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The BEST Mashed Potatoes!

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Presenting my all-time favorite mashed potatoes recipe! These homemade mashed potatoes are perfectly rich and creamy, full of great flavor, easy to make, and always a crowd fave.

The BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Friends! It has come to my attention that in nine years of blogging, I have somehow neglected to share with you my go-to recipe for this most classic of classic side dishes, which simply will not do with Thanksgiving — the ultimate celebration of side dishes — just around the corner.

So today, allow me to present my tried-and-true, back-pocket, made-’em-a-million-times, always-a-crowd-fave, all-time-favorite mashed potatoes recipe. ♡

Now of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion about exactly what constitutes the best mashed potatoes recipe. But if I’m the one put in charge potatoes for Thanksgiving, this recipe is my idea of perfection. These mashed potatoes are indulgently buttery, creamy, tangy, and made with a subtle hint of garlic (or you’re welcome to add much more, if you’d like). They are perfectly dense and thick (not the whipped and ultra-light variety). They feature not one, but two popular kinds of potatoes (whose skins you are welcome to leave on or peel off). They can be mashed as smooth or as chunky as you prefer. Oh, and they’re also incredibly easy to make ahead of time and reheat in the microwave if you have a busy menu lineup and would like to prep them ahead of time.

Basically, they’re total winners, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love them too. So if you’re looking for a winning homemade mashed potatoes recipe, bookmark this one and my favorite mushroom gravy and let’s mash some potatoes together!

The BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe | 1-Minute Video

 

Yukon Gold Potatoes and Russet Potatoes | Mashed Potatoes Recipe

5 Tips For How To Make The Best Mashed Potatoes

Alright, before we get to the actual recipe, here are a few essential mashed potato tips to always keep in mind:

  1. Use a blend of potatoes. Some people have a strong preference for starchy Russet potatoes or buttery Yukon golds, but I highly recommend using a 50/50 mixture of both! It’s a tip I picked up from The New York Times years ago, and I’m convinced that the mixture gives you the best of both worlds.
  2. Avoid waterlogging your potatoes. Too much water is the enemy of mashed potatoes, but the good news is that it’s easy to avoid. Simply:
    • Cut your potatoes before boiling. I know, so many of us grew up boiling whole potatoes. But the problem is that large, whole potatoes cook unevenly. So instead, cut your potatoes into evenly sized smaller pieces for quick and even boiling.
    • Don’t overboil. Or maybe the tip should be, don’t multitask too much near the end of the potatoes’ cooking time. ;)  You want to keep a close eye on them. As soon as a dinner knife can be inserted easily into a potato with minimal resistance, they’re ready to go.
    • Pan “dry” after cooking. Immediately after the potatoes have been drained, return them to the hot stockpot, and place it back on the hot burner over low heat. Hold the stockpot handles with oven mitts, and gently shake the pan for about 1 minute to release some of the steam and moisture from the potatoes. Then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside, and your potatoes will be ready to mash
  3. Don’t overmix! In general, you want to stir the liquids into your mashed potatoes until they are just combined. Otherwise if you overmix, they can crossover into gummy territory, which is no good.
  4. Season with salt along the way. We will use fine sea salt to season the potatoes both (1) in the water while they are boiling and (2) afterwards, when adding in the butter, milk and cream cheese. As always when seasoning a recipe, taste-taste-taste along the way while you are preparing the recipe, and add more salt as needed.
  5. Invest in your preferred kind of masher. If you like slightly chunky mashed potatoes, I recommend this OXO masher. If you like smooth mashed potatoes, I recommend this smooth OXO masher.

The BEST Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Mashed Potato Ingredients

Ok, before we get to the full recipe at the bottom of this post, here are a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this homemade mashed potatoes recipe:

  • Potatoes: As mentioned above, I’m a big fan of using a mixture of half Yukon gold potatoes and half Russets. It gives you the best of both worlds — starchy and waxy potatoes — and they cook alongside one another beautifully. Although you are welcome to use just one variety of potatoes, if you prefer.
  • Garlic: When serving these to a crowd, I like to add just 2-3 cloves to give just a subtle undertone of garlic to the recipe. But if making them for myself, I will toss in up to a dozen cloves. I adore good garlic mashed potatoes.
  • Butter: When I eat mashed potatoes, I go all-out and want them to taste nice and buttery. We don’t add as much butter here as many recipes do, because the other ingredients help to make them nice and creamy, but you are of course welcome to add in more butter if you would like. If you are eating dairy-free and/or vegan, feel free to use vegan butter.
  • Milk: I always use whole cow’s milk in my mashed potatoes. But you are welcome to amp things up with half and half or heavy cream, if you prefer. Or alternately, you can use a lighter milk or plain plant-based milk.
  • Cream Cheese: I always grew up making mashed potatoes with cream cheese and enjoy the slight extra tangy and creaminess that it adds. Be sure that your cream cheese is room temperature and cut into small 1-inch chunks, for easy melting into the potatoes.
  • Fine sea salt: Which we will use to season the potatoes at different points while cooking. (If you only have iodized table salt on hand, note that its flavor is different and stronger so you will need to use a bit less.)
  • Toppings (Optional): I like to sprinkle on some chopped chives or green onions, for some extra color and freshness. Plus lots and lots of freshly-cracked black pepper. But feel free to add on what you’d like!

Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

To make mashed potatoes, simply…

  1. Cut the potatoes. Again, feel free to peel your potatoes or leave the skins on. (I always leave them on for the extra nutrients and flavor.)  Then cut your potatoes into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick. Then transfer them to a large stockpot full of cold water until all of the potatoes are cut and ready to go.
    • Pro tip: If you are prepping ingredients for a big meal ahead of time, the potatoes can chill in the cold water for up to 4 hours before boiling. Just add a few ice cubes to the water to be sure that it stays cold.
  2. Boil the potatoes. Once all of your potatoes are cut, be sure that there is enough cold water in the pan so that the water line sits about 1 inch above the potatoes. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon salt to the water. Then turn on high heat until the water comes to a boil. And boil the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle of a potato goes in with almost no resistance. Carefully drain out all of the water.
  3. Prepare your melted butter mixture. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are boiling, heat your butter, milk and an additional 2 teaspoons of sea salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter is just melted. (You want to avoid boiling the milk.)  Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Pan-dry the potatoes. Return the potatoes to the hot stockpot, and then place the stockpot back on the hot burner, turning the heat down to low. Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about 1 minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes. Then remove the stockpot entirely from the heat.
  5. Mash the potatoes.  Using your preferred kind of masher (see above), mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
  6. Stir everything together. Then pour half of the melted butter mixture over the potatoes, and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula until potatoes have soaked up the liquid. Repeat with the remaining butter. And then again with the cream cheese. Fold each addition in until just combined to avoid overmixing, or else you will end up with gummy potatoes.
  7. Taste and season. One final time, adding in extra salt (plus black pepper, if you would like) to taste.
  8. Serve warm. Then serve warm, garnished with any extra toppings that you might like, and enjoy!! ♡

Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes with Turkey and Roasted Asparagus

Recipe Variations

  • Instant Pot mashed potatoes: See my full tutorial here for how to make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot.
  • Garlic mashed potatoes: To make your mashed potatoes extra garlicky, feel free to double or triple the amount of garlic added to this recipe. Or, feel free to roast a head of garlic while the potatoes are boiling and add the roasted cloves to the mash for extra-rich flavor.
  • Loaded mashed potatoes: To make loaded mashed potatoes, add in lots of shredded cheddar, crispy bacon and chopped green onions. And if you’d like to add a kick, sliced jalapeños are always a great idea!
  • Vegan mashed potatoes: To make these potatoes vegan, sub in vegan butter, plain almond milk, and vegan cream cheese (or omit the cream cheese entirely, if you would like).
  • Mashed sweet potatoes: To make mashed sweet potatoes, simply sub in sweet potatoes in place of your Russets and Yukon golds.
  • Mashed red potatoes: If you happen to be partial to red potatoes, this recipe will also work well using 100% red potatoes.
  • Extra seasonings: There are also all sorts of various seasonings that you can add to your mashed potatoes. A few favorites of mine include Old Bay (or Cajun Seasoning), Italian Seasoning or Everything Bagel Seasoning.

The BEST Mashed Potatoes | Gimme Some Oven

How To Store and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Good news — if you are interested in make-ahead mashed potatoes, there are a few different ways that you can prep this recipe ahead of time and then reheat it without sacrificing good texture. Feel free to:

  • Soak the uncooked potatoes for up to 4 hours: If you would like to prep just the raw potatoes ahead of time, they can hold in a stockpot (or large bowl) of cold water for up to 4 hours. You can either store this in the fridge, or just add in a couple of ice cubes every few hours to keep the water cold.
  • Make ahead and refrigerate, then rewarm: If you are cooking your mashed potatoes longer in advance, transfer them to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or an airtight lid (leaving at least an inch of space between the surface of the potatoes and the wrap/lid). Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Then you can either reheat the potatoes in the:
    • Microwave: Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and microwave the potatoes on 75% power until hot, stirring every 3-4 minutes.
    • Crock-Pot: Transfer potatoes to a slow cooker and heat on “high” for 1 hour, covered, or until hot.
    • Instant Pot: Transfer potatoes to a pressure cooker and heat on the “warm” setting for 1 hour, covered, or until hot.
    • Oven: Transfer potatoes to a large stockpot and heat, covered, at 350°F for 30 minutes or until hot.

Other Favorite Potato Recipes

Looking for more potato recipes? Feel free to check out a few other faves here on the blog, such as:

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The BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe

The BEST Mashed Potatoes!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 -12 servings 1x

Description

These homemade mashed potatoes are perfectly rich and creamy, full of great flavor, easy to make, and always a crowd fave.  See notes above for tips and possible recipe variations.  And also, feel free to halve this recipe if you would like to make a smaller batch.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 pounds potatoes (I use half Yukon Gold, half Russet potatoes)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions, freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes.  Feel free to peel your potatoes or leave the skins on.  Then cut them into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick, and transfer them to a large stockpot full of cold water.
  2. Boil the potatoes.  Once all of your potatoes are cut, be sure that there is enough cold water in the pan so that the water line sits about 1 inch above the potatoes.  Stir the garlic and 1 tablespoon sea salt into the water.  Then turn the heat to high and cook until the water comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-high (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain the boil) and continue cooking for about 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a potato goes in easily with almost no resistance.  Carefully drain out all of the water.
  3. Prepare your melted butter mixture.  Meanwhile, as the potatoes are boiling, heat the butter, milk and an additional 2 teaspoons of sea salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter is just melted.  (You want to avoid boiling the milk.)  Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Pan-dry the potatoes.  After draining the water, immediately return the potatoes to the hot stockpot, place it back on the hot burner, and turn the heat down to low.  Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about 1 minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes.  Remove the stockpot entirely from the heat and set it on a flat, heatproof surface.
  5. Mash the potatoes.  Using your preferred kind of potato masher (I recommend this one in general, or this one for extra-smooth), mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
  6. Stir everything together.  Then pour half of the melted butter mixture over the potatoes, and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula until potatoes have soaked up the liquid.  Repeat with the remaining butter, and then again with the cream cheese, folding in each addition in until just combined to avoid over-mixing.  (Feel free to add in more warm milk to reach your desired consistency, if needed.)
  7. Taste and season.  One final time, taste the potatoes and season with extra salt if needed.
  8. Serve warm.  Then serve warm, garnished with gravy or any extra toppings that you might like, and enjoy!


Notes

Recipe loosely adapted from The New York Times.

This recipe uses affiliate links.

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Recipe rating

239 comments on “The BEST Mashed Potatoes!”

  1. Hi! I was just wondering if i substitute heavy cream for the cream cheese, everything would be fine. Any thoughts welcome.

  2. Made these once before for the top of a Shepherd’s pie, and they were perfect! Going to be making them again for Thanksgiving next week and would love any tips for making them ahead of time!!

    • I find this recipe confusing… It says to stir everything together… And then add the melted butter… And then the cream cheese… So what am I stirring together? Also there is no mention of when to add the garlic? Directions are not very clear.

  3. This is almost the same recipient I’ve BRB using for years. Except, just throw the butter, milk, and cream cheese right into the potatoes. No need to dirty more pots. Then use a hand blender to smooth. Oh add heavy whipping cream to make them extra puffed up.

    • This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it several times and I’ve always gotten compliments. The only substitution I make is adding roasted garlic cloves to the hot potatoes after draining. The roasted garlic is melty and mushy, and mixes well.

  4. I loved this recipe! I had some left over veggie cream cheese and I used that – wonderful! Love the garlic and salt in the water, and the cream cheese makes it!

  5. We love roasting a head of garlic and stirring all of those yummy cloves into this recipe too!

  6. YES! I followed this recipe to the letter and found that these mashed potatoes ARE THE BEST I’ve ever made. I couldn’t stop eating them, and I hope my guests will feel the same :)

  7. We made these for Friendsgiving and they were awesome!

    • I just made these for Christmas and they were a huge hit!! No leftover mashed potatoes. I only had 2% milk and they still turned out amazing! I also slowly added the cream cheese and didn’t end up using all that it calls for. Yummy!!

  8. Excited to try this recipe tomorrow. What size pan does 1 batch (5 lbs of potatoes) need? Going to double.

  9. Omg!!! Seriously the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever made!!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  10. I’m confused. It says cook time is 25 minutes. But I only see 10-12 mins of cooking. What am I missing.

  11. These were delicious and so easy. My cream cheese was expired so I had to omit that, but they still were great!

  12. Great recipe, easy to follow. Well definitely save for later!

  13. As the title clearly states, this is the best recipe for mashed potatoes! It’s my go to recipe every time I want to make mashed potatoes. I tried it also without butter and I still love it SO much! Thank you 😊

  14. I made these for my first time hosting Thanksgiving and they were a success!! I did a test run of the recipe and it was perfect as written! I ended up making a double batch a week ahead of time, putting in the freezer, thawing in the fridge and then reheating in the crockpot. I thought they were going to be too runny when I first put them in the crockpot but they returned to normal consistency as they warmed. These potatoes were a hit! Thanks for the great recipe, it will be my go-to now!

  15. They turned out fabulous! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  16. I never leave comments/reviews on recipe because I typically only use part of a recipe and go rogue on the rest. However, I followed this recipe to a T, minus the addition of two heads of roasted garlic and 3 T of chives for our Thanksgiving dinner. Hands down the best mashed potatoes of my life. In fact, my whole family and extended family could not stop raving about them. Two days later and I’m still getting phone calls about them. Honestly, from kids to adults, they all fought over the leftovers. I made a ginger snap gravy to go with it, and they stole the show that night! I’m making your Au Gratin potatoes next for Christmas…so to be continued.

  17. I made these mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED them. The cream cheese gives them such a rich and creamy flavor!

  18. 10 – 12 servings! And only the option to make the quantity bigger!

  19. Can you make these ahead?

  20. I made these for Thanksgiving this year. Actually made them a day or two ahead. Even froze some of them for later because we didn’t have a large crowd. They were very good. I wish the recipe have the nutrition information on it.

  21. These mashed potatoes were fantastic! I’ve always been the one to take charge of mashed potatoes during the holidays (because they’re my favorite food ever) but I’ve never had a great recipe to use, I always kind of just wing it. I had a work potluck recently so I figured I’d find a recipe to try and wow my coworkers. Well I found the WOW recipe! I had several people stop by my office to tell me how amazing the potatoes were and they wanted the recipe. I will now be making these forever!

    • I made this with buttermilk instead of whole milk – heated that in a saucepan with the butter and added the minced garlic at that time. Wow!!

  22. Salted or unsalted butter?

  23. I was cooking just for two, so I weighed out 2 1/2 lbs of potatoes, and halved the remaining ingredients. It turned out perfect. I don’t have a potato masher, so I dump everything into my mixer and used the coated flat beater sparingly. Worked like a charm. I also put the finished dish into the refrigerator and microwaved it when I was ready to serve. I didn’t put enough salt in — heart patient in the house — But I put a little extra on mine — delicious! I will keep this recipe in my notebook of favorite recipes.

  24. I tried this recipe for the first for Christmas dinner this year. When I have a niece come to me and says “please Aunt Louie, can you send me this recipe” that speaks volumes to me. The combo of the two different potatoes made this recipe so delicious, creamy and full of favor. I will not fix mash potatoes but this way. I want to try creme fraiche instead of cream cheese to see if the taste changes at all or the texture. I also wonder if you could still use the cream cheese and replace the milk with the creme fraiche.

  25. My family loved these at Thanksgiving. I told them I was making them again for Christmas and they were really excited. They would eat bowls of these as leftovers until they were all gone. This is a great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  26. Amazing! I haven’t had a lot of success these mashed potatos in the past but all the tips with this recipe, including the minced garlic in water, pan-dry step and folding in the barely melted butter/milk/salt combo, were incredibly helpful. My husband said these were the best he ever tasted too! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  27. I made a grammatical typo in my submitted comment a few minutes ago, in the first sentence… Apologies. Should have said “with any mashed potato recipes in the past” instead of “these” in the first sentence.. feel welcome to fix it before posting.
    (ie, “Amazing! I haven’t had a lot of success with any mashed potato recipes in the past but all the tips with this recipe, including the minced garlic in water, pan-dry step and folding in the barely melted butter/milk/salt combo, were incredibly helpful. My husband said these were the best he ever tasted too! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.”)

  28. Am I missing where the quantity of potatoes is listed? I’m so confused with the directions!

  29. A simple to prepare and excellent tasting dish, my favorite type especially on a weekday night. I’ve never used cream cheese in mashed potatoes and was pleasantly surprised at the improvement it made. I also found the instructions about folding in the melted butter/milk and then the cream cheese made for a more pleasant texture when eating. I always thought the more mixed the butter, milk, and potatoes were the better the dish would be but I know better now.

  30. Fantastic recipe! I know I’m being one of those people who change the recipe but I think it’s handy for others who read the comments. Changes were minor. Instead of using whole garlic I used the pre-minced in a jar kind (I know, I know). And instead of putting it into the potato water to boil, I put it into the milk/butter mixture. Essentially giving us a very garlicy (but yum) mashed potatoes as an end result.

    I’m not sure if adding the garlic to the potato water then draining would result in the same? Anyways, definitely a keeper for our family and I renamed it to Garlic Mashed Potatoes! Since I do think the way I made them ended up very garlicy.

  31. Probably good… recipe is too long, I didn’t read. It’s hard to mess up potatoes. Just send it with salt pepper and butter 👍

  32. It’s just my husband and I, so we used 1.5 pounds of baby Yukon potatoes, a couple of shakes of sea salt, and 2 tsp of minced garlic and put it in cold water, let it raise to a boil and then reduced the temperature so that it was still bubbling for 12 minutes. I used 6 tbsp of butter (because we’re in the South) and more salt and let that melt in a small sauce pan. When the potatoes were done, I dumped them in a strainer to drain and then put them back in the pot on low heat to reduce extra moisture as suggested in tbe recipe for 1 minute. Then I mashed the potatoes and added the butter/salt mixture as I kept mashing the potatoes. Then 1/3 cup of milk (again because we were making 1/3 of the recipe). My husband brought home sour cream instead of cream cheese, so I added 2 Tbsp of sour cream and we both agreed it was delicious.

  33. Not here to really rate the recipe, but to say right off the bat, cutting your potatoes increases the amount of water in your mash. Look up joel robuchon.

  34. These mashed potatoes are delicious! I topped with pineapple jelly and pepper. Mmmmmm!!

  35. Although tasty, these are a time consuming unnecessary step. I’m not spending most of my time drying potatoes, folding in butter/milk mixture twice followed by folding in cream cheese twice….when I have a roast, vegetables and gravy to tend to. the secret to a delicious meal is about the timing. To the minute!! The food you’re preparing should be at it’s optimum temperature when it’s dished on to your plate. This recipe takes too much of your attention. You can get the same flavors happening by mashing with a little bit of buttermilk .Seems to be a whole lot of fluff and extra time when you can achieve the desired taste and texture while simply mashing the potatoes…I would give it a higher rating if all I was serving was mashed potatoes, but who does that?? I am a serious cook and don’t have time for frivolous……

  36. I made this recipe. I diced my (3 lbs) potatoes. Waited for my salted water to boil first, added in potatoes, added in about 6 (crushed) whole garlic cloves into the water. Make sure you cover your stock pot with a lid. About 25 mins later, perfect potatoes. Dumped out water, placed potatoes into my mixing bowl. Stirred in my melted butter, (microwaved) milk, and minced garlic. Then added cream cheese. Then green onions. Added salt & pepper until it had a nice kick to it. Thank you for the recipe!!

  37. This was a big hit at my house. It bumped off the current mashed potato recipe!!!

  38. This is my go-to recipe for mashed potatoes. I used a cashew milk-based cream cheese that gives the mashed potatoes a nice tangy taste. There are easier ways to make mashed potatoes but usually taste like sh*t and are typically runny. No thanks.

  39. This was seriously delicious. After each step I would try the potatoes, and they kept getting better and better. Also didn’t have as many potatoes as the recipe requires, but it was still delectable.

  40. Great recipe! I appreciated the extra tips such as inclusion of both russet and Yukon gold potatoes and the addition of garlic cloves while cooking. I completed the pan dry step as well and followed the recipe as outlined. I am pleased with the taste and texture. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  41. Delicious! Best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. This will be my go to recipe from now on,.
    Thank you!

  42. Hi, I am planning on making this tonight with dinner for my family! I was just wondering about how much is in one serving, if I am following the original recipe that makes 10-12 servings? (Cups? Grams? Oz?) Thanks!!

  43. Incredible! I had a dental surgery a couple of days ago, and was looking for something soft to eat besides soup, smoothies, and yogurt. These mashed potatoes were creamy, savory, and gentle on my poor gums. I will definitely be making these again even after I recover!

  44. I make this on a regular basis, very nice recepie tq. I add chopped small red onions too.

  45. Made these last night! So yummy! Thank you 🙌

  46. Made these and left off some of the salt. Came out great, will definitely make again.

  47. Family enjoyed immensly; plates were left clean!
    Didn’t have enough potatoes and threw in some parsnips. Appreciate the cooking tips for the mashed potatoes. I found it helpful . Also, sauteed zucchini noodles separately and then served the Shepherd’s pie over it.

    Thank you for this saucy, flavorful recipe!

  48. can someone help me on how id make this in an instant pot instead ?

  49. These were so good! Even substituted oat milk and vegan cream cheese, stuck with the free range butter.

  50. I’ve made these potatoes several times since finding your recipe. I follow the recipe exactly as is and they are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten! Thanks for sharing.