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How to Make Amazing Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Updated on August 26, 2011
Homemade mashed potatoes with honey butter glazed chicken
Homemade mashed potatoes with honey butter glazed chicken

I am always surprised by the number of people who have only eaten boxed mashed potatoes. So I decided to share my super easy homemade mashed potato recipe (Okay, it's actually my dad's recipe, but whose counting?). They only take about twenty five minutes to make, and most of that time is waiting for the potatoes to cook!

What You Need

This is my super easy recipe so I use red potatoes because the skins don't have to be removed, but you can always use different potatoes.

  • Half a stick of butter
  • Small tub of sour cream
  • splash of milk (you can skip this if you want)
  • 5 or 6 medium to large red potatoes
  • salt and pepper

You will also need a big pot to boil the potatoes, a knife and chopping board, but I am guessing most people have those already!


First, chop up the potatoes, keep in mind the smaller you cut them up the quicker they cook. Again, I use red potatoes so they do not have to be peeled. You can peel them if you like, but it is really not necessary. While you are chopping, go ahead and put your water on to boil. The amount of water isn't really important, just make sure the potatoes are covered and have room to move so they don't stick to the bottom.

Well cooked taters!
Well cooked taters!

Cookin Time!

Cooking takes the longest, but luckily you don't have to do anything! Let the potatoes boil for about twenty minutes while you check your facebook page or walk the dog. When done, the potatoes should be soft and easily broken apart with a wooden spoon.

Season and Mix!

  1. Drain the water from the potatoes.
  2. Set the pot back on the same stove burner, but turn the burner off. The extra heat will help the other ingredients mix and keep your mashed potatoes hot.
  3. Add two tablespoons of butter and two table spoons of sour cream
  4. Use a wooden spoon to stir and mash the ingredients together (you can use an electric wisk if you prefer, but the wooden spoon works just fine)
  5. Add salt, pepper to taste.
  6. Add just a splash of mik
  7. Stir and mash until relatively smooth.

Season to taste

Everyone likes something a little different, so if you get to this step and they still don't taste quite perfect, here is what to add to make them yummy!

  • For creamier potatoes, add more sour cream.
  • If they are too dry, add another splash of milk.
  • Too bland? Add more butter and/or more salt.

Just remember you can always add more, but you can't take anything out so taste often!

A Little Something Extra

Want to jazz up plain old mashed potatoes? Try these yummy additions.

  • Cheese (it makes everything better!)
  • Bacon bits
  • Diced garlic or garlic powder
  • Giblet gravy
  • Salsa (sounds weird, but so good!)
  • Chorizo (or any diced sausage)
  • Diced jalepenos
  • sauteed onions and mushrooms
  • ranch dressing
  • cream cheese (for super creamy potatoes)
  • french onion package (like what you would mix with sour cream to make french onion dip)

There you have it! Enjoy your homemade mashed potatoes!

Want to make delicious mac and cheese from scratch?


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    • .josh. profile image

      .josh. 6 years ago

      Will definitely get some good recipes on here, Danielle -- I was just waiting to get home so I had a food processor, and thought I'd do a couple brief video clips since there are some tricks that can help.

      It does include coconut milk though, I find some are iffy about that part...

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      My husband loves potatoes. On one diving expedition he had mashed potatoes and potato salad for lunch, he can survive on potatoes alone. Thanks for the amazing home made recipe for mashed potatoes, I will certainly try this out. Especially as you have shared that useful bit of info about using red potatoes so no need to peel, I hate peeling, too tedious. It's well written hub with very clear and easy to follow steps. Looking forward to your mac n cheese hub as my little boy is crazy about mac n cheese.

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 6 years ago from Florida

      hmm, cauliflower mash doesn't sound so bad! you should write a hub about your healthy alternatives! I love my parents home cooked mashed potatoes and mac n cheese (I am going to do a hub on that soon!!) but I can't make them too often cuz they are all butter! I would love to try some of your ideas.

    • .josh. profile image

      .josh. 6 years ago

      Sounds delicious -- I often make cauliflower mash (I know, I'm strange), but I might have to give this a go sometime to mix things up, and give my partner a break. (She's getting a little tired of my 'healthy alternatives.')

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Oh this sounds delicious and makes me want to make some right this minute! I have never used red potatoes but think it is a great idea. Peeling potatoes is such a drag.Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 6 years ago

      Love and beautiful hub.

    • platinumOwl4 profile image

      platinumOwl4 6 years ago

      This is a great recipe, can't understand why anyone would use instant out of the box when fresh is so much better. Great hub.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Sounds pretty darn good!!! I love taters!!! any fashion...i just love'em.

      I love the cheese and bacon bits suggestions...

      Great hub!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Oooh, I haven't had homemade mashed potatoes in forever! I should give your recipe a try. Great Hub!

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Yummmmm! I love mashed potatoes. I make a rosemary, parmesan recipe that is the same as yours except with the added ingredients. It's so yummy and goes well with any meat. I love that you recommended red potatoes; I use them also because I loathe peeling potatoes. It really is a horrible job! How anyone can eat boxed mashed potatoes is beyond me; I think I'd rather skip them all together. Thanks for the great Hub with original pictures!

    • raeyecarlos profile image

      raeyecarlos 6 years ago

      Adding herbs, like thyme and parsley, can also help enhance the flavor and color.

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 6 years ago from Florida

      thanks twodawgs! And I have heard that boiling the potatoes in chicken broth helps add flavor too. I will have to give the bullion a try, thanks!

    • profile image

      twodawgs 6 years ago

      Hope everyone who reads this follows your advice. Instant just can't even come close to the flavor of real potatoes and other fresh ingredients.

      I've always used peeled russets, but I'll have to try the red ones. I'll be trying some of the items on your "Extra" list, too, next time I mash up a few taters. A tsp of chicken bullion is another ingredient I've found that seems to do wondrous things with the flavor of mashed potatoes.