The Best Mashed Potatoes have just 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and are perfect for weekly dinners, Thanksgiving, and everything else!
I’m all about the classics, especially when it comes to mashed potatoes.
You can get fancy with your Yukon Golds, your cream cheese, your garlic, whatever. But not me. It’s Thanksgiving and only the traditional recipes will do!
What do you put in your mashed potatoes?
Russet potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper.
I know there is a lot of noise around Yukon Gold potatoes and using them in mashed potatoes. The color is pretty, they are so soft and creamy, etcetera.
To me, Russets taste the best. End of story.
Butter Before Milk makes Potatoes like silk
I started reading Cook’s Illustrated in 2003 and certain passages are burned into my memory, such as this gem on adding butter and milk to mashed potatoes.
Reciting this from memory, you always want to add the butter first because the fat in the butter coats the potato starch molecules. Then, add the milk (hot) for a creamy finish.
If you mix up the order, you end up with a gluey mess.
Make Ahead Instructions for Mashed Potatoes
You can peel and cube the potatoes, submerging them in water, up to 24 hours in advance (keep them in the refrigerator). I don’t recommend boiling them until the day you’re going to eat them.
However, once the mashed potatoes are made, you can transfer them to a slow cooker and heat on the LOW or WARM setting.
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The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 5 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into large, uniform sized pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup butter melted (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups milk hot, plus more if desired (up to 2 cups)
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 40 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
- Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot and mashed to a uniform consistency. Using a rubber spatula, fold in melted butter until just incorporated.
- Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups hot milk. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to adjust the consistency as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make Ahead: You can peel and cube the potatoes, submerging them in water, up to 24 hours in advance (keep them in the refrigerator).
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