Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. But you may be surprised to find out that they don’t need to be loaded with butter, sour cream, and salt to taste great. In this very simple recipe, a little of the cooking water is used to flavor and whip the potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are so easy to make, and there are so many different ways to make them. Below is my basic recipe as well as notes for making curried mashed potatoes and pistachio mashed potatoes.
I prefer to use russet potatoes in my basic recipe, but you can also use Yukon Gold or red potatoes, which will be slightly heavier (if you don’t use russets, you may want to add another potato or two since russets are generally larger). I like to peel my potatoes first, because sometimes the skins when boiled impart a sour taste (in my opinion). But feel free to leave the peelings on if you like; you will get a more rustic, hearty texture. I use a hand-held electric beater, but you can also use a manual, hand-held potato masher.
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 9 cups)
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- Creamy Mushroom Gravy (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped chives, green onions, or parsley (for optional garnish)
- Place the potatoes into a soup pot and cover them with water. Stir in the granulated garlic and onion, and bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.
- Ladle 1 cup of the cooking water from the pot into a small bowl, and set it aside. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the potatoes on low speed, adding the cooking water gradually, until you have reached your desired consistency. Top with Creamy Mushroom Gravy and/or garnish with chopped chives, green onions, or parsley.
To make curried mashed potatoes, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of curry powder along with the granulated garlic and onion in step 1.
To make pistachio mashed potatoes, in step 2, combine ½ cup of the reserved cooking water with ¼ cup raw, unsalted pistachios in a blender, and blend for 1 minute on high speed before mixing in with the potatoes.
Above: Pistachio Mashed Potatoes
Above: Curried Mashed Potatoes