creamy mashed potatoes overhead
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Creamy Mashed Potatoes

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These mashed potatoes are insanely creamy, rich, and smooth! This mashed potato recipe makes a perfect filling side for Thanksgiving (or any day really), and comes together in around 30 minutes. See below for tips on avoiding gummy mashed potatoes AND making mashed potatoes ahead to save time on Thanksgiving dinner prep!

* This post was updated in 2020 with new pictures and clearer instructions 🙂

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how to make creamy mashed potatoes

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    I know we recently did a potato recipe, but you can never have too many potato recipes (especially around the holiday season). And let’s face it … does it get any more classic than some creamy mashed potatoes??

    You can bet you’ll see this recipe featured on my table during Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas dinner … annnd Saturday dinner. (You don’t need a special occasion to have mashed potatoes right?)

    creamy mashed potatoes in spoon

    The Secret To Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

    When it comes to getting smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, it’s important to watch carefully when mashing and cooking the potatoes.

    Usually, the main culprit behind why mashed potatoes get gummy and gluey is because of over-mashing. Mashing releases the natural starch found in potatoes, which is great (up to a certain point).

    Having some starch release is important for binding the potatoes and getting a smooth and creamy finish. Too much starch binds the ingredients together a lot, which causes the potatoes to get sticky and gummy.

    Sooo when it comes to mashing, under-mashing your potatoes is best. You can always go back and mash overly lumpy potatoes, but there’s no going back once they’re over-mashed.

    A handy tool to avoid over mashing is a potato ricer! You just load your potatoes and push them through and it mashed them to perfection. (Saves a lot of arm working out too …) This OXO Stainless Steel Potato Ricer is one that I personally like. OR go classic and use this Stainless Steel Wire Masher. (The workout of hand mashing warrants more mashed potatoes!)

    creamy mashed potatoes close up side view

    Cooking also plays a role in the texture of mashed potatoes. Under-cooked potatoes will make mashing more difficult, and leave you with hard and grainy chunks in your final product. Overcooked potatoes end up loosing their shape, which results in too much starch getting released (which leads to gummy potatoes).

    When cooking the potatoes, start checking on them after they’ve been boiling for about 20 minutes. You can check the potatoes by inserting a knife into the center of a potato. If you feel too much resistance, leave the potatoes for about 5 more minutes, then check on them again, until the knife glides in easily.

    creamy mashed potatoes close up

    How to store and reheat mashed potatoes:

    If you’re like me, then Thanksgiving is outrageously busy and you can use all of the make-ahead-ability you can get! You can always make these mashed potatoes a few days in advance to save some headache on the actual day.

    To store cooked mashed potatoes, keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer your potatoes to a saucepot and place over low heat. If the potatoes have dried out, add a splash of milk to bring them up to the right consistency! Heat on low for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed.

    If you liked these creamy mashed potatoes, you may also like some of these other potato recipes:

    Creamy Mashed Potato Recipe

    These mashed potatoes are insanely creamy, rich, and smooth! This mashed potato recipe makes a perfect filling side for Thanksgiving (or any day really), and comes together in around 30 minutes.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 4 to 6 people


    • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and washed
    • 1/2 cup warm milk
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

    Optional Toppings:

    • sliced or melted butter
    • olive oil
    • fresh chopped parsley
    • fresh chopped chives
    • black pepper


    • Cut your potatoes into about 1 inch sized cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with cool water to cover the potatoes by about 1 inch.
    • Place the pot on a stove burner set to high heat, and bring the water up to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. To test the doneness, you should be able to insert a knife into the center of a potato without resistance.
    • Drain the potatoes, and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Mash the potatoes using a fork, potato masher, or potato ricer until they're smooth. Take care not to over mash!
    • Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Mix together until all of the ingredients are evenly blended. Serve plain or top with some fresh chopped parsley, melted butter, olive oil, and/or black pepper.


    I would love to hear any tips you’d like to add to this post and how your mashed potatoes turned out in the comments below. Have any questions? Any ideas to improve this recipe? Feel free to comment for that as well. Happy making!

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