These Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Are Practically Foolproof
Everyone’s favorite starchy side dish just got a modern-day upgrade.
We've done it: We've discovered a way to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes that are not much different than the old-fashioned version you cook on the stove. They take about the same amount of time to make and are just as creamy and luscious as ever. The benefits of cooking mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot is that it frees up stove space for other parts of your meal, and there's no issue of water boiling over the edges of a pot and making a complete mess.
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Just like traditional mash, Instant Pot mashed potatoes should be done with russet potatoes (sometimes referred to as Idaho potatoes), which are best for creating a light, fluffy texture. They’re a versatile tater that adapt well to rich dairy and heavy add-ins (like sour cream or mascarpone). Once you’re armed with the proper tools, like the best vegetable peeler I’ve ever used ($5; amazon.com) and a quality potato ricer ($19; amazon.com), you’re well on your way to silky smooth spuds.
Instant Pot mashed potatoes take about 30 minutes to make from start to finish, which includes the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, as well as time for the potatoes to cook. Our recipe was designed using a 3-qt. mini Instant Pot ($100; williams-sonoma.com), but you can easily double the recipe if you own a larger model and are cooking for a crowd. This recipe yields three cups of mashed potatoes, which makes enough for a simple side for about four adults.
To make mashed potatoes in an Instant Pot, peel three russet potatoes and cut each into about six pieces (if the potatoes are on the smaller side, just quarter them). Place the potatoes into the Instant Pot with 1½ cups cold water and a teaspoon of salt. The cold water helps the potatoes cook evenly from outside to inside. Turn on the Instant Pot to the Pressure Cooker setting and set the timer for 8 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, warm some milk (and/or cream) and butter on the stove. Once the spuds are done cooking, strain any excess liquid and press the potatoes through a ricer. Gently fold in dairy, salt, and pepper (work gently, overmixing your potatoes at this point can make them gummy). If you’re not serving your potatoes right away, select the Keep Warm setting to keep your taters hot.
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1½ cups cold water (or enough to cover potatoes)
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh chives or parsley (optional)
- Combine potatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt to Instant Pot. Close lid and turn steam valve to Sealing. Turn on Manual/Pressure Cooker setting and set timer for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine milk, butter, and cream in a small pot. Heat gently over low heat until butter is melted.
- Once the timer goes off, release steam using Quick Release method. Check that the potatoes are fully cooked by testing with a fork; the tines should meet no resistance. If there is any excess water left in the pot, strain potatoes through a colander. Pass potatoes through a ricer and return to pot.
- Add warm milk mixture, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and gently fold until smooth and creamy.
- Garnish with fresh chives or parsley, if using.
Mashed potatoes (or pommes purée if you’re feeling fancy) are an essential side dish for everyday dinners and special occasions. Even though they’re delicious in their pure, modest form, there’s no reason why you can’t dress them up with cheese, herbs, and aromatics. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, but what about these uber-indulgent Mashed Potatoes with Ricotta and Parmesan or Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for a spicy kick. For extra nutrients, you can leave the potato skins on rather than peeling. You can also infuse the warm milk with fresh herbs like rosemary thyme for a fragrant finish.