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Making Mashed Potatoes

Updated on June 24, 2014

...mmmmm... mashed potatoes....

One of the most popular ways to cook potatoes is to mash them.  This lens offers information about types of potatoes, how to keep and store them, and lots of recipe variations for homestyle, low-fat and fancy mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes are a favorite dish during the fall and winter, and they go great with all sorts of entrees. They can accompany chicken, beef, pork or fish equally as well. And they are a fantastic leftover, so don't be afraid to make a lot of them!

Do The Mashed Potato!

It was buying vegetables at farmer's markets that first made me start to think of mashed potatoes differently. Growing up, I probably would have told you that all potatoes were large brown lumpy shapes that you ate during the winter.

However, at the farmer's market, I found golden, red, blue and purple potatoes. And the growers would often suggest different ways of cooking them. And I could buy as many or as few as I wanted, so more were eaten and less sprouted in my cupboard.

I also let go of the idea that mashed potatoes had to be pure white and fluffy. After all, the best vitamins are found in potato skins, so if you peel that part off, you've taken a lot of nutrition away from your spuds. I prefer the "smashed" potato, where the skins are left on and mashed right in with the rest of it. The superfine puree you get at fancy restaurants can be okay, but too often I miss having some actual texture in there.

What about Green Potatoes?

If the potato skin is green, throw it out, it's moldy and/or unhealthy to eat.

If the skin looks ok, but you see a faint greenish tint when you cut it open, the potato was stored in too much light and most-likely now tastes bitter so you won't want to eat those either.

Understanding Your Potato - how to pick a good mashing potato

Potatoes come in a LOT of varieties. Learn what types of potatoes work best for mashing!

Old-School Mashed Potato Recipes

Unpeeled, lumpy or smashed, these recipes produce what is often called "homestyle" mashed potatoes.

Mashed potato videos - follow-along video instructions

Healthy & Low-Fat Recipes for Mashed Potatoes

For those of you who are looking for a recipe that is lower in fat and calories, check out these variations! There are also some great vegan mashed potato options.

For A Smoother Mash:

1.Peel the potatoes.

2.Make sure they are cooked all the way through.

3.Mash with a ricer or puree in a blender.

4.Add more milk.

Fancy-Schmancy Mashed Potato Recipes

Here are some mashed potato recipes where the preparation and the ingredients get fancier than the everyday mashed spud.

Got a recipe variation or mashed potato trick you'd like to share?

Mashing Messages!

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    • profile image

      Zwaps 2 years ago

      (Finally getting anourd to commenting after enjoying your blog for a while )I'm not excited by standard potato salads either, but the new red potatoes at the Ann Arbor farmer's market are so appealing I decided to experiment. I adapted the recipe below from the yogurt salad dressing in _The New Laurel's Kitchen_, p. 132. (I substituted lime juice for lemon and added the cilantro and garlic.) I cut the potatoes into small pieces, trimmed but didn't peel them, and boiled them, then dressed them while they were warm. You could substitute other herbs in the dressing, or enliven the potato salad with whatever other vegetables would knock your socks off. The dressing in this recipe was enough for probably 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. of potatoes. (Forgot to weigh them before cooking )Dressing:1/2 c. lowfat plain yogurt2 T. olive oil1 T. lime juice1 clove garlicsalt (somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 tsp.)freshly ground black peppergenerous handful of chopped cilantroMix dressing with a fork till smooth.Hope this is useful!

    • rosiembanks profile image

      rosiembanks 4 years ago

      Mmmm, this lens made me hungry! I love mashed potatoes more than life itself. Great lens!

    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 4 years ago from Texas

      I believe mashed potatoes are my favorite side dish. Loaded with butter, of course!

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 5 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      mashed potatoes...one of my favorite foods! Thanks for a neat concise lens :+)

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      My favorite! :>)

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 5 years ago

      Mashed potatoes just might be my favorite food - mashed with butter and salt and pepper will do just fine, but every once in awhile I'll try them fancy.

    • FallenAngel 483 profile image

      FallenAngel 483 5 years ago

      Just ate some mash for tea. Boiled some Maris Piper spuds for 30 mins then added butter and smashed 'em up. Never heard of blue potatoes before. I learned something today, thanks.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I love mashed potatoes, and I definitely love all the different colors of potatoes. I want to grow my own potatoes, I hear they are pretty easy to do.

    • Alethia LM profile image

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      I'm going to go home and make mashed potatoes immediately. Oh why oh why did I read this?!?! :)

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I use golden potatoes for mashed potatoes. I add a little cream as well as milk to get them into a bit of a thicker consistency.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Yum! Yum! We love mashed potatoes. Thanks for these tips!

    • Ronlove LM profile image

      Ronlove LM 5 years ago

      I love mashed potatoes. Good Lens

    • profile image

      tcmliving 6 years ago

      Mash and mint sauce is great with a roast

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

      Yummy! I like adding plain yogurt to my mashed potatoes. And always, the more butter, the better. Adding salt to the water while they're boiling is key, too.

    • profile image

      MartinPrestovic 7 years ago

      Mm potatoes! I can't imagine a meal without jacket potatoes on my plate. I love them buttered with some snipped chives. Sometimes I drizzle olive oil on them and season them with pepper and salt. I also love them scalloped and of course, mashed. I love your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Help! I served mashed potatos in half an orange peel and now they taste bitter from the orange... what can I do to take the bitter out of all my mashed potatoes?

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Great lens. Thank-you for the tip about ginger. We want to give it a try.

    • Euryale Sinclair profile image

      Euryale Sinclair 8 years ago from The Left Coast

      [in reply to poutine] I've found that lots of butter is often why mashed potatoes get an unhealthy rap. I like to use organic potatoes and make sure the mashed potatoes are served fresh and hot so that they don't need much butter.

    • profile image

      poutine 9 years ago

      I think the secret in good mashed potatoes is BUTTER, lots of it.

      Poutine

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I will be referring back to this one. My husband loves Mashed potatoes. Lensrolling to Broccoli Rice Sausage Casserole. Great lens.

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 9 years ago

      If a potato has turned green it is because it has produced a toxin in reaction to light (as mentioned) - this is a protective step, for when soil washes away or an animal digs the tubers up, to put curious critters off trying to eat the potato tuber, giving it a second chance to sprout after all. Definitely not a good idea to eat green potatoes.

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      I've added this lens to my "Great recipe lenses" module at Incredibly Good Recipes.

    • profile image

      ThomasC 9 years ago

      I have featured this lens on my 4 course meal from Squidoo users lens!

      Great job on this page I was honored to feature it!

      Stars and favorites for you!

      ThomasC

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      Thanks for the lens. I'm probably on the Most Wanted List by the Mashed Potato Police, but honest, I've gotten better and now I only use a hand masher. Please don't turn me in, but do come visit my lenses sometime.

    • farmgirl lm profile image

      farmgirl lm 9 years ago

      I usually pressure cook mine and then (tip) you must drain the water off after they are done in order to get the best flavor for those taters. Use fresh water or milk or whatever for mashing. I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert - spud farmer in Idaho! (Although, I did learn a few things here, thanks.)

    • profile image

      flaminglacer 10 years ago

      My favorite comfort food....Squid Angel blessing.....