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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

For stiffer mashed potatoes, use only three-fourths cup milk or cream; for richer potatoes, add another two tablespoons butter.

  • Servings: 6
Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1998


  • 2 pounds russet, Yukon gold, or long white potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup milk, or cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water; add 1 tablespoon salt. bring to a simmer. If using a potato ricer, fill another saucepan with water; place over low heat. Keep potatoes at a low simmer until a knife slips in and out easily. Drain potatoes in a colander. Place milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

  2. If using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, proceed to Step 4. If using a potato ricer, place a heat-proof bowl or top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Press hot, drained potatoes through ricer into bowl.

  3. Stir potatoes with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a whisk, incorporate butter. Drizzle in hot milk, whisking continuously. Add pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste; whisk to combine. Serve immediately.

  4. For the electric-mixer method, transfer hot, drained potatoes to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed, until most lumps have disappeared, about 1 minute. Add butter; mix until blended. On low speed, add hot milk in a slow stream, then add pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Mix to combine.

Reviews (11)

  • Chuck Baggett 27 Nov, 2013

    The amount of liquid seems to be about twice what is needed. Following the recipe would have make soup. Fortunately I was distrustful and proceeded with caution and was left with runny mashed potatoes, still usable, though too liquid to suit me, instead of having to pour or out or eat it (drink it) in private.

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  • EmilieTobin 25 Jan, 2010

    bjhinokcok~ I added mayonnaise to the recipe as you suggested, and the potatoes tasted delicious. I do not have a potato ricer, nor an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Instead I blended the potatoes with a potato masher, then worked out the rest of the lumps with an electric mixer (not fitted with a paddle attachment.) My point is that is still very possible to make these great-tasting potatoes without all the proper tools. I would give this recipe five out of five stars.

  • caba 14 Nov, 2008

    add one egg or just the yolk and it's delicious


  • teikotam 13 Nov, 2008

    I always add a pinch of Baking powder to mashed potatoes (a bit more B.P.can be added depending on how much you make)which makes them very light

  • bjhinokcok 13 Nov, 2008

    Something I learned from a Chef friend is, add 1/3 C. give or take, real mayonaisse when whisking. It truly makes them so creamy, rich and delicious. Keep in mind, this is for about 6 -7 potatoes being mashed. Sheesh! Who uses measurments! LOL

  • KWLaVohn 3 Nov, 2008

    I love this recipe. When I make it, I peel and slice the potatoes; then, I rinse them and put them in fresh water in the pan I'm going to cook them in. Then, I place the whole pot in the fridge. I can do this in the morning and have them ready to cook when I'm ready for dinner. Since the recipe calls for cold water anyway, it works really well to just keep them in the fridge until I'm ready to use them.

  • jackielandy 10 Mar, 2008

    This is our favorite recipe, although we cannot use the nutmeg anymore I have a son with a severe nut allergy. We still love it without!

  • CourtneyFFox 14 Feb, 2008

    So good and creamy. Really easy to make.

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