How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

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These Perfect Mashed Potatoes really do turn out rather perfect… and they’re a great make-ahead recipe since they warm up well too.

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I’m starting to freak out a little bit about Thanksgiving. My in-laws are coming into town, my mother will be visiting too, and I’m hosting! In my new house! I know that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but I don’t usually host a big, important, scary meal like Thanksgiving.  I can host dinner parties for 20 people, but for some reason Thanksgiving gives me GREAT anxiety!

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I mean… I have to roast a TURKEY!  A great, big giant turkey!  Is that scary to anyone out there besides me?

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I guess I find it frightening since it is, in fact, the star of the meal.  If the turkey doesn’t turn out… if it’s under-done or worst-0f-all OVER done and dry and horrible, then that pretty much ruins the entire meal, right?

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I’m thankful that I’ll have my Mother with me this year- since she has made a million turkeys and it doesn’t seem to faze her in the least.  I might do some investigating to see if using my convection settings are a good idea or not.

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Well, at least I can feel totally comfortable about the side dishes I’m choosing to serve.  I’ll share some of those this week.

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First side dish to share is these Perfect Mashed Potatoes.  I boil them with a generous dose of kosher salt (flavor!)

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Then I drain them…

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…and then I roast them briefly to dry them out.  I want to use butter and milk to make my mashed potatoes tender- not water!

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Mash, mash, mash.  If you use one of these handheld mashers, your potatoes will likely be somewhat lumpy since it’s kinda impossible to get out all of the lumps with a hand masher.  I have a Potato Ricer that I like to use when I really want them to come out nice and smooth.

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Then I add some butter and warm milk and mash all of it together.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and that’s it.

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They are perfect!  If you want to make these ahead for the big day, just wrap them well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Warm them in the slow cooker on the day of serving, adding more butter and milk as needed to keep them deliciously fluffy and tender.

How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 6 servings (double or triple to serve more!)

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25 min


2 pounds Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup milk, warmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
additional salt, to taste


1. Prepare the potatoes: Heat your oven to 250° F. Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender- (about 12 to 15 minutes). Drain the potatoes, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the oven until thoroughly dried out – 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Making them mashed: Mash the potatoes until smooth, taking care not to overwork them. Add the butter and milk a little at a time, mashing them into the potatoes. Stir in the pepper. Add additional salt, if desired.


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  • Marie | FeelingFoodish wrote:

    And if you have any leftover mashed potatoes, make gnocchi!