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Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes – the BEST mashed potatoes recipe, with only 3 ingredients! Make it silky smooth or rustically chunky, it’s your call!

creamy mashed potatoes with melted butter and chives, in a large wide white bowl

A Fabulously Easy Recipe for Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I’ve never really had a “recipe” for mashed potatoes. And I’ve struggled with that over the years – always just adding a bit of this and a bit of that, and hoping for the best.

My family has struggled as well. Which means, they’ve never known if the potatoes being passed were going to be thin and gloppy OR thick and gluey.

I thought it was about time to get this easy comfort dish down. Because homemade mashed potatoes go with so many meals – and are an absolute MUST with Swedish Meatballs and a good ol’ Classic Pot Roast.

This Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe eliminates the guesswork. And can you believe that you only need three ingredients?!

Sometimes we mash the potatoes silky smooth; other times chunky (with and without the peels!). But any way we make them, this fabulously easy recipe always has us comin’ back for more.

Like potatoes?! Then also be sure to check out my easy Baked Potato recipe. It gives you the best baked potatoes – with salty, crispy skin and tender, fluffy insides. And they can be made in the oven, microwave, air fryer, or on the grill!

The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Side Dishes book by Rebecca Lindamood

Where this Recipe Comes From

All credit for this recipe goes to my friend Rebecca – from Foodie with Family. This recipe is from her latest book “The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Side Dishes”, which is an excellent follow-up to her previous books “Not Your Mama’s Canning Book” and “Ready, Set, Dough!”

This cookbook is a great resource for anyone looking to put tasty, not-boring vegetables on the table. Each chapter is dedicated to one type of vegetable and includes shopping and storage tips. And then most every recipe features recommendations for main dishes or other super helpful notes or recipe variations.

A mother of five boys, Rebecca has many years of experience feeding picky eaters. She knows what it takes to get non-veggie lovers to come around to the green side!

Our youngest daughter Tessa, who does love her vegetables, immediately grabbed this book when she saw it on our table. She added colored sticky flags to MANY recipes. Here’s a sampling from her list:

  • Honey Garlic-Glazed Cauliflower Bites
  • Whipped Feta-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Sriracha-Sesame Cucumber Rice Noodles
  • Pea, Pancetta, and Goat Cheese Pasta
  • Crispy Air-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Sweet & Spicy Glaze
  • Garlicky Baked Asparagus Fries
  • Bread-and-Butter Pickled Salad
  • Skillet Green Beans with Bacon
  • Ginger-Pickled Carrots
  • Guaranteed Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Tessa LOVES sweet potato fries!!)
close-up photo of creamy mashed potatoes with melted butter and chives

Now let’s get back to these creamy mashed potatoes, shall we?!

yellow potatoes, cream cheese, butter, salt

A Super Simple Ingredients List

I’ve seen mashed potatoes with cream cheese recipes before. And now I’m wondering why I didn’t try this sooner! Every time I make this recipe, every single member of our family comments on how good these potatoes are.

Besides water and salt, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Potatoes
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese

What Potatoes are Best for Mashing?

For this recipe, stick to yellow potatoes. “Yukon Gold” is the kind you’ll see most often, but there are others as well.

Yellow potatoes have a medium starch level, falling somewhere between the very starchy Russets and the less starchy reds. They have a wonderful creamy texture and buttery flavor – the best choice for these luxuriously creamy mashed potatoes!

chunks of peeled potatoes in a big pot of water

How to Make Mashed Potatoes from Scratch

First, decide: Skins or no skins? For the silkiest, smoothest mashed potatoes, always peel off all the skin from the potatoes. For a chunkier homestyle version, you can go either way. I like to change it up!

Then cook the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and cook until the potatoes are absolutely tender.

How long to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes? Have you ever wondered this? Well let me just tell you that it’s always going to depend on a variety of factors (such as size of potato, pot size, and water cooking temperature), so I can’t give you a definite answer. But the telltale sign will always be this: The potatoes should break apart easily with the side of a spoon. There should also be no resistance when piercing the potatoes with a fork.

a big spoonful of cooked potato chunks, above a large clear bowl of cooked potato chunks

Transfer cooked potatoes: With a large slotted spoon, transfer cooked potatoes to a heat-proof bowl.

cream cheese and chunks of butter in a wide white bowl

Prep butter and cream cheese: Add room temperature butter and cream cheese to a large bowl.

a potato ricer

For silky smooth mashed potatoes: For the silkiest texture, pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill into the bowl with the butter and cream cheese. This is the potato ricer that I use.

stirring creamy mashed potatoes in a large wide white bowl

Stir to combine: Finally, stir vigorously to combine the hot, just-riced potatoes with the butter and cream cheese.

mashing potatoes with a potato masher

For rustically chunky mashed potatoes: Add the drained potatoes to the bowl with the butter and cream cheese – or simply put everything back into the pot used to cook the potatoes. Use a hand masher to mash the potatoes to your desired texture, and then stir well to incorporate the butter and cream cheese.

potatoes mashed in a low wide bowl, with melty butter and chives

Tips for the Best Mashed Potatoes

Now that I know how easy it is to consistently make awesome mashed potatoes, here are a few quick tips:

  • Use yellow potatoes – If your goal is creamy mashed potatoes with great potato flavor, then definitely stick to yellow potatoes.
  • Cook potatoes fully – This is essential. For the creamiest finished dish, do not skimp on the cook time. The potatoes are done when you can easily break them up with a spoon.
  • Drain cooked potatoes – When using the large slotted spoon to remove the cooked potatoes from the hot water, take care to drain as much water as possible. The only liquid mixed in at this point should be butter and cream cheese!
  • Let butter & cream cheese come to room temp – This is critical to the success of your mashed potatoes. Be sure to set the butter and cream cheese out on the counter – I usually set it out an hour or so before I start boiling the potatoes. This will ensure that they get incorporated more quickly with the hot potatoes, which will give the finished dish better texture. And the mashed potatoes will stay hot!
a spoon in a bowl of buttery mashed potatoes that are sprinkled with chives

Variations

Rebecca gives several awesome recommendations for add-ins, if you’re looking to add some extra fun to this dish of potatoes. She’s great at doing this throughout her book with different vegetable recipes. I love this, as I’m always looking for a new twist!

  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Add 5 peeled cloves of garlic to the water when boiling the potatoes. Then mash the cooked cloves into the potatoes.
  • Bacon-Cheddar-Horseradish Mashed Potatoes: Stir 1 cup each of shredded Cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits, and 1/4 cup of prepared horseradish into the finished potatoes.
  • Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes: Stir in 1 cup of caramelized onions.
  • Kitchen Sink Mashed Potatoes: Stir in 2 cups of leftover roasted or sautéed vegetables.
a spoonful of mashed potatoes being held above a bowl of the finished dish

Meals with Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are an incredibly versatile side dish. And everyone always welcomes it at the table!

My mind always goes straight to meatballs and gravy when it comes to mashed potatoes, as my mom has always served this combination. Have you tried my Swedish Meatballs recipe? It’s quite wonderful!

Next, I think about this side dish with any kind of roasted meats. Like Mustard Pork Loin Roast, Baked Pork Chops and Stuffing (a LONGTIME family favorite), Grilled Turkey Tenderloin (great for a smaller, easier Thanksgiving meal!), Hard Cider Pot Roast, and Classic Pot Roast. Now tell me, who doesn’t love a tender, classic pot roast?!

Mashed potatoes are also great with most any meat that comes off the grill – think Beer Can Chicken (with guaranteed moist meat that falls off the bone and crispy, ultra flavorful skin!), my Easy Grilled Pork Chops, this gorgeous Chipotle Orange Salmon, and beautiful Sugar Grilled Beef and Asparagus Kebabs!

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a white bowl full of mashed potatoes with butter and chives

Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 30 minutes
Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes – the BEST mashed potatoes recipe, with only 3 ingredients (besides salt for the water)! Make it silky smooth or rustically chunky, it's your call!
5 Stars (2 Reviews)
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Ingredients

  • 5 pounds gold potatoes such as Yukon, peeled (if desired) and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt for the water
  • 1 pound unsalted butter softened to room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature

Instructions

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover them by 1" to 2" of water. Place pot on stovetop over high heat. When the water is at a full, rolling boil, add the salt. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender. You should be able to break them apart easily with the side of a spoon. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a heat-proof bowl.
  • While potatoes are cooking, place softened butter and cream cheese in a large heat-proof bowl and set aside.
  • for silky smooth mashed potatoes: Pass the drained potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill with a medium disc, into the bowl with the butter and cream cheese. Stir vigorously with a sturdy spoon until smooth.
  • for rustically chunky mashed potatoes: Add the drained potatoes to the bowl with the butter and cream cheese, and use a hand masher to mash the potatoes to your desired texture. Stir well to fully incorporate the butter and cream cheese.

Notes

For silky smooth mashed potatoes, be sure to peel the potatoes prior to boiling.
For rustically chunky mashed potatoes, potatoes with or without the peel will both work. You choose!
from The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Side Dishes by Rebecca Lindamood

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 616kcal Carbohydrates: 49g Protein: 7g Fat: 45g Saturated Fat: 28g Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 120mg Sodium: 802mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
a white bowl full of mashed potatoes with butter and chives

I received a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Side Dishes for my use and review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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3 comments on “Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes”

  1. In addition to your ingredients I’ve always added sour cream and garlic salt to my mashed potatoes and gave them a quick twirl in my stand mixer. My mom calls them party potatoes. And of course we never need gravy – but my family has never been big gravy fans anyway.  
    This sounds like a great way to lighten up my mashed potatoes and make them even easier to make!