We have been sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and the holiday table would not be complete without my best ever homemade mashed potatoes recipe. This mashed potatoes recipe is about as easy as they get, but using a few tips like starting the peeled potatoes in cold salted water, will make the most fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes you have ever had! If you are looking for more Thanksgiving and holiday recipes, then check out my skillet cornbread and homemade cranberry sauce.
Let’s get the juicy bits out of the way right now, in order to make the best mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving you need to do a few things:
- Place the peeled potatoes in a pot of cold water that is heavily salted. Starting the potatoes in cold water will ensure they cook evenly from outside to inside, and cooking them whole as opposed to cubed, will prevent them from getting watery. You want to salt the water like you are making pasta, so it tastes like the sea. That is the only true way to season the potatoes while they are cooking
- You need a potato ricer in order to make a silky, light texture for your mashed potatoes. I know, you have been using a potato masher for years, well trust me, nothing can create a light and airy texture like a potato ricer, it’s a total game changer!
- Once the potatoes are riced, combine them with a stick of butter and mix well. Then add the warm cream and milk that has been infused with garlic and herbs. The butter helps coat the mashed potatoes and prevent the milk and cream from making them soggy.
How To Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Peel 3 pounds of starchy russet potatoes and place them in a pot covered with cold water, this will prevent them from turning brown. Salt the water to make it taste like the sea and bring the potatoes to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce them. You want the potatoes to be on the soft side, but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot to keep warm.
While the potatoes are boiling, add 1/2 cup each of heavy cream and whole milk to a pot along with 2 smashed cloves or garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, and a few black peppercorns. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the flavors to infuse the cream, this will add loads of great flavor to the homemade mashed potatoes.
Use the potato ricer to squeeze the potatoes through into a clean bowl and directly on top of a stick of room temperature butter. The ricer will create a really light and fine texture of the potatoes and the butter will coat the potatoes and prevent the cream from making them wet. Stir the potatoes so the butter gets incorporated and then strain the warm cream mixture directly into the bowl with the riced potatoes.
Mix well and check for seasoning, you will most likely need a little more salt. Make sure not to over mix the mashed potatoes or the starches will get too thick and gummy.
How To Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead Of Time?
You can make homemade mashed potatoes ahead of time and store in the fridge for one day or keep at room temperature for 3 hours. To re-heat the mashed potatoes, fill a pot with 2 inches of water and place the bowl of potatoes on top. Turn the heat to medium and allow the water to gently simmer and stir the potatoes every 10-15 minutes. You can lower the flame to low once the potatoes get warm. Cover the bowl with the mashed potatoes with tin foil and keep warm for up to 2 hours.
If you make the mashed potatoes ahead of time, you may need to add some warm milk and cream to help loosen them up when re-heated. This is especially true if the mashed potatoes are stored in the fridge ahead of time.
Check out my other Thanksgiving recipes: