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The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes

These really are the best creamy mashed potatoes and I make them every year for our Holiday meals. They are easy to make, and everyone always raves about them.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes That are Rich and Creamy

I have been making these mashed potatoes for decades. This is a tried-and-true recipe that turns out perfect every time. These potatoes are full of great flavor and delicious on their own without a gravy but add a gravy and it gets even better.

Since I am often in charge of making the Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Christmas Day Dinner, these are the potatoes I serve.

While I do make this version of mashed potatoes throughout the year, it is not my daily mashed potato recipe. Why? It does have a few calories and if I replace the cream cheese with a bit of milk, we save a few calories.

The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes
The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Indulge During the Holidays with this Side Dish

When it is the Holidays and everyone is gathered at the table, of course, I’m going to serve the best mashed potato recipe that I know how to make. They are so indulgent with a buttery and creamy taste. Therefore, on any special day, this is the favorite way I like to make the fluffiest mashed potatoes.  

Make this Potato Side Dish Ahead of Time

During the Holiday Season, anything that you can do to save time or make ahead is a lifesaver. This is one of those recipes. Make them the day before and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to serve, just heat in the microwave until hot and serve.

Mash Potatoes by Hand
Mash Potatoes by Hand

How to Make Holiday Mashed Potatoes Side Dish

Peel the Potatoes and cut them into 1–2-inch size pieces. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until fork tender.

Once the potatoes are done, drain the water from the kettle. Dry out the cooked potatoes a bit by placing the kettle back on the burner on low for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and add the other ingredients

Add the butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Place the lid back on the potatoes and let the cream cheese and butter soften for 5 minutes.

Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes mixing the cream cheese and butter until the potatoes have a smooth consistency. It just takes a few minutes. Place the lid back on the kettle to keep the side dish warm until you are ready to serve.

Thanksgiving Potato Side Dish
Thanksgiving Potato Side Dish

Pro Recipe Tips for Making the Best Mashed Potatoes

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making mashed potatoes.

Use the right kind of potato. I prefer a Yukon Gold as they have a great texture and buttery flavor. However, I have mixed Yukon Gold with a Russet potato, which has a bit more starch. A Red potato is a bit waxier, but also has worked well for mashing. Combining more than one type of potato will give you a delicious potato mixture. However, if you only have one choice, choose the Yukon Gold.

Peel potatoes or not. I prefer my potatoes peeled for mashing. However, other folks like the extra flavor and texture that the peelings add. If you prefer not to peel. Just make sure to wash and scrub the potatoes well before cutting into smaller pieces for boiling.

Hand mix the potatoes. Too often, I have been at someone’s house and watched them mix the mashed potatoes with a hand mixer, food processor, or stand mixer. This causes the potatoes to have an almost glue-like texture. Therefore, I always mix with a potato masher and mix by hand. The result is a smooth texture. However, since you are mixing this for your how you enjoy them, you can make the mashed potatoes as smooth or chunky as possible.

Start cooking your potatoes in cold water. Peel the potatoes and cut them into equal sizes about 1-2-inches in size. Cutting the potatoes equal sizes helps them cook evenly. Add to a kettle and cover with cold water.

Keep a close eye on the potatoes once they start boiling. The boiling potato water in the kettle can boil over easily. Therefore, when it starts boiling, make sure the either remove the lid or tip the lid half off the kettle. This will help reduce the chance of the water boiling over and making a mess you have to clean up later.

Once the potatoes have been boiling approximately 10 minutes, make sure to check them with a dinner knife. If it can be inserted into a potato easily, they are done. Remove from the heat and drain the water from the kettle.

Return the kettle to the burner once the water is drained. Turn the heat on low to help dry out the potatoes just a little; about 1-2 minutes. Then remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.

Recipe Variations

Some folks prefer to add a variety of toppings to their mashed potatoes. Here are a few ideas for you to make this a perfect side dish.

Make this a loaded side dish by adding this into the mashed potatoes or topping them with these ingredients. Cheese (try a few good melting varieties), cooked bacon pieces, diced green onions, or thinly sliced Jalapenos if you like a little heat.

Serve these potatoes topped with butter and Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Fresh herbs such as a bit of parsley, oregano, or basil adds a delicious freshness to the potatoes.

Add roasted garlic to the potatoes for a deep and rich surprise flavor.

Make this a meal by adding cooked ham, broccoli, cauliflower, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Swap out the cream cheese for sour cream, heavy cream, or whole milk. However, be aware that starchy potatoes need fat to turn them creamy; therefore, I skip low-fat everything.

Replace the potatoes in this recipe with Sweet Potatoes. The results will delight you.

Mash Potatoes by Hand
Mash Potatoes by Hand

What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes?

Of course, gravy is the number one thing that we love on our mashed potatoes. Find out how easy it is to make.

Make this savory beef gravy with cream in just minutes.

Here are other recipe ideas that work well with mashed potatoes for a well-rounded meal.

This slow cooker beef tips with gravy are a welcomed meal on those cold fall and winter months. 

At our house, no Holiday meal is complete without our Sausage and Herb Stuffing.

This Three Bean Salad is a great make ahead recipe.

Of course, there is always room for a great tasting dessert and this Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie is easy and delicious.

Can you Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Absolutely. Just place them in an airtight container, they will keep up to 4 months. When you are ready to use, thaw and reheat.

That way, you do not have to wait for a special occasion. It is easy to reheat this comfort food.

Potatoes can be reheated in a microwave, slow cooker, or in an oven.  

I have tried to reheat on the stove top, and they always stick to the bottom of the pan and try and burn. So, I do not recommend the stove top.

Best Mashed Potatoes Side Dish with Butter
Best Mashed Potatoes Side Dish with Butter

Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This really is my favorite homemade mashed potatoes recipe that I have been making for decades. Everyone digs into the serving bowl to get a large helping. I love watching the happy expressions as everyone is enjoying their meal and the company of each other.

The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes
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The Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes

These really are the best creamy mashed potatoes and I make them every year for our Holiday meals. They are easy to make, and everyone always raves about them.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas recipe, comfort food, holiday side dish, restaurant recipe, thanksgiving recipe
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 287kcal

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Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Potatoes Peeled and cut into 1-2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • ½ Cup Butter 1 stick
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Butter for garnish

Instructions

  • Peel the Potatoes and cut them into 1–2-inch size pieces. Add the potatoes to a kettle and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until fork tender.
  • Once the potatoes are done, drain the water from the kettle. Dry out the cooked potatoes a bit by placing the kettle back on the burner on low for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and add the other ingredients
  • Add the butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Place the lid back on the potatoes and let the cream cheese and butter soften for 5 minutes.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes mixing the cream cheese and butter until the potatoes have a smooth consistency. It just takes a few minutes. Place the lid back on the kettle to keep the side dish warm until you are ready to serve.
  • Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and top with remaining two teaspoons of butter.

Notes

Can you Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Absolutely. Just place them in an airtight container, they will keep up to 4 months. When you are ready to use, thaw and reheat.
That way, you do not have to wait for a special occasion. It is easy to reheat this comfort food.
Potatoes can be reheated in a microwave, slow cooker, or in an oven.
I have tried to reheat on the stove top, and they always stick to the bottom of the pan and try and burn. So, I do not recommend the stove top.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 1022mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg

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