Buttery Mashed Potatoes

5 from 41 votes

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 This Mashed Potatoes Recipe is smooth, silky and so creamy! Mashed potatoes are delicious on their own or are a perfect side dish for dinner.

Mashed Potatoes are tasty little devils. Delicious on their own and delightful with gravy. Plus they are so simple to make when you have the right techniques and right add-ins. Which I outline in this recipe! This is the ultimate mashed potatoes recipe for any holiday or regular dinner, with just the right balance of tang and creaminess. So, let’s make some taters!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This simple mashed potatoes recipe requires only 5 ingredients, one of which takes these potatoes over the top. So gather up these ingredients to make the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted.

  • Potatoes – I used Idaho potatoes in this recipe because they are so reliable and tasty. Feel free to try other types of potatoes if you like those more. A popular one is golden potatoes but you could also do a blend of potatoes.
  • Salted Butter – mashed potatoes are meant to be buttery and delicious. You can use unsalted butter if you’d like, just make sure to season your potatoes accordingly.
  • Cream Cheese – this is my secret ingredient. Ever tried mashed potatoes with it? Well, let me tell you, it’s in the life-changing category. I’ve never had potatoes quite as creamy and/or tangy.
  • Whole Milk – Buttermilk in potatoes is a little too tangy for me and cream and butter together is a little too creamy, especially if you’re going to drown them in gravy. So I use whole milk. Feel free to make these as creamy as you’d like though!
  • Salt and Pepper – season as you go and make sure to taste along the way so that you aren’t overdoing anything.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Tips and Tricks

Boiling. The number one thing I can attest to is to not overboil your potatoes. Overboiling makes really mushy potatoes that are kinda gross. The texture will be all wrong. So watch them closely and as soon as they are fork-tender, drain them!

Drying Before Mashing. In the instructions, it says to return the potatoes to the hot pan right after draining. Don’t skip this step! Doing this helps dry the potatoes out a tiny bit before mashing with other liquids. It’s another texture helper.

Mixing. Be careful when mixing because overmixing can easily turn the potatoes gummy. Bleck.

Mashing. If you have a favorite mashing machine, use it! Everyone likes different tools and different consistencies of mashed potatoes, so make these the way you and your family likes them. I used this potato masher. I like small lumps in my potatoes, so only a minute or two of mashing will do the job.

Peeled potatoes

Mashed Potatoes Variations

Since mashed potatoes are such a simple recipe you can easily add different ingredients to fit your dinner style. Feel free to customize this recipe to your liking! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

  • Garlic – for the garlic lovers and for the Italian style dishes. Try roasting your garlic beforehand for an extra-strong flavor.
  • Sweet Potatoes – sweet potatoes are a seriously delicious alternative to Idaho potatoes and are still perfect for the holidays.
  • Cajun Seasoning – this is a great way to spice up your potatoes. Add as much or as little as you want.
  • Loaded Potatoes – I already have a recipe for this! Check it out here: Loaded Smashed Potatoes.

Boiling chopped potatoes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

  1. Peel potatoes (a great job for kiddos) and rinse them. Cut into even-sized pieces and place them into a large pot. I used the Calphalon Contemporary Bronze Edition Nonstick Stock Pot.
  2. Cover with water and add a dash of salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain completely and place potatoes back into the hot pot.
  3. Mash potatoes with butter, cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper until desired consistency has been reached.
  4. Serve warm with gravy.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Storing and Reheating

It is the fat from the cream cheese, butter and whole milk that helps these potatoes reheat well. So don’t skip out on these!

Storing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezing. The trick to freezing mashed potatoes is to eliminate as much air as possible. This is best done by scooping the cooled off mashed potatoes into a freezer bag then freezing.

Reheating. One way to reheat mashed potatoes is to reheat in the microwave, covered, for a couple of minutes. Stirring halfway through.

Or reheat on the stovetop. Stir occasionally, and add more butter/cream cheese/whole milk, if needed.

Mashed Potatoes

More Potato Recipes to Try!

That’s it! Hope you all have a great day! Happy smashing!

5 from 41 votes

Mashed Potatoes

This Mashed Potatoes Recipe is smooth, silky and so creamy! Mashed potatoes are delicious on their own or are a perfect side dish for dinner.
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • 2 pounds Idaho Potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel potatoes and rinse them. Cut into even-sized pieces and place them into a large pot.
  • Cover with water and add a dash of salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain completely and place potatoes back into the hot pot.
  • Mash potatoes with butter, cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper until desired consistency has been reached. Serve warm with gravy.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
Keyword: how to make mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes recipe


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Recipe Rating

116 Responses
  1. Kathryn

    Oh the idea of using cream cheese has never occurred to me! It sounds like it makes for awesome matched potatoes; mine normally seem a bit sad but this definitely perks them up!

  2. Megan H

    Looks delicious! I made your cornbread stuffing just last week and it was a hit…can’t wait to try this recipe, too! I’ve never considered putting cream cheese into mashed potatoes, but it totally makes sense :). I’m not usually a fan of potatoes (I’ll eat them, but not often) but these I’ll have to try!

  3. Peggy

    I received your e-mail about the giveaway and responded but I have been having problems with my e-mail. I can only open it intermittently and then I am not able to respond at this point in time. Just checking to see it you received the response on Saturday. Thank you!

  4. Laurie {Simply Scratch}

    I <3 mashed potatoes! They don't even need to be perfectly smooth… but with a dollop of butter or some gravy and I'm in heaven! These look great Lauren!

  5. Tina

    I’ve used cream cheese in my mashed potatoes for YEARS! It was my grandmother’s recipe. Love the taste and how super creamy it gets without feeling grainy. My husband won’t eat anyone elses. At least I know I’m not the only one anymore!

  6. Judy

    A dear friend years ago gave me a hint to making mashed potatoes. She said to warm the milk in the microwave keeps the temp warm. I’ve done it ever since just FYI.

  7. Lintee

    5 stars
    Thanks Lauren for the delicious recipes of Irish Stew and Mashed Potatoes. Oh yummers. It’s refreshing to have a place to go to for some new ideas. Most appreciated.

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  10. Katie Lynn

    5 stars
    I’ve done this for the past several years. Works great, especially if you make them ahead of time. Usually reheated mashed potatoes are super gross, but with the cream cheese they taste like they were just made! I make mine the night before, stick them in a crock pot and reheat them for dinner. It definitely is one less thing to worry about keeping an eye on, and makes hostessing that much more enjoyable!

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  13. Chris Montgomery

    sour cream and cream cheese with garlic salt on top to lightly brown when you bake it all in the oven…….party potatoes!

  14. Katrina

    Butter and cream cheese are the ONLY way to make perfect mashed potatoes. You a right, gotta leave a couple chunks. My hubby hates them completely disintegrated! 🙂

  15. Susan

    5 stars
    Lauren your blog is my go to site for recipes for any occasion. Thank you for sharing such easy and delicious recipes. I am making these potatoes for Christmas dinner. Yum!!

  16. Debbie Woods

    Hi Lauren! We were just plannng Christmas dinner last night and my husband asked if we should just do pre-made potatoes. Aack!! So, of course, I turn to Lauren’s Latest to find the perfect recipe! can’t wait to try these tangy suckers!! Merry Christmas!!????????

  17. Stephanie

    5 stars
    I used your recipe for Thanksgiving this year. I always seem to make “sticky” mashed potatoes and your post helped fix that!

  18. danite easley

    5 stars
    I was looking for a mashed potatoes dish for a meeting at my church. I know how to make them but I want something to wow them with. So i used your recipe and they was off the change. Thanks so much for all your recipes.

  19. Jen

    5 stars
    Can you believe I’ve never made mashed potatoes (and I’m 40)! I am going to attempt this recipe for my family’s Christmas Eve lunch (sans the gravy … not a fan of gravy on anything but biscuits). Thanks for the confidence boost … I got this!

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