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A simple recipe to make perfect mashed potatoes with milk, butter, salt, and pepper.

(Last Updated On: September 20, 2022)

How to make mashed potatoes is a super simple recipe to make. No more guessing how much milk, butter, salt, and pepper to add. Your mashed potatoes will come out perfect every time. A creamy and buttery mashed potato recipe… YUM!! The perfect side dish to so many entrées.

Mashed potatoes in a bowl.

Key Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes and Water

  • 8 medium size russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Milk, Butter, Salt, and Pepper Mixture

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Ingredients for mashed potatoes, butter, whole milk, salt and pepper.
Ingredients for mashed potatoes.
Bag of potatoes.
A bag of potatoes.

Step-By-Step Mashed Potato Instructions With Photos

Wash and peel 8 medium-sized potatoes. Some people like to keep the skins on the potatoes. We prepare them that way a lot of the time, but for this recipe though, we are removing the skins.

After peeling the potatoes, then cut them into fourths. After that, put the potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with cold water. The water level should be about one inch above the potatoes.

Add Salt To The Potato Water

Add 1 tablespoon of salt together with the potatoes and water, then stir. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to simmer and cover the potatoes with a lid. Simmer the potatoes for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender, but not mushy.

Tip: How To Tell When Mashed Potatoes Are Done

Test by poking a fort into a potato. The fork should slide into the potato with ease, but the potato should not crumble apart.

Cut up potatoes in a pot of water.
Cut up potatoes in a pot.

In the meantime, while the potatoes are simmering, put the butter in a medium-sized pot. Then, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Next, add the whole milk, salt, and pepper together with the melted butter. Warm the milk butter mixture, but do not let it boil. Turn the burner off and set the milk butter mixture aside.

Butter, whole milk, salt and pepper in a pot.
Melted butter, milk, salt, and pepper in a pot.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water out of the pot. You can use a colander by dumping the potatoes in it over the sink. Let the water drain out for a few seconds. Then, return the potatoes to the pot. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Tip: Some folks use a hand-held mixer, I have on many occasions and it works very well.

Potatoes getting mashed in a pot.
Potatoes are mashed.

Keep the heat on medium-low. Slowly stir the milk butter mixture into the potatoes. Depending on if your potatoes were the same size as ours, only add enough of the milk and butter mixture until the potatoes are firm yet fluffy and have a creamy texture.

Adding the butter, whole milk, salt and pepper to the mashed potatoes.
Add the milk butter mixture to the mashed potatoes in the pot.

These perfect-tasting mashed potatoes are ready to serve for dinner. With everyone having individual taste preferences, additional butter, salt, and pepper can certainly be added at the dinner table.

Mashed potatoes in a pot.
A pot of mashed potatoes.

When you serve these mashed potatoes to your family for dinner, they are going to request you make them over and over again. You can serve mashed potatoes with these entrées – cabbage rolls, meatloaf, and turkey.

Mashed Potatoes

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Flo
A simple recipe to make perfect mashed potatoes with milk, butter, salt, and pepper.
5 from 2 votes
Cost $3
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings 8

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Potatoes and Water

  • 8 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 tbsp salt

Milk, Butter, Salt, and Pepper Mixture

Instructions
 

  • Peel potatoes. Cut them into fourths.
  • Put potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water. The water level should be about an inch above the potatoes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the pot of potatoes. Stir. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover potatoes and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • While potatoes are simmering, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the whole milk, salt, and pepper to the butter. Warm the milk butter mixture but do not let it boil. Remove from heat and set it aside.
  • When the potatoes are done, drain the water out of the pot. Then mash the potatoes.
  • Keep the heat on medium-low. Stir while slowly adding the milk butter mixture to the potatoes.

Recipe Notes

  • Test with a fork to check when the potatoes are done.
  • You can use a colander to remove the water from the pot of potatoes.
  • A hand-held mixer works great to mash the potatoes.
Keyword mashed potatoes, potato, potatoes, spuds
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