Traditional Mashed Potatoes


  • 2 pounds Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup hot milk (1%, 2%, or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional Add-Ins:
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley or dill


  1. Place potatoes in large pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Cook 13 to 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain potatoes in colander.
  2. Return cooked potatoes to pot and stir over medium heat, about 1 minute, until excess water has evaporated.
  3. With potato masher, mash in hot milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat with wooden spoon until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Stir in any optional add-ins, if desired.

Potato 101: Boiling and Steaming Potatoes

Basics for Making Idaho Mashed Potatoes

How to Mash Potatoes

7 Tips to Make Mashed Potatoes Like a Pro

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks, 1 to 2 inches. 
  2. Leave the potatoes in water until ready to use. Just add a little acidity, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice added to a gallon of water.
  3. Always start with cold water and bring the potatoes up to a boil, then simmer.
  4. Salt the water you boil the potatoes in.
  5. Drain the hot water from the cooked chunks of russets and put back on the stovetop to cook off any extra water. Stir occasionally to keep the bottom of the potatoes from sticking to the pan.
  6. Always add warm or room temp butter (never cold) first then the warm liquid slowly to the cooked mashed potatoes. Cold milk or cream or butter will make the potatoes gummy.
  7. Use your food processor for something else, don’t whip the potatoes to mash, they will be overmixed and gummy as it breaks down the starch cells.

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Print Recipe

Yield: 4 - 6 servings
Calories: 252
Sodium: 322 mg
Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 16 mg

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