Thanksgiving Dinner - Perfect Mashed Potatoes!

Real Estate Agent with Top Producing Agent, C21 Troop Real Estate 1997-2018 CalBRE Lic.#00779926

You have to have the perfect mashed potatoes to go with that delicious turkey that is roasting in the oven. Here are some handy hints and a recipe or two to help you along the way.


Mashed PotatoesFor the best mashed potatoes, always use a Russet potato. A good ‘rule of thumb’ for selecting the number of potatoes to cook to have enough for all your guests is – two medium-large potatoes for three servings. A medium-large potato is one that when you grab unto it, the potato is large enough that you can’t quite close your hand around it and a portion of if sticks out of both sides of your closed fist. However, you always want to ‘make just a little more than needed.’


Scrub off the dirt on the outside of the potato under cold running water; then, totally peel them. Cut up the potatoes into chunks/large cubes; place into boiling salted water. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks. The potatoes are fully cooked when a fork will insert easily with no resistance.


A quick hint – prepare your mashed potatoes while the cooked potatoes are still HOT; do not let them stand and cool off!


For smooth, evenly mashed potatoes, use a small hand-held mixer; or you can use a potato masher, if you don’t have one. After the potatoes have fully cooked, drain the water from the pot leaving a ‘slight’ amount of water in the pot. With the beater heads in the hand-held mixer (or, using the potato masher), press down on all the potatoes to break them up. Add a slight amount of milk (approximately ⅓ to ½ cup), turn mixer to a low setting to begin the ‘mashing.’ Once the potatoes start to become ‘mashed’, add approximately ¼ stick of butter for every six potatoes. Continue to mix, adding small amounts of milk until the desired consistency is reached.


There are several items that can be added to give different savor and zest to your mashed potatoes:


For a creamy rich flavor, after mixing in the butter and before adding more milk, add approximately 4 to 6 oz. of cream cheese for every six potatoes. After which, add more milk if necessary to achieve the smooth consistency.


Want cheesy mashed potatoes? Following the ‘add butter step’, add 8 to 12 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, beat until cheese is melted and completely blended. Again, add as much milk as needed to obtain the desired consistency. (An added delight to these mashed potatoes is crumbled extra crisp bacon sprinkled across the top of the potatoes just before serving.)


How about a mashed potato that isn’t quite sweet, but not sour either? Again, following the ‘add butter step’, add ⅓ cup sour cream, mix well. Take a taste of the mixture; if desired, a small dollop more of sour cream can be added. This time, you may not need to add as much milk, if any, to reach that smooth, velvety texture. (You may want to sprinkle some chives on the top of the potatoes before placing on your dining table.)


For garlic mashed potatoes, although you can use Russet potatoes, red potatoes work best. With the red potatoes, prepare as mentioned above for regular mashed potatoes except DO NOT PEEL the potatoes. This type of mashed potato will not come out smooth, because the peels will be an ingredient. After the mashed potatoes are completed, mix in ¼ tsp garlic oil or minced garlic and mix well. (Sprinkle grated parmesan or Romano cheese across the potatoes.)


There are a variety of ways to fix mashed potatoes – and regardless of which way you fix them, they can only serve to pay tribute to a wonderfully roasted Thanksgiving Turkey.


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Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Sounds good.  This is absolutely my all time favorite week to eat...without restraint unfortunately!

Nov 17, 2012 08:44 PM #4
Mike & Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Since I am a lousy cook, I thank you for the potatoe hints...I might just be able to handle the garlic mashed, and surprise everyone.

But the question is...will they expect more from me in the future?

Eve in Orlando

Nov 17, 2012 08:58 PM #5
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

I am impressed....sure you aren't from Idaho ?  Have a happy holiday !


Nov 17, 2012 09:10 PM #6
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Alex, I love the hints you have provided for perfect mashed potatoes.  I am a potato lover!

Nov 17, 2012 09:53 PM #7
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Alex, the mashed potatoes and gravy are our favorite part.

Nov 17, 2012 10:30 PM #8
Andrew Herren
Craig Massee Real Estate - Milledgeville, GA

Kids will literally eat their weight in mashed potatoes! My daughter usually requests that I leave the skins on, but prefer them without. The compromise is to make twiced baked so she can eat the skin and I don't have to!

Nov 17, 2012 10:51 PM #9
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
This is the perfect holiday for perfect mashed potatoes! Margaret
Nov 17, 2012 11:06 PM #10
Alex Gandel
Top Producing Agent, C21 Troop Real Estate 1997-2018 - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley CA Agent, Simi Valley Real Estate

Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments! As you can tell, this is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal!

Nov 18, 2012 12:06 AM #11
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Alex...Sounds delicious, I like the cheesy one, I'll have to try that.

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 18, 2012 12:21 AM #12
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Thanks for the recipes. I'm going to use one of them for my dish that I must bring to our Thanksgiving dinner. I know your recipes will be delicious because I was enjoying them as I was reading your post.

Nov 18, 2012 01:47 AM #13
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer
We like our potatoes with a bit of taste so use buttermilk and a coip,e of wedges of Laughing Cow herb or garlic cheese. Your ideas sound so yummy. I also like to heat the milk before adding to the potatoes.
Nov 18, 2012 04:51 AM #14
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

Danggggggggg - ya making me HONGRY there, Bubba! Excellent recipes and options. Thank you!

Nov 18, 2012 07:05 AM #15
Lanise Warrior-Johnson
Real Estate Brokers Services, Inc. - Compton, CA
Real Estate Specialist
Thank you for the wonderful tips & recipe! I love this time of year!
Nov 18, 2012 11:37 AM #16
Rob Renk
Center Street Lending - McKinney, TX
AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors

Thanks for your receipe.  I think I will try yours out.  Great information.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 18, 2012 09:49 PM #17
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I love mashed potatoes, or as we call them, smashed potatoes.  We have them at every Thanksgiving dinner, but no matter how hard I try there is always one lump.  

Nov 19, 2012 02:25 AM #18
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I haven't cooked potatoes on the stovetop in ages-the microwave is my weapon of choice. Stovetop potatoes remind me of my grandpa's house Thanksgivings. Whichever, they are yummy.

Nov 19, 2012 05:26 AM #19
Bobi Bigelow ~ Advertising & Marketing @ Alpine Lakes Real Estat

THANK YOU, I just love a good recipe. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday :)

Nov 19, 2012 05:34 AM #20
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Now I am soooo hungry! I'm gonna try the cream cheese mashed potatoes. They sound wonderful.

Nov 20, 2012 03:07 AM #21
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

My wife uses a mixture of potatoe types.  Leaves the skins on the small red ones.  We like them slightly lumpy.  

Nov 20, 2012 04:27 AM #22
Alex Gandel
Top Producing Agent, C21 Troop Real Estate 1997-2018 - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley CA Agent, Simi Valley Real Estate

So glad everyone is enjoying the recipes! Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Nov 20, 2012 06:03 AM #23
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Alex Gandel

Simi Valley CA Agent, Simi Valley Real Estate
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