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Not-So-Humble Mashed Potatoes

“As long as there are mashed potatoes, I’ll be happy,” said a guest joining us for our Thanksgiving meal. He didn’t seem to care if the turkey was dry (it wasn’t) or the cranberry sauce was fresh (it was). He simply wanted creamy smooth mashed potatoes. And they were.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to Julie P., our randomly chosen winner!

As arguably the most important side dish of the season, everyone seems to have a preferred method to cook mashed potatoes. (Me? I cook the potatoes cold and don’t peel them until after they’re cooked.) There are tons of recipes out there, but many are tame and traditional. Potatoes. Butter. Milk. Salt. Pepper. When done right, those five staples are heavenly. But is something missing?  

Some home cooks work to ensure potato perfection by adding secret ingredients. Sour cream? Roasted garlic? Blue cheese? Why not! Here are a few of our favorite recipes that move beyond the classic mashed potato recipe in the quest for a celestial side dish.

Do you smash the everyday mash recipe? Share your secret ingredients in your not-so-humble mashed potatoes in the comments below by December 31, and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends December 31, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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263 comments

Comments

Nia says …

Curry, cumin, cilantro and butter

Eileen Hamilton says …

I always add yogurt to mashed potatoes for my growing family

Nancy Wessinger says …

Horseradish

alyce poyner says …

i'm not stingy with the cream and butter!

Christine burd says …

I put bacon in the potatoes

Betty Dickinson says …

Smashed Taters, Oh, Yes! After cooking the main ingredient, add 1/2 cup of asiago cheese, 1/3 cup of buttermilk and 1 tsp of black pepper. Whip the mixture with a wisk until desired consistency. Before serving, sprinkle 1 TBSP of dried dill and garnish the dish with sprigs of parsley .

adam says …

I ad cayenne pepper for zest

kris says …

I like smoked paprika in my mashed potatoes

Char Cunningham says …

The secret to my mashed potatoes is to use Yukon Golds, boiled til tender, drained well, and while hot, add some cubed brie and some heavy cream, while mashing the potatoes with a masher or fork. Don't overstir or they will turn to glue! When they're JUST about there (we like them a bit chunky) I add some truffle sea salt. I get rave reviews!

Susan says …

I used a fork to mash them.

Shirley A says …

My smashed potatoes look a bit rustic as I prefer to leave the skins on as well as some lumps versus whipping the potatoes smooth. I like to use smaller red-skinned potatoes. I add a couple of cloves of garlic that has been slow roasted in some olive oil. When it comes to mixing it all, I add some warmed butter & milk, along with some fresh chopped Italian parsley, salt & pepper. For some added zing, I sometimes add a bit of wasabi.

ron salomon says …

for mashed potatoes I substitute buttermilk for milk

SUSAN MCCARDELL says …

I HAD BUTTERMILK LEFT OVER FROM BAKING A RED VELVET B-DAY CAKE FOR MY SWEET HUSBAND - I ADDED IT TO THE MASHED POTATOES I WAS MAKING (INSTEAD OF REGULAR MILK AND BECAUSE IT IS A BIT SALTY, I REDUCED THE SALT TO BE ADDED TO TASTE) AND IT WAS FABULOUS (AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO USE THE BUTTERMILK FOR, LOL!).

John says …

I Peel and slice my potatoes all the same size till the last 2 which I slice smaller i put one shallot in the pot with water and potatoes.then mash them together. It adds just a touch of light onion taste! And makes them mine. Everyone loves them and comments that there's something special about mine... I don't tell !

Tara says …

Bake the potatoes instead of boiling. Add sour cream, butter, and parmesean cheese. No milk.

Kyla Becker says …

Well, I used red potatoes for my smashers for that rustic look and taste. I do add the traditional milk ingredient, but instead of butter I sub in sour cream. Then I add a healthy serving of horseradish and twice as much pepper as is usually called for, a half the salt. The more horseradish the better in my opinion! Additions like green onions or herb mixes are always welcome, but are not in the standard recipe I use. I always eyeball things, looking for good ratios instead of exact measurements. No gravy needed, but a small dab of butter is sometimes added for those who like it. Or, sometimes I omit the milk and spread this over the top of meatloaves for an extra kick :)

gloria avila says …

I add ranch salad dressing mix to my mash potatoes.

pete says …

I put capers in my mashed potatoes

rose st. says …

peel skin off, cut in cube& cook in prebutter pot with milk filled 1/3 of pot, until pototes solf then hand mash

Belinda Abraham says …

I like to use plenty of milk, butter and salt/pepper to make my mashed potatoes moist, creamy and rich. But what makes them really good are the fresh herbs I us like, rosemary and garlic, ect.

Diane says …

Great mashed potatoes starts with great potatoes! I buy organic potatoes because they have much more flavor. For mashed potatoes I use Yukon Golds, boil and then put them through a food mill. I add olive oil, and nonfat Greek yogurt, milk, salt and pepper. Perfect mashed potatoes!

John says …

I add one shallot to the pot and boil with potatoes and salt. I remove potatoes and shallot to mash with real butter and whole milk. I make them real creamy. And everyone always ask what's in them that makes them taste so different ? I never tell, and theres never any left overs ....

Chelsea says …

Cooked white beans puréed as my secret ingredient to boost the protein content

Keri says …

Take the very hot peeled cooked potatoes and quickly add lots of butter and half and half and a little salt and pepper and whip. YUM!

Mr Mark G Millman says …

about 8-14 Yukon gold cut into quarters chicken broth in bottom of stock pot, place a steamer basket into pot, then place potatoes into steamer basket, cover and steam until fork tender. Drain. Hard boil two eggs. Rice the potatoes, chop the eggs, take a softened stick of butter, and about a cup of half and half, some salt and white pepper to taste, and about 3 pinches of fresh nutmeg. DO NOT OVER MIX. Then enjoy

Paula says …

I like to add a pinch of nutmeg to my mashed potatoes. People can't really detect what it is - they just know they are special and different! I also use buttermilk to give them a bit of twang!

Jen T. says …

Mashed potatoes have flavor packed into them already when you use Yukon Gold potatoes. I peel and boil the Yukon Golds first (3-5 pounds). The drained potatoes go into a huge bowl with a couple of tablespoons of butter. I add just a splash of milk or buttermilk, whatever is on hand, and then a few turns of pepper and some kosher salt. To enhance the flavor, add spoonfuls of sour cream. I hand mash and add sour cream until the potatoes are somewhat smooth and a few lumps remain. The "rustic" consistency is satisfying.

susie says …

I cook my potatoes cold too skin on and use a slightly sweeter potato Yukon gold that's because when you add the secret ingredient it comes out so creamy and smooth. Add all the basic stuff but when it comes time for the milk add buttermilk with it to taste...so yummy!

Diane Mason says …

I never mash them completely....I like them lumpy. I stir in just a little milk, just a little butter, and add just a tad of salt.

Danielle Parkinson says …

I make my mashed potatoes with soy milk instead of cow's milk. I also love leaving the skins on the potatoe pieces,which gives it character and tastes delicious.

STEVEN says …

ADD PAPRIKA AND DICED ONIONS.

Jamie Harris says …

I peel then boil yellow Yukon potatoes in chicken stock then mash and blend. I just add the basics butter, milk, salt and a little bit of pepper. I prefer the yellow potatoes I think they have a much better taste than the others

Sandi O'Brien says …

Mashed potatoes must have lots of almond milk and pepper

sally hoyt says …

Bacon and blue mashed . great blue cheese and smokey bacon or a "smokey substitute" with a smashed , not whipped texture, and lots of black or white pepper freshly ground of course

colleen gilgenbach says …

Fresh Sauerkraut and Cheddar Cheese added to Mashed potatoes...yum!

Laurey says …

goat brie and dutch baby yellow potatoes

vickie says …

mashed potatoes: 4 lb potatoes cut and cooked in salted water, add 1 can evaporated milk( whole or fat free) and 1 stick of real butter. Mash add salt and pepper to taste. Yummy

Catrina Harp says …

I use baby gold potatoes, first I wash and peel them, then I cut them in half and boil until tender. After I boil them I drain them and run them through my food mill. After they are put through the food mill I add a bit of butter, smashed garlic, some milk or sourcream (depends on the day) and Herbs de Provence. Sometimes I put crumbled bacon and make a homemade muchroom gravy because what are Mashed Potatoes with out Gravy?

Julia says …

Grassfed butter!

Kathleen Conner says …

The trick to really light and fluffy mashed potatoes is to use a potato ricer! The difference in texture is amazing!

Jenny Montgomery says …

I peel and chop then boil the potatoes till fork tender and drain. Then add butter, half and half, salt, pepper and cream cheese. Let it sit in the pan to melt the butter and warm the cream. Then mash with a hand held mixer with beaters on medium speed. Delish!

Michele Lum says …

A dash of sugar. Sounds weird but it makes them taste spectacular.

Rene Leer says …

My secret ingredients are fresh squeezed lemon juice, fresh miniced garlic, and olive oil plus a pinch of cayene pepper.

Ann Fortner says …

salt, pepper, cream cheese, butter and cream.....makes the most wonderful yet simple mashed potatoes

Flora Chan says …

Rosemary, cream cheese, milk, butter with sea salt, black pepper, and last, but not least, sprinkle some chives :D

Batya Bauman says …

Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. I love them by themselves, or mashed with other vegetables - i.e. carrots or squash. Mash with avocado instead of butter. Place a large dollop on a plate, make a well on top and fill with a tablespoon of sweet peas. Serve with a salad, and you've got yourself a meal.

Billie says …

I add cream cheese, garlic and onion and then beat them in a mixer to make them creamier with a subtle bite.

Anna Caraballo says …

I use to use half and half in my mashed potatoes. When I switched to a healthier substitute (skim milk) it just didn't have the same creamy consistency. I since have started making my mashed potatoes with original almond milk because it has a thicker consistency than the milk and it is WONDERFUL! I also tried this with the blue potatoes that Whole Foods had on sale this week and they were extra delicious!

Joyce says …

Add CURRY POWDER to your taste and a dash or two of black pepper.

Monica W. says …

A little granulated garlic when cooking and sprinkling with a bit of smoked paprika before serving - delish! :)

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