how to make great mashed potatoes

One of the many reasons I married Danny? His mashed potatoes.

They’re soft and fluffy, not one bit of thinness or glueyness to them. They’re a wonderful vehicle for butter and hot gravy.

Now, you can make them too. I bet someone at your Thanksgiving table will love you for them too.

5 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup whole milk (you can use your favorite non-dairy milk here)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Prepping the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Make slices at every 1-inch interval. The slices so should be about the same size, so toss the stubby ends.

Cooking the potatoes. Fill a big post with cold water. Add enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean (about 1/4 cup). Taste the water before you put in the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Simmer until you can slide a knife right through one of the potato pieces without any force, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Draining the potatoes. Pour the potatoes into a large colander and shake to make sure all the water is out. Let the colander sit in the sink for 3 to 4 minutes to steam the potatoes dry.

Ricing the potatoes. If you own a potato ricer or food mill, push the potatoes through. If the potato is cooked properly, you should have to use a tiny bit of muscle. If you do not own a ricer or food mill, push the potatoes through a fine-mesh sieve with the back of a ramekin or a large wooden spoon.

Heating the milk. Heat the milk in a small saucepan on medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from the heat. You can also use the microwave.

Finishing the potatoes. Put the potatoes back in the large pot. Stir the softened butter into the potatoes. Add the olive oil and fold it into the potatoes. Splash the hot milk in, folding it into the potatoes with a rubber spatula, using only as much of the milk as you need. Taste the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Feeds 4. (You can easily double this. Or even triple it, if you have a large-enough pot.)

14 comments on “how to make great mashed potatoes

  1. LisaB

    You guys are totally making me want to make mashed potatoes *right now*!! I already cook them similar to your method (large cube, salted water), and now want to try mashing them through a sieve rather than with a masher. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Cari

    I dare you: 8 peeled, diced and cooked potatoes as you would. Rice into a bowl. Add 8 ounces cream cheese, 8 ounces butter and 8 ounces sour cream. Salt and pepper. Place into a casserole dish and into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Can be made several days in advance. You might just wish you married me.

  3. Ann

    As a kid – mashed potatoes at our house came from a box. They always tasted a bit…weird…to me. Since then, I’ve relied on the store-bought “Simply Potatoes” mashed potatoes for any meal I was serving potatoes at. This is the recipe that has convinced me to try making them from scratch! One question, however – I will be making these for a family member who has a dairy allergy. Can I substitute the butter for extra olive oil or should I find a vegan appropriate butter substitute? Thanks!

    1. shauna

      That’s so great! I think you’ll love these. And yes, go ahead and use a bit more olive oil and milk. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Valerie

    One of my favorite things about using my ricer is that I don’t have to peel the potatoes first. (Not sure if American ricers work the same way.)

  5. Basilqueen

    Happy Thanksgiving neighbors to the South! We love to add nutmeg to our mashed potatoes as we are mad about spices in this family. Your videos might just convince us to have a little midweek thanksgiving dinner ourselves. Bon appetit Basilqueen and daughter

  6. Lisa

    Thanks for all your hard work preparing videos and creating the app! Yesterday, I prepared my mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, fresh cranberry relish, and a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust! All that’s left to do today is cook the turkey breast and steam some fresh green beans. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I loved the app and look forward to your next cookbook!

  7. Karista

    Fantastic! There are many reasons I don’t watch food television, but one reason is that some of it just isn’t informative or worth watching. However, if you two had your own food tv show I’d watch every episode!!

  8. Reeb

    Thanks for this recipe. Turned out amazing. I used ghee and rice milk for a casein free version. Delicious. Will always use this method from now on.

  9. Gina

    Using a potato ricer is definitely the way to go! I always end up with much less mashed potato than I think I’m going to, and they are very dense (but delicious). I’ve been using red potatoes. I’ve been thinking I need to try a different kind of potato. Yukon Golds will be my next thing to try. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Leslie

    Thank you for all your delish recipes! I’m cooking gluten-free food! Tried the g-free pie crust and I did it!! I made dough that actually came out really good. Thx! 😉

  11. Kris

    Best 5 bucks I’ve spent in quite awhile. I downloaded it a little late since thanksgiving has passed, but looking on the bright side, I will be ready for the next holiday. Thank You!

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