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Instant Pot mashed potatoes are the ultimate shortcut for America’s favorite side dish. No peeling, boiling or schlepping, and you get perfect, fluffy mashed potatoes every time using the pressure cooker.

Mashed potatoes in instant pot with wooden spoon on marble background with grey towel

This Instant pot mashed potato recipe is virtually hands-free and always delicious with my Baked Chicken Thighs, Broiled Salmon, or Roast Turkey Breast. I actually don’t peel my potatoes and mash the skins right in. It’s SO much faster and more nutritious … but you can call me lazy ????. No matter what, heavy whipping cream is the secret to the BEST mashed potatoes you’ll ever eat.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST MASHED POTATOES

  • Russet potatoes – or any variety will work
  • water – or chicken broth
  • heavy whipping cream – or preferred milk
  • butter – or olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Russet potatoes – these are the starchiest potatoes, which makes the fluffiest mashed potatoes. You can use any potatoes though. They will all make mashed potatoes that no one will complain about because … they’re mashed potatoes 🙂

Water (or chicken broth) – You only need 1 cup of liquid when you cook potatoes in the Instant Pot.

Heavy whipping cream –  this is THE secret sauce for how to make mashed potatoes rich and creamy. I used to always add half and half or plain milk to my mashed potatoes. Then I discovered that heavy whipping cream makes mashed potatoes…unforgettable.

Butter – I use unsalted butter for all cooking because, well, I love to control the salt in my recipes. But, salted butter will work perfectly fine for mashed potatoes, just be sure to reduce the added salt indicated in the recipe.

Salt and pepper – I use Kosher salt for this recipe, so if you’re using sea salt or table salt, you’ll probably want to cut it in half, taste it, and adjust accordingly.

TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MASHED POTATOES

Following a few simple tips will ensure that your mashed potatoes are always silky smooth, fluffy, and deliciously creamy.

#1: Choose starchy potatoes. For mashed potatoes, you want to choose potatoes with high starch content. Russet potatoes are a great choice for this, as are Yukon gold. Any potatoes can be cooked and mashed though. I love them all!

#2: Using the trivet in the Instant Pot. It’s not required but since there is only 1 cup liquid in this recipe, I use it as a precaution against potential “burn warnings” and to promote evenly cooked potatoes.

#3: Draining the potatoes is optional. This recipe uses 1 cup liquid that 1) gets absorbed by the potatoes and 2) steam-released. This leaves very little liquid at the end of the cook cycle. You can drain, if preferred, or not. Many people love to use chicken broth or veggie broth and mash it into the potatoes.

#4: Don’t overcook the potatoes. The potatoes only need to be cooked to the point that they are soft. Some believe that over cooking them causes them to have an undesirable texture.

#5: Don’t overwork mashed potatoes. To avoid potatoes with the consistency of paste, mash them just until they reach a well-combined consistency. Then stop mashing. I know, it’s tempting, but don’t do it. Reserve the remaining activity for stirring during the reheat.

#6: Add warm dairy ingredients (instead of cold) to mashed potatoes. When adding dairy ingredients like butter, milk, or whipping cream, you want them slightly warm instead of straight out of the refrigerator. This 1) prevents your dairy products from curdling when they hit the hot potatoes AND 2) your potatoes won’t get overworked by you trying to incorporate the cold solids into them.

#7: To peel or not to peel. For this mashed potato recipe, you can save a lot of time by not peeling or dicing the potatoes. But, if you have extra time and are an avid skin-off potato eater, by all means, go for it!

HOW MANY POTATOES CAN YOU COOK IN THE INSTANT POT?

The 6-quart Instant Pot Duo can accommodate about 5 lb of whole Russet potatoes, and possibly up to 7 lb if the potatoes are chopped or cut into smaller segments.

HOW MANY POTATOES PER PERSON FOR MASHED POTATOES?

A good rule of thumb to calculate how many lbs of mashed potatoes you need to make is 1 cup per person. My mashed potato recipe uses 3 lbs of potatoes yielding 6 cups, so it serves 6 people.

CAN YOU MAKE INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes! You can definitely cook the potatoes several hours before serving. Your Instant Pot will switch to and remain in “keep warm” mode until you are ready to mash. Or, once they’re done, go ahead and mash them with the other ingredients, and “keep warm” until ready to serve.

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES A FEW DAYS AHEAD

STEP 1. REFRIGERATE

Make the full recipe and refrigerate the mashed potatoes in an airtight container up to 2 days in advance of serving. Do not skimp on the “airtightness” of the seal.

STEP 2. REHYDRATE

Upon reheating, add small amounts of liquid (half-and-half, heavy whipping cream, or milk) to the mashed potatoes as they will probably appear somewhat dry after being stored for a few days. Don’t worry, a little heat and added moisture will bring them right back to life!

STEP 3. REHEAT (2 REHEAT OPTIONS)

Option 1: Microwave the mashed potatoes on a 50% power setting in two-minute intervals until they’re warmed through, stirring as needed. The larger the batch, the longer they’ll take, naturally.

Option 2: Heat the mashed potatoes on the stove over medium or med-high heat, stirring as needed, but don’t overwork the potatoes and make them lose their fluffiness.

INSTANT POT TIPS FOR PERFECT MASHED POTATOES

Tip 1: Anytime a pressure cooking cycle ends, the Instant Pot will beep and the digital reading will start counting upward. As a result, you will know how long ago the cycle ended. This happens naturally after you’ve done a natural pressure release (NPR).

Tip 2: Anytime you select the “keep warm” option, the IP will naturally count upward from zero. This allows you to keep track of how many minutes the cooker has been in warming mode.

Tip 3: Potatoes cook in the Instant Pot much faster under pressure than they will on a stovetop. Plus, you don’t have to stay in the kitchen as they cook.

RECOMMENDED TOOLS

  • Instant Pot
  • Instant Pot Steamer Rack Trivet
  • Potato masher
  • Oven mitt

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MASHED POTATOES

So simple. Just swap the butter out with your favorite, dairy-free butter, and swap the cream with your favorite vegan milk or vegan sour cream (at room temperature, to avoid ruining the texture).

MAKE SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES

Once you have the foundation for the perfect mashed potatoes, you can make my scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe is a veggie-loaded casserole that uses leftover turkey or shredded chicken. Everyone will love this dish as much as they love mashed potatoes!

 

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are the ultimate shortcut for America’s favorite side dish. No peeling, boiling or schlepping, and you get perfect, fluffy mashed potatoes every time thanks to the pressure cooker. It’s a must-have holiday recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 1-cup servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs Russet Potatoes or preferred potatoes
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream also called heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter softened or melted
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper to taste

Note: This recipe yields 6 cups * See recipe footnote about increasing batch size

RECIPE VIDEO

TOOLS NEEDED

  • Instant Pot
  • Instant Pot Steamer Rack Trivet (optional)
  • Potato masher
  • Oven mitt (to grip cooker while mashing)

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place trivet or steam basket inside the stainless inner pot of the Instant Pot *see recipe footnote
  • Pour in WATER and SALT, then stack whole POTATOES on the trivet.
  • Close and lock the lid, turn pressure valve knob to the “sealing” position.
  • Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. When cook cycle completes, allow it to sit undisturbed for a 10-minute natural pressure release (NPR).

    Note: From dry-to-done, this process takes about 30 minutes.

  • Carefully release any remaining steam. Unlock and open the lid, remove the trivet, and drain potatoes (there will be very little liquid, so you could leave it in there).
  • To the potatoes, add BUTTER, HEAVY CREAM, SALT, and PEPPER; mash with a vegetable masher to the desired consistency (do not overwork the potatoes).
  • Serve warm. You can keep mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot on “keep warm” mode, if preferred.

Storage and Reheat Instructions

  • Refrigerate mashed potatoes in an airtight container up to 2 days in advance of serving.
  • To reheat, add a splash of liquid (half-and-half, heavy cream, or milk). Heat over medium-high heat on the stove until warmed through, stirring as needed. Or, microwave the mashed potatoes on a 50% power setting in two-minute intervals until they’re warmed through, stirring as needed.
Tried this recipe? I’d love your review! Visit the comments below and tell me how it went.

Recipe Notes

Do I need the trivet?

It’s not required but since there is only 1 cup liquid in this recipe, I use it as a precaution against potential “burn warnings”.

How many potatoes can you cook in the Instant Pot?

The 6-quart Instant Pot Duo can accommodate up to 5 lbs whole potatoes and up to 7 lbs chopped potatoes (the smaller they are, the more you can fit).

To increase the batch size, the same recipe instructions apply. Do not change the pressure cook time … the Instant Pot magically does this for you.

How many potatoes per person for mashed potatoes?

A good rule of thumb to calculate how many lbs of mashed potatoes you need to make is 1 cup per person. My mashed potato recipe uses 3 lbs of potatoes yielding 6 cups, so it serves 6 people.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 805mg | Potassium: 975mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 819IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.

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