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Fluffy Mashed Potatoes in a serving bowl
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5 from 2 votes

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

These classic fluffy mashed potatoes are made with Russet (or Idaho) potatoes, milk or cream, and butter. Make them ahead of time!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 230kcal


  • Potato Masher or Ricer


  • 2 ½ pounds Russet potatoes
  • ½ cup milk or cream, plus more if needed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste


  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
    Scrub, peel, and quarter the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the boiling water, and cook 10-15 minutes until tender (but not falling apart).
    Drain the potatoes. Add the potatoes back to the pot and immediately run through a potato masher or ricer.
    Mash with a Potato Masher or Ricer
  • Put the pot back on the stovetop, turn the heat to medium, and use a wooden spatula or spoon to beat the potatoes constantly for about 2 minutes. When the potatoes begin to form a film on the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat.
    If your potatoes are old they might already be dry, and a film will appear immediately on the bottom of the pan. If so, turn off the heat and move on to the next step.
    This step will remove extra moisture from the potatoes.
    Heat Potatoes to Evaporate Water
  • Add the milk or cream to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
    Cut the butter into small cubes. Add butter cubes, salt, and pepper to the potatoes.
    Add Cubes of Butter to Potatoes
  • Begin beating the hot milk or cream into the potatoes. Continue beating until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.
    If your potatoes were very dry, you might need to add extra milk. Warm the milk before adding.
    Taste and add more salt if desired.
    To keep warm (for up to an hour), place in a pan over lightly simmering water, and cover loosely. To make up to a day ahead of time, reheat in the same manner (in a loosely covered pan over simmering water).
    Serve with gravy or extra butter if desired.
    Add Milk or Cream + Beat Until Smooth


Swapping other types of potatoes:
If you swap a less starchy potato (like a Yukon gold), your potatoes will be creamy rather than fluffy. 
Firmer potatoes (like golds) will absorb less water than Russets, so there's no need to cook the potatoes in the pan after mashing.  That step is to evaporate extra water.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg