Learn how to make the best mashed potatoes at home with this recipe for Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes! Only 6 ingredients needed to make the creamiest, fluffiest, and richest mashed potatoes ever. Russet potatoes, cream cheese, whole milk, and butter are the secrets to this classic side dish recipe.
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe
I have never been obsessed with mashed potatoes in all of my life, but that all changed when I made these Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes!
I've never had the perfect mashed potato. You know the ones I am talking about? Creamy, full of flavor, rich and smooth. I mean is that really too much to ask?! 😄
The "secret ingredient" is definitely the cream cheese. I also share lots more tips below for creating the best homemade mashed potatoes in your own kitchen.
Here is a list of ingredients needed to make cream cheese mashed potatoes. Only 6 simple ingredients!
- Russet Potatoes - These are also called Idaho Potatoes in some stores. Same thing. You just want a brown potato with the white inside for this recipe.
- Kosher Salt - My other tip is to add kosher salt into the boiling pot of potatoes. This adds a bit extra flavor to the potatoes as they cook.
- Cream Cheese - Use full fat cream cheese for the best taste and texture.
- Salted Butter - Cut the butter into smaller chunks so it will melt faster and easier.
- Whole Milk
- Black Pepper/Salt - I don't like adding black pepper to mashed potatoes so I leave it out. I also use more kosher salt as I mix it up. Sea salt is another good salt option.
How To Make The Best Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
Learn how to make this simple recipe for cream cheese mashed potatoes at home. Be sure and go to the bottom of the page for the full recipe card with detailed instructions, ingredients, and all my tips.
- Boil Potatoes : Start by peeling the skin off the potatoes and picking out any bad parts of the potato. Chop the potatoes into smaller chunks. Place the chunks into a pot and then cover the potatoes with cold water, add the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Prep : Towards the end of the summer time, combine the butter, cream cheese, and milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds to get the ingredients warmed. This will help them incorporate easier into the potatoes.
- Mashed Potatoes : Drain the potatoes into a colander and add them into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the warmed ingredients and use an electric hand mixer or potato masher to mash to desired consistency. Add additional kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
Tips For Success
Here are some of my helpful tips so that you can have success with this recipe too!
- Warmed Ingredients : Warming the ingredients in the microwave will help the dairy products incorporate smoother into the potatoes.
- Use Full-Fat Dairy Products : Let's be real here, mashed potatoes are not intended to be diet food so there really is no point in trying to "lighten" them up. I recommend using full-fat dairy ingredients for the cream cheese, milk called for in the recipe (meaning don't try to use fat-free milk), and real butter. No margarine!
- Don't Over Beat The Potatoes : When you are mashing the potatoes, be sure to not over beat them and be too vigorous with them. If you do this, the potatoes will start releasing lots of starch which can yield gummy potatoes.
- Use Russet Potatoes : Russet potatoes, or Idaho potatoes, are what I recommend for mashed potatoes.
- High Fat Milk : Use whole milk or you can even use half & half as well.
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes FAQ's
- Can I Prepare Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time?
- With only about a 30 minute prep time, I recommend making these potatoes right before serving them. Freshly made mashed potatoes cannot be beat!
- If you need to make them ahead of time there are a couple options. Follow the recipe as directed and then put the mashed potatoes into a slow cooker (I would recommend lining the slow cooker with a plastic liner to avoid burning) and leave them on WARM for several hours if needed.
- The other option is to make them and then store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. When ready to serve, add the potatoes to a pot on the stove top, and warm them up. You will need to add additional milk or even chicken broth if reheating them.
- How To Store Leftovers
- Leftover will store well, in an air-tight container, in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Warm up leftovers in the microwave or on the stove top. Add additional milk or chicken broth, as needed, when reheating leftover mashed potatoes.
- Can I Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
- I don't recommend freezing mashed potatoes but you certainly can if you want. Prepare the potatoes and let them cool completely. Store the mashed potatoes inside a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer safe bag.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
- When ready to use, let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm them up on the stove. Add additional milk as needed.
- The reason I don't recommend freezing mashed potatoes is because once they're reheated from frozen, the texture can be off putting. It's grainy and the dairy can separate.
- Serving Suggestions
- Thanksgiving! You can always find these potatoes on my family's thanksgiving dinner table.
- Any Holiday dinner.
- Serve with a roast or pork roast for dinner.
- Top off a Shepherd's Pie with these potatoes.
- Side dish to any dinner.
- Variations & Substitution Ideas
- Double Recipe : This recipe can easily be doubled if needed for a larger crowd. The potatoes come in a 5 lb bag normally, so it's simple to double all the ingredients and use the full bag of potatoes.
- Seasonings : This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes (which is what I prefer) so it does not have all the seasoning add-ins like garlic powder or onion. But, you could certainly jazz it up a bit if wanted. Garlic powder is a normal addition to mashed potatoes if that's a flavor you want. Start at ½ teaspoon of any dried seasoning you add and go from there.
- Butter : I use salted butter because of the extra flavor. You can use unsalted butter and then add salt as needed at the end. Taste first and then add additional salt.
- Chunky vs. Smooth Potatoes : If you prefer chunkier mashed potatoes then just use a potato masher. If you want creamy & smooth, then use an electric hand mixer to mash them up.
More Side Dish Recipes You'll Love
- Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Honey Butter Skillet Corn
- Ambrosia Salad
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Cranberry Fluff
- Cornbread Recipe
- One Hour Rolls
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 2½ lbs Russet potatoes (about 5-6 potatoes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup whole milk
- kosher salt & black pepper to taste
- Peel potatoes and rinse them. Cut into small chunks (about 1") and put into a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add the 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, cover pot with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
- Put the butter, cream cheese, and milk into a glass measuring cup (or other microwave-safe container) and heat for 45 seconds.* This helps the dairy incorporate smoother into the potatoes.
- Drain potatoes in a colander and then move them to a large mixing bowl. Add the warmed dairy ingredients into the potatoes.
- Use a hand mixer or a potato masher to mash the potatoes to the desired consistency. * For smooth potatoes use a hand mixer, and for chunkier potatoes use a potato masher.
- Taste and add additional kosher salt and black pepper as needed. * I end up adding about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt at the end.