0 0
Best Mashed Potatoes

Share it on your social network:

Or you can just copy and share this url


3 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup light cream, warmed
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Best Mashed Potatoes

Best Mashed Potatoes are creamy, velvety smooth, and rich.

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Mashed potatoes are one of the primary ingredients in the Thanksgiving menu. They are the perfect vehicle for rich and flavorful gravy, and pair beautifully with turkey and stuffing. This is my recipe for the Best Mashed Potatoes.

I always use russet potatoes for this recipe. You can use Yukon Gold or white potatoes, but avoid red potatoes because they won’t have the correct texture.

This recipe is traditional, but not. I add cream cheese and cream to the potatoes so they are very velvety and smooth. One caveat: I do not like potatoes that are pureed. The mashed potatoes much hold their shape when spooned onto a place. If they spread out into a puddle I find them very unappealing.

But if you like potatoes that are more like a puree, feel free to add more cream to get the texture and consistency you want.

Since the Thanksgiving dinner is fraught with last minute preparations (Carve the turkey! Make the gravy! Mash the potatoes!), I make these potatoes ahead of time and put them into  slow cooker. Brush the top of the potatoes with butter so they don’t change color, cover the slow cooker, and put it on low. You can keep the potatoes warm for two hours this way.

And for the smoothest mashed potatoes, a potato ricer is really necessary. If you use a ricer you don’t even have to peel the potatoes! The ricer removes the skin and all you’re left with is a pile of soft and tender potatoes that will beat beautifully to a fluffy mound.

How to make the Best Mashed Potatoes

  • The potatoes must be dry before you mash or rice them. Put the drained potatoes back into the pot and shake over very low heat for a few minutes to drive off excess moisture.
  • The butter must be melted, the cream cheese softened, and the cream warmed for best results. To warm cream cheese, unwrap and place on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds and repeat until the cream cheese is soften. Do not microwave until it melts.
  • Do not use a food processor to make this recipe or the potatoes will be gummy. You can use a mixer, but I prefer to just beat them with a wooden spoon, but then I use a ricer.
  • If you don’t have a ricer, a potato masher works well.
  • If you don’t want to use a slow cooker to keep the potatoes warm, put them into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and cover.

Subscribe to my emails!



In a large pot, place the potatoes. If you have a potato ricer, you don't need to peel them. If you're going to mash the potatoes, peel them. Add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork. This should take 20 to 30 minutes.


Drain the potatoes into a colander in the sink. Shake gently. Then return the potatoes to the hot dry pot and shake over very low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to dry them.


Take the pot off the heat. Mash the potatoes right in the pot or rice them into a large bowl.


Beat in the butter with a spoon until well mixed. The butter is added first to coat starch granules so the potatoes do not get gummy.


Add the cream cheese and beat well. then beat in the light cream, salt, and pepper. Taste the potatoes and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately or hold in a slow cooker or over simmering water.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

Turkey With Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing
Turkey with Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing
Scalloped Turkey Casserole
Scalloped Turkey Casserole