Traditional Mashed Potatoes

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


6 servings (about 4-1/2 cups)

Updated: Dec. 08, 2023
Mashed potatoes make a wonderful accompaniment to most any meal, so keep this recipe handy.


  • 6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until easily pierced with a fork, 20-25 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in milk, salt and pepper; heat through. Pour over potatoes; mash until light and fluffy.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Use any potato you'd like, although russets are traditional. Our tasting panel also liked Yukon Golds and red potatoes.
  • While most cooks mash their potatoes with milk, some prefer cream. It's strictly personal preference. If your diners are on a dairy-free regimen, mash with chicken broth or even the water in which you cooked the potatoes.
  • You may be tempted to spare your arm muscles by dumping your cooked potatoes in a food processor or blender, but your spuds will become gooey and gluey. Use a masher or potato ricer instead, and remember, a few lumps prove that your potatoes didn't come from a box.
  • These are incredibly easy to make ahead: Just cook, mash and refrigerate, then microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until heated through.
  • Try some mix-ins: 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, snipped chives or chopped parsley, or 10-12 roasted and minced garlic cloves. Or top with 2 tablespoons bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, then broil until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
  • Nutrition Facts

    3/4 cup: 168 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 367mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.