Ultimate Classic Mashed Potatoes
You can never go wrong with a classic, and this mashed potatoes recipe is the ultimate side dish to make this holiday season. These creamy, buttery mashed taters are easy to make using 5 ingredients only! Serve it with any entrée for a filling meal this Thanksgiving or any time of the year.
A stuffed roasted turkey may take front and center as the queen of Thanksgiving entrees. However, mashed potatoes are undeniably the king of classic holiday side dishes! A Thanksgiving feast is not the same without a carb-loaded, hearty heaping of this on the table. This recipe is super easy and requires 3 main ingredients and a few pantry sundries, but it is so indulgently dreamy and delicious it’ll be your go-to side dish all year long!
Serve it as it is, or you can spruce it up with a rich Homemade Gravy or a sprinkling of Crunchy Potato Chip Topping. I also use this recipe when making my one-pot Cheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie.
This classic mashed potato recipe is as simple and straightforward as they come. The ingredients are so simple and non-seasonal, so you can make this yummy side dish any time of the year you please! Here’s what you need to prepare.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes -peeled and cut into quarters. This type of all-purpose works great for roasting, pan frying, and stewing but is ideal for mashing because of its moisture and starch content.
- Heavy whipping cream- this will make the mashed potatoes extra rich and creamy!
- Unsalted butter- gives the dish a smoother texture and more flavor too.
- Kosher salt and ground pepper- to taste.
- I love using Yukon Gold because they have a natural buttery flavor and a rich and creamy texture when boiled and mashed. However, feel free to also use Russet or Idaho potatoes. These are high-starch potatoes, so you will get a fluffier, less dense result. You can add a bit more heavy cream if you want to make your mashed potatoes creamier.
- Aside from Heavy whipping cream, you can also use whole milk or half and half.
How to Make Ultimate Classic Mashed Potatoes
A fuss-free dish that you can make ahead to keep your holiday as stress-free and unhurried as possible! Get your cooking game on and be ready to make the king of all classic side dishes in just 30 minutes!
- Boil the Potatoes. Fill a large Dutch oven with cold water, then add the potatoes and kosher salt. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Mix the butter and cream. While waiting for the potatoes to soften, melt the butter and warm the cream in a saucepan.
- Mash the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour half the heated cream and melted butter, then mash using a potato masher.
- Make it creamier. Add the remaining cream and butter and whip the potatoes into your desired consistency. You can use a hand mixer if desired.
- Season and serve! Season with salt and pepper, place in a serving bowl, and enjoy!
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Aside from the stovetop method above, you can also whip these delicious mashed potatoes using your slow cooker! Here’s how:
Submerge the potatoes with water and add salt and pepper. You can cook on high for 3 hours, low for up to 6 hours, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Mash the potatoes, add melted butter and warm cream, and whip into the desired consistency.
- Always heat the cream! Warm cream will keep the potatoes hot as you mash them, so it gets absorbed better and will result in a creamier texture.
- Do not overcook the potatoes. Remove them from heat once the tines of a fork pierces through them easily. Overcooked potatoes will become grainy and will not be as smooth when mashed.
- Drain the potatoes well to prevent a watery or mushy mash. Keep them in the strainer for a few minutes before adding them to the bowl.
- Avoid over mixing the potatoes because the mixture will become dry or gummy.
- If you prefer having chunky bits, skip the hand mixer and use the potato masher until you are happy with the outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to peel the potatoes? Yukon Gold potatoes have thin and edible skin. However, if you prefer to have super smooth mashed potatoes, the skin needs to go!
- Should I boil the potatoes whole or quartered? I recommend boiling them cut into quarters. Boiling whole potatoes can result in uneven cooking, with either the outside overcooked or the center still tough and raw.
- Can I make it vegan? Absolutely! Just use dairy-free milk and vegan butter as alternatives. Take note that using milk instead of cream will affect the texture of the mashed potatoes. You can use coconut cream if you do not mind the added flavor it will bring.
- What add-ons can I use to level it up? You can add garlic, cheese, herbs, and caramelized onions for more flavor!
Make Ahead and Storing Notes
As I advised on my Easy Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving, side dishes that can be made ahead should be done a day or two before the big day! You can make this Ultimate Classic Mashed Potatoes at least 3 days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. You can heat it in the microwave oven for a few minutes or until warmed through. In case they turn out a bit dry, a splash of warm milk will do the trick!
Ultimate Classic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cups Heavy whipping cream + more if needed
- 12 tbsp Unsalted butter
- Fill a large Dutch oven with cold water. Add the potatoes and 1 tsp kosher salt. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes for about 15 to 20 minute or until fork tender.
- While the potatoes cook, in another saucepan melt the butter and warm the cream.
- Drain the potatoes and place the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Pour half the heated cream and melted butter over the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes.
- Pour the remaining cream and butter over the potatoes and use a hand mixer if desired to whip the potatoes. Careful not to over whip. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
- Place the mashed potatoes in a serving bowl and enjoy!