100% obsessed with this creamy buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes recipe! They’re easy to make, perfectly fluffy and creamy, and made with the tastiest fresh herb ranch seasoning.
Three delicious words for you today: RANCH MASHED POTATOES.
(Need I say more?)
After having made my favorite classic mashed potatoes recipe for Thanksgiving these past few years, I thought it would be fun to mix things up a bit for our upcoming Friendsgiving fiesta here in our home in two weeks. I didn’t want to go too wild and crazy with seasonings, because we’ve learned after living here in Barcelona for a few years that our European friends absolutely adore American-style mashed potatoes, and they have already commented that they’re looking forward to the classics again this Thanksgiving. But I figured, hey, what could be more American than adding a generous drizzle of ranch onto your favorite foods? ;)
Turns out, these ranch mashed potatoes were indeed a very delicious idea.
I opted to nix the old-school ranch seasoning packet in favor of adding fresh ranch seasoning instead, including lots of fresh garlic, lots and lots of fresh ranch herbs (parsley, dill and chives), and fresh (instead of powdered) buttermilk. And when mixed into my creamy, buttery, fluffy, tried-and-true mashed potatoes recipe, I’m telling you, this ingredient combo was a match made in mashed potato heaven. So fresh and flavorful and delicious. And I’m happy to report that our friends who taste-tested them with us this weekend gave them two thumbs up too.
Let’s make some ranch mashed potatoes!
Ranch Mashed Potatoes Ingredients:
Alright, first up, let’s talk ingredients. To make this fresh ranch mashed potatoes recipe, you are going to need…
Potatoes: 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. That said, though, you are welcome to use just one variety of potatoes, if you prefer.
Garlic: This recipe calls for four cloves of garlic, but feel free to double that if you’d like yours to be extra-garlicky!
Salt and pepper: Super-important in this recipe! We will salt the potatoes while they boil, as well as add salt and pepper to the melted butter mixture that we stir into the mashed potatoes. But also be sure to taste the potatoes once they have been mixed up and add a final round of S&P to taste. (I usually add in quite a bit.)
Butter: An essential in mashed potatoes, if you ask me.
Buttermilk: In keeping with the ranch theme, I chose to use tangy buttermilk here in place of milk. (Also, feel free to add in extra buttermilk at the end if you would like your potatoes to be even creamier.) But if you’re not a fan of buttermilk, feel free to use any other kind of plain milk or half and half.
Fresh herbs: The classic ranch mixture of chives, dill and parsley. I highly, highly recommend using fresh herbs in this recipe because they really brighten up the flavors. But that said, dried herbs could also work too.
Cream cheese: Just be sure that it’s room temperature so that it will quickly melt into the mashed potatoes.
Full ingredient amounts/instructions included in the recipe box below.
How To Make Mashed Potatoes:
To make these ranch mashed potatoes, simply…
Cut the potatoes. For even cooking, be sure to have them cut into evenly-sized chunks (about 1-inch wide).
Boil the potatoes. The usual method — place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, simmer until tender, then drain.
Prepare your melted butter mixture. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper together in the microwave (or a small saucepan) until the butter is just melted. (You want to avoid boiling the buttermilk.)
Pan-dry the potatoes. Once the potatoes have been drained, immediately return them 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. This step will help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes.
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. Then stir the herbs into the melted butter mixture until combined, then gradually fold the butter mixture and cream cheese into the mashed potatoes. As always, try not to overmix the potatoes to prevent them from turning gummy.
Taste and season. One final time, taste the potatoes and season with extra salt and pepper as needed. (I still usually add in quite a bit at this point.)
Serve. Serve warm, garnished with extra chopped herbs if you would like, and dig in!
Want to customize these ranch mashed potatoes a bit? Feel free to:
Add bacon: I mean, always a delicious idea. ♡
Make them vegan: Use vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and plain dairy-free milk (i.e. almond or oat milk) instead of buttermilk.
Make them gluten-free: Psst, no changes needed, these mashed potatoes are already are gluten-free!
Use a different kind of potatoes: Red potatoes would also be delicious in this recipe. Or for a different sweet-and-savory spin, feel free to use this recipe to make ranch mashed sweet potatoes instead.
Use dry herbs: If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, feel free to use dried parsley, dill and chives instead. You will need approximately 4 teaspoons of each dried herb (although feel free to add more/less to taste).
More Favorite Potato Recipes:
Looking for more winning potato recipes? Here are a few of my faves:
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.
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.
Prepare your melted butter mixture. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are boiling, heat the butter, buttermilk and an additional 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter is just melted. (You want to avoid boiling the buttermilk.) Set aside until ready to use.
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.
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.
Stir everything together. Stir the herbs into the melted butter mixture until combined. Pour half of the mixture over the potatoes, and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula until potatoes have soaked up the liquid. Add the remaining butter mixture and cream cheese, folding them in until just combined to avoid over-mixing. (Feel free to add in more warm buttermilk to reach your desired consistency, if needed.)
Taste and season. One final time, taste the potatoes and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
Serve. Serve warm, garnished with extra chopped herbs if you would like, and enjoy!
*Herbs: I measured these fairly loosely-packed. But feel free to add more/less of whichever herbs you love best. Or see notes in the post above for dried herb substitutions.