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An image of creamy, homemade mashed potatoes in a serving bowl.
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5 from 3 votes

The BEST Homemade Mashed Potatoes!

These are the BEST mashed potatoes, perfect for Sunday dinners, holidays, or no occasion at all! They are great for making ahead when it comes to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but easy enough to serve any night of the week.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Calories: 346kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 4-5 pounds potatoes Russets, Yukon Golds, or a combination of both
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons salt divided
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced (optional)
  • 1 cup whole milk heated up in the microwave for 1 minute
  • ½ cup salted butter room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened and cubed (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley or chives for garnish
  • Fresh cracked black pepper for garnish


  • Peel potatoes and cut in half or in quarters, if potatoes are very large. Add to a large pot and cover completely until there is an inch of water above the tops of the potatoes. Add a generous tablespoon of salt to the water. Add garlic to the water, if using.
  • Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a medium to let the potatoes simmer until cooked through (usually about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Cook just until the potatoes are tender enough to be pierced with a fork or sharp knife. Drain well.
  • Heat milk in the microwave for 60 seconds while the potatoes are draining and set aside.
  • In the same pot you cooked the potatoes in, mash the potatoes by hand using a potato masher, potato ricer, or an electric mixer just enough to break them up.
  • Add the warm milk slowly while mixing or mashing. Do not overmix! Mix in remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  • Add the softened butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing on low speed or mashing with the potato masher after each addition. Add cream cheese, if using. Taste and adjust salt, if needed.
  • Transfer the finished mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, cracked pepper, or chives. Serve warm.


You can replace the whole milk with half-and-half or cream for even more indulgent, creamy mashed potatoes.
If making earlier in the day, the finished potatoes can be kept warm in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours.
If making 2-3 days in advance, prepare through step 5 by adding the milk but not the butter. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, then when ready to serve, heat in the microwave for 7-8 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot. Place of a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water and mix in the butter, a little at a time. The potatoes will stay hot over the gently simmering water for hours. Just be sure to check the water from time-to-time to make sure it doesn't run out.
If freezing, prepare the potatoes all the way, then cool completely before transferring to a large freezer-safe ziploc bag. Flatten out the mashed potatoes in the bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw completely in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. You may need to stir in a few spoonfuls of sour cream if the potatoes have a watery texture after reheating.


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1046mg | Potassium: 1027mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg