One could make the argument that mashed potatoes are the true star of Thanksgiving dinner. Sorry, turkey. It seems to be the one dish everyone must have present and everyone adores. We all have our favorite Thanksgiving sides, sure. Sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing- they’re all wonderful. But those are the dishes that have rankings, the dishes that people will argue over being great or not. Mashed potatoes are such a Thanksgiving staple that they’re never even part of the discussion. Their holy presence and deserved respect are just a given. Because it simply would not be Thanksgiving dinner without buttery, delicious, creamy mashed potatoes.
Perhaps you already have a flawless, beloved mashed potatoes recipe that’s been passed down for generations and Great Grandma Gertrude would roll over in her grave if you dared to try another version. This recipe probably isn’t for you.
But maybe you’re one of the many for whom your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes have always been a bit lackluster, somewhat bland, maybe even a little lumpy. To you, we say, there’s hope. Read on to learn how to make mashed potatoes so perfectly delicious that even Grandma Gertrude wouldn’t be able to resist a second helping.
Mashed potatoes tips and tricks
- For the creamiest and most flavorful mashed potatoes, use Yukon Gold. They whip up beautifully and have a natural butter flavor that’s perfect for mashing.
- Be sure to cut them into even pieces before cooking to ensure consistent texture. Smaller pieces will reach fork-tender consistency far more quickly than larger ones. If you have a mixture of perfectly cooked, undercooked, and overcooked potatoes, that’s where lumps are born.
- Mashing your potatoes with a good potato masher is the way to go. As tempting as it may be to use an electric mixer, these make it easy to over-mix, creating a gummy consistency to your potatoes. It’s best to do it by hand.
Mashed potatoes recipe
This is a wonderfully simple, perfectly flavored recipe for mashed potatoes, but feel free to mix it up by adding fresh herbs, sauteed onions, cheeses, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Otherwise, heap a big pile next to your turkey and enjoy the food coma that follows.
- 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and quarter potatoes, then place in a pot of cold salted water.
- Peel garlic cloves and add them to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook uncovered until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well.
- Melt butter either on the stove or in the microwave, then combine it with the cream.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher, adding the cream/butter mixture gradually. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
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