Creamy mashed potatoes (Simple homemade recipe)

All photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Creamy mashed potatoes – an MVP of the holiday side dish game. Whether it’s the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a hearty family dinner, someone in your house is looking for a bowl of these taters.

This crafted recipe for the best mashed potatoes is simple to make with just a handful of pantry ingredients. Even so, it does not skimp on flavor and only needs 30 minutes of your time, so it might just become your go-to recipe for a quick and easy side dish for any special occasion.

A lot of people think mashed potatoes are the same all over. But there’s a lot of room for creativity and personalization in this classic comfort food. Some people prefer thick and chunky, others like them smooth and creamy.

This homemade mashed potatoes recipe is all about that latter style – creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes that taste dang good. So get ready to serve the creamiest mashed potatoes with your all-time favorite dishes like my rib eye steak or grilled chicken drumsticks!

What kind of mashed potatoes are best? 

If your house is like mine, the preferred texture of mashed potatoes differs from person to person. My wife likes them a little lumpy – as proof that no one has used those naughty powdered potatoes. Our son likes them as smooth as possible. I tend to side with him. But really, the flavor and balance are the most important parts in my opinion.

So, what kind of mashed potatoes are best? For me, the ones that taste great and are simple to whip up like this easy recipe!

Choosing the right potatoes.

One of the greatest contributing factors to texture is the potato type. I like Yukon gold potatoes with their softer texture with thinner skin. But there’s nothing wrong with using Russet potatoes or even red potatoes.

For me, Yukon golds are the best potatoes to use as they are ever so slightly sweet which adds a nice depth of flavor. The thinner skin is also very easy to clean and leave on if you chose to forego peeling – a huge time saver and game changer!

Some people will urge you to use two different types of potatoes, but I think one is better. With two types of potatoes, you have to worry about different cook times and textures, which can complicate things. The best way to get a consistent, creamy texture is to keep it simple by using just one type of potato.

Ingredients you will need.

You will need real butter, whole milk, and sour cream. Pure ingredients will definitely produce the highest quality mash.  

For seasoning, stick with the basics: salt, black pepper, and some garlic powder. However, if you want to take the garlic flavor to the next level, check out my easy roasted garlic recipe. Add a tablespoon of the roasted garlic instead of the powder to make these potatoes sing with flavor.

Feel free to top it with extra butter, bacon bits, fresh herbs like chives and green onions, or parmesan cheese for a special touch.

How to Make Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Place a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. The pot should be filled to no more than 2/3 to the top. You don’t want an overflow once you add the potatoes.

Meanwhile, decide if you are skins on or skins off. Peeled potatoes will result in the creamiest version of this recipe, but it will probably add about 15 minutes to the prep time. The skins are so thin on these gold potatoes though, they disappear easily into the mash.  

If you are leaving the skins on, thoroughly scrub the potatoes with a potato scrub brush. If you are peeling, I recommend putting a plastic bag into a large bowl to catch all of the peels. You will also want to wet down the potatoes and use a sharp potato peeler. Make sure to peel away from your body and try to avoid getting any peels in your sink drain.

Once the potatoes are clean, cut them into four equal parts. To speed up the cooking time, just cut the potatoes into smaller sections. Regardless of the size, the only thing you want to make sure of is that all the chunks are roughly the same size for even cooking.

Cooking the potatoes

When the water comes to a gentle boil, carefully add the potatoes in. I like to fill a large flat spoon with the cut potatoes and lower them in.  

Cook the potatoes in boiling water with the lid off for 20-30 minutes. Occasionally check the doneness with a fork. I use a rule of four: stick a fork into at least 4 potatoes to see if it easily slides in. If you are unsure, you can always pull out four pieces and see if you can mash them with a fork. They should mash easily without being too watery.

Using a large strainer, drain the water from the potatoes. Return them to the same warm pot or place them into a bowl.

Mixing all the ingreidents

A trick to retain heat is to gently warm the milk and butter before adding the hot potatoes.

Then add 1/3 of the warm milk, some warm butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, gently mash the potatoes until creamy. Slowly add the rest of the milk, butter, and sour cream in and finish mixing until you get that smooth, creamy, and buttery texture.

If the potatoes are still dry in some spots, add small amounts of milk or a dollop of sour cream at a time to get the perfect consistency. Also add salt and pepper to taste. I like to garnish with some chives too. Serve it up as the creamiest side dish the next time you’re having a feast!

This creamy mashed potatoes recipe will have your family and guests dreaming about your home cooking. Keep these simple ingredients in the pantry so you can whip them up whenever you want…which will be all the time!

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Creamy mashed potatoes (Simple homemade recipe)

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This crafted recipe for creamy mashed potatoes is simple to make with just a handful of ingredients. Even so, it does not skimp on flavor.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes 
  • 1/2 stick of butter sliced 
  • 2/3 cup whole milk 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 


  1. Wash and peel your potatoes, then quarter them 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place potatoes carefully in
  3. Cook potatoes for 20-30 minutes until they are fork tender and can easily be mashed 
  4. Strain the water from the potatoes and leave them in the same pot or transfer into a bowl if desired. 
  5. Into the pot add milk, butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mash or mix potatoes until the ingredients are combined and you have your desired consistency.
  6. Garnish with chives and add more salt or pepper as needed. 


If the potatoes are too thick after mashing add a little more milk or sour cream to help thin them out. 

  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Boiling

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