I have a confession to make. I have an unhealthy addiction to mashed potatoes. I'm not talking the occasional indulgence, I am talking I could literally eat mashed potatoes by the heaping spoonful, directly out of the bowl. Phew, feels good to get that off my chest. If I haven't scared you off with my admittance, you might just be like me. That also means these 15 minute InstantPot mashed potatoes are going to be right up your alley.
To Use a Masher, or a Ricer?
If you are a cooking show fanatic like myself, you have definitely heard that the key to the best mashed potatoes is to use a potato ricer, instead of a potato masher.
Now, I have tried both. The potato ricer does produce some super smooth potatoes, but if there is one thing I could do without, it's adding to the pile of dishes. If you don't mind the dishes, the ricer is great!
BUT wait...what if I told you that these mashed potatoes were made with a potato masher, and came out just as creamy as their potato ricer counterpart? What does this mean, you ask? The potato ricer is great and all, especially if you make dishes like gnocchi from scratch, but if all you have is a potato masher, all hope for creamy potatoes is not lost!
The Secret to Creamy, Dreamy Mashed Potatoes
Evaporate ALL the water from the potatoes, after boiling
This step is so underrated, but SO crucial. Once your potatoes are boiled, drain and return to the InstantPot on a LO saute, and leave them alone. You want your potatoes to be completely dry before you start mashing them. Any residual water is going to make your potatoes "gloopy" (yes, that was the best word to use). Truthfully, you will probably not achieve creamy potatoes if you have wet potatoes, so do not skip this!
Do not over-mash!
Given my unhealthy obsession with mashed potatoes, I can safely say I have tried my fair share of techniques. Here's what I've learned - mash your potatoes until they are well, mashed, without any add-ins. That means hold off on your milk/cream/butter mix, and just squish down your potatoes until smooth. Once that is done, toss the potato masher in the sink. When you start adding in your milk/butter mixture, use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold it in. It will look like a lot of liquid when you add it in, but the result is creamy, silky, dreamy mashed potatoes.
Now That You've Got the Basics...
The add-ins are endless! Try:
- Mashing in some roasted garlic to the potatoes
- Steeping some sage in the milk, as you heat it
- Top with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and scallions for "loaded mashed potatoes"
- Mix with shredded cheddar cheese for cheesy mashed potatoes