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A large circular bowl filled with mashed potatoes with melted butter on top.

Best Mashed Potatoes

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American / French
Keyword: best mashed potatoes recipe, how to make homemade mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving side dish recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 358kcal
The Best Mashed Potatoes really are the best mashed potatoes in town. We highly recommend using a potato ricer or food mill to get extra fluffy and creamy spuds. See Notes for tips on making in advance and storing.
Print Recipe


  • Large pot for simmering, potato ricer or food mill


  • 4 lbs gold potatoes peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted, 2 sticks
  • cup half and half heated
  • black pepper freshly ground, optional


  • Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with cool tap water.  Season the water with 1 tbsp salt.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Drain the potatoes.  Pass the potatoes through the ricer or food mill into a large bowl. 
  • Slowly mix in the melted butter until fully incorporated into the potatoes.
  • Gradually stir in the warmed half and half until desired consistency is reached.  Less cream if you prefer thicker potatoes, more if you prefer creamier spuds. 
  • Season with salt, usually 2½ teaspoons.  Taste as you salt until you reach the desired seasoning. 
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and top with another pad or two of chilled butter.  Top with freshly ground pepper, if desired.  Serve at once. 



Russet potatoes are a fine substitution for the gold.  We don't recommend red potatoes.
If using a ricer, you'll need to peel the potatoes.  If using a food mill, still cube the potatoes, but there's no need to peel the potatoes.
Make sure you incorporate the melted butter into the potatoes before adding the warmed cream.
We use half and half, but you can use all heavy cream for an extra luxurious taste and texture.  All whole milk is just fine, too.  We don't recommend skim milk or milk substitutes, but it won't ruin the potatoes if you do go that route.
You can prepare the potatoes up to 8 hours in advance of serving.  We like to gently reheat them by placing them in a pot that will fit into another pot of simmering water.  They'll need to be in the simmering water for at least an hour to be warmed throughout.  Don't fill the outer pan to the top with water...you don't want it to overflow any hot water when simmering.
You can reheat the potatoes on the stove, but be careful to not overdo it and dry them out.  Nuking them in the microwave is an option, too.
The potatoes will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.  They freeze just fine but will lose some of the fluffy texture when thawed and reheated. 


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 717IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg