Southern Mashed Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food side dish. They are fluffy and delicious. This easy recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.
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Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Sometimes when you grow up making a dish one way, it seems like that’s the only way. Making it from scratch always seems hard, doesn’t it?
I’ve found that to be untrue in most cases. These Southern Mashed Potatoes are no exception.
You can make these mashed potatoes in a Kitchenaid mixer, with a hand blender, or with a potato masher.
They are super easy to make and can be ready in under half an hour. They’re so delicious and creamy, you won't ever want to go back to instant mashed potatoes.
They’re perfect as a side dish or you can layer them on top of a hearty shepherd’s pie.
Why you'll love creamy southern mashed potatoes
These Southern Mashed Potatoes are so buttery and soft, and you’re going to love them.
- Mashed potatoes are so easy to make and ready in 30 minutes.
- They are one of the classic recipes everyone loves.
- Mashed potatoes are one of the best comfort foods, Make them smooth or lumpy — however you like!
- The whole family will love these mashed potatoes. They can top them with their personal preference: more butter, herbs, or lots of gravy!
- This is a simple recipe with simple ingredients. Nothing that is hard to find.
These mashed potatoes are perfect for any time of year, but they're also great for special occasions like Thanksgiving day. It's a great recipe you'll keep in rotation.
Ingredients for this homemade mashed potatoes recipe
Good mashed potatoes don’t have a ton of ingredients. This recipe sticks to the basics but still has a ton of flavor.
- potatoes - Yukon Golds are the best for creamy mashed potatoes, but russet potatoes will also work.
- heavy cream - Heavy cream makes for the richest mashed potatoes, but use whole milk or half-and-half instead if you’d like them to be a little lighter.
- butter - Real butter will give you the best melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Don’t substitute it! You'll want to use plenty of butter for the best flavor.
- salt & pepper - Kosher salt or sea salt and black pepper are the best for cooking — ideally ground with a grinder. White pepper is also delicious.
- garlic powder - Garlic powder is great for this because it doesn’t add any lumps. However, you can use minced garlic or garlic paste if you’d like a stronger garlic flavor.
If you wish to make dairy-free or vegan mashed potatoes, use unsweetened almond or soy milk and your favorite butter substitute.
How to Make Southern Mashed Potatoes
(A full, printable recipe card with full instructions and full measurements is located at the bottom of this post)
This mashed potato recipe is so easy! You will never go back to the instant kind (unless it’s Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes made in your pressure cooker). Here’s how to make them.
Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. You'll want them in small pieces (think 1") so they can cook evenly. (Peeling is optional!)
Place the potato pieces into a stock pot and fill it with cold water until the water is about 1 inch above the potatoes. You'll want to use a large pot of water to give it room to cook and prevent it from boiling over. A medium-sized dutch oven works well.
Heat over high heat until boiling. Turn it down to medium-high heat and boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes until just softened.
Drain the cooked potatoes and add them to a mixing bowl.
Add the butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the potatoes.
You can also use a potato hand masher if you’d rather do it by hand or wish for a chunkier texture.
Tips and tricks for perfect mashed potatoes
You don’t have to peel the potatoes, but if you leave the peels on, make sure you scrub them very clean before cooking.
When using a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer, it’s important not to overwhip the potatoes. They’ll become sticky and glue-like, and once it reaches this consistency, you can’t really go back.
It’s better to whip in short bursts and check the consistency until you get the smoothness you desire.
If you want your mashed potatoes to have some lumps, use a potato masher instead of an electric mixer.
A food mill also works great for mashing potatoes.
Onion powder makes a great addition to mashed potatoes for extra flavor without chunks of onion.
How to mash potatoes
When it comes to mashing potatoes, I recommend using a food mill, electric hand mixer, or stand mixer.
If you like a lumpier style mashed potato, you can also use a hand masher.
Once your potatoes are cooked and placed in a mixing bowl, use whichever device you prefer.
Just remember not to over mix!
When stored properly, mashed potatoes will last 3 days in the refrigerator and 12 months in the freezer.
If you're reheating mashed potatoes in the microwave, I recommend heating them 1 minute at a time, stirring between until heated through.
How long are leftover mashed potatoes good for?
Mashed potatoes stored in the fridge inside an airtight container will keep for about 3 to 5 days.
They can also be frozen. You can store them in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 12 months.
Calories in Mashed Potatoes
A cup of mashed potatoes contains around 200 calories. If you add more butter or gravy on top, you should use a calorie calculator website or app to help you determine the proper amount of calories.
Best Amount of Mashed Potatoes per Person
When making mashed potatoes for a crowd as a side dish, you should plan to buy ½ pound of potatoes per person. If you are serving 8 people, for example, you would need 4 pounds of potatoes.
A serving of mashed potatoes is about 1 cup.
What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
In order to get the best mashed potatoes, you really want to take the type of potatoes into consideration.
The best type of potato depends on the texture and the result you're looking for. Whether you're looking for creamy potatoes or fluffy potatoes, there's an option.
Yukon gold potatoes - these potatoes are the best when it comes to creamy, delicious mashed potatoes. They aren't overly starchy potatoes and they reheat well. They also don't absorb as much water during boiling which helps with the creamy texture.
russet potatoes - russets are the second best when it comes to mashed potatoes. While you don't have to peel them for mashed potatoes, most people don't like the flavor of the russet peels. They're higher in starch, so they'll give you a fluffy mash. Be careful though because if you over-mix them, they'll be gluey from the high starch content.
red potatoes - it is common to leave the skins on when making mashed potatoes with red potatoes. Since they are waxy potatoes, red potatoes will give you a less creamy, chunkier style mashed potato.
how to reheat mashed potatoes
When you're reheating mashed potatoes, you can use a few ways including the microwave, oven, and even the slow cooker.
How to reheat mashed potatoes in the oven
You can make mashed potatoes in advance of your event and reheat them in the oven. This method works for leftovers too!
Place the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish with a lid. You can also use foil. Let them rest on the counter for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat them for 30 minutes until warmed through.
how to reheat mashed potatoes in crock pot
You can also reheat mashed potatoes in the slow cooker.
Add the leftover mashed potatoes to the crock pot with a little milk and heat over low, stirring occasionally.
You will want to be sure to stir them so that they will get heated through and to keep them from burning to the bottom.
I do not recommend heating them in the crock pot on high.
How to freeze mashed potatoes
To freeze leftover mashed potatoes, you'll want to allow them to cool completely to room temperature.
Once cooled completely, place them in an airtight, freezer safe container. Ziploc bags and souper cubes both work well.
Place them in the freezer and they will stay fresh for up to 12 months.
How to reheat frozen mashed potatoes
When you're reheating frozen mashed potatoes, I recommend thawing them overnight in the refrigerator first. You'll have the best results.
Once thawed, you can reheat as you would any leftover mashed potatoes.
If you're reheating directly from frozen, the crock pot method will work best.
Dinner Ideas with Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for so many means! Here are a few ideas for dinners that go with mashed potatoes:
What to add to mashed potatoes for flavor
These Southern-style mashed potatoes are so good on their own, but you can have fun with toppings and mix-ins.
- Extra butter (lots of butter = lots of flavor!)
- Minced garlic or garlic paste
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Shredded cheese
- Green onion
- Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary and thyme
And don’t forget that you don’t need to cook a turkey to make gravy! You can make a really yummy brown gravy with beef broth to spoon on top of your mashed potatoes! The best.
Southern Side Dish Recipes
If you’re cooking a Southern-style meal, check out these side dishes to go along with your mashed potatoes. Don’t forget the banana pudding!
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Whipped Mashed Potatoes
- Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 1” pieces.
- Place the potatoes into a stock pot and fill with water until the water is about 1” above the potatoes.
- Heat over high heat until boiling. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes until just softened.
- Drain and add to a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the potatoes.
- Whip the potatoes with an electric or stand mixer until they are mashed to your desired consistency.
- Chunky - use a masher instead of an electric mixer
- Don’t overwhip them, they’ll become sticky
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.