Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year, and one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the side dishes. I think I would be okay if there was no turkey, but I couldn't live without the mashed potatoes or stuffing (or my super easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe!). My mom's homemade mashed potatoes are almost exclusively served on holidays, so I knew I needed to honor her when making my own Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes for Friendsgiving this year.
Enter: my beloved Instant Pot. I have adjusted to using my Instant Pot for so many staple things in my kitchen over the past year or two, from steel cut oats to hard boiled eggs to risotto to mac and cheese. I knew it could stand the test of mashed potatoes, and I was right.
The best thing about this recipe is it's all in one pot for easy cleanup. I steamed the potatoes in the pot (in ONLY 12 minutes!), mashed them back in there, and added all of the extras (um, hello butter) to stir together. The Instant Pot even keeps them warm for me until ready to serve - another perk of the all-in-one-pot method is the Instant Pot will keep your mashed potatoes at a consistent temperature, so you can make them early in the morning and have one less thing to worry about once the big day prep really gets into full swing.
There is one thing you need to know before making this recipe - you can't try to make mashed potatoes healthy. You just can't. They're best with A LOT of butter, with milk (or hey - even heavy cream), a good amount of salt, and finally, my mom's secret ingredient - cream cheese. It adds just the right of smooth, creamy tang to the potatoes. Thanksgiving is not the day to cut back on any of this goodness.
The other thing you need to know is your options for the mashing step. You have three options: a potato ricer, a potato masher, or your biceps + a wooden spoon. Here's how they differ:
1. A potato ricer is my mashed potato method of choice. I own this mostly for making homemade gnocchi (yum) but it also results in the absolute fluffiest mashed potatoes ever - with very little effort. The potatoes go into the ricer and it's super easy to squeeze them through the ricer easily. This method will lead to the smoothest mashed potatoes.
2. A potato masher is probably the most traditional method that most people use. This result is probably medium difficulty to achieve - the masher makes it easier than using a spoon and your arm, but isn't quite as easy as the potato ricer. This method will lead to potatoes that are slightly lumpy but still overall smooth.
3. Your biceps and a spoon - for the toughest among us. If you've got a sturdy spoon and some muscle power, you can make mashed potatoes by hand. This step requires the most effort and will lead to the most lumpy mashed potatoes - but some people absolutely love this texture, and if you're willing to put in the work, the taste is phenomenal with any method.
If you don't have an Instant Pot yet: The Instant Pot is always one of the best (and most popular) Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals - so if you're feeling like you absolutely need one of these in your life (you're right, you do) - keep your eye out for those deals coming up soon! In the meantime, you can boil your potatoes on the stove (which will take longer) and follow the same recipe. Keep them warm in a crock pot or in an oven-safe dish on low in the oven.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Makes about 10-15 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Cream cheese: Tortellini Soup with Spinach & Mushroom
Prep time: 15 minutes (10 minutes before, 5 minutes after)
Cook time: 20 minutes (12 in the Instant Pot + coming to pressure)
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 5 lbs Russet potatoes
- 1/2 block cream cheese, cubed
- 1 stick butter (yes, you read that right)
- 1-2 cups milk, to taste
- Salt, to taste
Dairy-free/Vegan: Substitute dairy-free milk or use chicken broth instead.
PEEL & BOIL THE POTATOES
1. Peel 5 lbs. of russet potatoes and add them to the Instant Pot.
2. Add 8 cups water on top of the potatoes in the Instant Pot and cook for 10 minutes on the "Steam" function.
3. When the potatoes are done, release the steam immediately and drain the water from the pot.
MAKE THEM MASHED!
4. Time to mash the potatoes! Your options for this are a potato masher, a potato ricer (my personal choice) or a wooden spoon + a really strong arm. See descriptions of each method above.
5. Add 1 stick's worth of butter tabs, 1-2 cups milk (depending on your preference), 1/2 cup cream cheese cubes, and salt to taste.
6. Stir well to incorporate. Add any extra of the above ingredients - you can't ever have too much, and it's all about what your taste is! If making ahead of time, keep warm in the Instant Pot using the "warming" feature.
Storing & Extra Ingredients
STORING - The best thing about mashed potatoes is that they're the perfect thing to make ahead early in the morning and leave in your Instant Pot (or crock pot) all day to keep warm before dinner. Leftovers will last up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. I've also read about freezing mashed potatoes - which I've never done but I trust it and think you should try it and let me know!
EXTRA INGREDIENTS - This recipe will leave you with extra milk and cream cheese, which I'm sure you can find something to do with - if you need ideas, use up that cream cheese by making my Tortellini Soup with Spinach & Mushroom (it's the secret ingredient!).
Note: This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend. That means if you click on a product link in this post and choose to purchase the product on Amazon, I earn a commission. I only recommend products I use and love organically. This means that if you are going to purchase a product that I recommend, I encourage you to do it through the direct link from the blog so that I (and the blog) benefit. Read my full affiliate disclosure.