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This deliciously fluffy Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes recipe makes the best make-ahead potato side dish! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly fluffy mashed potatoes will be the star of any meal.

two bowls of fluffy mashed potatoes with melting butter.
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On the surface, mashed potatoes seem like they should be one of the simplest side dishes to make. You take potatoes, boil them, and then mash them. Top with butter and serve. Boom, done.

But with just a few tried and true tricks, your mashed potatoes could go from a decent side dish to straight-up amazing.

Pair these delicious lump-free mashed potatoes with Air Fryer Steak Bites, crockpot shredded beef, or Instant Pot Beef Tips and dinner is done!

If you’re on the hunt for other mashed potato recipes, you’ll love my Boursin Mashed Potatoes, Dairy-Free Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, and Mashed Potatoes With Wasabi.

Meal Prep Tip

Want to make this process even faster? Make your mashed potatoes ahead of time! You can even freeze them months in advance for the ultimate prep. Related: Freezing Mashed Potatoes and How to Freeze Potatoes.

Did you know you can also freeze gravy to go with your mashed potatoes? It’s true! Check out my post on Freezing Gravy.

What type of potatoes are best for mashed potatoes?

For best results, you’ll want to use a mixture of different kinds of potatoes. Starchy, waxy, and baking spuds all add their own perfect quality to your fluffy mashed potatoes.

I usually use a mix of russets, golds, and a just few red potatoes (those little punks are delicious, but HARD to peel).

Four Tips for The Best Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Peel, rinse, and cut your potatoes to a uniform size. I cut a normal-sized potato into 16 pieces. Large chunks will result in longer cooking time, and pieces that are too small can turn water-logged quickly. I have had this peeler for 14 years, and it has never let me down.
  2. Cook the potatoes in cold water without any added salt. Add your spuds to a pot of cold water, and then bring them to a boil.
  3. Warm the “extras” you’re adding to the spuds ahead of time. Cold butter, cold milk/cream, and cold anything else will react negatively to the nice toasty warm taters you are mashing. With cold ingredients, you’ll need to mix everything longer to combine, over-activating the starch and leading to gluey mashed potatoes.
  4. Use a ricer. A ricer is the absolute best tool to give you creamy smooth mashed potatoes that aren’t lumpy, overly processed, and .
3 photos showing how to use a ricer to make mashed potatoes

Is milk or cream better for mashed potatoes?

Both work great! Heavy cream has a higher percentage of milk fat than regular milk, and I think it adds more flavor to the overall recipe.

If you’re using milk, anything lower than 2% milk can lead to watery mashed potatoes.

If you are planning to freeze your mashed potatoes, the milk fat in heavy cream will help to prevent them from becoming icy in the freezer.

How Do You Keep Mashed Potatoes From Getting Lumps

The secret to the best mashed potatoes is to find a happy medium with the mixing process, and I accomplish this with a ricer.

The ricer allows you to make creamy lump-free mashed potatoes without overworking the starches from the potatoes. When potatoes are over-mixed, they become gummy/gluey.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Meal prep tip: cover the cut potatoes with cold water and store them in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
  • Make sure to warm your milk or cream before adding it to the potatoes.
  • Need to make these fluffy mashed potatoes vegetarian? Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock, or simply use more milk/cream.
  • Feel free to add in garlic while the potatoes are cooking to take this dish to the next level.
  • Adding 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese is ammmmmmazing!
  • If you don’t have a ricer, use a potato masher to gently mash the potatoes. Do not use a stand or hand mixer as this will over-activate the starches.
  • Top the mashed potatoes with these Crispy Shallots right before serving to take them to the next level.
A white textured bowl filled with cream cheese mashed potatoes with melting butter on top.
5 from 7 ratings

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
two bowls of fluffy mashed potatoes with melting butter.
This deliciously fluffy cream cheese mashed potatoes recipe makes the best make-ahead potato side dish! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly fluffy mashed potatoes will be the star of any meal.

Ingredients 

  • 5 lbs potatoes {mixture of gold, russets, and red potatoes}
  • 4 oz cream cheese {softened (half of a brick)}
  • 8 tbsp butter {1 stick, softened}
  • 1 cup chicken stock {warmed + more to taste}
  • 1 cup cream or milk {warmed + more to taste}
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Fill one-third of a large stockpot with cold water. 
  • Peel potatoes and rinse.
    5 lbs potatoes
  • Cut each potato into 12-16 pieces. Place in the stockpot. 
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Boil for two minutes, and then reduce to medium-high and cook until the tip of a knife can pierce through one of the potatoes (~10 minutes).
  • Drain the potatoes.
  • Add the softened butter and cream cheese to the bottom of the pot that the potatoes were just in. The butter and cream cheese should start softening/melting. 
    8 tbsp butter, 4 oz cream cheese
  • Using a large spoon, fill your ricer halfway and press the potatoes over the pot. Repeat until all the potatoes have been through the ricer.
  • Using a large spatula, fold the potatoes into the butter and cream cheese.
  • Slowly add your chicken stock, cream or milk until the potatoes are the exact consistency you want.
    1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
    Salt and pepper to taste

Notes

  1. Meal prep tip: cover the cut potatoes with cold water and store them in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
  2. Make sure to warm your milk or cream before adding it to the potatoes.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 116mgPotassium: 631mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 297IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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11 Comments

    1. I’m so glad you loved them, Sarah! I agree, they’re a few extra minutes of work but soooo worth it once you take the first bite.

  1. These were delish ! Served with roast and fresh green beans . I will say , i always soak my potatoes (especially red in cold water overnite) before boiling . It soaks ALOT of starch out . Drain , refill with cold water and boil . Really does make a difference .5 stars

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. These potatoes are possibly the best thing I’ve ever cooked. I wanted to do them for Thanksgiving, but figured I should test them first. So I tested for some (picky) visiting family a couple weeks earlier, and they were a hit! On Thanksgiving, it was awesome to be able to cook them and keep them warm in the Instant Pot, and at least free up a small amount of space in the kitchen. The only bad thing about these was that we had no leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner! (Sob!)5 stars

    1. Awwwww so glad you enjoyed them Sydnie! It is so nice to have them stay warm in the Instant Pot. One less thing on the stove.