The Pantry: Easy Mashed Potatoes

Another super simple side dish is homemade mashed potatoes.  There are so many ways to make this dish.  You can add garlic, chives, sour cream, cheese–you name it, but for Thanksgiving, I plan on going plain Jane, bare bones simple.  One day I’ll share some of the more complicated mashed potato recipes with you.

Here’s my regular, no frills, super-fast weeknight recipe for mashed potatoes.  I feel like I’ve lost all pretension lately.  Maybe that’s a good thing.

Easy Mashed Potatoes


1 large Russet –or– 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes


1 tbsp butter –or– 1 tbsp heavy cream

1 tbsp margarine –I use Country Crock (to taste)

1/4 tsp salt (to taste)

1/4 tsp pepper (to taste)


1.  Peel

and then cut potatoes into pieces about 1 inch in size.

2.  Put potatoes into a large saucepan, and fill pot approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up with water.  Make sure the potatoes are covered with at least 1 inch of water, but that the water level is not so high that it will boil over.

3. Add salt and butter (or cream) to the water.

4.  Cook over high heat until potatoes are very tender (almost falling apart) when poked with a fork.  Be careful, making sure the water doesn’t boil over.  The starchy water is a pain to get off of the stove.

5.  Remove from heat, drain potatoes in a colander,

and then return potatoes to the saucepan.  Do NOT put the pot back on the hot burner.

6.  Add margarine, pepper, and any additional butter or salt as deemed necessary by your taste buds.  Mash potatoes with a potato masher, or if they are tender enough, you can break them up with a fork.

7.  Serve hot.

Yields 4 (1/2-cup) servings



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