These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

Creamy mashed potatoes are one of the best things about fall and winter. I’m not claiming that I don’t make mashed potatoes year-round (because I do), but there’s nothing like a bowl of steaming, creamy, buttery potatoes as a base for cold weather roasts, braises and vegetable stews. It’s the equivalent of a hand-me-down cashmere sweater—it’s ultra comforting and nostalgic, highbrow yet humble.

I’m going to be on the Fine Cooking Facebook page on Monday, November 20th at 1 PM EST doing a live segment all about mashed potatoes!! I hope you can join!

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

While mashed potatoes are quite possibly one of the simplest items on the holiday table, much can go wrong, resulting in a gummy, lumpy or heavy texture. Don’t worry, friends—with this technique in your back pocket, you’ll get light, creamy mashed potatoes every single time! This potato puree is not only super smooth, but it has a clear potato flavor that’s enhanced rather than suppressed by butter and milk.

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time

Here’s the secret: a potato ricer. You might be thinking, “not another tool for my kitchen!” but trust me here. I’m as anti-gadget as they come, but a potato ricer is a revered tool in my kitchen. It breaks down cooked potatoes into little rice-sized squiggles, which, once stirred, turn instantly smooth without the need for pounds of butter or cream. It’s cheap, it doesn’t take up much space (mine is stuffed in the back of one of my cabinets), and, if you like playing with playdough (come on, I know you do!), you’re going to have a BLAST with this tool (James and the girls beg to take over the task of squeezing out the potato squiggles, which is reason enough for me to revere this tool).

So go get (or order) a potato ricer if you don’t already have one. The only other critical element in this recipe is the potatoes. For the best flavor and texture, you want to go with Yukon golds. Russets have low moisture and high starch, with a dry texture that requires a ton of butter and milk or cream to turn smooth, whereas red potatoes have high moisture with less starch so tend to get gummy. Yukon golds are the Goldilocks of the potato world. They have medium moisture with golden, buttery-tasting flesh.

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

Boil the peeled and chunked potatoes in salted water (I also add garlic cloves, which gently perfume the mashed potatoes) until tender—they should crack open when you spear them with a fork). Drain them well, them pass them through the potato ricer back into the pot. Now for the fun part. Add a few pats of butter, followed by half-and-half and/or milk (I usually do a mix of both, but you could do one or the other, or even use heavy cream). Since the potato ricer is going to ensure a lump free mixture, there’s no need to heat up the liquid before adding it to the potatoes (that being said, sometimes I’ll bring the milk/cream to a simmer first with a sprig or two of rosemary, or a tablespoon or two of roasted garlic puree, to infuse it with flavor). Stir the potatoes until smooth and creamy, adding enough milk or half-and-half to get the consistency you like.

You can serve the potatoes straightaway, or you can make them up to 2 hours in advance! Scrape the potatoes into a heatproof bowl, drizzle some milk over top, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the bowl on a pot of barely simmering water (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), and let it sit while you go about your business or finish up the rest of the meal. Have no fear, the best part of dinner is already done.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

xo, Nicki

Other Thanksgiving favorites:

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!

These ultra creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. With a few foolproof tips, they turn out perfect every time!
Print

Foolproof Creamy Mashed Potatoes

These foolproof creamy mashed potatoes are light and silky, and yet rich and comforting. Luckily, they’re a cinch to make! The trick is to use a potato ricer to achieve a silky texture, and to use Yukon Gold potatoes, which have medium moisture with a buttery flavor. The mashed potatoes make for a perfect base or side dish for cold weather braises, stews and roasts. Feel free to add in other flavorings, such as roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, bacon, sour cream, or chives. The recipe feeds 4-6 people, but feel free to double it if you're feeding a crowd.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk, or a mix of both, plus more as needed
  • Optional add-ins: fresh thyme, grated Parmigiano cheese, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, bacon, chives, sour cream

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and garlic, shaking out any excess water. Immediately pass the potatoes and garlic through a ricer (in batches) back into the pot. Add the butter, and stir until mostly melted. Stir in the half-and-half and/or milk until incorporated. If desired, add more half-and-half or milk until you reach a desired consistency. Season with salt to taste (be generous—it makes all the difference!). Fold in any add-ins, if using. Cook over moderate heat until the potatoes are hot. Serve warm, topped with another pat of butter, if you wish.

Recipe Notes

Do Ahead: The mashed potatoes can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Transfer them to a heatproof bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it over a pot of barely simmering water. By storing the potatoes this way, they will retain their lovely texture without becoming hardened and gluey, as they would in the refrigerator.

Stay Connected!

I’d love to hear what you’re cooking, and I’m happy to answer any questions! #FromScratchFast

Instagram: FromScratchFast

Facebook: FromScratchFast

Pinterest: FromScratchFast

YouTube: FromScratchFast

Snapchat: FromScratchFast

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product through a link you clicked on here, I receive a portion of the sale (at no cost to you). Thank you for supporting FromScratchFast!!