seconds. Don't over beat. Taste and add salt, pepper, more butter or milk as needed. You can also just mix well with a potato masher or fork (they won't be as smooth). Serve immediately or keep warm. Note 4.

Recipe Notes

  1. How much per serving?
    • 1 pound (0.45kg) of potatoes = 2 cups/420 grams mashed or 3-4 servings.
    • Raw potatoes needed: Figure about 1/4-1/3 pound (113-151 grams) of raw potatoes per personย 
    • Mashed potatoes needed: Figure about 1/2 – 3/4 cup (125-250g) mashed potatoes per person.ย 
  2. Substitutes:
    • Use whole milk or cream 0%-35% depending on how rich you want the dish. I use 2% milk and a splash of 10% cream.
    • Milk can be substituted with broth or sour cream or Greek yogurt (fat-free is fine).ย ย 
    • Use olive oil instead of butter.
  3. Optional add-ins: caramelized onions, chopped fresh chives, fresh herbs, garlic powder, grated cheese or Parmesan cheese
  4. To keep mashed warm/reheat: If you have a warming ring on your stove, set to medium, place pot on ring, add a bit of milk to sit on top of potatoes, cover and let them sit on the stove for up to an hour. Mix in milk to re-fluff potatoes and serve. If you have a crock pot, transfer potatoes, set on low for up to 4 hours. Potatoes can also be warmed in a microwave on high with a bit of extra milk/cream, 30 -60 seconds at a time (keep checking and stirring).
  5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  6. To freeze: Mashed potatoes can be frozen in a sealed container for several months. Usually, I defrost them before reheating in the microwave. Some say the texture is altered, but if I have mixed in butter and cream, I never have a problem.
ย 
Nutrition values are estimates and depend on how much extra butter and milk or cream you add.ย 

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.87 from 22 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. Hello!
    I haven’t tried your mashed potato recipe yet, but soon will.
    My dad used to make the mashed potatoes at home on Sundays.
    He would either have roast beef – cooked rare – or chicken cooking too and it all smelled distractingly delicious!
    His mashed potato recipe was very similar to yours. However, he softened finely cut onions in butter to add to the potatoes as well as savory – the dried kind; both the savory leaves and its branches are black at this point – you need to strip the savory off its branches and rub it in your hands to grind it down.
    Here in Canada it’s available for a time in grocery stores around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Along with the salt and pepper, a bit of milk, butter and onion these were and remained my favorites!