Instead of my usual winging the potatoes on Thanksgiving, I tweaked these buttery Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes a la Martha Stewart.

Bill, the mashed potato connoisseur in the house, gave these Creamy Mashed Potatoes his seal of approval, and thankfully, I took a few notes so I could share them with you all.

Overhead view of creamy mashed potatoes

Why You Should Make These

Martha Stewart was right. These are super creamy and delicious. The picky hubby would not let me throw out even the last few spoonfuls of leftovers!

Then I got this comment from a reader who made this mashed potato recipe for Christmas: I made these last night for Christmas Dinner. My son said these were the Best Mashed Potatoes. I think I finally found my mash potato recipe. Thank you.

My mom would always have a couple of boxes of garlic mashed potato in her pantry, but the hubby prefers homemade mashed potatoes. So by watching his mom and aunt Alice, I got the method down pat. Neither of those talented home cooks added anything more than butter, salt, and milk to their potatoes, but I usually up the game (and calories) with some sour cream or cream cheese. Now I have the perfect combination of ingredients.

How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes

  1. Choose the best potatoes for mashing. They should be starchy, not waxy potatoes. I recommend Yukon Gold potatoes.
  2. Peel, cut into large chunks, and cook them in salted water. Cooking in salted water seasons the potatoes as they cook.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot with the burner on low. Cook to remove any excess water. Turn off the burner.
  4. Mix the potatoes, butter, cream cheese (or sour cream) part of the warmed cream in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until combined. 
  5. Season, add the rest of the cream, and continue beating to your desired consistency. Always taste after seasoning and add more salt and/or pepper if desired. If you’re watching your sodium, start with less salt than is suggested. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out!
Overhead view of serving bowl of mashed potatoes with a pat of butter in the middle

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?

They should be starchy potatoes like russets and Yukon gold work the best. But of the two varieties, Yukon gold works the best as they are less starchy than russets and will absorb less water when cooking.

Can you leave the peels on your potatoes?

Yes. This makes a more rustic looking mashed potatoes dish, but it’s a delicious option!

Should you start cooking the potatoes in cold or hot water?

Start your potatoes in cold water as this helps the potatoes cook evenly.

Should you add salt to your water?

Yes, once the water starts boiling add the salt. This helps the potatoes absorb some of the salt. Salting after they’re cooked just seasons the exteriors of the potatoes.

How long should you cook the potatoes?

First, they should be cut into relatively even sized chunks so they’re done at the same time. Cook just until you can easily poke into a couple of the potatoes with a fork or a knife. Overcooking will make them watery.

How can you prevent watery potatoes?

First, don’t overcook the potatoes. And an extra step to help is to add the potatoes back to the pan after draining. Cook over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally for a minute or two to help any excess moisture evaporate.

Why do mashed potatoes get gummy?

This is a problem when potatoes are overmixed or over processed. Using a potato masher or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment prevents overwhipping into a gummy state.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Yes. As long as they have fat (like cream and butter) mixed in, they freeze well. Place them in a freezer safe container (a Ziploc bag works well), and freeze for up to 6 months.

Small bowl of homemade mashed potatoes in a white bowl with a red handled fork

More Delicious Potato Recipes:

Small bowl of homemade mashed potatoes in a white bowl with a red handled fork

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Creamy, rich mashed potatoes enhanced with cream cheese, butter and cream!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if needed and more to season boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste if needed

Instructions

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add about a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender when poked with a fork.

Drain potatoes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add cream cheese, butter, and 1/2 cup cream. Beat until well combined and to your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and mix just to combine.

Return the mashed potatoes to the pot, add the rest of the cream and cook over medium heat until hot. Serve.

Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Martha's recipe states you can hold these potatoes for up to 2 hours if you place them in a covered bowl over a pot of simmering water.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

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