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Best Mashed Red Potatoes Recipe

These mashed red potatoes are silky, creamy, and incredibly delectable! Think of them as a leveled-up version of traditional mashed potatoes.

The magic of this dish is in the red potatoes.

Top view of homemade mashed red potatoes
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Smaller in size, they cook up faster than larger varieties. And their thin skin adds a wonderful texture to the mash. They’re a hit at potlucks and holiday feasts, pleasing kids and adults alike.

These mashed red potatoes should be at the top of your list for any occasion!

Mashed Red Potatoes

When it comes to mashed potatoes, the red variety truly shines.

Renowned for their thin skin, red potatoes are perfect for those who love skin-on mashed potatoes. Plus, since they’re small, they cook a lot faster! They’re a convenient choice when you’re in a hurry.

These mashed red potatoes are an all-time favorite side dish for many reasons.

First, they’re ridiculously good. The flavor is delicious, and the smooth yet chunky texture is on point.

Second, they’re so easy to make. You won’t even need to peel the potatoes, as the skin makes the dish even more flavorful.

Third, they’re hearty, and one recipe makes a lot. They’re perfect for gatherings where you need to feed a crowd.

And finally, mashed red potatoes pair well with virtually any dish! Whether you serve them with meat, pasta, soup, or salad, you can’t go wrong.

Chopped red potatoes in a glass bowl on a white marble table


The great thing about this recipe is it only calls for 6 ingredients, and I’m sure you already have them on hand!

  • Red Potatoes: Wash them well, especially since you’ll leave the skins on!
  • Butter: Use either melted or softened butter so it incorporates easily with the potatoes. If using salted butter, use less salt for seasoning.
  • Milk: To saturate the potatoes, giving you a rich, creamy, moist side dish. You can also use heavy cream for a richer mashed potato.
  • Sour Cream: Aside from the creaminess, sour cream adds a subtle tang that perfectly matches the spuds.
  • Garlic Powder: For that distinct, sharp garlic flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste. Don’t forget to salt the boiling water, as well.

How to Make Mashed Red Potatoes

Mashed potatoes couldn’t be easier to make! It’s just a matter of boiling the spuds and mashing them along with a few other ingredients.

Here’s how:

1. Prep the potatoes.

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Since we’re leaving the skins on, you want them to be clean of dirt and spots. Rinse and scrub the potatoes well before cooking.

Cut them into quarters to cook them faster.

2. Boil the potatoes.

Bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil them until fork-tender.

Don’t overcook the spuds, or you’ll get a soupy mashed potato. If you’re unsure if they’re cooked, give them a taste.

3. Mash the potatoes.

Transfer the drained potatoes to a large bowl. Mash them with butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy.

Use a good-old potato masher here. I don’t recommend using a mixer or food processor because the potatoes turn out gluey.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Top your mashed potatoes with your favorite accouterments. I like mine with bacon bits, shredded cheddar, more sour cream, and green onions. Yum!

Mashed red potatoes with ham and herbs, top view

Tips for the Best Mashed Potatoes

Have you ever had sad, lumpy mash? Me too.

So let’s fix that and take on these simple tips and tricks! They’re the key to perfectly smooth and flavorful spuds.

  • Boil potatoes in broth or stock. Try to match the stock with the protein you’re serving the potatoes with. For instance, use chicken stock if serving it with chicken.
  • Salt the water. If you’re not using stock, be sure to salt the water to give the potatoes some flavor.
  • Clean the potatoes well before cooking. Scrub like you’ve never scrubbed before!
  • Cut the potatoes evenly. This way, they’ll cook evenly as well. No need to peel.
  • Don’t overcook the potatoes. Otherwise, your dish will be soupy.
  • Mash the potatoes manually. Don’t use the food processor! It’ll make the potatoes “gluey.” A potato masher is great for making rustic mashed potatoes.
  • Warm the butter, milk, and sour cream. This way, the potatoes will absorb them quicker and better.

Recipe Variations

If milk and salt isn’t jazzy enough for you, don’t worry! I have a bunch of fun ideas for taking drab tubers to fab!

  • Herbs: Earthy herbs are some of the best things to flavor potatoes. Try rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, and green onions. Add them in as you mash the spuds.
  • Bacon: It adds a crispy-and crunchy bite to your smooth and silky potatoes. It’s the perfect textural contrast.
  • Cheese: These mashed potatoes are good, but not as good without some cheese. Cheddar, blue cheese, Swiss, Gruyere, and parmesan all make fine choices.
  • Caramelized onions: for a sweet surprise in every savory bite.
  • Truffle oil: a drizzle of this aromatic oil adds sophisticated earthiness.
  • Roasted red peppers: Roast them for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven and puree them. Mix them with the potatoes as you mash them.
  • Roasted garlic: This makes a huge difference! Drizzle garlic with olive oil and roast it in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re welcome.
Bowl of homemade mashed red potatoes with bacon and herbs

Serving Suggestions

Mashed red potatoes are the perfect side dish for any occasion! This comfort food goes well with virtually any main dish. Whether it’s beef, chicken, pork, or fish, you can’t go wrong.

Here are some of my favorite food pairings with mashed red potatoes:

  • Roasted Turkey or Glaze Ham: perfect for the holidays.
  • T-Bone Steak: especially when there’s gravy involved!
  • Meatloaf: together with mashed potatoes, they create the ultimate comfort meal.
  • Mississippi Pot Roast: only five ingredients and the crockpot does all the work.
  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken: cheesy chicken and potatoes for the win.

How to Store

From leftovers to make-ahead side dishes, there are a few ways to store and reheat mashed potatoes.

To Store:

Mashed red potatoes will keep well for up to 4 days in the fridge. Just be sure it’s stored in an airtight container.

To Freeze

Freeze room-temperature mashed potatoes in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

To Reheat in the Oven:

Transfer chilled mashed potatoes to an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish, and reheat it in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid and add a few tablespoons of milk and sour cream. Stir until warmed through.

To Reheat in the Microwave:

Transfer chilled mashed potatoes to a microwave-safe dish and cover it. Microwave at 50% powder for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.

Stir in a few tablespoons of milk or sour cream and butter to add moisture.

To Make Ahead:

Mashed red potatoes can be made up to a day in advance. Let it cool completely to room temperature, and then refrigerate it.

Just add some milk or sour cream and butter after reheating to bring back its moisture.

Best Mashed Red Potatoes Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time





These mashed red potatoes are as good as it gets! Made with butter, milk, and sour cream, they’re a dreamy side dish everyone will love.


  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered

  • 1/2 cup softened butter

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. The water must be boiling before you add the potatoes.
  • Add the potatoes and cook them for about 10 minutes. They should be tender but still firm. Drain the water.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Mash them together until they’re smooth and creamy.
Mashed Red Potatoes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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