Your Basic Mashed Potatoes

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Learn the basics of making a classic side dish with this recipe for Your Basic Mashed Potatoes. Mashed potato perfection will never be out of reach once you master this simple recipe. All it takes to make homemade mashed potatoes is a combination of russet potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. This easy potato recipe even features garlic for an extra punch of flavor. You'll be surprised at how quickly and easily this staple side dish comes together. For a flavorful variation, be sure to check out Tony Rosenfeld's recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar, Chiles and Scallions

Serves4 to 6



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Recipe CourseSide Dish

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and TextureButtery, Creamy

Type of DishVegetable


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, more if needed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Set the potatoes and garlic in a medium pot, cover with at least 2 inches of water, and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook with the lid slightly askew until the potatoes are completely softened, about 15 minutes (test by poking with a wooden skewer or a paring knife). Drain well and return the potatoes to the pot.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the milk mixture to the drained potatoes and mash thoroughly with a masher or a whisk until smooth. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk if the potatoes are dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve, or use in Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar, Chiles and Scallions.


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