Side Dishes/ Thanksgiving

Classic Mashed Potatoes

On the menu tonight – Classic Mashed Potatoes!

I’m assembling a collection of some classic Thanksgiving dishes and what is more classic than mashed potatoes. To get the best mashed potatoes, you need to start with the right potato. In my humble opinion, Yukon Golds make the best mashed potatoes – it has something to do with the level of starch. I’m not getting into all that…trust me on that one though. 🙂

Now that we know what type of potato we’re using, do you like them with a little chunk or do you want fluffy, smooth mashed potatoes? If you don’t mind a little chunk, all you need is a potato masher. If you want them fluffy and smooth, you will want a potato ricer – think giant garlic mincer. Another option is something called a food mill.

Potatoes will soak up liquid and flavor, so don’t be bashful with the butter or salt. Taste as you season, you can always add but you can’t take away when it comes to cooking.

Mashed potatoes are on every menu that I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t made mashed potatoes before, I hope you will try my version of classic mashed potatoes!

Classic Mashed Potatoes

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Classic Mashed Potatoes


  • 2-2.5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4-6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of milk, warmed
  • 3-6 Tbsp of cream cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 chives, finely chopped (greens only please, save the white part for another dish)



Prepare a large pot of water on the stove, but don't turn it on yet


Peel the potatoes and cut them to relatively equal size - I go for quarters. Don't cut them too small, but you want them to cook evenly


As you cut the potatoes, add them to the pot so they don't oxidize


Once you have them all in the pot, THEN turn it on high and bring to a boil


As the water is boiling, add a couple of tablespoons of salt, like you would when cooking pasta


After about 8-10 minutes, test if you can easily pierce the potato with a knife or fork (depending on your application, you may WANT them to be al dente. If you are putting the mashed potatoes on a shepherds pie as an example


Once cooked to your liking, drain in a colander


Add the butter to the pot along with the milk, then add the potatoes back to the pot and begin mashing. If you are going to use a ricer, have a large bowl ready and start ricing.


Add the cream cheese and mix that in along with your first bit of salt and pepper


Taste and adjust seasoning


Once they are seasoned how you want sprinkle the chopped chives on top and they will look like you got them from a fancy steak house


While I used black pepper, you could also use white pepper and then you wouldn't see the little black flecks

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