mashed potatoes recipe with step by step photos. mashed potatoes are a family favorite and it was time i shared the recipe. there are so many versions of mashed potato recipes on the web. the recipe that i make is a homely, easy and one bowl recipe. you don’t need special appliances or special ingredients to make this one. this recipe of mashed potatoes yields comforting, smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes that you would like to make again and again.
how to make mashed potatoes (basic recipe)
a basic mashed potato recipe is just made with potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper. the potatoes are cooked till tender. the cooked potatoes are then strained and mashed. warm milk, butter, salt and pepper are added to the mashed potatoes. you can build upon this basic recipe by adding various herbs, greens, seasonings and spices.
what about this mashed potatoes recipe
if you want a mashed potato recipe that gives a fluffy texture, then make this recipe and you will absolutely love it. i have noted down below the ingredients and their roles in the recipe. i generally make enough quantity of mashed potatoes so that there are no leftovers. yet, one can easily half or double or triple this recipe and make it for small parties or gatherings.
- garlic – in my mashed potato recipe, i add a bit of garlic as it gives that light pungent flavor and taste to the mashed potatoes. i have made mashed potatoes without garlic too and i always felt some flavor profile lacking – as if something is not complete or missing in the flavors.
- herbs – personally i prefer to use fresh herbs, but not at all times one can have access to fresh herbs. same is the case with me. i make mashed potatoes both with fresh herbs and dried herbs and both taste good. however, with fresh herbs the taste is better. that said, adding herbs can be simply skipped if you are not a fan of herbs or you don’t have them in your kitchen.
- black pepper – when it comes to black pepper, freshly crushed black pepper is on top of the game as compared to black pepper powder. so please please use freshly crushed black pepper in this mashed potatoes recipe. you can use a pepper mill to crush the peppers or crush them semi-fine in a mortar-pestle which hardly takes time.
- fat – you can use both butter or extra virgin olive oil (evoo). i have made mashed potatoes with both on various occasions and both work fine.
- milk – for a rich creamy version, i suggest using whole milk. for a vegan mashed potato, coconut milk or almond milk works well. with coconut milk, you will get the coconut taste in the mashed potatoes.
tips to get the best of mashed potatoes
- type of potatoes – use potatoes having medium to high starch. potatoes with high starch content like russet potatoes work very well and will yield fluffy mashed potatoes. for indian readers, most varieties of indian potatoes have good starch in them. just avoid using new potatoes. i make mashed potatoes with organic potatoes (indian variety) and these are similar to russet potatoes (since i make even french fries, roasted potato, potato wedges with these). so for mashed potatoes, i get a fluffy texture whenever i make them. with french fries or potato wedges, i get a crisp texture with a nice light soft texture from inside.
- boiling potatoes – boil the potatoes till tender, but do not overcook them. they should be cooked well and fork-tender. if they are cooked till crumbly, then some water will log in them causing the mashed potatoes to have a watery taste and consistency.
- mashing potatoes – avoid using a stand mixer while mashing, as at times the mixer might over mix the potatoes. this will break down the starches leading to a gluey and sticky consistency. it is better to use a potato masher. if the potatoes are cooked perfectly, it becomes easy to mash them with a potato masher or a vegetable masher.
- texture of mashed potatoes – the final texture of mashed potatoes should be light and fluffy or creamy. this will depend on the type of potato you have used. for a fluffy texture, use potatoes which have high starch in them eg russet, or idaho potatoes. for creamy and slightly dense texture, use potatoes with medium starch eg yukon gold. you can even use both a mix of russet and yukon gold.
- water-logging in potatoes – always drain the water very well after the potatoes are cooked. if there is even slight water, the taste and consistency both get affected. you will get a watery taste in the potatoes and the flavors will be diluted.
- role of fats – both fats like butter or evoo need to be added. do not skip them as they help in making the mashed potatoes, light and smooth.
- adding cheese or cream– i usually do not add grated cheese or cream, but you can. if using cream then heat it gently with butter but do not bring it to a boil if using cheese then sprinkle on the mashed potatoes. bake in the oven till the cheese melts or gets golden. adding either cream of cheese will give you a rich tasting mashed potato.
- cooking potatoes in a pressure cooker – most of the times, i cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker. for this recipe post, i have used a pan. so that the recipe can be easily made by folks who do not have a pressure cooker. if pressure cooking, then cook for 2 whistles on medium flame.
- to peel or not to peel – i always suggest peeling the potatoes. keeping the peels might give an unpleasant taste and texture in the mashed potatoes. it is a personal preference and if you like the peels, then keep them on.
what to serve with mashed potatoes
i always serve mashed potatoes with some roasted vegetables and a bowl of soup like corn soup, tomato soup or carrot soup. below are some vegetarian options you can consider.
- roasted vegetables
- steamed vegetables
- vegetable salad
- grilled vegetables
- creamed spinach
- vegetarian or vegan stroganoff
- creamed corn
- a hearty vegetable soup
- marinated & grilled tofu or paneer (cottage cheese).
few more tasty potato recipes for you!
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:25 mins
Total Time:30 mins
mashed potatoes recipe that yields fluffy and light texture. this mashed potato is a family favorite recipe which tastes awesome, is easy to make and does not need any special equipment. a one bowl mashed potatoes recipe.
INGREDIENTS FOR mashed potatoes recipe
(1 CUP = 250 ML)
for boiling potatoes
- 500 grams potatoes or 1 pound or 6 to 7 medium sized potatoes (russet potatoes or potatoes with a high to medium starch content)
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk + 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons butter – salted or unsalted
- ½ teaspoon garlic – finely chopped or 3 to 4 small to medium garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
- salt – add as required
- 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh herbs or ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
- black pepper (freshly crushed) – add as required
HOW TO MAKE mashed potatoes recipe
rinse 500 grams of potatoes in water first using a colander. brush off the mud if any. drain the water and then peel the potatoes.
chop them in 1.5 to 2 to inches cubes.
place chopped potatoes in a pan.
add ½ teaspoon salt and 2 cups water. stir.
cover the pan. keep pan on a stove top on a medium-low to medium flame for the potatoes to cook.
while the potatoes are cooking, check at intervals. meanwhile, you can chop garlic and the fresh herbs if using them.
the potatoes have to be softened, but they should not fall apart.
check by piercing a knife or a fork and it should pass through the cooked potatoes without any resistance and smoothly.
pour the contents of the pan in a colander and drain the water very well.
cooking milk+butter mixture
in the same pan in which the potatoes were cooked, add ½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon finely chopped or minced garlic
please note that you can add garlic even while boiling potatoes.
on a low to medium-low flame begin to heat the pan. stir occasionally. the butter will begin to melt initially.
let the milk+butter+garlic mixture become hot or come to a boil.
now switch off the flame and add the potatoes in the pan.
remove the pan from the stove top and place on your kitchen countertop. begin to mash the potatoes with a potato masher or vegetable masher.
mash till you get a smooth, fluffy and light consistency. do not mash too much as this will break down the starches more and make for a gluey, gummy texture. you can always add more butter and some warm milk to get the desired consistency – for example, a little more pouring consistency in the mashed potatoes.
making mashed potatoes
sprinkle some freshly crushed black pepper and a bit of salt. go easy on the salt as some saltiness will be there in the potatoes – remember we added salt while cooking potatoes. you can always add more salt later.
add 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh mixed herbs or ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs. i have used a mix of rosemary and parsley here.
fold the herbs, pepper and salt. do check the taste and add more pepper, salt or butter if required.
with a spatula place the mashed potatoes in your serving bowl while still hot or warm. garnish with some chopped parsley or chives. you can add some cubes of butter also as a garnish. leftover can be refrigerated or freezed and warmed in the oven just before serving.
- drain all the water from the boiled potatoes really well.
- use a potato masher to mash. if you do not have a potato masher, then use a potato ricer. alternatively, you can even grate the potatoes and then add in the pan. if grating the potatoes, then let them become warm or cool completely before grating.
- herbs and spices of your choice can be added.
- butter or olive oil can be replaced with sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil.
- can use both salted or unsalted butter.
- use potatoes with a high starch content to get the best results.
- if pressure cooking, then pressure cook with water for 2 whistles on medium flame.
- garlic can be skipped if you do not prefer.
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preparation to make mashed potatoes
1. rinse 500 grams of potatoes in water first using a colander. brush off any mud if any. rinse really well. drain the water and then peel the potatoes.
2. chop them in 1.5 to 2 inches cubes.
3. place chopped potatoes in a pan (3 litres or 3 quarts size). add ½ teaspoon salt.
4. pour 2 cups water and stir. the water should just about cover the potatoes. add water more or less depending on the size of the pan.
5. cover the pan. keep the pan on a stove top on a medium-low to medium flame for the potatoes to cook.
6. while the potatoes are cooking, check at intervals. meanwhile, you can chop garlic and the fresh herbs if using them.
7. the potatoes have to be softened, but they should not fall apart. the potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook depending on the size of the pan, the thickness of pan and intensity of the flame.
8. check by piercing a knife or a fork and it should pass through the cooked potatoes without any resistance and smoothly.
9. pour the contents of the pan in a colander and drain the water very well.
cooking milk+butter mixture
10. in the same pan in which the potatoes were cooked, add ½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk.
12. add 2 tablespoons butter.
13. add ½ teaspoon finely chopped or minced garlic. please note that you can add garlic even while boiling potatoes which at times i even do.
14. on a low to medium-low flame begin to heat the pan. stir occasionally. the butter will begin to melt initially.
15. let the milk+butter+garlic mixture become hot or come to a boil.
16. now switch off the flame and add the potatoes in the pan.
17. remove the pan from the stove top and place on your kitchen countertop. begin to mash the potatoes with a potato masher or vegetable masher.
18. mash till you get a smooth, fluffy and light consistency. do not mash too much as this will break down the starches more and make for a gummy texture. some handwork or some hand exercise is good. you can always add more butter and some warm milk to get the desired consistency – like a little more pouring consistency in the mashed potatoes.
making mashed potatoes
19. sprinkle some freshly crushed black pepper and a bit of salt. go easy on the salt as some saltiness will be there in the potatoes – remember we added salt while cooking potatoes. you can always add more salt later after doing a taste test.
20. add 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh mixed herbs or ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs. i have used a mix of fresh rosemary and parsley here.
21. fold the herbs, pepper and salt. do check the taste and add more pepper, salt or butter if required. mashed potatoes with a fluffy texture will not fall down as you can see in the photo below. you can even use this recipe of mashed potatoes for making dishes where mashed potatoes are required like shepherd’s pie, pot pies, potato patties etc.
22. with a spatula place the mashed potatoes in your serving bowl while still hot or warm. garnish with some chopped parsley or chives. you can add some cubes of butter also as a garnish. leftover mashed potatoes can be refrigerated or freezed and warmed in the oven just before serving.