Mashed potatoes are very easy to make, but a few important details will take this classic side dish from good to amazing!

Best Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Best Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds gold or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
  • 1 cup half-and-half or cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add chopped potatoes to a large pot of salted cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender.
  3. Drain potatoes and spread into an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat; warm half-and-half or cream in a separate saucepan.
  5. Return potatoes to pot and mash using a vegetable masher or electric mixer. Add in butter and stir until butter is just absorbed. Add half-and-half and mix until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Be careful not to over mix, or potatoes may become gummy.
  6. Serve immediately or keep warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours.
  7. To make ahead, place in a buttered casserole dish and top with 2 additional tablespoons of cubed butter. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to several days. To reheat, warm in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  8. TIPS FOR THE CREAMIEST POTATOES:
    Pick the right potatoes. I prefer to use gold or yellow potatoes for mashing. They’re not too starchy or waxy, and they have a creamy texture and buttery flavor.
    Start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Place chopped potatoes in a pot filled with cold water and a generous sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are just fork tender. Do not cook too long or the potatoes will absorb excess water.
    Dry potatoes in the oven. Drain the potatoes, spread evenly onto a sheet pan, and put in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes. Dry potatoes are able to absorb more milk and butter, making the finished mashed potatoes very smooth and creamy.
    Warm the dairy. While the potatoes are in the oven, warm the butter and milk or cream over the stove until butter is melted. The potatoes will absorb the warm dairy easily and you won’t have to overwork the potatoes to get everything smooth.
    Don’t overwork. Use a potato masher or a hand-held mixer to break up the potatoes. Overworking the potatoes will cause them to get gummy, potatoes should still be light and fluffy.
    Add the butter first. Adding the butter first helps to coat the starch in the potato, resulting in a creamier potato. Once the butter is absorbed; add the rest of the dairy.
    Serve immediately or store properly for later. If you’d like to make mashed potatoes ahead of time, keep warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours. If you are making them more than 4 hours in advance, place mashed potatoes in a greased casserole dish and top with 2 tablespoons of cubed butter. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to several days. To reheat, warm in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Stir until smooth and serve.

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