Creamy Mashed Potatoes with cream cheese and russet potatoes are the easiest and fluffiest side dish to serve for the holidays this year.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of two delicious ingredients: potatoes and cheese.
Well, today I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite ways to serve both of these tasty treats in one light, fluffy, and satisfying dish. This best creamy mashed potatoes recipe is perfect for holiday gatherings, meal prepping, and even freezing!
Plus, I’ve included tips on how to alter the recipe with the ingredients in your kitchen, how to make it vegan, paleo, and Whole30-friendly.
Whether you’re prepping a big batch for the week or serving up a hungry crowd for Thanksgiving dinner, this recipe never disappoints.
Now that you’re ready to get cooking, let’s start with my best Tips & Tricks to make homemade mashed potatoes with cream cheese. Enjoy!
How to make the best creamy mashed potatoes with cream cheese – Tips & Tricks
1. Which ingredients can be changed in this homemade mashed potatoes recipe
You can make the best creamy mashed potatoes with any cheese you love. In my experience, cream cheese or cottage cheese are the best for creaminess.
However, grated or shredded parmesan, Grana Padano, or other aged hard cheeses add delightful texture.
Blue cheese adds tons of tang and saltiness. And gouda or cheddar bring a savory, nutty flavor, as well and some beautiful melty cheese pulls while the potatoes are hot.
You can make homemade mashed potatoes with just about any variety of cheese out there, so have fun experimenting and finding your favorite!
And while you’re at it, check out my new cookbook dedicated to the amazing ingredient: I Heart Cheese. It features a super delicious potato mash with bacon and blue cheese.
If you can’t find russets, Yukon Gold or sweet potatoes will work too.
You can also add roasted garlic for another flavor boost.
Adding peas is an interesting twist too.
And if you want extra tang, substitute cream cheese for sour cream or yogurt.
2. The best and easiest way to make mashed potatoes
The best way to make this easy mashed potatoes recipe is with a whisk or an electric hand whisk*. Just make sure you don’t overdo it! It can be easy to over mix, which will cause the potatoes to become gluey.
You can also use a potato masher*, which will make your potatoes lumpier rather than airy and light.
3. Best potatoes for mashed potatoes
Starchier potatoes like russets or Yukon Golds are the best for creamy mashed potatoes. They are dense and absorb the dairy well, so your potatoes become fluffy and smooth.
Sweet potatoes are also a good choice. I recommend steaming them before mashing because they are more delicate than white potatoes. Boiling can turn sweet potatoes quite watery, so make sure you drain them very well and let the cooked potatoes dry a bit before you add the dairy. Simply cut the cooked sweet potatoes open and letting the steam escape.
4. Best gravy for mashed potatoes with cream cheese
If I’m serving these homemade mashed potatoes with a roast like chicken or beef, I like to make a simple gravy to drizzle on top.
You’ll need 1/4 cup of drippings from the roasting pan, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups warm broth, and 3 tbsp gluten-free flour (or 1/4 cup regular all-purpose flour). Here’s how to do it:
- Make a slurry by whisking the flour with 1/3 cup of the broth.
- Place a saucepan* or the roasting pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 2/3 cups of broth. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add the slurry and Worcestershire sauce* and simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened. Season to taste.
This will make about 2 cups of gravy and should take no longer than 10-12 minutes to make.
5. What to serve with homemade mashed potatoes?
Chicken or beef roast are some of my favorite dishes to pair with homemade mashed potatoes with cream cheese. You can also serve them with fried sausage, roasted salmon, or pulled pork.
Use leftover mashed potatoes to make my vegan shepherd’s pie.
6. How to make creamy mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot?
To make Instant Pot mashed potatoes, place the chopped potatoes in the Instant Pot and cover completely with water.
Cook on the STEAM setting for 12 minutes.
When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. Drain the potatoes and continue by mashing them and adding the rest of the ingredients.
7. How to make them in a slow cooker?
You can easily make them in a slow cooker by:
- Placing the chopped potatoes and 1 cup of water into a 4-quart slow cooker*.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours, stirring once, halfway.
- Once the potatoes are super tender, mash them and continue by adding the remaining ingredients.
8. Is this creamy mashed potatoes recipe good for meal planning?
You can make this easy mashed potatoes recipe ahead of time and use it for meal prep. Store the potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
9. How to make this easy mashed potatoes recipe vegan?
To make this creamy mashed potatoes recipe vegan, simply replace the butter and cream cheese with vegan alternatives and follow the recipe as-is.
10. How to make this easy mashed potatoes recipe Paleo & Whole30?
To make the recipe paleo and Whole30, omit all of the dairy. Instead, use ghee or clarified butter. Use non-dairy milk (like unsweetened almond or cashew milk).
You can substitute the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese, or simply leave it out. If you leave it out, however, you’ll want to add a bit more butter to compensate.
11. Mashed potatoes boil time?
The amount of time you need to boil your potatoes before mashing depends on how big you cut the potato chunks. The best way to know they’re done is to insert a knife in the center of a large chunk.
If it’s super tender; they’re done. If not, cook them for a few more minutes and test again.
12. How to reheat frozen mashed potatoes
This recipe freezes well since it has plenty of fat to make it freezer-friendly.
You can reheat the frozen creamy mashed potatoes thawed or straight from the freezer. Simply place them in a rimmed pan or a large pot over medium-low heat on the stove. Stir the pot occasionally until they start to slightly defrost.
Continue stirring, and once heated through, add additional butter or/and cream if they need to loosen up.
13. How to reheat mashed potatoes in the oven
The oven is actually my favorite way to reheat leftover homemade mashed potatoes with cream cheese. I simply add a splash of milk and a tiny knob of butter and loosely cover the dish. Then reheat at 320°F/160°C for 10-15 minutes, or until hot. Give them a stir halfway to incorporate the milk and butter.
14. How to reheat mashed potatoes in a slow cooker
To reheat your leftovers in a crockpot, add them to the slow cooker with a splash of milk or cream. Stir to combine and heat on LOW for 2-4 hours.
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Now it’s time to get cooking! Be sure to snap a few shots and post them on Instagram using the tag @theblondelish.
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Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 3 lbs (1.4kg) russet potatoes - washed and scrubbed thoroughly
- 1 cup (240ml) milk of choice - warm
- 1 stick (113g) butter - at room temperature
- 4 oz (113g) cream cheese - at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt - or to taste
- 1/2 tsp white ground pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped
- Peel the potatoes and chop them into big chunks.
- Place the potatoes in a large soup pot and cover with cold water.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to a low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until super tender.
- Check the potatoes' doneness by inserting a knife into the middle of a large chunk. Once they are done, carefully drain.
- Using a hand whisk or a potato masher, lightly mash the potatoes.
- Add the warm milk, butter, and cream cheese. Season with salt and white pepper to your taste.
- Whisk or continue to use the potato masher, for up to a minute, or until the potatoes are fluffy.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and chives.
- Tip #1 includes ingredients swaps & subs.
- See the easiest way to make creamy mashed potatoes in Tip #2.
- For the best potatoes to use, see Tip #3.
- Tip #4 includes how to make the best gravy for these creamy mashed potatoes.
- For my serving suggestions, read Tip #5.
- Instant Pot instructions are in Tip #6.
- And slow cooker instructions are in Tip #7.
- If you're a meal planner, read Tip #8.
- If you're vegan, make this homemade mashed potatoes recipe as I describe in Tip #9.
- Tip #10 includes Whole30 & Paleo substitutions.
- My recommendations for how long to boil potatoes are in Tip #11.
- To reheat frozen potatoes perfectly, read Tip #12.
- To reheat in the oven, read Tip #13.
- Or for slow cooker reheating instructions, read Tip #14.
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