Mashed Potatoes with Half and Half are soft, creamy and are buttered and salted to perfection. I’ve mastered the butter and liquid ratio so you’ll end up with the best mashed potatoes every. single. time!

If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving mashed potatoes recipe, this is it! These potatoes are also amazing served with Mississippi Pot Roast, or used in Shepherd’s Pie. Looking for mashed potatoes with a bit of a twist? Try my Brown Butter Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes on a black plate topped with melted butter.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Mashed potatoes with Yukon gold potatoes. I’m from Idaho, so growing up we always made mashed potatoes with russet potatoes. Since moving away, I started using Yukon gold. I find that they result in a super creamy mashed potatoes texture!
  • Made with half and half. We make a deliciously warm butter and half and half mixture to stream into the mashed potatoes. This provides the creamiest mashed potatoes texture and mouth-watering flavor! 
  • Best mashed potatoes recipe. I promise you will love this homemade mashed potatoes recipe! It’s the best creamy mashed potatoes recipe with the perfect balance of buttery flavor and saltiness.

Ingredient Notes

Mashed Potatoes with half and half ingredients: Yukon gold potatoes, half and half, butter, kosher salt, and pepper.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: This is the key to smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. I’ve used russets (I’m from Idaho, so russets are growing in everyones backyards), but the best potatoes to use are Yukon gold! BIG difference when it comes to getting a creamy texture. Skip the russets and grab the gold!
  • Unsalted Butter: I use unsalted butter so that I have more control over the salt levels. However, unsalted butter works perfectly fine here as well, you just may want to reduce the added salt. 
  • Half and Half: I prefer mashed potatoes using half and half over regular milk because it’s higher in fat. Can you use heavy cream to make mashed potatoes? Sure can! Your potatoes will be ultra creamy and the calories will go up, but you’ll get amazing and delicious results. Don’t have half and half? Use 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream. 
  • Kosher Salt: Use kosher! The salt granules are bigger than table salt. See FAQs for how to substitute table salt. These potatoes are well salted! Nothing worse than bland mashed potatoes! 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the potatoes. Peel and chop the potatoes into even sizes. Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Immediately drain the water and return to the pot or to a large bowl.
  2. Make the butter and half and half mixture. While the potatoes are cooking, add the butter and half and half to a small saucepan. Cook over medium low heat until the butter is melted. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Mash the potatoes. Using a potato masher, begin mashing the potatoes. Slowly stream in the warm butter and milk mixture while mashing. Continue mashing until the potatoes are fully mashed to your desired consistency. Stir in the salt and pepper. Enjoy! 
Four photos showing how to make the best homemade mashed potatoes with half and half, Yukon gold potatoes, and butter.

Recipe Tips

The reason why you don’t want to place the potatoes in already hot water is because we want the full potato to cook at the same rate. If you place the chopped potatoes in hot water the outermost parts of the potato will be done far quicker than the insides. Starting off with cold water allows for even cooking.

Drain the potatoes right when they are done cooking and finish the recipe right then. If you let the potatoes sit in the water for any time at all, they’ll continue absorbing the liquid and they’ll go gummy and sticky when mashing. 

If using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe. If you’re watching your salt intake, start by only adding in half of the salt, taste, and season as you go.

You can add chopped parsley or garlic to the potatoes if you want more flavor. However, these potatoes are well seasoned, so I think you’ll enjoy them as is!

Melting the butter and warming on the stove with the half and half will create an even distribution of the butter throughout the mashed potatoes mixture. Having it warm will make it so the mashed potatoes don’t seize or get gummy due to the shock of a different temperature. 

I like using a potato masher because it provides a bit more body to the mashed potatoes and prevents over mashing (which causes the potatoes to go gummy). 

If using a hand mixer, I would keep it off and use the beaters to initially mash the potatoes. Once things are a bit broken down, turn the mixture on low and stream in the butter and cream mixture. Heads up on the hand mixer or stand mixer — over mixing can make the potatoes go gummy! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You can make these mashed potatoes with half and half ahead of time. Keep them warm by placing them in a slow cooker. Simply pour enough half and half or heavy cream on the bottom of the slow cooker (about 1/4 cup) place the mashed potatoes overtop, and then top with a splash of cream. Set on the warm setting and stir occasionally. If the potatoes seem too dry at any point, simply add more half and half or heavy cream to the pot and stir it in.

This is how I keep my mashed potatoes warm on Thanksgiving! It’s works perfectly.

Store these amazing mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for about 7-8 days, but they won’t last that long. Trust me! 

Mashed potatoes cannot be left out overnight! 

To reheat, you can microwave on high, stirring after 1 minute. Add a splash of milk or half and half to help return to a creamy consistency. 

A slice of butter melting into the top of homemade mashed potatoes on a black plate.

Recipe FAQs

How much salt to add to mashed potatoes? 

If you are using salted butter, you’ll want to reduce the amount of added salt. This recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of kosher salt for 4 lbs of potatoes. Kosher salt is a coarser texture than table salt, so be sure to know the substitutions if a recipe calls or one or the other. If a recipe calls for Kosher salt, use 1/4 teaspoon less of table salt per teaspoon of salt. If a recipe calls for table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon more of Kosher salt per teaspoon. 

Can you use half and half in mashed potatoes? 

Definitely! I find it provides the creamiest texture! 

Can mashed potatoes be frozen?

Technically? Yes. But I don’t recommend it. This mashed potato recipe is so much yummier enjoyed fresh. I never recommend freezing something with a liquid dairy product in it because the dairy will separate once frozen then thawed. This will really mess up the consistency and texture of the mashed potatoes. 

Can mashed potatoes be made ahead of time?

Yes. If you see my Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing section above, it gives you instructions on how to keep mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker. 

What makes mashed potatoes gummy?

A key tip here is that you’ll want to drain the water right after the potatoes are done cooking and mash them and add the butter and milk. Right when the potatoes are done cooking you need to completely finish making them. If you let the potatoes sit in the water for any time they’ll go gummy and sticky as you mash them from over absorption of the water. Also, don’t over mix if you are using a hand mixer, beaters a stand mixer or other electric mixer. Over mixing can cause the potatoes to go gummy. 

Swirled homemade mashed potatoes on a black plate topped with fresh chopped parsley.

More Potato Recipes

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A black rimmed plate filled with Homemade Mashed Potatoes made with half and half and butter.
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5 from 3 votes

Mashed Potatoes

The most perfectly creamy mashed potatoes! This is the best mashed potato recipe to serve along side any meal whether it be a casual gathering or Thanksgiving or holiday party. Everyone RAVES about these potatoes!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes - peeled and chopped
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot full of cold water, add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water from the potatoes. And return the potatoes to the pot. 
  • While the potatoes are cooking, In a small saucepan add the butter and half and half. Cook over medium low heat until butter has melted. Set aside.
  • Using a potato masher start mashing the potatoes, slowly add the warm butter and milk mixture to the potatoes. Continue mashing until all of the potatoes are fully mashed and you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  • Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Notes

Don’t let the potatoes sit in water too long once they are done! They will go gummy when mixing. And don’t over mix either or they’ll go gummy! 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. 
If you don’t have half and half you can use part milk, part cream. 

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 24g (8%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 18g (28%)Saturated Fat: 11g (55%)Cholesterol: 50mg (17%)Sodium: 733mg (31%)Potassium: 801mg (23%)Fiber: 5g (20%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 550IU (11%)Vitamin C: 21mg (25%)Calcium: 97mg (10%)Iron: 5.9mg (33%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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