Herb Butter Mashed Potatoes & How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Herb Butter Mashed Potatoes: If you want creamy, light, and decadent mashed potatoes you have come to the right recipe. This post is full of tips to help you achieve the greatest consistency, and best tasting potatoes ever. It all has to do with which potatoes you choose, how they are cooked, and how they are mashed. The herbs and butter on top help too.
People think mashed potato making should be easy, and in theory it is, but if you use the wrong potatoes, cook them improperly, or over-mash them you could go from like and fluffy to gluey and sticky in no time.
How to make Mashed Potatoes: If you’re looking see mounds of fluffy cloud looking mashed potatoes on your plate, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share all my tips, tricks, secrets, and my mashed potatoes recipe so you’ll have everyone around your table exclaiming, “These mashed potatoes are so creamy!”
Somethings we’ll talk about are which potatoes to use to make sure there is just the right amount of starch, how to get your potatoes to cook evenly to avoid lumps, how to avoid potato paste and some healthy substitutions. Never have lumpy or gooey mashed potatoes again. I’ve got your back with this great classic side.
How do you make the perfect mashed potatoes?
The elements of a good mashed potato recipe are:
- A nice starchy potato, the best is russet. It’s the goldie locks of the mashed potato world, not too much starch, not too little, just right. The russet will fall apart when it’s boiled but the starch will keep it together and light when mashed. I sometimes use Yukon Gold’s as well, pictured and video, because they have such great flavor, but are a bit starchier.
- Cooking the potatoes the right amount so the starches don’t break down too much.
- Getting creamy texture and flavor. A great creamy texture is usually accomplished by the mashing, and the great creamy flavor through the addition of fats like sour cream, milk and butter. You can make mashed potatoes with cream cheese, or mashed potatoes with sour cream. I like sour cream for a nice texture in creamy mashed potatoes recipe.
Perfecting these elements will result in light and fluffy, not glue-y, not over starched, mashed potatoes.
How do you make the best mashed potatoes ever?
Here’s my secret formula for the best mashed potatoes:
- Use Russet Potatoes or Yukon Gold for ideal starchiness. Though Russet is better
- Start with cold water.
- Add salt to the cooking water to help flavor the potatoes.
- Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, don’t cut into cubes, this will help the potatoes cook more evenly. You don’t want starchy water, and if you cube your potatoes the smaller cubes will cook faster and break down, giving you very starchy water, and not nearly as good of mashed potatoes. Take the extra time to cook them to get far superior end results.
- Simmer, don’t boil potatoes, so they cook evenly. By cooking on a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil you get perfectly cooked potatoes.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, error on the side of overcooking
- Drain fully.
- Return to pot, and put back on the heat. Then turn the heat up to evaporate excess water.
- Mash first. You want to break the potatoes up before adding seasonings and fat.
- Mash with a wire masher. Not a plastic one.
- Do not over mash, as this makes them glue-y. Just mash a couple of times around the pan.
- Once you have completed the initial mashed, add butter. Then mash again. Add milk and sour cream.
- Then finish them off into a light and fluffy side with a wire whisk. Whisk in the salt and pepper.
- Top with herbs, butter, and cheese for even more amazing flavor.
Why are mashed potatoes bad for you?
Let’s clear something up, mashed potatoes are awesome. They taste awesome. And when eaten in moderation they aren’t bad for you. Over the last few years it is like Sweet Potatoes got a PR agent, and went on a campaign against the good old traditional potato. I think they need to hire their own agent to get their good name back.
Potatoes are a veggie right? Why wouldn’t they be a good option? Potatoes by themselves are actually not bad. They’re a good source of vitamin C, B6, and potassium. Unfortunately when you add in all the butter and fats the calorie count can add up. Never fear though, there are some ways that you can help make mashed potatoes healthier. Here’s some tips:
- Make mashed potatoes with the skin. Speaking of fiber, if you’re wanting the creamy buttery flavor of traditional mashed potatoes, but a few more health benefits, leave the skins on.
- Make cauliflower mashed potatoes. Or if that isn’t your preference you can mix half mashed potatoes, and half mashed cauliflower.
- Make the mashed potatoes without milk and instead use chicken broth.
- Whip in a lighter fat, like greek yogurt. The potatoes keep the creamy consistency but are lighter.
- Make a garlic mashed potatoes recipe, or add in some great seasonings for more flavor that don’t have as much fat or negatives.
- Use olive oil instead of butter.
- Make mashed sweet potatoes instead. Sweet potatoes have slightly fewer calories, and carbs, and you can’t beat the sweeter flavor. They also have a higher fiber content which helps with blood sugar spikes.
You could make any number of substitutions, but why not just make these amazing herb butter mashed potatoes and enjoy every bite?
How many potatoes should you make per person for mashed potatoes?
When you’ve got the best mashed potatoes recipe you’re going to want to make sure that you have enough for everyone. Here’s a handy rule of thumb for the number of potatoes to use:
- 4 people: 3 lbs or about 6 large potatoes
- 6 people: 4 ½ lbs or about 9 large potatoes
- 12 people: 9 lbs or about 18 large potatoes.
Of course when you follow these guidelines if you might have to make double your mashed potates and gravy because they are that good.
A great garlic mashed Potatoes recipe: Roasted Garlic Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Easy Mashed potatoes made from untraditional red potatoes: Super Easy Mashed Potatoes
How to Make Herb Butter Mashed Potatoes
- 3 large russet or golden potatoes peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3 Tbs sour cream
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 Tbs salt + Water for cooking potatoes
- Topping: 1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley 1 Tbs chives, 1 Tbs parmesan cheese, 2 Tbs melted butter
- Topping: 1 Tbs parmesan cheese
- 2 Topping: 2 Tbs melted butter
- Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water, place on stove over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cover potatoes, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot.
- Turn heat to high, and cook for 30 seconds, allowing potatoes to dry. If needed, flip potatoes over half way through. Do NOT skip this step, it is necessary for light and fluffy potaotes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher while still in the pot, just start mashing them, a couple times.
- Then add the butter.
- Mash two more times with wire masher. Then add in sour cream, and milk.
- Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy. 1-2 more times through. Do not over do it.
- Then use a wire whisk, and whisk in the salt and black pepper until evenly distributed, about 15 seconds.
- Taste, and adjust seasoning to preference
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, and melted butter
Start with cold water
Add salt to the cooking water
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, don't cut into cubes, this will help the potatoes cook more evenly, you don't want starchy water. If you cube, the smaller cubes will cook faster and break down, giving you very starchy water, and not nearly as good of mashed potatoes.
Simmer, don't boil potatoes, so they cook evenly.
Cook for 20-25 minutes, error on the side of overcooking not under-cooking, you want fork tender. If you undercook you will never get rid of the lumps.
Drain fully then return to pot, and turn heat up to evaporate excess water. This is necessary, otherwise your consistency will not be right.
Mash with a wire masher. Do not over mash, as this makes them glue-y. You want to break potatoes up before adding seasonings and fat. So, once you have mashed, add butter. Then mash again. Then add milk and sour cream.
Finish the potatoes using a wire whisk to add salt and pepper. This will result in light and fluffy, not glue-y, not over starched, mashed potatoes.
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