How to Make the Best Killer Mashed Potatoes From Scratch

Updated on January 6, 2020
Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts loves cooking from scratch and sharing her recipes with anyone who wants to try something new in the world of food.

Yummy homemade mashed potatoes.
Yummy homemade mashed potatoes. | Source

Mashed potatoes are a great side dish for just about any type of meat and are quick and easy to make with just a few simple steps. Many of us have turned to the boxed, flaked variety—or what I like to call "the fake potato"—for convenience and saving time. The problem with that is that the boxed/instant mashed potatoes are high in salt, can have preservatives and chemicals added to them, and honestly just don't taste as good as the real thing.

Time-wise, you will spend about 10 more minutes making mashed potatoes from scratch. The key is in the preparation of the potato when you go to boil them. Dice them smaller and they cook quicker, leaving you with a great-tasting side dish that is actually more nutritious and less harmful to your body than what you get out of a box or bag.

You can use any type of potato for this recipe. Sweet potatoes are fantastic mashed with a little cinnamon and brown sugar. Red potatoes end up being creamy and flavorful. Yukon Gold potatoes have more of a buttery flavor to them. You can even create a more flavorful dish by using turnips or cauliflower in place of some of the potatoes to make the most interesting mashed potato side dish ever.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 2 servings of about 3/4 cup of mashed potatoes


  • 1 pound potatoes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • About a 1/2 stick butter, as much or little as needed
  • About 1/4 cup milk, as much or little as needed


Step 1: Boil and Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Wash the potatoes in cold water to get rid of any lingering dirt.
  2. Peel each potato.
  3. Dice the peeled potatoes into small, cube-like pieces. It doesn't have to be perfect, but a smaller dice will mean less time to cook.
  4. Put the diced potatoes in a sauce pan (do NOT use a Teflon-coated pan for this) and fill the pan with water until it is about 3/4" to 1" above the potatoes.
  5. Put the pan on the stove burner and turn the burner onto high.
  6. Once the water starts to boil, you'll want to keep an eye on the potatoes. They are done with the edges have a more transparent like look to them and they slide off of a fork when you "stab" them.
  7. Drain the water off of the potatoes in a colander over the sink, then put the potatoes back into the pan.
  8. Now you are ready to mash 'em! Start by adding about half the butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes and give them a bit of a stir to start the process. You can mash your potatoes in a few different ways that will all produce different results.

Step 2: Mash the Potatoes

Option 1: Mixer

This method can produce the creamiest, most lump-free mashed potatoes ever. The key is not adding too much milk or butter to this process and keeping the sides of the bowl scraped down as you go.

You'll add the milk very slowly as you are beating the potatoes. It's important to remember that you can always add more if you need it, but you can't take any out if you put in too much! You want to keep going until you see a creamy texture with no lumps. The potatoes should be like whipped topping, being able to form stiff peaks easily.

Option 2: Hand Potato Masher

What if you don't have a mixer or you like your mashed potatoes a bit lumpy? That's easy, use a hand potato masher. You'll still add the milk slowly when mashing your taters by hand. This process goes faster than using the mixer. Once the potatoes have reached the consistency and lumpiness that you like, it's time to stop.

Option 3: Dinner Fork

For those of us that like rustic, old timey feeling food, there is the method of mashing your potatoes with a dinner fork. Some people may view this method as a bit silly, but I'm telling you, if you like hunky, lumpy mashed potatoes, this method delivers!

You'll still add the milk slowly and this method doesn't use as much milk (just a smidgen) as the other two because we aren't looking to cream the taters up here. We are just looking for something that is mashed but still has some original shape to it. You'll just push the fork down into the cooked potato bits until it reaches the perfect pulverization stage for you. You can even mash a leftover baked potato with a fork!

Step-By-Step Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Peeled potatoes.  Rinsed & ready to cut.Potatoes cut into a small dice to make cooking faster!Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water about 3/4" to 1" over potatoes.Boil potatoes until very tender.Very tender boiled potatoes!Drain the boiled potatoes then put them back into the pan you cooked them in to start adding butter, milk and mashing them.Potatoes can be mashed with a mixer, a hand potato masher or a fork.Enjoy your mashed potatoes!
Peeled potatoes.  Rinsed & ready to cut.
Peeled potatoes. Rinsed & ready to cut. | Source
Potatoes cut into a small dice to make cooking faster!
Potatoes cut into a small dice to make cooking faster! | Source
Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water about 3/4" to 1" over potatoes.
Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water about 3/4" to 1" over potatoes. | Source
Boil potatoes until very tender.
Boil potatoes until very tender. | Source
Very tender boiled potatoes!
Very tender boiled potatoes! | Source
Drain the boiled potatoes then put them back into the pan you cooked them in to start adding butter, milk and mashing them.
Drain the boiled potatoes then put them back into the pan you cooked them in to start adding butter, milk and mashing them. | Source
Potatoes can be mashed with a mixer, a hand potato masher or a fork.
Potatoes can be mashed with a mixer, a hand potato masher or a fork. | Source
Enjoy your mashed potatoes!
Enjoy your mashed potatoes! | Source

Rate Your Mashed Potatoes!

3.7 stars from 11 ratings of mashed potatoes!
Mashed potatoes with fried pork chops and homemade cornbread.
Mashed potatoes with fried pork chops and homemade cornbread. | Source

Potatoes Types Grown in the US

Did you know there are seven major types of potatoes grown in the United States?

They are:

  • Fingerlings
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Blue or purple
  • Russet
  • Long white
  • Round white


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • FencesbyJohn profile image


      4 years ago from San Diego, Ca.

      I grew up in the south and my favorite meal is Fried chicken and mashed potatoes! Put some collards and crowder peas on that plate along with that cornbread and wow that is what I call perfect! Oh,,,,, and don't forget the cold sliced tomatoes out of the garden! Now it's perfect.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Helena, this is a great recipe to make your own mashed potatoes. I love this handy hub! I would bookmark this for future reference and save some money buying it at the grocery store.

    • Randomovic profile image


      5 years ago from Egypt

      i love it

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Great hub Helena and the photos are lovely! I had gone off mashed potatoes for a while when I was served up watery slops in a so called restaurant a few years back! I don't know if the place is still open but if it is I'll send them this hub to read on how to make proper mash!

      My Mum always used a hand masher and her potatoes were always beautiful tasting and great to look at. As you say, they can be served with just about anything and when taking just a little time, taste superb. I'll keep your wonderful hub for reference as I haven't used the mixer method and would like to give this a try.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Although I'm a baked fan, gotta love the mashed---my secret ingredient is buttermilk~

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA

      My favorite way to eat potatoes might be mashed. In fact, at restaurants, I often order mashed potatoes instead of fries.

    • penlady profile image


      7 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Nothing beats homemade. Although the box and tub (Country Crock) are good, yours looks more delicious - hands down.

      I agree with Carol7777. Voted up!

    • Helena Ricketts profile imageAUTHOR

      Helena Ricketts 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you carol7777! I do love mashed potatoes. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      There is nothing more delish than smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. You have a great method here and the photos are making me really hungry. Thanks for sharing and mashed potatoes do deserve to be voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)