Mashed potatoes– a classic side dish you love to go for on any occasion, unless you are watching your weight. And if you love something, then why not try to make it for yourself?

Mashed potatoes are a popular side dish in many cuisines around the world. It’s a simple dish that is extremely easy to make but scores points for excellent taste. It’s known by different names around the world. “Laonai yangyu” (Granny’s Potatoes) is a South Chinese variation, whereas “Duchess Potatoes” is a French take on this classic. In Indian sub-continent, it is known as “aloo bharta”.


If your attempts to make mashed potatoes have gone awry, you can correct your mistakes by reading through the Additional Tips section that follows the steps below. For those who are first timers or complete novices in a kitchen, here is a step-by-step method to make mashed potatoes.

You can also tune into this neat video for a helpful demonstration.

While your friends and relatives show off their turkey this Thanksgiving, you can flaunt your mashed potatoes.

Steps to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Things you’ll need:


Mashed potatoes things need

  • Potatoes, medium sized – 5
  • Butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Milk – ¼ cup
  • Salt, to your taste
  • Ground black pepper, to your taste
  • Water
  • Peeler
  • Knife
  • Pan
  • Spoon
  • Fork

Step 1. Peel the potatoes

Peel the potatoes

Start by peeling all 5 potatoes. Using a peeler will make the job easier as well as safer. Although if you’re a pro at peeling potatoes with a knife, go ahead.

Step 2. Chop the potatoes

Chop the potatoes

Halve and then quarter the potatoes lengthwise. Cut each quarter into two pieces.

Step 3. Fill a saucepan with water

Fill a saucepan with water


Pour water in a saucepan. Start with cool or warm water, as putting potatoes directly in hot water leads to uneven cooking. You can boil the potatoes in any container.

Step 4. Put the potatoes into the pan

Put the potatoes into the pan

Put the chopped potatoes into the saucepan. The water level should be 2 inches above the potatoes. Turn on the heat.

Step 5. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer

Boil then cover and simmer


Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Put the lid on the pan and let the potatoes simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are done.

To check if the potatoes are done, pierce a piece of potato with a fork. If the fork meets resistance, the potatoes are still underdone. Be sure to remove the potatoes from the heat before they are overdone.

Step 6. Drain the water

Drain the water

When the potatoes are done, drain out the water. Put the pan back on the stove. There’s no need to turn the heat on again. The lingering heat from the stove should evaporate any water remaining at the bottom of the pan.

The remnant water at the bottom of the pan can make your mashed potatoes watery. Remove it from your potatoes before mashing them by evaporating it over low heat.

Step 7. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl


Transfer the boiled potatoes to a bowl.

Step 8. Mash the potatoes with a fork

Mash the potatoes with a fork

Mash the potatoes thoroughly with a fork. Unless you like your mashed potatoes a bit chunky, do not leave any lumps in the potatoes.

Step 9. Add butter

Add butter

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the potatoes. The butter should be at room temperature or warmer. Butter gives your mashed potatoes a rich, buttery taste. You can add more butter if you wish.

Mix butter

Mix the butter in the potatoes so that it is evenly incorporated.

Step 10. Add milk

Add milk

Now, add ¼ cup of milk to the mashed potatoes. Watch the consistency and add a little milk at a time, mixing it in evenly as you go. If you like, you can add heavy cream, either as a substitute for the milk or as an additional ingredient.

Step 11. Salt the mashed potatoes

Salt the mashed potatoes

Salt the mashed potatoes to your taste.

Step 12. Add a pinch of ground black pepper

Add a pinch of ground black pepper

Add a pinch of ground black pepper. You can add paprika powder as well. The seasoning should be according to taste.


Step 13. Garnish and serve

Garnish and serve

Garnish accordingly and serve immediately as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Additional Tips

  • Opt for a starchy variety of potatoes (Russets or Yukon Golds) rather than a waxy variety (Red Bliss) for fluffy mashed potatoes. Let your grocer help you choose a suitable local variety that is best for making mashed potatoes. Spunta, Sebago or Coliban as well as Golden Creamer are some of the preferable varieties.
  • Spunta, Sebago or Coliban as well as Golden Creamer are some of the preferable varieties.
  • You can add salt to the water while the potatoes are boiling. It helps even up the seasoning, if you usually end up with mashed potatoes that are bland or too salty.
  • Be sure not to use cold butter, cream or milk straight out of the fridge. Cold dairy ingredients will cool your potatoes down and you’ll have trouble successfully incorporating them. They should be at room temperature or warmer.
  • Over-beating and over-processing your potatoes will lead to an unappetizing gummy and gluey mess. Do not use a food processor or electric beater, as they mash the potatoes too aggressively.
  • Feel free to experiment with different condiments (mustard or mayonnaise) as well as herbs (chives, parsley or spring onions). You can also top it with salsa, shredded cheese or bacon bits. Just let your tongue guide you!