Basic Fluffy Mashed Potato

You can opt for creamy mashed potatoes or fluffy mashed potatoes, but whatever you do, please don't end up with gluey mashed potatoes!

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A fork crushing a potato on a board with a colander behind. Potatoes being milled through a food mill.

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Basic Fluffy Mashed Potato

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Total Time: 45 m
  • Servings:


  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into equal sized chunks. Rinse with cold water and drop into the boiling water.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, combine the butter and milk or heavy cream in a small saucepan and warm just until the butter melts.
  4. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through – a paring knife easily pierces all the way through the chunk. Strain the potatoes and rinse briefly with water. Strain again.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a food mill or ricer and press the potatoes through into a bowl. Add the warm butter and milk or cream and stir into the potatoes. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and keep warm until serving.
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Comments (13)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Dorothy. There are many different ways to cook most things and no way is “wrong”. When you put root veg into cold water and bring the temperature up the potato (in this instance) cooks more evenly on the outside and inside. When you drop it into boiling water, the outside of the potato will get a little softer than the inside. That might be undesirable when making boiled potatoes, but when making mashed potatoes it doesn’t really matter. Either way will work.

    1. You can freeze mashed potatoes, but honestly I do feel that the consistency is never the same after you freeze them. They tend to get grainy or watery after freezing. If you do freeze them just make sure they are in an airtight freezer bag and thaw in the fridge overnight. Make sure you add some butter and cream before freezing as that will help the consistency. You can also add some extra cream or sour cream when reheating.

  1. I make mine the same way! They are so delicious and very easy to prepare. My husband loves mashed potatoes —he said he would eat them every night.

    1. Hi Linda. Yes – you can make these a day or two ahead of time. The easiest ways to re-heat mashed potatoes are to add butter and cream to them (don’t stir it in yet) and re-heat covered in the oven at 350ºF, stirring in the butter and cream at the end. You could do the same in a slow cooker. The microwave is also a great way to re-heat mashed potatoes. Cover the mashed potatoes with plastic wrap and give them about 5 minutes in the microwave, stirring every once in a while. Then, stir in melted butter and cream.

  2. I normally bake the potatoes then cut them in half and rice them. I let the ricer separate the potato from the peel and it’s never let me down. I expect a mill would do the same. I use butter, milk and cream cheese in unmeasured amounts and stir till done.

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