How to Make Mashed Potatoes + Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Learn How to Make Mashed Potatoes that are rich, creamy, and full of buttery flavor! Whether you prefer Russet or Yukon Gold mashed potatoes — or a mixture of both — these creamy garlic mashed potatoes are a snap to make. Enjoy on holidays or any regular night of the week.

titled: Best Ever Mashed Potatoes Recipe


How to Make Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is in regular rotation around here. It’s also the one I reach for when the holidays come around each year!

My secret? I make my mashed potatoes with a combination of sour cream, cream cheese, and just a hint of garlic powder.

Each bite is so deliciously creamy with just enough buttery, garlic flavor to complement any meal.

If you’re looking for more holiday side dish recipes, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve compiled a long list over the years, along with make-ahead tips and a full menu if you’re new to planning.

Recipe Video

To see how to make mashed potatoes from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

measured ingredients for creamy mashed potatoes

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Potatoes – Russets are the classic choice when learning how to make mashed potatoes, but Yukon Gold have a natural butter flavor.

    The skins on the latter variety are also incredibly thin, so Yukon Gold mashed potatoes mean no peeling if you don’t want to!

    Feel free to use either variety or a mixture of both when making mashed potatoes with cream cheese.

    I do recommend rinsing Russets before boiling since they are a little extra starchy.

    Doing so results in a fluffier texture once your homemade garlic mashed potatoes are finished.
  • Butter – Use unsalted sticks so you can control how the finished dish tastes. Once it’s all mixed, give it a taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Garlic Powder – This packs a potent flavor and is easier to distribute throughout the entire pot than fresh cloves, making every bite equally flavorful.
butter, cream cheese, and sour cream in pot with mashed potatoes

Tips for Making Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

  • Don’t overmix!

Mash just until the spuds are broken apart and the other ingredients are incorporated.

Otherwise, your creamy garlic mashed potatoes will have a gummy, glue-like consistency.

  • Adjust the consistency.

I prefer mashed potatoes with cream cheese to be a little chunky, but you can continue mashing until they’re completely smooth.

If you want them extra fluffy, use an electric mixer on half power for about two minutes. Then, stir and scrape down the sides before mixing for an additional minute.

  • Use room temperature dairy.

Not only will the butter and cream cheese melt faster, but everything will blend in more consistently.

Simply measure everything out and let it sit on the counter while you boil the potatoes.

swirl pattern in a pot of creamy mashed potatoes

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes FAQ

Should mashed potatoes start in cold or boiling water?

Add chopped potatoes to your pot and cover with cold water, then bring them to a boil.

Starting with cold water may take a bit longer, but it guarantees that all the spuds will cook evenly.

Can I substitute cream cheese for milk in mashed potatoes?

You bet! In fact, I discovered this when learning how to make mashed potatoes — and I believe it’s the secret to the best flavor!

A combination of cream cheese and sour cream adds a tanginess that perfectly complements the butter and natural potato flavor.

Then, a touch of garlic powder rounds it all out without being too forward or overpowering.

I still add a little bit of cream to help my homemade garlic mashed potatoes fluff up a bit, but it’s not required.

How do you reheat leftover mashed potatoes?

For a full batch, hands down the crockpot is the easiest method. Individual servings can be warmed on the stove or in the microwave.

Either way, add a splash of liquid for moisture (milk or broth) and stir occasionally until warmed through to the center.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Holidays can be stressful, leaving you to wonder how to make mashed potatoes along with all of your other sides!

Simply prepare the recipe as directed — whether you’re making Russet or Yukon Gold mashed potatoes — then cool and refrigerate.

On the day you wish to serve, transfer homemade garlic mashed potatoes to a slow cooker and warm on Low for 2 to 4 hours.

Add ½ cup of milk and stir occasionally so they heat evenly.

creamy mashed potatoes with chives on fork

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

butter melting into pot of mashed potatoes with chives

How to Make Mashed Potatoes + Video

Donna Elick
Discover How to Make Mashed Potatoes that are extra creamy with the perfect balance of buttery, garlic flavor. Perfect for holidays!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 12


  • 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, or Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional garnish: chives, chopped


  • Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until fork tender (meaning they break apart when you put a fork into a potato), approximately 15 minutes.
  • Drain water. Return the potatoes to the pot. Turn heat to high, and allow the potatoes to dry for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Begin mashing the potatoes with a potato masher. Mash until they are your desired consistency.
  • Serve and enjoy! Top with chives if desired.


Donna’s Notes

I prefer my potatoes a little chunky, but mash until you like them. If you prefer them extra fluffy you can use an electric mixer on about half power for about 2 minutes. Then stir and scrape down side and them mix for another minute.
To make ahead. Prepare ahead and refrigerate. Place in slow cooker, on low, the day you wish to serve 2-4 hours before hand. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir. Cover and stir occasionally. Add more milk as needed.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 300cal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 242mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): best mashed potatoes recipe

Originally published November 2014, updated and republished October 2023

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  1. Thanks for posting this today. I am actually making "real" mashed taters for the first time in a very long time today for a large group of ladies. (intimidating to say the least). Your version sounds very tasty so am going to give it a try. Wish me luck! Hope you and your daughter are feeling better soon.

  2. Great looking mashed taters! These would go great with a slow roasted prime rib and if a little au jus mixed in with the potatoes I wouldn't cry 😉

  3. Sounds delish and potatoes are my absolute favorite! Maybe I missed it, but high or low temp in the slow cooker the day of serving?

    1. Hi JennMac415! My favorite too. You are going to love them. Place make ahead potatoes in slow cooker on low with 1/2 cup of milk the day of and cook for 2-3 hours. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  4. I refuse to use cream cheese and sour cream in my mashed potatoes as it makes them gummy not fluffy. I only use Russets. I don't use heavy cream as half-and-half works great. Be sure to heat it a little. My mashed potatoes are the envy of my family.

  5. 5 stars
    I am trying out a bunch of mashed potato recipes and this one is the best so far! Very rich while being perfectly creamy and delicious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating