Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. They’re quick and easy and the soft texture makes me feel like a kid. They’re also a great base for all kinds of variations like garlic mashed potatoes and herby mashed potatoes.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • large saucepan
  • potato peeler (optional)
  • knife
  • wooden spoon
  • potato masher or electric mixer



Fill the saucepan with water but don’t turn on the stove yet.*

Peel the potatoes (optional, otherwise scrub them well), cut into cubes, and add to the water.

Turn on stove to high and bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add salt and reduce heat to bring water down to a simmer.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12-20 minutes, depending on the size of your cubes. (Smaller cubes cook faster but absorb more water, leaving less "room" for butter and milk.) When you stick a fork in a potato cube and it falls off without breaking, it’s done.

Drain the potatoes. Put the saucepan back on the stove for a moment to cook away any remaining liquid, then add the butter and potatoes. Stir until the butter is melted, add the milk, and mash the potatoes.

Serve hot with your favorite gravy or do like I do and dress them up like a baked potato with sour cream and chives.


* Adding potatoes to hot water results in gluey mashed potatoes. For maximum fluffiness, add potatoes to water before applying heat.

Unpeeled potatoes are more nutritious but the skins affect the texture of mashed potatoes, so it’s up to you.

To reheat mashed potatoes, put a few T of milk, vegetable stock, or water in a saucepan, add potatoes, and stir over medium heat until hot.

See mashed potato variations for garlic mashed potatoes, herby mashed potatoes, and more. Also, if you like mashed potatoes, you’ll probably love mashed sweet potatoes.

This recipe is part of my vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.


Abbreviations  |  Conversions  |  Cooking tips

Mashed potatoes