These creamy mashed potatoes are mashed with heavy cream, sour cream and butter for the best homemade mashed potatoes recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other family meals!
I always have mashed potatoes on my holiday table -- always! This is my favorite recipe, because the potatoes stay creamy and buttery during the entire meal. You can keep the potatoes warm in a crock pot or finish them in the oven, but they won't stay as creamy as this easy stove-top recipe.
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Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
Everyone has their own opinion on what potatoes are best for homemade mashed potatoes. I love Yukon gold potatoes, but others swear by the more starchy potatoes (Russets). Try a mix for the best of both worlds, or go even more bold with red potatoes. You can also use sweet potatoes in this recipe. But, make sure you're not using baby potatoes. All that to say, it's up to varying opinions on which potato is best (a-hem, Yukon gold!)
(full printable recipe at end of post)
Once you decide which type of potatoes you want to use, the rest of the ingredients are simple and delicious. Here's what you need:
- Potatoes (3 lb)
- Heavy cream (½ cup)
- Unsalted butter (½ cup)
- Sour cream (½ cup)
- Garlic (2 cloves)
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the step-by-step on how to make the best mashed potatoes recipe. The general steps are as follows:
- Cut the potatoes into even size pieces and place in a large pot of cold water.
- Bring water to a boil, continue to boil potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, until fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash potatoes.
- Fold in butter, heavy cream and sour cream.
Do I Peel the Potatoes?
You can peel the potatoes or leave the peel on. I prefer no peels in my mashed potatoes during the holidays, but if I'm making them for a weeknight dinner I leave them on. It's your decision and the recipe is the same either way!
Top Tips and Tricks
Do not over-mash your potatoes.
Contrary to what you might think, the more you continue to mash them, the more stiff they'll become. I used to mash and mash my potatoes with each added ingredient and was always stumped why they turned out so stiff. So I would add more liquid and more butter and more cream, etc. etc. and then keep mashing and mashing. Little did I know that I was making it worse, not better! Now, I mash the potatoes without the mix-ins then FOLD in the rest of the ingredients to avoid over-mashing.
Mix in warm or room temperature ingredients.
We all know that mashed potatoes is the side dish that gets cold first, so we make it last. But, why do some people mix in cold cream and cold butter? Instead, melt the butter and heat up the heavy cream before stirring into the potatoes. If you prepare ahead of time, measure out the sour cream an hour or so ahead to let it come to room temperature. In a pinch, just heat that in the microwave, too.
Use the right potato masher tool.
You can use an electric hand mixer or blender, but you'll be more prone to over mix the potatoes. For smooth potatoes, use this smooth masher or a potato ricer, but if you like chunkier consistency for your mashed potatoes then I recommend this one instead.
Milk or Cream?
For creamy mashed potatoes, use heavy cream or half and half with full fat sour cream. The more fat, the creamier the mashed potatoes. You can reduce the fat with whole milk, light sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt but expect a different consistency.
Once you get this recipe down (which is EASY) try switching it up with other flavor variations. There's so much you can do to change up this simple classic recipe!
- Cheesy potatoes - stir your favorite cheese or cream cheese!
- Loaded potatoes - mix in bacon and chives or green onions.
- Garlic potatoes - add more minced garlic.
- Buttermilk potatoes - use buttermilk instead of heavy cream.
The list goes on for what you can add to make these your favorite mashed potatoes!
Made this Recipe?
Leave a star rating and tag me on Instagram @seededtable so I can see. I love hearing from you!
This article was first published November 2020 and updated with new recipe tips November 2022, with no changes to the recipe.
Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Large pot
- Potato masher
- 3 lb potatoes *(see note) , peeled or unpeeled and cut into equal sized pieces
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons salt , more to taste
- ½ cup unsalted butter , melted
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream , at room temperature
- Place cut up potatoes in large pot with the salt and garlic. Fill with cold water until covers just 1-inch above potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash with potato masher until desired consistency is reached.
- In a microwave safe bowl, stir heavy cream into the melted butter. Heat in microwave about 10 to 20 seconds until mixture is warm (avoid scalding the cream). Pour half of butter/cream mixture into the pot and fold into the potatoes followed by the sour cream then the rest of the butter/cream mixture. Season with more salt as you go. Serve warm.
- Use your favorite potatoes. My favorite is Yukon gold but you can use Russet or a blend. Red potatoes or sweet potatoes also work for this recipe.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.