Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are made by steaming (not boiling), resulting in potatoes that are fork-tender, never water-logged, and perfect for mashing.
I’ve been on a mashed potato kick. The weather is cooling down and calling for warm cozy sides (and warm cozy dishes to serve with them), my 5-year-olds love them, and most importantly, since I learned the Instant Pot method for making them, they don’t require any babysitting! I set up the Instant Pot, close and lock it, and come back to potatoes that are ready for mashing.
Why Make Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot
If you’ve ever had mashed potatoes that taste watery and bland, it’s likely because they boiled for too long and took on too much water. Steaming them solves the watery mashed potato problem, and making them in Instant Pot means you don’t have to hover over them to make sure they cook properly. Just turn the IP on and walk away. Here’s how it’s done!
What are the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?
Both Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes work well for mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes have a high starch content and pale interior and make light, fluffy mashed potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes have a light gold interior and make a smoother, creamier mashed potato. Do not use red varieties of potatoes because these have a lower starch content and a more waxy consistency which can lead to a sticky paste texture when mashed.
How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Prepare the Instant Pot / pressure cooker by filling it with 1 cup water and adding the trivet that comes with the machine. (This will elevate the potatoes above the water so that they can steam rather than boil.)
- Rinse, peel, and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a pressure cooker-approved steamer basket and place the steamer basket on top of the trivet.
- Close and lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Leave on Natural Release for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
- Mash the potatoes according to your preferred method (see below) for tips.
What’s the Best Method for Mashing Potatoes
In many years of mashing potatoes, I’ve found that three methods produce good results. Depending on the texture you prefer, here’s how to do it.
- Potato Ricer – This tool turns the potatoes into very fine rice-shaped tubes that stay light and fluffy and insures there are no lumps. Minimal handling of the potatoes is what gives you the lightest, fluffiest texture, and a potato ricer will get you there.
- Potato Masher – For mashed potatoes that are rustic, fluffy, and classic, a potato masher is the best tool. It’s more difficult to eliminate all lumps with a masher than with a ricer (above), but a potato masher is great for weeknights and means you’ll have very few dishes to clean up.
- Stand Mixer – For smooth, whipped potatoes, use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. You’ll have to beat the potatoes for a minute or two to get a creamy result, so the potatoes are more thick and less light and fluffy than the other methods.
What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes
- Classic Meatloaf – Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is a classic that we serve again and again throughout the cooler months.
- Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast – This tender, flavorful pot roast cooks all day in the slow cooker and creates its own gravy as it cooks – perfect for serving over mashed potatoes.
- Crispy Baked Cornflake Chicken – This crowd-pleasing, healthier take on fried chicken is super crunchy and is a great counterpoint to creamy mashed potatoes.
- 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo. It’s the only one I own.
- Steamer Basket – This version is approved for use in a pressure cooker and makes it easy to lift ingredients out of the pressure cooker.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot
- Potato Masher
- 1 cup Water
- 2 lbs Potatoes, Russet or Yukon gold, peeled and quartered (if you are using potatoes that are quite large - longer than about the length of your hand - chop them into about 8 pieces each)
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 3/4 cup Milk, plus more if needed
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Pour 1 cup water in the bowl of the Instant Pot.
- Add the trivet that came with the Instant Pot.
- Place potatoes in a steamer basket and put it over the trivet (none of the potatoes should be touching the water).
- Lock lid and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Leave on Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes and then manually release remaining pressure.
- Transfer steamed potatoes to a mixing bowl and mash with butter, milk, and salt. (Use a potato masher or, for whipped potatoes with a thicker, creamier texture, transfer the potatoes to a standing mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy.)
- Add more milk if needed to reach a creamy consistency. Add more salt, to taste.
Don’t even try to take a serious picture of these two lately. Goofy faces are all the rage.
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