Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes

Our very favorite mashed potato recipe. A special ingredient, cream cheese, makes them extra creamy and oh-so delicious.

Total Time: 35 minutes

I’ve come to a startling realization this past year or so.

I prefer my mashed potatoes lumpy.

For years and years, I whipped potatoes into a frenzy in a frenetic attempt to achieve the perfect silky-smooth consistency. Then I heard somewhere that you shouldn’t beat your potatoes with a mixer to within an inch of their lives, because it breaks down the starches in the potatoes and makes them gummy. I bought it. And so the next batch was all by hand with a potato masher. Were they super, duper smooth? No. Were they oh-so delicious and, with their little lumps here and there, unmistakably and perfectly homemade? Oh, yes.

And then I found this recipe from Queen Martha, and I gave cream cheese a spin. Boil the potatoes and drain, as usual. Then hand-mash them with copious amounts of butter, an entire block of cream cheese, and milk.

Gah. So good.

I call these “Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes” because they’re the best I’ve ever made (or tasted, for that matter). Please don’t take it as my bashing your granny’s recipe. Just, to my family and to me, they’re the best ever.

The cream cheese gives them such a decadent, almost melt-in-your-mouth texture, plus just a tad bit of tang that you don’t get otherwise.

As far as the lumps go, I’m sure you could hand-mash them to a perfectly smooth consistency with relative ease. But why would you want to go and do something so crazy?! Viva la lump!

Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Our very favorite mashed potato recipe. A special ingredient, cream cheese, makes them extra creamy and oh-so delicious.


  • 3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (about 10 medium)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature is best)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature is best)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Carefully add peeled potatoes.
  3. Boil over high heat until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and drain potatoes in a colander. Put drained potatoes back in the pot and put back on the stove over low heat.
  5. Add the cream cheese, butter, 1/2 cup of the milk, and a hefty pinch salt and pepper.
  6. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until they reach desired consistency. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon into a large bowl and top with a generous pat of butter. Serve.

Slightly adapted from the Big Martha's Mashed Potatoes recipe from Martha Stewart

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.

12 Responses to “Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes”

  1. Is that a Pyrex bowl I see? I love it!

    Growing up, my family always made mashed potatoes with a tub of sour cream. As the years went on, I swear it started to become more sour cream than potato. And they were also whipped with the hand mixer. Now, I usually use a ricer or a hand masher, but I only add a little butter to them. Rebelling against my upbringing and such. I’m going to have to give cream cheese a try.

    And yay, your redesign looks fantastic!

    • Sour cream sounds like a darn delicious addition to mashed potatoes, but yeah, I’m not sure about mashed potatoes being an addition to sour cream – ha! I have yet to try a ricer – really should.

      Thanks so much re: the redesign! Such a relief to have the site looking more like I wanted it to. 🙂

  2. I’m also a fan of the lump. Actually lumps + skins left on for a little bit of a rustic feel. I have made Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, which include cream cheese, and they are to die for, so I can assume yours are just as great! Totally craving Thanksgiving now!

  3. i’ve never had mashed potatoes with cream cheese. they sound great.

  4. Pingback: Tips for Hosting a Vegetarian on Thanksgiving | Kitchen Treaty

  5. I made these tonight and they were SOOOOO good. My husband agreed that they were the best ever. I make a mashed potato casserole where I layer in sauteed peppers and cheese. I bet these potatos would make that casserole to die for! Thanks for the recipe. I plan to make your macaroni and cheese and your overnight sausage and egg casserole on Christmas! Have a wonderful Christmas.

  6. I grew up eating mashed potatoes made exactly this way.

    Now when I cook, everyone always corrects me when I say cream cheese, thinking I must mean Sour Cream…but there is just no comparison, these are simply the best Mashed Potatoes I’ve ever had, and most that eat them agree..

  7. Purist snob that I am, I always used butter and 1/2 & 1/2, and a ricer for lump-free potatoes.
    While I’m not sure I can get past that, I really, really, REALLY want to try these with cream cheese.

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