Best Ever Mashed Potatoes

If there is one food that speaks of pure comfort and represents so many memories and holidays for me, it would be Best Ever Mashed Potatoes.  Some people claim their mom has the best mashed potato recipe and that is just plain lies.  My mom does.  She got the recipe from her mom and I will tell you, they are so good I have to make them in limited quantities.  My self-control goes completely out the window.

This recipe reminds me of running around the house with family we barely ever got to see while my mom and grandmother tended carefully to a turkey in the roaster.  For some reason, my mom only made mashed potatoes for special occasions.  But in some ways that made them even more special.  Who knows, maybe she was attempting portion control as well.

Even though these were a rare treat, they are anything but difficult.  Even these pictures don’t do them justice.  They look too simple.  The recipe seems to have too few ingredients.  But, you must try the pillowy clouds of divine creaminess so that you too may become a convert.  (I do have a flair for the dramatic in case you can’t tell.)

First, peel and chop 4 Russet potatoes.  I love a good red wax potato, but for this you need good ‘ole fashioned Idaho potatoes.  Put chopped potatoes into a pot and completely cover with water.  Bring to a boil and lower to a medium boil for about 8-10 minutes.  When potatoes are fork tender, drain them.

Next, (this is important!) use a masher (I like this one) to mash the potatoes.  Do NOT use a hand mixer as you lose all the texture of the potatoes.  When you puree them, they become like paste, similar to what you ate in the cafeteria as a kid.  Those are not potatoes.  That is something you slather on wallpaper and make it stick to your wall.  You want some creaminess with some small chunks of potato.

Finally, you are going to add butter, sour cream, salt and pepper.  I just use the masher to mix it all together.  Be sure to taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper.  Best Ever Mashed Potatoes are delicious for Thanksgiving, a rich steak or my dad even likes to make little cakes with them the next day with eggs and bacon.  I hope this recipe will become part of your next family holiday too!

Best Ever Mashed Potatoes

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 4 Russet potatoes
  • 3-4 T. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Peel and chop potatoes and add to a pot. Fill pot with water to cover potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil and then lower to a medium boil to cook for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes.
  3. Mash a bit first, then add butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Gently mash and mix until just combined. Don't overmix! Be sure to leave some lumps of soft potato!
  4. Finally, taste to check for seasonings. I like mine with extra fresh cracked pepper.


If you must, you could try light sour cream but honestly I never have. I have these as a treat a couple times a year so we always use full fat sour cream.


Do you have a favorite food that reminds you of your childhood?  What is your favorite comfort food?

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One Reply to “Best Ever Mashed Potatoes”

  1. Love them! I made them quite a bit when the girls were growing up. This is the only way I ever make them, and have for over 40 years...since I met Tete!

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