Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes in a white bowl

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.

blending milk with potatoes with a mixer

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

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Close and lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
  4. Leave on Natural Release for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
  5. Mash the potatoes according to your preferred method (see below) for tips.

cubed potatoes in the Instant Pot

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. 

mashing potatoes in a stand mixer

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.

Favorite Tools

  • 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. 

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes in a white bowl
4.04 from 33 votes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

These Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are made by steaming (not boiling), resulting in potatoes that are fork-tender, never water-logged, and perfect for mashing.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • Instant Pot
  • Potato Masher
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board


  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 pounds 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 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 cup Milk, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon 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.


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $2.00
Calories: 154
Keyword: comfort foods, easy side dish, easy vegetable side, instant pot, side dish, simple side, vegetable side dish, vegetarian
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

Don’t even try to take a serious picture of these two lately. Goofy faces are all the rage.

*This post contains affiliate links*

Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.04 from 33 votes (31 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Jes thanks for getting back to me about the BURN message that came up. I failed to mention that the bottom of the inside pot was burnt so I had to scrub that clean. At least the potatoes did not burn like they would have if cooked on the stove in boiling water. I did use the instant pot again but this time made bean soup with no issues. I will give the mash potatoes another try and see what happens. I really like making them this way so easy!

    1. Oh I see – that’s so interesting – I’ve never had the liquid all cook off like that. Do you think there’s any chance that the valve was on Venting instead of Sealing? (I’ve done that before.) Maybe it was just a fluke and the pot took longer to seal than usual, which would allow a lot of water to escape through the valve before it sealed. In any case, as a safeguard next time you could add water right up to the point that it’s just below the potatoes, as long as none of the potatoes are soaking in the water. Adding more water should give you a bit more wiggle room so that the IP seals and the potatoes steam before all of the liquid cooks off. In any case, thanks so much for flagging it for me and for getting back to me with those additional details!

  2. 5 stars
    Followed your directions for mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and worked great but last two times I can’t understand why the BURN message came up. Any idea? I didn’t do anything different. Thanks for any help and tips

    1. Hi Sharon. Since the potatoes are steaming, I don’t believe the ingredients in this recipe are likely to be the cause the burn message on their own. When I’ve received the burn notice with other recipes, it’s often because there is a tiny bit of residue in the bottom of the pot. It could also be something stuck between the bottom of the pot and the heating element underneath, so check that too. In my experience, even a tiny bit of food residue that I can barely see can cause the error notice.

  3. 5 stars
    I use your recipe for guidance when making potatoes in my Instapot. The only thing I do different is I use my mesh steamer basket for the potatoes. It makes it alot easier to lift the potatoes out after cooking especially if you are have more than just a couple.
    Also, for recipes that I use frequently, like yours, I jot them down on post-it notes and put them on the inside of the door of my spice cabinet. So when I open the door I can see them while I am cooking or baking.
    Thanks for the information.

    1. That will work just fine. Just cut the potatoes in a shape / size that will allow them to fit on the trivet. I’d slice them in quarters lengthwise.

    1. Hi Susan – thanks so much for your question. You can absolutely use the steam button here. That function works slightly differently than the Pressure Cook button but, as you observed, it will work great in a recipe that calls for steaming like this. Just use the same time given. I actually never use the steam button when I use my IP. For consistency (and because some models don’t have a steam option), I just always use the Pressure Cook button and have great results.