Sides have always been and will forever be the reason I get excited about Thanksgiving. And based on the number of times Simply Recipes readers have clicked on a particular Thanksgiving recipe, I know what you care about are the sides too. Not just any sides—what you love most are the classics, specifically mashed potatoes.
Of the dozen mashed potato recipes we have on our site, there is one that you’ve clicked on over 20 million times: Perfect Mashed Potatoes. (That’s the equivalent of 30 million pounds of spuds!)
Our founder Elise Bauer developed the recipe 13 years ago and claims the one thing that makes the difference is your choice of potatoes. She calls for Yukon Golds for their denser, creamier texture and natural buttery flavor. (Russet potatoes have more starch, yielding lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes.)
Then Elise shares three tips for the best mashed potatoes:
1. Start your cut potatoes in cold water so that they cook evenly.
2. The butter and cream should be warm—never cold straight from the fridge—so that the mashed potatoes become soft and creamy. Here’s a smart tip from a reader named Pam:
“I drain the potatoes, put them back into the pot they were boiled in, add the butter and milk and cover with a cloth for a couple of minutes. The potatoes will stay warm and the milk and butter will be heated too…then I mash them in the pan and they are ready to go into a serving dish. The pan retains the heat.”
3. You don’t need a ricer, mill, food processor, or other fancy tools. The potatoes will get smooth with a potato masher as long as you follow the two tips above.
If you aren’t already of fan of our perfect mashed potatoes or even if you have a go-to recipe, Tara left a comment on the recipe that may change your mind:
“I decided to do something different and used this recipe. I did not inform the husband or kids I did anything different and waited to see if they even noticed. I was very surprised that my 19-year-old son was the first to make a comment on how good these potatoes were and I quote he said ‘Mom these are the best mashed potatoes you have ever made.'”