These Creamy Mashed Potatoes are whipped with cream cheese and seasoned with just salt and pepper for perfectly fluffy whipped mashed potatoes. These are the perfect side dish to accompany your Thanksgiving feast or to serve alongside ham at Christmas or Easter!
The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
When it comes to holiday dinners, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, there are always a few dishes that seem to be a staple on every table. Mashed potatoes is one of them and, growing up a “meat and potatoes” girl, I will admit that they are one of my favorite sides – not just for the holidays but anytime!
While I definitely love some “fancy” mashed potatoes, like my Brown Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes, there are times when classic mashed potatoes are all you need. Of course, classic doesn’t have to mean boring and in this recipe, I’m sharing my tips for making the most beautifully creamy whipped potatoes. By adding some milk and cream cheese to the potatoes, you can easily take your “meh” potatoes to a side dish everyone will want more of!
What Potatoes Are Best for Mashed Potatoes?
I am a big believer that Yukon Gold potatoes are the best choice for mashed potatoes – especially when aiming for creamy, whipped mashed potatoes. Other varieties, like russet, can absorb too much water and aren’t ideal for boiling, and fingerling potatoes tend to have a waxy texture to them.
With Yukon Gold, though, you end up with a texture that’s not watery or grainy and they already have a slight buttery flavor and texture to them, which is just perfected for mashed potatoes.
Do You Need to Peel Potatoes Before Mashing?
Whether or not to peel potatoes is, honestly, a personal preference. There are many arguments for and against peeling potatoes. Some say that the peel adds flavor and texture, as well as nutrients. Others just don’t bother because it takes too long.
For this recipe specifically I encourage you to peel them. Even though Yukon gold potatoes have a thin skin, the texture of the peel gets in the way of the ultimate creaminess we’re looking for in these creamy mashed potatoes .
What’s the difference between Whipped Potatoes and Mashed Potatoes?
Technically all whipped potatoes are mashed potatoes, but not all mashed potatoes are whipped potatoes, which is why I often refer to these as whipped mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes applies to any potatoes that have been cooked and smooshed into a thick puree. They can be made with a hand masher and it’s okay , and sometimes encouraged, for them to have the occasional lump.
Whipped potatoes on the other hand are made to be super creamy and free of lumps. The easiest way to achieve that texture is to use a stand mixer or hand mixer, which helps incorporate air to give you the lightest, creamiest potatoes possible.
What You’ll Need
6 simple ingredients is all you need for these perfectly creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes with cream cheese!
- Potatoes – Yukon Gold are my go-to and recommendation.
- Cream cheese – One of my secrets to the creamiest potatoes!
- Milk – Any dairy or non-dairy milk you have on hand will work. I use whole milk.
- Butter – I used salted butter.
- Salt and pepper – The only seasonings necessary!
How to Make Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Sometimes the best recipes are the easiest ones! There’s only a few easy steps to making this side dish.
- Boil the potatoes. Scrub and peel potatoes if desired, then cut into 1/2″ chunks. Place in a saucepan, cover with cold water, cover with the lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling remove the lid and decrease the heat to simmer. Once soft, drain the potatoes and return to the warm pan.
- Add the other ingredients. Add cream cheese and butter to the pan, stirring until melted.
- Mix. Transfer to your stand mixer and add milk. Using the wire whisk attachment, start on low and mash the potatoes, increasing the speed to whip until smooth.
- Serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Tips for Success
There’s just a few things to keep in mind when making these creamy mashed potatoes!
- Cook the potatoes completely. These potatoes should be cooked until past “fork tender” and soft enough to crush easily with a pair of tongs. Potatoes that aren’t cooked long enough will not end up as creamy.
- Use a hand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer to whip these potatoes right in the saucepan. Do not use a hand mixer with metal beaters in a non-stick pan, as it will damage the surface.
- Add more milk. If your potatoes aren’t creamy enough, add more milk a tablespoon or so at a time to smooth them out.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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Serve these creamy mashed potatoes hot, topped with more butter or your favorite gravy. These make the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, next to your turkey and green beans and they work for every other holiday too. It’s one side dish that always gets devoured quickly, a true family favorite!
But don’t reserve these easy mashed potatoes just for special occasions! Serve them up next to your favorite protein and vegetable for an easy dinner anytime.
How to Store Leftovers
Any leftover mashed potatoes should be stored in a tightly sealed airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days. You can reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop. It may help to add in some extra milk or butter when reheating to maintain the creaminess.
Can I Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, they freeze quite well! Just allow to cool then pop in a freezer-safe container. You can even use a cookie scoop to measure out individual serving sizes and freeze those! Allow to thaw in the fridge then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Again, you’ll probably want to add some butter or a splash of milk while reheating to keep that creamy consistency.
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- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) salted butter
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Scrub potatoes and peel if desired. Cut into 1/2" chunks, place into a 4 quart saucepan and cover with cold water by one inch. Cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling remove lid and decrease heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft*. Approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, do not rinse, return to the still warm pan.
- Add cream cheese and butter to the pan, stir over low heat until the butter and cream cheese have melted.
- Transfer potatoes to the bowl of your stand mixer** and add the milk. Using the wire whisk attachment, start on a low setting and mix to mash the potatoes. As they smooth out, increase the speed to medium and whip until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper, adjusting for taste. If your potatoes aren't creamy enough, add more milk a little at a time to smooth them out. Keep warm until ready to serve.
*These potatoes should be cooked until past "fork tender" and soft enough to crush easily with a pair of tongs. Potatoes that aren't cooked long enough will not end up as creamy.
**You can also use a hand mixer to whip these potatoes right in the saucepan. Do not use a hand mixer with metal beaters in a non-stick pan, as it will damage the surface.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.
For the step by step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Creamy Mashed Potatoes Story.