Simple, budget-friendly and one of the ultimate comfort foods, Southern Mashed Potatoes deserve a place at dinner time.
Perfect for a chilly evening and paired with your favorite dishes, they couldn’t be easier to master and can be made with just a few staple ingredients.
With plenty of butter for a little Southern flair, this is one dish you’ll be making time and time again.
Which Potatoes To Use
Russet potatoes are the perfect variety to use for this dish. Russets have a high starch content that means that when they cook they begin to fall apart.
This results in mashed potatoes that are incredibly fluffy and light, acting as the perfect vehicle for dairy and seasoning we’ll be adding later on.
Southern Mashed Potatoes are all about that creamy texture, so this recipe calls for the potatoes to be peeled.
To ensure they cook evenly, select potatoes of a similar size, or alternatively you can dice them into even sized pieces (though this will reduce the cooking time, so keep a good eye on them). To add in some extra flavor, you could even use broth instead of water to boil your potatoes.
Butter is what makes these Southern Mashed Potatoes, giving them that melt-in-the-mouth quality and nostalgic feel (not to mention a gorgeous butter-yellow color).
In true southern style, this is a simple recipe, so don’t be tempted to skimp on the butter. Doing so may be a little healthier, but you won’t get anywhere near as much flavor in your potatoes.
Milk is also used in this dish to help combine everything together and slightly loosen up the potatoes.
While some other mashed potato recipes call for cream, sour cream or buttermilk, on this occasion butter is the star of the show, so any milk you have on hand will do.
Southern Mashed Potatoes are simply seasoned with salt and pepper. If you’re not sure how much to add, start off slowly and taste as you go.
It’s always easy to add more, but if you’ve accidentally added too much salt and pepper it can be tricky to undo without changing the texture of your potatoes.
How To Mash Your Potatoes
There are a couple of different methods to mashing potatoes, usually either by hand with a masher or with a food mixer.
A food mixer is the quickest option, but you should always mix for just a few seconds at a time, checking your potatoes in between.
If you overdo it with a mixer, you can end up with overly thick, gluey Southern Mashed Potatoes. If this happens, add in a little milk and try again.
A hand masher is the more reliable option, though it does take a little muscle to ensure there are no lumps.
As long as your potatoes are thoroughly cooked, however, this shouldn’t pose a problem. There is no right or wrong answer here, so use whichever method works best for you.
Make It For The Holiday
You can certainly make these mashed potatoes for the holiday or Thanksgiving months in advanced.
With that being said, be mindful that it is difficult to freeze potatoes. However, once they are mashed, they freeze completely well.
To freeze the mashed potatoes, be sure that it is loaded with cream and butter. The fat found in butter and cream is what help the mashed potatoes to freeze well.
Furthermore, when reheated, it is as creamy and smooth as it was the first day it was prepared.
Feel free to substitute the ingredients used in this southern mashed potatoes with any of the ingredients listed in this recipe, or add a couple of these seasoning to further enhance the flavor.
Consider using fresh garlic instead of garlic powder
Cook the potatoes in broth instead of water to season the potatoes from the very start
Add fresh herbs like parsley to bring out the flavor of the potatoes
Consider adding sour cream to make it a creamier texture.
Try garnishing it with fresh chives when serving your potatoes. This not only serves as a seasoning, but also makes the presentation nicer.
Make It Vegan
If you’d like to keep vegan, substitute the diary ingredients with non-dairy ingredients or try this Instant Pot Cauliflower mashed potatoes here instead.
Cook’s Tips And Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to freezing mashed potatoes.
Be sure that you cook the potatoes completely, as this is necessary for mashing.
When preparing your southern mashed potatoes, be sure to include lots of butter and or cream as this will help the potatoes to keep its form (as explained above).
Consider adding butter to the container before adding the mashed potatoes. Again, the fat will be served as a protection; keeping your southern mashed potatoes fresh and ready to be heated before serving.
Consider diving the mashed potatoes into serving size portion so that it is ready for when you prepared to serve it on Thanksgiving Day, mealtime, or any day.
How To Reheat
Reheating your southern mashed potatoes very simple. First, let the potatoes thaw out in the refrigerator at least 48 hours before serving.
Once the potatoes are thawed out, the following are a few options when it comes to reheating your side dish.
Microwave Method: Transfer the southern mashed potatoes to a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a lid suitable to reheat food. Reheat in increments of 5 minutes; stirring after every heating session.
Stovetop Method: Once thawed, to reheat your southern mashed potatoes, transfer the side dish in a suitable size pot, reheat over medium heat while stirring occasionally. Add more milk, butter or cream if needed. Season to taste if necessary.
Oven Method: Thaw the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator. Transfer the potatoes in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Reheat at 330°F for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are heated through. Add more milk, butter or cream if needed. Season to taste if necessary.
Creamy Southern Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 3 Lbs. Russet potatoes Or 6 medium size Russet Potatoes. Peeled, wash and boiled
- 8 Cups Water or Broth of choice You may use vegetable, beef, or chicken broth
- ½ Stick butter Or 4 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream You can also use milk or half and half
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 3-4 pieces. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, then wash the potatoes before transfering them to the pot. After you've transfered the potatoes to the pot, add enough water to cover the top of the potatoes. We added about 17 cups of water.
- Set the temperature on the stove to medium heat to start cooking the potatoes. Cover with lid and cook until the potatoes are cooked fork through and tender.
- Remove the potatoes from the stove and drain the water. Set the potatoes aside. In a large Sauté pan, add melt the butter over low heat. Next add the potatoes. Then season with salt and pepper to taste, and garlic powder. Mix well. Then slowly add the milk. Stir to well combine until the mashed potatoes are creamy and all lumps are gone (if desired).