One thing that everyone should know how to make is the BEST Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Smooth (or with lumps if that is what you like) and creamy potatoes are a classic side dish that are so easy to make. Really versatile, as you can serve them with anything, and you can even repurpose leftovers. This recipe also includes 15 ways to flavour mashed potatoes.
We are potato lovers. Or potato obsessed that should be. If we had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of our lives, it would probably be potatoes because there is so much to do with them. But mashed potatoes might be our favourite.
Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes is total comfort food. It reminds me of being a kid and getting to mash the potatoes myself and then smothering them with gravy. I have spent the past 20 years perfecting this mashed potato and sharing all my tips here.
- Potatoes - Floury and fluffy potatoes like Maris Piper and King Edwards are best for mashing. Desiree potatoes also make delicious creamy mash. You want to avoid waxy potatoes, as these are difficult to mash as they hold together well.
- Milk - This helps to loosen the potatoes up. We used full fat milk to keep it nice and creamy, but you could use skimmed if you prefer.
- Butter - This is what makes the potatoes really indulgent. We used unsalted. If you use salted, then adjust the seasoning added.
- Creme fraiche - This is our "secret" to make it extra creamy. You can use reduce fat if you want to lower the calories.
- Salt and pepper - Season to taste.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to cook creamy mashed potatoes - step by step
One: Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 13-15 minutes. The time depends on the size you have chopped the potatoes.
Two: Drain and mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter and creme fraiche and season.
Three: Serve topped with chives and chopped spring onions (scallions); (optional)
Why should you try it?
- A creamy and delicious side - If you are bored of the usual side dishes, then give this a try.
- Ready in just 30 minutes - Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes don't have to take long.
- Family friendly - I have never met a kid that doesn't love mashed potatoes.
- Easy to adapt - We have given 15 different ways to flavour these creamy mashed potatoes, so you can have something different every time.
- Can be frozen - Did you know that you can freeze mashed potatoes? This is also a great tip for making something in advance for Christmas dinner.
Health benefits of potatoes
Whilst we do love a good sweet potato mash, you just can't beat chips made with white potatoes. White potatoes have so many nutrients in them, they really shouldn't get a bad reputation.
They are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, they have nearly half of your daily vitamin C and they are a great source of potassium - even more than a banana. They are full of fibre and magnesium, and they are filling too. On top of this, they are also suitable for almost any diet, from vegan to gluten free. I am not sure what more you could want?
Mash potato add-ins
- Add a punch of garlic by roasting a bulb of garlic first and then adding that to the mash.
- If you want to add some extra fibre to this side, then you can mash them skin on.
- Cream cheese (garlic, herb, or plain all work).
- Fresh herbs (chives and parsley are nice and fresh, but woody herbs like thyme and rosemary are delicious too).
- Onions: shallots, spring onions, brown onion. You can add these to the water when cooking, or just chop and mash in.
- Olive oil: use this instead of butter for a creamy vegan mashed potato
- Add some veg by cooking some cauliflower with the potatoes and mashing them together. This works with parsnip and carrot too.
- Cheese and chopped cooked bacon - total comfort food
- A spoonful of pesto in mashed potato is amazing.
- Like things spicy? Add a spoonful of chipotle paste. It makes it a great colour too.
- Add some greens with some finely chopped spinach.
- A pinch of smoked paprika adds lots of flavour.
- Another vegan way to make creamy potatoes is with hummus.
- A spoonful of horseradish is another way to make it spicy.
- For some Spanish flavour, add some chopped cooked chorizo.
What to serve with creamy mashed potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes are such a versatile side dish, you can serve them with pretty much anything. However, here are some of our favourite recipes that go perfectly with it:
- Homemade Fish Fingers
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Honey and Lime Chicken
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers
- Lemon and Rosemary Chicken
- Sausage and Lentil Stew
- Easy Italian Chicken
- Chicken Kiev
It's not a problem we usually have in our house, as we can eat a lot of mashed potato. But, if you make too much, then the leftovers can be used to make mashed potato cakes.
Simply mix the mashed potato with some cheese, eggs and milk and form in to patties. Fry them in a little oil for 3-4 minutes each side until nice and crispy.
The leftovers could be used as the topping for a pie, or you could make croquettes or gnocchi with it. Lots of options.
Yes, mashed potato freezes really well. Of course it will always taste better fresh, but it is definitely freezeable. Once mashed and cooled down, put them in to freezer bags, flatten down and then lay flat in the freezer. You can keep it there for about 2 months. Defrost them at room temperature (this will take around 6 hours).
To reheat the mashed potato, put it in a pan with a little more milk and butter to stop it drying out and heat through, stiring regularly.
Potatoes are naturally vegan, however the creamy additions we have used aren't. But there are still lots of ways to make creamy vegan mashed potatoes. You can add a splash of almond milk and a spoonful of plant based butter alternative. You can also use olive oil or hummus to make it creamy.
We use a really sturdy potato masher to mash our potatoes, as we are fine with a few smaller lumps. However, if you like your mashed potatoes super smooth, then get yourself a potato ricer. This gives you really smooth and creamy potatoes, and makes sure that they aren't overworked like they would be with a masher, which is key if you are going to use leftovers to make gnocchi.
• Cut all the potatoes to the same size to ensure that they all cook the same.
• If you prefer chunky mashed potatoes, then don't over mash them. We like ours really creamy and fluffy.
• We find using a potato masher is fine, however if you like really smooth potatoes then you can use a potato ricer.
• Add salt and pepper at the end to season, that way you can taste them and add more if you prefer.
• You don't have to peel the potatoes, and leaving the skin on will save even more time. Cooking them low and slow will break down the skins, but still keep the fibre.
More potato recipes
The BEST Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 1 kg Maris Piper potatoes - peeled and chopped
- 30 ml full fat milk
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 75 g butter - chopped
- 2 tablespoon creme fraiche
- Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 13-15 minutes. The time depends on the size you have chopped the potatoes.1 kg Maris Piper potatoes
- Drain and mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter and creme fraiche and season.30 ml full fat milk, 75 g butter, 2 tablespoon creme fraiche, 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Serve topped with chives and chopped spring onions (scallions); (optional)
- Cut all the potatoes to the same size to ensure that they all cook the same.
- If you prefer chunky mashed potatoes, then don't over mash them. We like ours really creamy and fluffy.
- We find using a potato masher is fine, however if you like really smooth potatoes then you can use a potato ricer.
- Add salt and pepper at the end to season, that way you can taste them and add more if you prefer.
- You don't have to peel the potatoes, and leaving the skin on will save even more time. Cooking them low and slow will break down the skins, but still keep the fibre.