This is your Thanksgiving Holy Grail: the fail-proof, perfectly creamy, buttery, and Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe. These mashed potatoes will never let you down!
Why You’ll Love This Mashed Potatoes With Cream Cheese Recipe
- Tried (and Tried and Tried) and True. You know how when you find a recipe online that you want to make for a holiday, you feel like you need to take it on a test run because you want to make absolutely sure it turns out on the big day? Well, you can rest assured that I have made this recipe (and variations of it, like my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Crockpot Mashed Potatoes) time and time again—which is why I can confidently say this is the BEST mashed potatoes recipe!
- Choose Your Own Potato Adventure. I use Yukon gold potatoes for their richer, buttery flavor, but you can also make these mashed potatoes with Russet potatoes if you prefer fluffier results. Or split the difference and use both!
- No Gravy Needed (But Do Make Some Gravy). One of the reasons these are the best mashed potatoes is because they’re flavorful enough to stand up on their own without any accompaniments. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make gravy—you should definitely make a batch of Ham Gravy, Turkey Gravy, or Mushroom Gravy for pouring on these creamy, dreamy potatoes.
- A Holidy Staple. These rich mashed potatoes were made to pair with Thanksgiving Turkey or Crockpot Ham! The holidays wouldn’t feel the same without them.
How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. Or Russet potatoes, if you prefer. I don’t recommend any other variety; they’re better for roasting, like Roasted Fingerling Potatoes or Roasted Red Potatoes.
- Kosher Salt. You’ll need quite a bit, but don’t worry—most of it will get poured down the drain with the water. Using well-salted water seasons the potatoes from the inside, making them extra delicious.
- Unsalted Butter. If there was ever a time to spring for the fancy European butter, it’s when making the best mashed potatoes recipe.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth. This adds more depth than using milk alone.
- Milk. I use 1%, but you can use whole milk or half-and-half if you prefer.
- Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese. The kind that comes in a block, not a tub.
- Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream. You can use full-fat or reduced-fat yogurt or sour cream, but I don’t recommend fat-free.
- Seasoned Salt. A little secret that adds more flavor than plain salt.
- Ground Black Pepper. If you like your mashed potatoes peppery, feel free to add more!
- Prep the Potatoes. Scrub and peel the potatoes, then cut them into chunks (this cooks more evenly than boiled whole potatoes).
- Start the Potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with an inch of water. Add the salt and bring to a boil.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced.
- Drain. Drain the potatoes into a colander, then rinse with warm water.
- Warm the Broth and Dairy Ingredients. Heat the butter, broth, and milk in a saucepan until the butter melts. Stir in the cream cheese.
- Mash the Potatoes. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl.
- Finish. Add the seasoned salt, Greek yogurt, and warmed butter mixture. Stir to combine, then season the mashed potatoes to taste. ENJOY!
- Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You can prepare these potatoes with whole cloves of garlic, as in my Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or for a more mellow garlic flavor, mix in mashed Roasted Garlic.
- Mashed Potatoes With Skin. If you want to keep the skin on the mashed potatoes, you’ll need to mash them with a potato masher. You can leave all of the potatoes unpeeled, or peel half of them.
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes. Ater you’ve stirred everything for this recipe together, fold in freshly grated Parmesan, aged cheddar, or another flavorful cheese.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes in Advance
Yes, you can make mashed potatoes ahead!
- Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the mashed potatoes as directed, then let cool and refrigerate.
- Reheat on the stove: Store the potatoes in a large heatproof bowl When ready to serve, let the potatoes come to room temperature, then place the bowl over a pan of simmering water to warm (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), adding broth or milk about ¼ cup at a time to thin the potatoes as needed.
- Or, reheat in the oven: Spread the mashed potatoes into a baking dish to refrigerate. To warm, dot butter over the top, cover with foil, and heat in a 350°F oven.
What to Serve with Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Turkey. Because you just can’t have Thanksgiving Turkey (or Air Fryer Turkey Breast!) without mashed potatoes. You can even free up your oven with Crockpot Turkey Breast.
- Chicken. The best mashed potatoes pair perfectly with Chicken Fricassée, Air Fryer Whole Chicken, and Smoked Chicken Thighs.
- Pork. Plate these mashed potatoes with Crock Pot Pork Chops or Baked Pork Tenderloin.
- Beef. I love serving mashed potatoes with Braised Short Ribs, Beef Bourguignon, or Beef Stroganoff for a hearty dinner.
- Other Thanksgiving Favorites. Crockpot Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Orange Relish, Chestnut Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, and all those holiday must-haves.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Potato Peeler. You’ll be grateful for a good peeler when you’re making mashed potatoes for a crowd!
- Potato Ricer. A potato ricer (or food mill) makes the creamiest, lump-free, all-around BEST mashed potatoes. Riced potatoes are the easiest to work with!
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. For all that potato prep!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Cut Uniform Potato Chunks. This will ensure that they’re all finished cooking and perfectly tender at the same time.
- Warm the Milk. Cold liquid won’t absorb well into the mashed potatoes, so it’s important that you warm the milk and/or broth before stirring them into the potatoes.
- Don’t Over-Mix. When potatoes turn out gluey or gummy, it’s usually because they’ve been over-mixed. This is why I don’t recommend using a hand mixer (it’s way too easy to over-mix with one!) and like to keep it simple by passing the potatoes through a ricer, then stirring everything together.
- No Potato Ricer? No problem! You can use a potato masher instead. Partially mash the potatoes in the pot, then add the additional ingredients and continue mashing and stirring until the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
Best Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt for cooking the potatoes
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%) use whole milk or half and half for more decadence
- 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese softened and cut into cubes
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream reduced fat is fine, but do not use fat free
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt* plus additional to taste (I used Lawry's)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Scrub and peel the potatoes. Cut into biggish 2-or-so-inch chunks that are all similar in size so they cook evenly (for small/medium Yukon gold potatoes, you will likely be cutting them in half. Very small ones can be left whole). Place in a large pot and cover with cool water by 1 inch.
- Add the kosher salt and bring the potatoes to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer gently until potatoes are tender and pierce easily with a fork, but are not falling apart, 20 to 30 minutes depending upon how large you cut the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes into a large colander, then briefly rinse them with warm water to remove any excess starch. Set aside while you prepare the warm milk mixture. Keep the potatoes handy.
- To a medium saucepan, add the butter, broth, and milk. Heat over medium until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the softened cubes of cream cheese.
- While the potatoes are still warm (do NOT let them cool or they will be gummy), pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl. If you don’t have a potato ricer, use a potato masher to mash them in the pot until they are about halfway mashed.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with the seasoned salt and top with the Greek yogurt. Pour the warmed butter mixture over the top. If you’ve riced the potatoes, stir gently until everything is smoothly combined. If you are using a potato masher, continue mashing and stirring until the potatoes are as smooth as you like (don’t overwork the potatoes, or they will be gummy). Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Depending upon your seasoned salt or chicken broth, you may need to add more. Enjoy warm, or cool to room temperature and reheat for later (see notes).
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Up to 1 day in advance, fully prepare the recipe as directed. Let cool completely, place in a large heatproof bowl, cover, and refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Warm over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), adding broth or milk about ¼ cup at a time to thin the potatoes as needed. You can also spread them into a baking dish, dot butter over the top, cover with foil and then rewarm them in a 350°F oven.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate mashed potatoes in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- Adapted from my Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
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