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holiday layout of mashed potatoes from scratch, cranberry dressing, and background turkey

The Easiest Mashed Potatoes From Scratch

  • Author: Sarah
  • Prep Time: 10-20 min
  • Cook Time: 20-40 min
  • Total Time: 60 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove top


A basic, simple, and delicious recipe for mashed potatoes from scratch


  • 5 lbs fresh potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Plan to start your mashed potatoes about 1-2 hours before you plan to serve the meal.
  2. Start by peeling the potatoes. If this is a holiday gathering, enlist a helper or two.
  3. Wash the peeled potatoes.
  4. Cut the peeled potatoes into quarters or eights. I like cutting all potatoes into one inch by one inch by a quarter inch slices. If you’re getting into a time crunch, remember that smaller potatoes will cook faster than larger ones.
  5. Place cut potatoes in a pan, and fill with water. All potatoe pieces should be touching water, but do not have to be completely covered. Put a lid on the pot, and bring the potatoes to a boil.
  6. Keep at a boil until potatoes are soft, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potato slices.
  7. Remove cooked potatoes from heat. Strain out water. Optional: reserve water to help with making gravy
  8. Place hot potatoes in a serving bowl, or mixing bowl.
  9. Add butter, milk, and salt.
  10. Mash using a hand masher, or use your kitchen mixer with a triangle beater to pulse the potatoes until mashed.
  11. Taste test! Add pepper and additional milk or butter if desired. Taste again.
  12. Scoop your homemade mashed potatoes from scratch into a serving dish. Serve while still hot.

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