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The Secrets to Rich Buttery Mashed Potatoes

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Learn the secrets to rich buttery mashed potatoes. Whenever my neighbors had mashed potatoes, my daughter used to come home and tell me how good their mashed potatoes were. I had to find out what my neighbor was doing that made her mashed potatoes so special.

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Mashed potatoes are a staple at any family holiday dinner. But is there more than one way to make the perfect mashed potato? I’ve been thinking about this question and it seems like I can’t think of anything better than buttery, rich mashed potatoes. This is my favorite recipe because they’re so creamy, buttery, and delicious.

The Secrets to Rich, Buttery Mashed Potatoes
The Secrets to Rich, Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potato Secrets

When my daughter was about five or so my daughter asked me why my mashed potatoes were not as good as our neighbors. Who would think a child that young would have a mashed potato preference? Quite frankly, I was a little bit upset by the fact that mine were not the best. I thought to myself, “How hard is it to make mashed potatoes?

What could the neighbor possibly do with mashed potatoes that made them taste so good?” After hearing about the mashed potatoes a few times over the course of a few months, I finally told my neighbor that my daughter raved about hers. I asked my neighbor what she did.

She had Two Very Simple Secrets

There were only two things she did differently than me.

  1. She only used yellow potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes
  2. She added chicken broth in place of half of the milk.

I used to always just buy Russet Potatoes and I still do, but I use them for making French fries and baking now instead.

Why Yellow Potatoes Work in This Side Dish Recipe?

I did a bit of research to find out why the yellow potatoes worked better. Here is what I found. According to Potato Goodness, there are over 200 varieties of potatoes sold in the United States. However, they all fall within seven groups of potatoes; russet, red, white, yellow, blue or purple, fingerling and petite.  After reading up a bit more I found that yellow or Yukon Golds are known for their rich and buttery flavor.

However, with that said, if I have red potatoes or russet potatoes, that is what I use for my mashed potato side dish. They all work. But, we are just a bit more of a Yukon Gold fan for this recipe.

Substitute for Yukon Gold Potatoes

If you are not able to find Yukon Gold potatoes where you live the closest substitute is the Carola Potato. They look very similar to the Yukon Gold potato. They both have a yellow skin with a creamy and yellow flesh, and a waxy texture.

I do not recommend substituting russet potatoes for Yukon as they are too starchy. Rather, look for any other yellow skin potato variety as they will work the best as a substitute.

Now it is the go-to recipe

So, I switched my recipe to hers. My daughter has never complained since. Mashed potatoes are a staple for many families around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Mashed potatoes go with nearly every protein you can think of, from steak and chicken to fish and pork chops. They’re also incredibly inexpensive to make at home.

Steps to Mashed Potato Side Dish
Steps to Mashed Potato Side Dish

Ingredients Used to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

There are many ingredients that can be used to make homemade mashed potatoes. Some people like their potatoes creamy and smooth, while others prefer them chunky and lumpy with just a few lumps. Let’s look at the few simple ingredients needed to make the perfect homemade mashed potatoes.

  • Potatoes 
  • Salt
  • Whole Milk
  • Chicken Stock
  • Pepper

Other Options for Making Easy Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. I could eat them all day long, plain or with gravy on top. There is just something about the comfort of a warm potato that makes me happy. Sometimes, when I want to have an extra rich mashed potato, I will add heavy cream, sour cream, or cream cheese to the cooked potatoes in place of the milk and chicken stock.

For the bacon lover in the family, they will thank you if you add some bacon bits.

Adding roasted garlic will provide a deep rich flavor to the potatoes.

Green onions and chives add just a bit of crunch and heat when you bite into one.

Garnish with fresh herbs such as chopped parsley or chives for a pretty finish.

How to Make the Best Homemade Mashed Potato

Mashed potatoes are a staple in many households. Whether you’re making them for Thanksgiving dinner or just to have with your weeknight meal, they can be made quickly and easily. They don’t require much work or ingredients, so if you’ve never made them before, it’s the perfect time to try! Here are some tips on how to make the best homemade mashed potato.

The Secrets to Rich, Buttery Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel potatoes. Dice into equal pieces, approximately 2 inch cubes.
  • Put potatoes into large pot. Fill with enough cold water to cover potatoes.
  • Stir in salt. (When cooking potatoes, it is important to add salt as it helps flavor and season the potatoes all the way through)
  • Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until fork tender (They will easily fall apart when poked with a fork, about 15 minutes). They will cook faster covered, but watch out for the starchy water from the potatoes bubbling up and boiling over. As they start boiling I turn the heat down a bit and tilt the cover on top. This reduces the chance of boil over and the need to clean up even more mess. However, you can also try putting a wooden spoon across the top of the uncovered pot.
  • Drain water from potatoes. I usually tilt the lid slightly and drain the water out while keeping the potatoes in. Some people might want to use a colander. Use the method that works easiest for you.
  • Once drained, add salt and pepper. I would start with ¼ tsp. of each, but you should adjust to your taste. Then add the milk and chicken stock.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to desired smoothness. Some people like potato chunks yet, I like creamy mashed potatoes that are fluffy.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl for a nice presentation add a few pieces of butter to the top. It just looks so pretty for a special occasion. I do this for our Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day meals.
mashed potatoes with beef tips and gravy
Comfort Food

What to Serve with Creamy, Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that goes well with any main course. Mashed potatoes are a delicious addition to any meal or even on their own as a side dish. It’s no wonder they’ve been popular among so many people for years.

Make weeknight family meals special with this delicious Chicken Lombardy Recipe. Incredible flavor with the fried mushrooms, melty cheese, marsala wine sauce, and tender chicken.

Simple recipes like this four ingredient baked BBQ Chicken are just perfect for a relaxing weeknight meal for the whole family. 

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy served over mashed potatoes is pure comfort food.

A pan fried steak tastes great with buttery mashed potatoes as a side dish.

Smoked pork chops have a deep and rich flavor and the pairing with a potato side dish is just heavenly.

The Secrets to Rich, Buttery Mashed Potatoes
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The Secrets to Rich, Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes. Great for a holiday meal with your family and friends. Easy and delicious potato recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Comfort food, holiday, Potatoes, vegetables
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 155kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 Lbs yellow potatoes peeled and diced 2 ” cube
  • 2 Tbl salt
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Peel potatoes. Dice into approximately 2 inch cubes.
  • Put potatoes into large pot. Fill with enough water to cover potatoes.
    Cubed potatoes
  • Stir in salt. (when cooking is an appropriate time to add salt as it helps flavor the potatoes even more)
  • Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes. They will cook faster covered, but watch out for the starchy water from the potatoes bubbling up and boiling over. As they start boiling I turn the heat down a bit and tilt the cover on top. This reduces the chance of boil over and the need to clean up even more mess. However, you can also try putting a wooden spoon across the top of the uncovered pot.
  • Drain water from potatoes. I usually tilt the lid slightly and drain the water out while keeping the potatoes in. Some people might want to use a colander. Use the method that works easiest for you.
  • Once drained, add salt and pepper. I would start with ¼ tsp. of each, but you should adjust to your taste. Then add the milk and chicken stock.
  • Using a masher, mash the potatoes to desired smoothness. Some people like potato chunks yet, I like them pretty creamy.
    Potato masher
  • If you find that the potatoes are a little dry, you can add more liquid – either more milk or stock.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

Variations to the Perfect Creamy and Buttery Mashed Potato Recipe

Depending on the occasion, I will change up the mashed potatoes a bit.  Here are the variations.
In place of the milk and sock try this
1 stick of butter and ½ c of milk
1 C. sour cream and ½ c of milk
8 oz. softened cream cheese and ¼ c milk
No matter which way you find that your family likes the best once you have tried a few variations, you will find one that makes most of the people happy.
I hope this helps you make great mashed potatoes for both your everyday meals and those fancy Holiday meals.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 985mg | Potassium: 820mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Environmental Information

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