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Potato with melted butter in a bowl

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes are a thing of pure comfort. This is a recipe I have been making for my family for years. It is a tried and tested recipe and the results are the best, creamiest mashed potatoes!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 345kcal


  • potato masher


  • 1.1 kg (2.45 lbs) of potatoes Peeled and cut into quarters. I use Maris piper potatoes
  • 50 g (3 ½ tbsp) of butter I use salted butter
  • 150 ml (⅔ of a cup) of semi-skimmed milk Yo can use full-fat if you wish, but do not use skimmed milk.
  • teaspoon sea salt flakes + more if needed
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more if needed


  • Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters. If the potatoes are very big, cut them into eights.
    Put the potatoes into a big saucepan of fresh cold water and leave for no more than 10 minutes.
    Drain the potatoes and rinse again in cold running water.
    Return the potatoes to the saucepan.
  • Fill the saucepan up with cold water, so it is covering the potatoes.
    Add half a teaspoon of sea salt to the cold water.
    Bring the pan to the boil then reduce the heat until you have a simmer.
    Cook for approx 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the butter and milk to a small saucepan. Place the pan on a low heat. Once the butter has melted turn off the heat.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, test with a knife, they knife should go in to the potato easily, drain them then return them to the pan.
    Put the saucepan of cooked potatoes back on the hob, turn on the heat to low and leave the potatoes on the hob for a few minutes. Give the pan a shake to get rid of any excess water.
  • Now mash the potatoes using a potato masher, be careful not to over mash, just make sure the potatoes are smooth and lump-free.
    Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
    Next, pour in half the melted butter and milk. Using a wooden spoon vigorously beat the liquid into the mashed potatoes. Once the liquid has been absorbed add the remaining liquid and repeat the vigorous beating until all the liquid is absorbed and you have a smooth and fluffy mash.
    Check the seasoning again, if needed add more salt.
    Transfer to a serving dish and top with a knob of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


  • Potatoes - I use Maris piper,  King Edwards, Rooster, Russets, Yukon golds or Desirée also work well.
  • Butter - I use salted butter.
  • Milk - Semi-skimmed is my choice of milk but you can use full-fat if you want. I don't recommend using skimmed milk though as it will be too thin with not enough fat in it.
  • Soak and rinse - to get rid of some of the starch soak the potatoes in cold water, just 10 minutes does the trick. I then give them a good rinse with running cold water.
  • Cutting the potatoes - I cut the potatoes into larger chunks, this stops the potatoes from taking on too much water. If the potatoes are too small they can take on too much water. More water means more liquid and less flavour in your mash.
  • Use cold water - Add the potatoes to cold water and add salt straight away. This will add more flavour to your potatoes. Add the potatoes to cold water will help remove more of the starch resulting in a fluffier, creamy mash.
  • Don't overcook the potatoes - Cook the potatoes until just tender, they should not be falling apart. You can test them by using a sharp knife, the knife should go easily into the potato and come out clean. Overcooked potatoes will result in watery mash!
  • Dry the potatoes - Once cooked and drained I always put the saucepan of potatoes back on a low heat. This will help to get rid of any water and dry out the potatoes.
  • Always add warm milk - it's really important to add warm milk or melted butter, this will give you the best results. Cold milk and butter will reduce the temperature of the potatoes and you don't want that!
  • Add half the liquid first - as soon as the potatoes are mashed add half the melted butter and milk, you will need to work quickly to beat the liquid into the mash. Once it has soaked up all the liquid add the remaining liquid and beat quickly until you have a smooth mash.
  • Use a wooden spoon - A wooden spoon is hands down the best thing to beat the potatoes into a mash. It's easier on your hand too.
  • Do not use a food processor - do not use any electrical device to make your mash, whether that is an electric whisk or food processor. You will end up with gluey mash!
  • Season - the best mashed potatoes are well seasoned. Check the seasoning often when making the mash. 
  • Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving of four. 
  • Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.


Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10.8g | Saturated Fat: 6.5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 951mg | Potassium: 907mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 2.4g | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg