Cooking Basics

Step by step mashed potato recipe

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Dish of mashed potatoes
Get ready to dig into hot, creamy mashed potatoes
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Learn how to make mouthwatering mashed potatoes at home with this recipe

Is there anything as comforting and delicious as a bowl of hot, creamy mashed potatoes?  A simple food, to be sure, but oh so good when they're made right and served hot with butter or gravy.

But as simple as mashed potatoes sound, most people are too intimidated to make them from scratch.  It's time to do it a better way.  Forget the dried flakes and the packets of powdered potato.  It's time to dive into a mashed potato recipe that uses real potatoes! 

One word of warning...this mashed potato recipe is the real thing.  That means we'll be using real butter and real cream.  When it comes to recipes like this, and the taste we want, only the real thing will do.

Are you ready?  Here it goes....

8 large potatoes (or an equivalent volume of small or medium ones - a mixture of several types makes the best mashed potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Start a large pot of water boiling on the stove
  • Scrub and peel the potatoes (Drop peeled potatoes into a bowl of ice water to keep them from turning brown)
  • Remove any remaining eyes with the tip of your knife
  • Chop potatoes into roughly uniform cubes (allows them all to cook at the same time)
  • Drop the potatoes into the boiling water. Add salt if desired (about 1/2 tsp)
  • Cook until tender (about 18 minutes)  Check for tenderness by stabbing with a fork.  If it goes in easily, they're ready
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato water.  Set aside.
  • Drain the potatoes and return to the pot
  • Add the reserved water and the butter, then begin to mash with a potato masher or strong wood spoon
  • When potatoes are well broken up, add the cream and continue to mash. Stir in salt and pepper, and continue to mash and stir until potatoes are creamy and butter is completely mixed in
  • Adjust seasoning and serve with melted butter or hot gravy

Variations on the basic mashed potato recipe

Once you've made mashed potatoes from scratch a few times, and have left the instant version far behind, you're ready to experiment with variations. 

Start with some of these common mashed potato recipe add-ins

Roasted garlic has a mellow flavor that makes it a perfect addition to your mashed potatoes. Stir the soft cloves into the potatoes before mashing. Don't use raw garlic or garlic powder, as they can overwhelm the delicate taste of fresh potatoes. 

Cheddar cheese is another popular addition to mashed potatoes.  A good sharp white cheddar will melt in the hot potatoes and blend well with the creamy texture.

Dill, preferably fresh is a natural with mashed potatoes.  Serve dill infused potatoes with a chicken or lemony gravy for the best flavor.

Curry will add a bright yellow color and spicy flavor to your mashed potatoes.  Toast your curry powder for a few minutes in a heavy skillet before adding it to your potatoes.  This will prevent it from adding a harsh or bitter taste to the dish, and will bring out the best of the curry blend.

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