Nov 152017

Perfectly, Really, Perfectly, Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes seem to be the hands-down winner as the favorite side for turkey, and meatloaf, and steak, and…well almost anything really. And as a receptacle for gravy…well…’nuff said. Rarely does a dish that requires so little effort taste so good!

Careful though. As easy a dish as this is, mistakes can be made that turn this beloved side into something less than remarkable. The three big No-No’s: Over-boiling, under seasoning, and excessive mashing.

Follow this no-fail recipe and you’ll have perfectly moist, flavorful mashed potatoes every time. We promise! And we don’t mean to appear bossy, but you really must use Yukon Gold potatoes – others just don’t have the same rich flavor.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Peeling, chopping, boiling, mashing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and cube the potatoes so that the pieces are roughly the same “golf ball” size
  2. Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add potatoes and bring to gentle boil and cook just until a knife slides easily into the potato. Test at 15 minutes. If it doesn’t, keep checking every 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes and put back into pot with the burner on low. This will allow the steam to escape and help keep them fluffy. Mash gently with potato masher, not a hand mixer or they will be soupy or gummy!
  5. In the meantime, in a small pot, heat butter, milk and cream cheese on low to melt and warm.
  6. With potatoes mostly mashed, add the butter, milk and cream cheese mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and finish mashing so lumps are gone but potatoes are still fluffy.
  7. Spoon into a serving bowl and add a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of pepper and serve!

Serves 6-8

Flavor Variations

While the classic mashed potato may be the one you want to make for Thanksgiving, there are so many ways to season your spuds to blend perfectly with whatever meal you’re serving—here are a few favorite options:

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:
Skip the cream cheese and add 4 ounces of another favorite cheese – cheddar, swiss and goat cheese, for example, right into the pot. We love cheddar, with crumbled bacon and scallions sprinkled on top.

Spicy Mashed Potatoes:
Follow the classic recipe and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of sriracha at the end.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
Add 4 cloves of garlic to the water and potatoes. Boil and mash together. If you want even more of a garlic kick to your potatoes sprinkle a little garlic powder in as well when mashing, but add gradually and taste as you go.


A mother of three grown children, she still finds she cooks for five when making dinner. She loves her antique home, but is thrilled her kitchen has a few modern touches and has been known to fit entire girl scout troops around the island for cooking baking parties. When Laura’s not blogging about food and creating new recipes she can usually be found teaching preschool or texting her kids to call home.

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