Basic Mashed Potatoes


This mashed potato recipe is perfect if you're looking for good, old-fashioned mashed potatoes. Made with Idaho potatoes, milk, butter, and optional garlic, this go-to recipe makes a classic holiday dish. Learn how to make mashed potatoes that come out smooth, creamy, and delicious every time. Serve with gravy or extra butter on top.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Ready to learn how to make the best mashed potatoes ever? You're in luck! This top-rated mashed potatoes recipe, made with just a few ingredients, produces crowd-pleasing results every time.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these mashed potatoes:

  1. Boil the potatoes: Add the potatoes and garlic to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Heat the milk: Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
  3. Mash the potatoes: Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, mashing with a potato masher or blending with a mixer until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season to taste.

Recipe Tip

You can use skim, low-fat, or whole milk, or even half-and-half for a richer taste.

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

Basic Mashed Potatoes
Basic Mashed Potatoes. Allrecipes

Peeled and quartered potatoes should be perfectly boiled after about 15-20 minutes. If you leave your potatoes whole, it will take a bit longer.

Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

The best potatoes for mashing depends on your personal preference, as some varieties will give you fluffy results while others will give you creamy results.

This recipe calls for baking potatoes (a.k.a. russets), which are ideal for light and fluffy mashed potatoes. A good all-purpose potato, such as Yukon Gold, is also always a crowd-pleaser.

Learn more: The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

assortment of potato varieties - yukon golds, russerts, and red potatoes

How to Store Mashed Potatoes

Allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave, in the oven, or on the stove.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes in single or group servings for up to one month. Thaw them in the fridge overnight or reheat them from-frozen in the slow cooker, on the stove, or in the oven.

Get step-by-step instructions: How to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Oh my word," says Cheryl Gillam. "This is SO easy!! Potatoes were the perfect consistency!! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will be heating the milk and butter separately from now on. Who knew a simple thing like that would make all the difference?"

"My kids devour these when I make them," according to one Allrecipes community member. "I beat an egg into the potatoes, and it makes them taste richer and creamier."

"Excellent and simple," raves deadlycynnamon. "I never warmed the milk/butter ahead of time, but it's excellent. Also, I keep the skins on for health and taste (well-scrubbed). It's delicious!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste (Optional)

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic, lower heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. When the potatoes are almost finished, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.

  3. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Slowly add warm milk mixture, blending it in with a potato masher or electric mixer until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

    a top-down view of a large bowl of creamy, buttery, basic mashed potatoes
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

257 Calories
7g Fat
44g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 257
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 76mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 763mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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