The Best Simple Mashed Potatoes

4-5 serves -
28 min

These are the Best Simple Mashed Potatoes! Buttery, tangy and thanks to our pantry, very cost effective. Perfect for feeding many mouths;-)

I rely heavily on my pantry for meals and this recipe fits the bill. This mashed potato recipe is one I use all the time. Basically my no fuss, simple go to, loved by both my kids… and that folks, is a true feat lol

Potatoes are really inexpensive and the rest of the ingredients I always have on hand making this a very cost effective side dish. Literally perfect for the holidays or big family dinners.

Mise En Place (Everything in its place)


  • Medium/Large Bowl for the potatoes
  • Cloth/Sponge/Scrub to cleanse the potatoes, if peeling
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cutting Board and Chefs Knife to cut potatoes
  • Pot to boil the potatoes in
  • Spider/Strainer/Slotted spoon for draining the potatoes
  • Measuring cup or small bowl that holds at least 1/3 cup of liquid
  • Potato masher or fork


  • Russet Potatoes– also known as Idaho potato and all purpose potato. Good for any cooking method.
  • Unsalted Butter. – Its best to buy unsalted so you can control the salt in the overall dish.
  • Milk. -Full fat cows milk is my preference for a richer mouth feel but part skim is good to.
  • Sour Cream. – A diary product made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acids and bacteria. Its what gives it its tang. You can sub in plain greek yogurt or kefir.
  • Kosher Salt. -The best salt to cook with. The granules are bigger so you can see exactly where you’re salting and it doesn’t taste metallic like regular table salt.
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. -Adds a certain heat and tastes too good with the butter and tang from the sour cream. You can sub in ground pepper.

Let’s make the Best Simple Mashed Potatoes!

The recipe for these simple mashed potatoes is indeed the best. Its the best because it’s no frills and it’s Delicious! Yea its pretty basic but thats where we begin…amirite? Master the basics and then go off.. or not…you’ll still have a pretty damn delicious bowl of mashed taters 😉

Fist up wash and scrub the potatoes if you like your mashed potatoes with the skin on, if not then simply peel and rinse. Dice them into quarters and Place in the pot. Cover them with cold water along with a generous 5 fingered dash of salt and place it over medium high heat on the stove.

*CHEFS TIP: submerging potatoes in cold water before boiling ensures the potatoes cook evenly.

Bring the potatoes up to a boil and lower to high simmer. Cook them until they are fork tender…maybe 15-20 minutes. Start checking at the 15 minute mark, have a fork handy.

Drain the potatoes using your choice of draining apparatus and dump them in the bowl. Add the butter, milk, sour cream and a 3 fingered dash of kosher salt.

Mash till smooth, or leave some lumps, whatever floats your boat. Adjust the seasoning if need be, with Kosher salt. Now for the black pepper, I tend to go ham with the freshly cracked black pepper lol so use as much as you like.

*CHEFS TIP: if you want a really smooth creamy mash I highly recommend getting a ricer or even using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

Serve with some melted butter on top and a few grinds of fresh black pepper for some flair.


If you need an idea for what to serve with these mashed potatoes , click here for my Herb Marinated Roast chicken. Its absolutely drool worthy 😉

Can I Prep ahead?

Most certainly! Potatoes could be prepped up to 24 hours ahead. Any more than that and you risk losing flavor and texture. Here’s what to do:

  • Peel and rinse your potatoes, place them in a bowl and submerge whole or halved in water, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to cook just drain and proceed as usual.
  • Store and refrigerate the butter, milk and sour cream together in an airtight container. Allow the mix to come up to room temp before using, so take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan on using it.
  • I would also store the equipment (pot, spider and potato masher) together so everything is organized and ready to go for the next day.

post updated 11/16/21

The Best Simple Mashed Potatoes

Recipe details

  • 4-5  serves -
  • Prep time: 8 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 28 min
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  • 2 pounds All purpose - Russet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Warm Milk
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream, room temp
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Peel and rinse or Wash and scrub the potaoes and cut them into quarters.
Place the potatoes in the pot and cover with cold water along with a nice big five fingered dash of salt. Place them over medium high heat on the stove
Bring potatoes up to a boil then lower to medium simmer. Cook potatoes until fork tender about 15-20 minute
Drain potatoes into a bowl and add the 4 tbsp of butter, sour cream plus the warm milk
Mash till smooth, or leave some lumps, whatever floats your boat. Season with the salt and cracked black pepper.
Serve with some melted butter on top and one more grind of fresh peppercorns

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