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The Secret To Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Do you love comfort food as much as I do? It’s so easy to make these perfect mashed potatoes, even my son can do it!

We’re continuing the quest with Mister Man to teach him to cook.  And he’s loving it.  In fact, whenever he sees me in the kitchen, he asks if he can help – swoon!

I wanted to find a dish that he could – essentially – make completely by himself.  I’m not sure why mashed potatoes popped into my head, but it did… and they were beautiful.

And before you ask… yes, Mister Man did make these entirely by himself, except for me hefting the pot of hot water to strain the potatoes.

Kids can cook.  I’m so amazed by what he’s capable of doing if I just let him.

Growing up, my mom would make mashed potatoes on a regular basis, churning them with her electric beater until they were a hot, creamy, gluey mess.  They still tasted good, but the texture was a bit dense.

These taters?  Not at all.  They’re light and fluffy and oh so delicious.

Personally,  I like to use chicken stock for my liquid instead of milk or cream because of the added richness of flavor (plus hey – low in calories, fat and sodium), but feel to doctor them up however you want – cream, butter, milk, sour cream, etc.

And if you chose to roast garlic and add that to these potatoes while you’re ricing them?  I might just stop in for dinner!

If you have an Instant Pot, these are even easier to make. Of course I have an Instant Pot mashed potatoes recipe!

Bowl of Mister Man's mashed potatoes

We serve these with all sorts of goodies, whether it’s a side for Thanksgiving or with pot roast. In fact, this is what I use as part of the filling for my homemade pierogies even!

How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Peel your potatoes after scrubbing them.  Cut them into larger than a pair of dice size chunks – or so.

As you’re cutting, place them into a pot of cold water.  This will keep the potatoes from turning brown.

If you’re making dinner for a crowd, this step can be done ahead of time, just leaving the potatoes in the water all day.

You want enough water that the potatoes are covered with room to swim, but you don’t need too much water, which will only take longer to bring to temperature and make this take longer.

Mister Man peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes

Once the potatoes are peeled and chopped, turn the stove onto medium heat and add the salt to the water.  Cook the potatoes at a fast simmer for about 15 minutes, until they’re tender.

When they’re ready, they should look a little fluffy on the outside, and a fork should pierce them easily.  You don’t want them cooked to the point that they’ll fall apart on their own, however.

Potatoes look rough around the edges when they're done

Drain the potatoes, and return them to your pot.  Turn the heat onto low or medium low and swish the pot around a little.  You just want to quickly get the water to evaporate from the outside of your potatoes, not really cook them anymore.  The evaporation will help make them light and fluffy.

Read This Next:  Instant Pot Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Turn the heat off again, and use a potato ricer (if you have one – if not, use the back of a large fork, but the ricer is so worth the investment) to rice your potatoes.  You simply put the potatoes into the holder and squeeze, and the potato will come out.

If you’re doing the roasted garlic, put the roasted garlic in with the potatoes and squeeze it all together. Not all your potatoes will fit into the ricer at once, so just do it in batches.

Rice potatoes in batches or use the back of a fork

Add your liquid slowly.  Add about a half cup to start- and if it’s room temperature instead of being cold, this will also help keep your potatoes perfectly fluffy – and stir gently.

Judge whether your need to add more or not based on your own personal preference for potatoes.  Once you have that down, salt and pepper to taste, stir again, and you’re ready to serve!

Mashed potatoes are best when served immediately after making them.  They don’t do well with reheating or as leftovers.  That isn’t to say that they’re inedible then, but they just don’t have that same lovely texture.

If you have leftovers, I’d suggest making potato pancakes.  Simply scoop out cold leftover mashed potatoes, flatten the scoop, and cook it in a pan with oil for breakfast the next day.

Mister Man made mashed potatoes all by himself

What do you serve your mashed potatoes with?

Easy and delicious Instant Pot mashed potatoes recipe

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These mashed potatoes are absolutely perfect. They're simple and delicious and just what you need as the side to your next dinner.


  • 3 medium baking potatoes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c chicken stock
  • Roasted garlic, optional


  1. Peel your potatoes and cut into larger than a pair of dice size chunks. Place into a pot of cold water as you go.
  2. Turn stove to medium heat and add the salt to the water. Cook potatoes at a fast simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender.
  3. Drain potatoes, and return to pot. Turn heat onto low or medium low and swish the pot to quickly evaporate water from the outside of the potatoes
  4. Remove from heat, and use a potato ricer or the back of a large fork to rice potatoes.
  5. Optional: Put roasted garlic in with potatoes and rice with potatoes.
  6. Add room temperature liquid slowly and stir gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  • In place of the chicken stock, you can use milk or sour cream or cream, maybe some butter or a combination of them.
  • To roast garlic to add to this, slice the very top off a bulb of garlic. Place it in a bit of tin foil and drizzle the garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Make a foil tent and roast at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. When done, just squeeze the garlic from the bulb and mash it.
  • If you're making this for a crowd, you can peel and chop the potatoes ahead of time. Place them in a pot of cool water and let them hang out until you're ready to cook them.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: .4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 29.9gFiber: 3.1gSugar: 1.7gProtein: 4.1g

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