Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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Mashed potatoes. That sounds like a bland boring topic to talk about. But while making my delicious creamy buttery recipe for Thanksgiving dinner,  it hit me, the world needs to know the five secrets for the perfect creamy mashed potatoes recipe.  

If you search mashed potatoes online, you’ll get a plethora of recipes. Using everything from basil or thyme, to cheese and garlic powder, but are they really smooth?

Here’s the secret to a simple old fashioned fluffy mashed potato side dish.

creamy mashed potatoes in an old bowl with bits of ground black pepper and lumps

Growing up as a kid, we didn’t have a whole lot of material things, but my mom always grew a huge garden and canned everything she grew.

Potatoes were always in it and they were a staple on the dinner table. No matter how you made them, fried, baked, hash browns or however some form of potatoes were available at most every meal.

And now with my family, it’s still pretty much the same. Only I have made a few changes in my mashed potato recipe but it’s still old fashioned and delicious. 

 Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Is mashed potatoes hard to make? Not at all.  But, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to make them. 

If you grow your own potatoes then you have an even better chance of making smooth creamy mashed potatoes.  This year I harvested over 100 pounds of potatoes. A combination of Yukon Gold and a nice hardy red potato.  They are stored to be used all winter.   

Which Potatoes are Best For Mashed Potatoes? 

The best potatoes for making a smooth and creamy mashed potato side dish is Yukon Gold (secret number 1).  

Many folks use Russet potatoes for cooking and Russets do have their place in the kitchen, but mashed potatoes is not one of them. 

The reason being,since they are really high in starch, russets don’t make a tasty mashed potato.  When they are peeled and boiled, they tend to become mealy or sort of dissolve and become like a wallpaper paste or glue. 

I understand, russet potatoes cost less to buy and I’m all for keeping a grocery budget, but cheap is not always best.

And then red potatoes make a good mashed potato too.  But it does have a different texture. Red potatoes have a more waxy texture with a higher sugar content, but has little starch. 

So if you are trying to eat a healthier diet, red potatoes are a better choice over russet.

How Many Potatoes Should You Make Per Person for Mashed Potatoes?

The answer to this question depends on what variety of potato you are using.   

If a Russet, they do have to be peeled due to their high starch content and tough peels. Which means you’ll need more potatoes with the loss of peeling. 

But if using a red skin potato or Yukon, peeling them is an option. Which means you will use less making them go farther and you’ll save money.

I will add that potato peelings are high in vitamins and nutrition so this is another reason Yukon’s make a great mashed potato. 

A good rule of thumb is a half pound of potatoes per person.  So if you are serving 4 for dinner, you’ll need about 32 ounces total or about 2 pounds of peeled potatoes. 

How Do You Make Mashed Potatoes Creamy?

For seasonings, I use a real butter, not a margarine, salt, sour cream and a heavy cream. I make them without milk or water.  I find that sour cream and a heavy whipping cream make a light, fluffy creamy mashed potato.  

And I don’t peel my potatoes.  I scrub them with a vegetable brush under cold water.  Cut them in half or quarters and boil in water with salt until they are tender and ready to mash. 

Then drain them with a kitchen colander and put them back into the hot pot or saucepan with the skin.  The heat will cause them to sizzle a bit and help to remove more water  (secret number 2).

And then I use this hand mixer or an old potato masher and mash them right in the pot I boiled them in.  And I don’t use a ricer, by the way.  I’m not into the extra work involved with using one.

I also have a KitchenAid mixer but this is one time I don’t have the wash the bowl, my pot works great!.

I prefer to make creamy mashed potatoes the old fashioned way, with either a hand mixer or potato masher. 

What Can Be Added To Mashed Potatoes?

Potatoes are one of those vegetables that is really versatile and goes well when many things are added to them. If you’re looking to add a twist to mashed potatoes try adding some:

  • Cream cheese instead of sour cream, they will be a bit stiffer and not as creamy
  • Bacon, what doesn’t taste great with bacon
  • Herbs: rosemary, chives, thyme, parsley or even roasted garlic or powder are all delicious
  • Cheddar Cheese: Once potatoes are mashed, sprinkle some fresh cheddar cheese on top

The list of what can be added to mashed potatoes can go and on.

Best Homemade Mashed Potato Recipe

Serves 4-6


  • 3 lbs Yukon Gold  Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 8 Tbsp real butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp black pepper


Wash and peel potatoes, cut into same size chunks (secret number 3).  This helps them to cook the same and all be done at the same time.  This makes for perfectly smooth mashed potatoes. 

Place into a pot covered with water and a lid.  Boil on medium-low for 20-25 minutes.

Drain potatoes using a kitchen colander and immediately pour back into the hot saucepan.  Stir for 3-5 minutes to help more water to dry (secret number 4). 

chunks of cooked potatoes in a pot with black pepper, salt and butter melting ready to mash for making creamy mashed potatoes

Add room temperature butter (secret number 5),  sour cream, salt and black pepper. 

With a hand mixer or potato masher mash until potatoes are smooth and creamy.  

Tip: hand mixer will make potatoes lighter and fluffier. But a potato masher is the true old fashioned way to mash them and it will leave some nice potato chunks if your family prefers a bit of chunks in their mashed potatoes. We like chunks.

Taste and add more salt or butter if needed. 

Mashed potatoes are best served immediately.  But they can be reheated too.  Just put them into a pot with a ½ cup heavy cream, stir continuously until hot.  

They will not taste quite as good as fresh made, but they are still delicious. 

More Favorite Recipes To Go With Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

creamy mashed potatoes ready to eat in glass white bowl

Creamy mashed potatoes recipe made from scratch. Easy to make with a buttery and smooth texture, your family will love.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Pink Salt
  • ¾ cup Sour Cream
  • 8 Tbsp Real Butter
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper


  1. Wash and peel potatoes, cut into same size chunks.
  2. Place into a pot, add salt and cover with water.  Boil on medium-high for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and immediately pour back into the hot pot.  Stir for 3-5 minutes to help dry additional water.
  4. Add room temperature butter, sour cream, heavy cream and black pepper. 
  5. Use a hand mixer or potato masher to mash until potatoes are smooth and creamy.
  6. Taste and add more salt or butter if needed.


Tip: a hand mixer will make potatoes lighter and fluffier

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1319mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g

(Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

creamy mashed potatoes in a white bowl with the word 5 secrets to creamy mashed potatoes in yellow above it.

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