Super Easy Mashed Potatoes that are rich, fluffy, buttery, and the perfect addition to your dinner table. Plus, I use a trick to get tons of flavor, and still get the fluffy deliciousness rather than potato paste.
Super Easy Mashed Potatoes
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My dad is from Idaho, and growing up, potatoes were a staple in my diet. My mom would make creamy, delicious mashed potatoes and serve them along side some kind of meat, and a huge salad. They later became vegetarians, but I remember the days of meat and potatoes. As a child, I always went for the mashed potatoes first. The more butter and cream in them, and the richer and fluffier they were, the better. I loved filling up on mashed potatoes, and later picking at the rest of my dinner to fill in the gaps when I would start to not feel quite as stuffed.
Now days, I still enjoy mashed potatoes, but don’t want quite as much butter and cream in them, and prefer to eat them as a side, not a meal. However, I can make an exception with these super easy mashed potatoes. They are simplistic, delicious, and everything you want from a mashed potato. And they are rich, creamy, and buttery, without having to have a pound of butter in them.
I think sides really make a meal at the holidays, and no holiday meal would be complete without the mashed potatoes. These are particularly good because they are made with both russet and red potatoes, and for the red potatoes, the skins are left on. This makes them easier, because you don’t have to peel. But they are also very flavorful. Of course, if you are anti-potato-skin in your mashed potatoes you could peel them first, though I believe the skin adds some flavor.
So why did I choose to use two kinds of potatoes? Ok, to understand why I make mashed potatoes with two different types of potatoes you have to understand a little bit about potatoes themselves, and what makes a good mash. When it comes to potatoes there are three basic types. You have the starchy kind, like a russet. you have the waxy kind like a red, and you the in between kind, like a yukon gold. the waxy kind are actually the worst potatoes for mashing. But they are also some of the most flavorful, which is why they are great in things like potato salads, because they stay in tact when they are cooked. But the low starch content means they are not as good for mashed potatoes.
If you like to keep potatoes on hand, but aren’t exactly sure what you are going to do with them, then an in-between potatoes, like Yukon Golds, are perfect because they have a medium starch content. So you can use them like an all-purpose potato.
But for mashing? Starchy is the way to go. High-starch, thick-skinned potatoes, like Russets, fall apart during the cooking process, mash up light and fluffy, and absorb butter and cream extremely well. When you mash with a lower starch potato you end up with a gummy, gluey texture, which is not exactly tasty.
So why did I put red potatoes in this? Because red potatoes have amazing flavor, while Russets are a bit mild and flavorless. I like a little lumpiness in my mashed potatoes. So by combining high starch potatos like a Russet, Idaho or bakers, and mashing them up to a fluffy and light mixture, then adding in some cooked red potatoes that are slightly mashed (not turned to mush, but chunked up), I get a flavorful potato mixture, and still get the creaminess.
For this recipe I added salt, butter, chives, and a little sour cream to give it extra creaminess. I used a potato masher on the Russet potatoes, and added some garnish and butter on top. However, a potato ricer is a great idea. It can make a huge difference in how creamy your potatoes end up.
Other sides that go great with these mashed potatoes include Bacon Wrapped Green Beans, these delicious honey carrots, and Easy No-Knead Dinner Rolls. And if you are cooking a turkey, be sure to check out this post about how to get the PERFECT turkey every time!
Super Easy Mashed Potatoes
- 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 pound red potatoes, washed and quartered
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chives