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If you love good, old-fashioned mashed potatoes, this is the perfect recipe. Made with Idaho potatoes, milk, butter, and optional garlic, this go-to recipe for simple, homemade mashed potatoes is a classic holiday dish. Learn how to make mashed potatoes that come out smooth, creamy, and delicious every time. Serve with gravy or extra butter on top.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
20 mins
35 mins

Ready to learn how to make the best mashed potatoes ever? You're in luck! This top-rated mashed potatoes recipe, made with just a few ingredients, produces crowd-pleasing results every time.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these mashed potatoes:

1. Boil the potatoes: Add the potatoes and garlic to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. 
2. Heat the milk: Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted. 
3. Mash the potatoes: Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, mashing with a potato masher or blending with a mixer until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season to taste. 

fluffy-looking mashed potatoes in a turquoise bowl
Credit: lutzflcat

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

Peeled and quartered potatoes should be perfectly boiled after about 15-20 minutes. If you leave your potatoes whole, it will take a bit longer. 

Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes 

The best potatoes for mashing depends on your personal preference, as some varieties will give you fluffy results while others will give you creamy results. 

This recipe calls for baking potatoes (a.k.a. russets), which are ideal for light and fluffy mashed potatoes. A good all-purpose potato, such as Yukon Gold, is also always a crowd-pleaser. 

assortment of potato varieties - yukon golds, russerts, and red potatoes
Credit: Meredith

How to Store Mashed Potatoes

Allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave, in the oven, or on the stove.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes in single or group servings for up to one month. Thaw them in the fridge overnight or reheat them from-frozen in the slow cooker, on the stove, or in the oven. 

Get step-by-step instructions: How to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Oh my word," says Cheryl Gillam. "This is SO easy!! Potatoes were the perfect consistency!! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will be heating the milk and butter separately from now on. Who knew a simple thing like that would make all the difference?"

"My kids devour these when I make them," according to one Allrecipes community member. "I beat an egg into the potatoes, and it makes them taste richer and creamier."

"Excellent and simple," raves deadlycynnamon. "I never warmed the milk/butter ahead of time, but it's excellent. Also, I keep the skins on for health and taste (well-scrubbed). It's delicious!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic, lower heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • When the potatoes are almost finished, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.

  • Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Slowly add warm milk mixture, blending it in with a potato masher or electric mixer until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.


You can use skim, low-fat, or whole milk, or even half-and-half for a richer taste.

Nutrition Facts

257 calories; protein 5.6g; carbohydrates 43.7g; fat 7.2g; cholesterol 20.1mg; sodium 76.1mg. Full Nutrition