These Easy Mashed Potatoes are packed with both salty butter and thick cream to make the most luxurious, smooth and flavourful mash you’ll ever eat. I’ve included all my tricks and tips to make sure that you can make this simple side with zero fuss or issue so you’ll make this again and again.
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I’ve been raised by a father with a mashed potatoes obsession. In honesty I think it put me off for a good few years. But then I discovered the absolute joy of copious quantities of cream and butter in the potatoes. And now I’m a huge fan. I suspect we might have James Martin to blame for this. It does rather feel like something he does.
Importantly there are a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up from years watching food programs and reading recipe books. And those little changes to a very simple basic recipe really make such a difference to the end result.
This mash is smooth, not lumpy or grainy (although I’m not actually opposed to a few lumps). And its thick rich texture belies the amount of liquid that I coax it to incorporate.
How to Serve Mashed Potatoes
Mash is really very versatile. It can accompany vest roast dinners or festive feasts. Or become the star carb on many a weeknight meal. Try with some of these meal ideas:
- Sausage, mash and onion gravy is a classic and ubiquitous dish for a reason. Serve with buttered savoy cabbage and/or simple air fryer carrots & parsnips.
- Make a Thanksgiving style meal with American biscuits, surprisingly delicious green bean casserole and macaroni cheese all as sides to a glorious roasted turkey crown.
- Switch up pork chops and chips for pork chops and mash. Add baked beans or a side of peas.
- Serve with thick wedges of puff pastry sausage plait or chicken, ham & mushroom pie, lemony green beans and and a creamy sauce.
You can also use them make like this as a topping for dishes like fish pie, shepherd’s/cottage pie and similar.
Christmas Feast: Menu & Recipes
Here you’ll find all of my recipes for the main Christmas Dinner event. There are air fried, oven cooked and stovetop recipes and everything from main event turkey recipes, to Christmas dinner side dishes with all the trimmings, sauces and classic puddings, plus a few alternative options and of course bonus mince pies.
Don’t miss the pigs in blankets, homemade paxo stuffing or packet stuffing balls with added sausage. It would be a travesty to not include simple sprouts. mashed carrot and swede, the best roast parsnips and crispy roast potatoes amongst lots of other delights. Round the meal off with bread and cranberry sauces then end with a classic sherry trifle or mix things up with my microwave mincemeat sponge and custard.
Easy Mashed Potato Ingredients
The variety of potato you use for mash is the most important thing. But it isn’t difficult to find something suitable.
Potatoes largely fall into two categories; waxy and floury. Some varieties do sit on the line, but you want to use a floury potato variety for mash. King Edwards are roast potato royalty but for mash I usually choose a Maris Piper. Other common varieties that make great mash potatoes include Rooster, Vivaldi, Apache, Elfe and Russett.
Potatoes don’t always come labelled with the variety. But you can look for potatoes labelled as “floury”, an “all rounder”, ”suitable for baking” or “jacket potatoes”. What you want to avoid is the waxy kind. These include Jersey Royals which are more suitable for boiling and serving with butter.
Skin-On or Skin-On Mashed Potatoes
There is rather a transatlantic divide when it comes to this question. It would be quick shocking to be served up mashed potatoes with pieces of skin in them in the UK. But over in the US it is very common to be served skin-on mashed potatoes. Especially using red skin potato varieties.
I am personally not a fan. The bits of skin aren’t crispy like on a baked potato and those pieces of texture interrupt the lovely smoothness that I want from mash. So for me, it is always skin-off. But if skin-on is something you prefer then you can of course do this. Simply skip the peeling stage in the recipe.
I find it most luxurious to use double cream for my mash. This has different names like heavy cream depending on where you are. But you basically want to look for the cream with the highest fat content you can get.
Avoid any with added thickening agents – so anything labelled “extra thick” etc. Also avoid anything in a can or that might contain added sugar.
You can use lower fat content creams, you can even use milk. But each time you move down the fat content scale in the dairy you use, the less rich the finished dish will be. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I often make everyday mash with skimmed milk and a lower fat buttery spread. It’ll still be great, just not quite the decadent mash this recipe intends.
Warming the cream before adding to the potatoes is an essential step. Along with adding it in stages, this prevents you from making mash and not a thin potato soup.
Apart from some very specific circumstances, you’ll only find me using salted butter in both my cooking and baking. I do sometimes make my own homemade butter but for the most part it is store bought. Either way, the commonality is that its salted. And mashed potatoes LOVE salt. So don’t skimp.
Don’t be scared of the amount of butter in this recipe. Yes, it looks like a lot but remember that the recipe does make much more than just one portion. The butter emulsifies with the potatoes to create the rich creamy finished product and is an essential ingredient so don’t be shy.
Melting the butter with the cream again assists in it being quickly absorbed. You want the potatoes to remain hot, not be cooled down by the additions. This will of course help with the temperature of the finished dish.
This is a great plain base recipe. You can make some variations to the basics like using milk instead of cream.
You can also level up the technique by using a food mill or by pushing the cooked and steamed dry potatoes through a very fine sieve. This will give you a proper chef level fine texture. This starts to get into pomme puree territory, especially if you add even more cream.
But for the most part variations are going to come from additions. Try some of these suggestions:
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Heat pureed roasted garlic in the cream/butter mix and add to the mash as normal.
- Mustard Mash – Stir though your choice of dijon or wholegrain mustard. Or use a mix of both. Add a little English mustard if you want a kick. It is best to add a little at a time and taste. Then add more if needed.
- Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes – Swap the double cream for sour cream to add a tang to the recipe. Or use buttermilk for a similar effect.
- Fully Loaded Mashed Potato – Stir through grated mature cheddar cheese, pieces of crispy bacon and finely sliced spring onions.
- Irish Colcannon – Stir through finely sliced and cooked savoy cabbage.
- Irish Champ – Stir though finely sliced spring onions.
- Danish Burning Love – Top the mash with caramelised onions cooked with bacon pieces until a little jammy. And yes, this really is the name of a traditional dish!
Vegetarian or Vegan Easy Mashed Potatoes
This mashed potatoes with cream and butter recipe is vegetarian as written.
To make creamy vegan mashed potatoes, you will simply need to replace the butter and cream with plant based alternatives. Look for a block style “butter” which says that it has a buttery flavour. Try to avoid any creams with strong flavours. Coconut cream would make very off mash.
Make Allergy Friendly Mashed Potatoes
This recipe is free from egg, gluten and nuts.
Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes: Just as if you are trying to make the potatoes vegan, replace the butter and cream with dairy free alternatives. There are many available nowadays so it shouldn’t be a struggle to obtain.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Easy Mashed Potatoes
There is only really once piece of equipment that we need to discuss here and that is the potato masher. It is important to note that they are not all created equal.
The kind that you will use will be determined perhaps by my advice but most likely by your personal preference and what you have to hand.
The good news is that my advice is to buy a cheap plastic potato masher. Mine was a couple of pounds from Tesco. There are a few attributes that makes it my favourite. Firstly it is sturdy. By being one moulded piece, there is no handle to wobble or snap. This makes putting a bit of force and elbow grease into the mashing much easier.
Secondly the handle is directly above the mashing plate (I don’t think this is a technical term but it works for my purposes here). This makes pressing down much more even. For some reason I see many mashers where the handle is only attached to one side.
Then there is the shape of the mashing plate. Mine has small holes for the potatoes to be pushed through. I find that this results in a much finer mash than the kind that are a single piece of wavy metal or slits.
And lastly, it is made from plastic, nylon to be more specific. This means that I can mash the potatoes directly in the hot pan over a low heat. Using a metal masher would absolutely ruin the non stick on my pans.
If you don’t have a masher, you can use a spatula to push the cooked potatoes through a sieve. The more fine the sieve is, the more smooth the potatoes will be.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
You can make mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat it but it is absolutely not as good as making and serving it fresh. I wouldn’t attempt to freeze mash with this much butter and cream either as it will just split when it defrosts.
Instead what you can do it get to the potatoes being mashed stage and then stop. Cover well and refrigerate or wrap and freeze. You can then add back to a pan and heat while stirring constantly (or you can actually microwave it before adding to the pan – this is quicker. Then carry on with the recipe adding in the cream and butter before serving it hot.
If you just want to get a little ahead, I often prep my potatoes the day before. Leave them to sit in cold water then drain and add the boiling water then continue as normal. You can let the mash sit for half an hour or so in the hot pan with a lid on if needed. Give it a quick stir before serving.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Leftovers can be stored well covered in the fridge for 5 days or so. It isn’t great to freeze as I’ve mentioned above.
I find the microwave the best way to reheat as the mash can dry out in a pan and become mealy in texture. Make sure to heat in bursts and stir regularly.
You can also use to top cottage pies or generally incorporate into other dishes.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes Tips
Don’t cut the potatoes very small as they can absorb too much water and the mash can be watery. Make sure to not forget about the pan boiling or allow the cooked potatoes to sit in the hot water for the same reason.
Equally try not to cut the potatoes too large or they will take forever too cook.
Allowing the drained potatoes to sit and steam for a few minutes is also important to making sure that the potatoes are as dry as possible.
Don’t rush adding the milk and cream. Once you start this process, the mash won’t get any smoother and any remaining lumps will remain. So take a minute to really fully mash the potatoes before moving to the next step.
It might be tempting to add all the butter and cream in one go. This makes it very difficult for the potatoes to absorb it all and you could end up with a very runny mash.
Don’t be scared of adding plenty of salt. Potatoes are extremely flavourful not bland, they just need some help, especially with all the added cream.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Potato Recipes
Easy Mashed Potatoes Recipe with Butter & Cream
- 900 g Potatoes
- 2 tsp Fine Salt
- 8 tbsp Double Cream (Heavy Cream)
- 60 g Salted Butter
- Sea Salt Flakes
- Put a kettle of water onto boil.
- Peel 900g Potatoes and remove any bruises or eyes.
- Cut the potatoes into rough 1" cubes.
- Put into a medium saucepan along with 2 tsp Fine Salt.
- Cover with boiling water and bring to the boil. A lid will help speed the process.
- Boil for around 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft all the way through. You can use a sharp knife to check.
- Drain the potatoes well and allow them to sit and steam a little dry for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile add 8 tbsp Double Cream and 60g Salted Butter to a small heatproof bowl.
- Microwave for 30 seconds and then 10 second busts until all the butter is melted and the cream is warm.
- Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes directly in the pan.
- Move the pan onto a very low heat and give the mash a stir with a spatula. Use the spatula to press any little lumps left against the bottom and edge of the pan. Don't walk away from the pan as the potatoes on the bottom will burn.
- After a minute, and as the potatoes get hot, add around ⅓ of the cream/butter mixture.
- Stir until the cream is hot and it has all be incorporated into the potatoes. You will see the texture start to change.
- Add ½ the remaining/cream butter.
- Stir again until totally absorbed.
- Add the remaining butter/cream.
- Beat for the last time until all the liquid is absorbed. If you do want to add more cream and/or butter, you of course can. It is best to heat it first or at least push the potato to one side in the pan and add the cream/butter to heat/melt before stirring it in.
- Taste the potatoes and add Sea Salt Flakes a little at a time until you're happy with the salt level. You might not need to add any if using an especially salty butter.
- Serve piping hot!