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How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Updated on June 30, 2014

Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for to accompany many dinners, including roasts. But how do you make them? How much milk do you use? Do you even use milk? How much butter? Well, don't fret. Push that box of instant mashed potatoes aside! You've come to the right place.

Easy Peasy

So how do you make mashed potatoes from scratch? Easy.

The prep time on mashed potatoes is about 10 minutes, and cooking time is about 30. The following ingredients will be 6 servings.

You will need:

- 2 pounds of Russet potatoes (although, Yukon Gold are pretty good too!)
- ½ to ¾ cup of milk
- 2 - 3 Tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste


- A large pot with lid
- A potato or vegetable peeler
- A colander (optional)


Step by Step..

Step 1: Using a sponge or brush, wash your potatoes to rid them of dirt and scrub them clean.

Step 2: Peel your potatoes.

Step 3: Cut the potatoes into quarters, or 1 ½ chunks.

Step 4: In a medium sized pan, bring your potatoes and water (and a pinch of salt, though optional) to a boil over medium-high heat.

Step 5: Reduce the heat to medium-low so that the water is at a simmer to cook for about 16-20 minutes. Test the potatoes with a fork, to see if the potatoes are tender.

Step 6: When the potatoes are finished, carefully drain them (the water is hot!), and return the potatoes to the pot your boiled them in.

Step 7: Add your milk, butter, and if you would like, the salt and pepper for taste.

Step 8: Begin mashing!

Step 9: You can mash until it is creamy and smooth, or leave a few chunks. Your choice!

Adding some zest to your mashed potatoes;

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, there are a few variations you can make to the mashed potatoes.

For a more herbal mashed potato, you can add fresh sage or thyme to the milk (warm it before pouring into the potatoes). For a tangy mashed potato, you can add a little bit of sour cream in place of the milk, and for a lighter mashed potato, use about 2/3 buttermilk in place of the milk.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes;

To make garlic mashed potatoes, just add a dash of garlic powder or use fresh garlic and olive oil! Peeled garlic makes mashed potatoes that much better! Just add about 6 cloves of crushed garlic. To mince a clove of garlic, pick off a clove and place the garlic clove with the flat surface on your chopping board. Very carefully using a chef’s knife, lay the blade on top of the clove. While holding onto the handle with one hand, positioning the clove closer to the blade handle than that center of the blade, use enough force (it make take a few tries to figure out just how much force) to smash the blade’s flat surface onto it. Magically, the outer coating with separate from the clove! Simply mince and mix into your mashed potatoes. If you’re worried about using a knife and this method, you can purchase a garlic skin removing tube, that you simply roll to remove the skin!


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