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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

TCLOCKWOOD says …

Red potatoes, real butter, heavy whipping cream, sour cream and cream cheese. They're so rich I only serve them for special occasions - like Christmas!

Nancy says …

They are so wonderful when you use a potato ricer and Yukon Gold potatoes!

Monica W. says …

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

Michelle M says …

The key ingredients for my grandmother-in-law's mashed potatoes are butter, sour cream (or I'll sub Greek yogurt), and cream cheese. Totally decadent, but that's why we only make them once a year!

Holly Beach says …

My secret is using a mix of russet and gold potatoes.

Doretta Whalen says …

Mashed Potatoed Potatoes. I scrub 6 medium Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, and leaving skins on, cover them with filtered water and 1 teaspoon sea salt, boiling them for 20-30 minutes with the lid on the pot...just until soft when pierced with fork. When the potatoes are soft I remove them to a seive, SAVING THE WATER. Heat a potato ricer with hot water, then press each potato through it into the original pot. Add 1/4 cup potato water, beating vigorously over very low heat with a wooden spoon, then beat in 1/2 cup hot milk and 2 TBSP butter until very light and fluffy. Add sea salt to taste. Pile potatoes into a hot serving dish and top with an additional pat of butter. Freeze remaining potato water for use in soup broths.

Lorraine Sabio says …

Butter, Milk, salt, petpper and a dash of SOUR CREAM make the best mashed potatoes ever! I use a hand mixer for a light and fluffy product. This classic recipe comes very creamy and uses wholesome ingredients.

Robert Fowner says …

2% organic milk and organic butter blended until smooth. The best it gets

Natasha Freeman says …

Before going gluten & dairy-free, my "secret" ingredient for making fluffy, full mashed potatoes was heavy cream :-). now I'm playing around with different gluten & dairy-free ingredients to get the same effect as the heavy cream.

Sharron jones says …

I broil my potatoes then peel, Mash, add sour cream,salt,pepper and chives! Ummmmmmm good!

Christy George says …

Instead of regular milk, I use sweetened condensed milk...makes it very creamy!

Pam says …

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes: peel and cut 4 large sweet potatoes in chunks and boil until soft or bake whole sweet potatoes until soft. Mix with half stick real butter, 1/2 cup milk or plain Greek yogurt. 1 tablespoon crushed rosemary, 1 clove garlic crushed. Mash potatoes a bit and then Combine all ingredients and mash together until mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Goes great with roast pork and spinach salad.

Christi Thames says …

When I make mashed potatoes, I leave the skin on, wash them, chunk them up with garlic and onions, and then wash them again. Then I cook them in broth (veggie or chicken) until they are ready. When they pass the fork test, I do not drain them. I use my stick blender to cream them up, and I add plain yogurt for extra creamy richness. I add a little extra spice (white pepper, oregano, basil) and salt, if needed, and it's ready to go! For special occasions, I fold in shredded cheese just before serving. Yum!

Stefano says …

Substitute Cauliflower for Potatoes.

annie oconnor says …

My secret ingredients are: RUSSET potatoes (unpeeled!) & buttermilk. After years of using red or yukon gold, I find these to be the best!

nanc says …

Just boiled organic Idaho potatoes, organic butter, organic 2% milk and 20 minutes in our KitchenAid stand mixer makes everybody's favorite for supper, then I add a little cheddar cheese, garlic and mushrooms to the leftovers for a scruptious lunch the next day.

Christine M says …

We love garlic mashed potatoes: use a whole bulb of garlic, organic potatoes and organic vegan butter spread.

Will M. says …

Secrets are: Yukon gold potatoes (no red, russet or all-purpose potatoes), melted butter, half and half (not milk = watery & not heavy cream = overly rich), table salt (no sea salt = heavy mineral taste) AND always add butter before dairy. Add in 1 cup shredded smoked gouda with dairy.

Mike rose says …

Yukon gold potatoes , milk , butter , salt and pepper make the perfect mashed potatoes

Linda Hildebrand says …

I put sour cream and butter in my mashed potatoes

Michelle says …

My secret ingredients are white pepper, cream cheese, milk, garlic, and asiago cheese. My fiance loves when I make them with these. Sometimes I put in sour cream instead of the cream cheese and it works out just as well, or I substitute cream or half and half for the milk which works well too. They make divinely creamy mashed potatoes or smashed potatos no matter what type of potatoes you are using. If you are looking for a sweeter healthier choice, my mashed sweet potatoes are cream cheese, milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and if your feeling festive, marshmallows on top or pecans. Hope you enjoy them as I do.

Nina says …

I love mashed potatoes. And I love making them - many ways. For basic mashed spuds, I use fat free sour cream instead of butter and milk. Makes them creamy, gives them a little tang and much lower fat. For added zing, I add some dijon mustard (amount depends on how much I make). For a real treat, one of my favorites is cut up some sharp cheddar cheese into 1/4" cubes. Around one ounce of cheese per serving of potatoes. Fry an onion. Add these two ingredients to the basic mashed potatoes and put in the oven until the top is browned. Yummm!

Laura E says …

Boil the potatoes until they are falling apart. Add salt, butter, milk and some cheddar cheese. mix with spoon, leaving the potatoes somewhat chunky.

Anne Hueser says …

My mashed potatoes are actually potatoes (either russet or yukon gold) and rutabegas mashed together with butter and salt and pepper. They are so good that everyone wants these every year instead of plain mashed potatoes.

Brian says …

Mix in some cauliflower for added volume

Elizabeth says …

I had some of my homemade chicken broth.

Costana Hornbaker says …

we like adding in sliced olives and feta cheese!

Zuleika says …

after preparing the mashed potatoes in your usual way, melt some butter in a skillet, add granulated garlic and basil to your taste, add creaminess and flavor to it.

Barb says …

Sour cream mixed in makes the potatoes evey more creamy and smooth. Chives are a great compliment for a classic taste! Another favorite is to add bacon and shredded cheddar cheese on top. Yummy

patricia shively says …

my mother-in-law was early for holiday dinner and i was mashing up the potatoes when she they are lumpy, your husbands going to complain...i said he likes them lumpy...as soon as he came into the room she asked him,and to her surprize he answered i like them lumpy....boy you should have seen her face

Jennifer Clark says …

I add cream cheese, butter, sour cream and shredded parmasen. Bake at 350 for a half hour. Garnish with chopped scallions. Not very low cal but--Delicious!

Miranda says …

My secret ingredient is Gorgonzola cheese

Melissa M. says …

An old trick to get kids to eat veggies: Mix cooked spinach - or whatever - into the mashed potatoes ...and watch them gobble them up!

Carla Atkins says …

I boil red potatoes, quartered with skins left on. In the pot I put a 1/2 tsp roasted garlic and a tsp of Adobo (while cooking). Drain potatoes and add black pepper and sea salt to taste, a splash of warmed half and half, 1/4 cup real butter (grassfed is best) and 2-3 tblsp of kefir cheese (can use sour cream or plain greek yogurt). Whip the potatoes til creamy. I usually use most of a five pound bag for these amounts. You can adjust any of this to suit your taste. My family will devour it all :) No gravy needed!

JohnZ says …

Lots of butter. Loads of butter. Did I say butter yet?

Hari says …

Gourmet mashed potatoes will have everyone asking for the recipe - and yet it's so simple but tastes so good. Use Idaho potatoes, Greek seasoning (this is the only spice you'll need), butter, a little olive oil, and parmesean cheese. Mash it together and accept all compliments. I also make my Gourmet popcorn using the same recipe, sans the potatoes.

Sharon says …

I boil peeled cubed potatoes with lots of cloves of peeled garlic until tender. Then I use a potato ricer for a very creamy mashed potato. Add a little soy or rice milk and some white pepper and salt (I like the pink himalayan salt) and you have garlic mashed potatoes that no one knows are vegan and dairy free, not to mention low calorie.

Esther says …

My beautiful mashed potatoes begin with oven-baked (not microwaved) russets and oven-steamed orange or golden yellow bell peppers. Allow one small pepper (cored, seeded and halved) for each large potato. Wrap the peppers in an air-tight package of heavy aluminum foil and place it on a pyrex dish. Add the washed potatoes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes for two potatoes (add 10 more minutes for each additional potato and pepper). Remove the dish from the oven, cool enough to scoop out the potatoes from the skins and to peel the peppers, which will be very soft. Plunging them in ice water helps detach the skins. Put the potatoes and peppers into a large bowl and mash with a screen type masher (not the flat wooden kind) because you don't want a totally homogenized mixture. Add salt and white pepper to taste and enough heavy cream to obtain a soft consistency (1 to 2 Tablespoons per potato). It should be lumpy. That's it: 5 ingredients, one dish to cook both veggies, one bowl to mash everything together.

Ecotechie says …

Healthy Vegan Smashed Potatoes. Cut up organic potatoes. Boil till very tender. In a pan saute sliced garlic and shallots till golden brown. Puree silky tofu till creamy. Add to sauteed mixture along with potatoes. Smash with old fashioned potato masher till well blended and creamy. Use potatoes water if needed . Add salt and pepper to taste.

Natalie J says …

I boil red potatoes with the skin on to reduce the water that soaks into the potatoes. I boil milk and.or cream with unsalted butter and mix it in with the potatoes and mash as I go. The starch in the potatoes creates a thick mash. I mix in some roasted garlic to taste with sea salt.

susan navas says …

I use red skin potatoes or Yukon Gold. I add about 4 tablespoons of butter and condensed milk until it is the consistency you like. This makes a classic mashed potato taste like grandma used to make!

susan navas says …

I use red skin potatoes or Yukon Gold. I add about 4 tablespoons of butter and evaporated milk until it is the consistency you like. This makes a classic mashed potato taste like grandma used to make!

Jamie Flaherty says …

When cooking the potatoes, i put garlic in to cook and then it gets mashed as well. i also use heavy cream and butter!

Heather says …

Broccoli and cheese. My kids favorite mashed potatoes have cheese, butter, and broccoli mixed in!

paul laufer says …

We add Heavy Cream to ours when beating them in the mixer!!!!

Lena says …

I keep it simple, any kind of potato, boil until softened. Add cheddar cheese, roasted garlic, cream, butter, and salt, and I mash by hand so they're nice and chunky. Can be served with fresh salsa.

Stewart David says …

I add garlic, lots of garlic.

Sarah says …

Perfect mashed potatoes are pretty simple, yukon gold potatoes, warm milk and butter, and kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. My trick is to use a ricer, as it makes the potatoes creamy and smooth. Nothing made from scratch and with love, no matter how simple, should ever be considered humble! In my house (3 teenagers!), with our busy schedules, homemade is always something to be celebrated!!

Peter Ward says …

I steam golden potatoes, and add confit of shallots and garlic. I mash them right out of the steamer; no dairy involved. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley for a dairy-free comfort food!

Kristina says …

I mash steamed sweets potatoes then add steamed pears and cinnamon! Amazing!

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