Instant Pot mashed potatoes are the ultimate shortcut for this creamy potato side dish. No peeling, boiling or watching the pot. Just press a few buttons and do some mashing at the end. Grab this easy Instant Pot recipe and learn how to make mashed potatoes perfect every single time.
This Instant pot mashed potato recipe is virtually hands-free to make. Heavy whipping cream is the secret to making the best mashed potatoes you’ll ever eat. This recipe is skin-optional. As a result, it’s not just a time-saver, but the skin also adds nutritive value!
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes RECIPE VIDEO
How to make THE BEST mashed potatoes
Following a few simple tips will ensure that your mashed potatoes are always silky smooth, fluffy, and deliciously creamy.
- Choose starchy potatoes. For mashed potatoes, you want to choose potatoes with high starch content. Russet potatoes are a great choice for this, as are Yukon gold. Potatoes with a thin peel have a waxy consistency that will turn gluey when mashed.
- Use the trivet in the Instant Pot. Too much water will destroy the texture of the potatoes. While you need water to build pressure and make the Instant Pot work its magic, you don’t want your potatoes to sit down in the water.
- Drain the potatoes. Likewise, make sure you drain all the excess water off the potatoes before mashing.
- Don’t overcook the potatoes. You want them to keep some of their texture. If they are falling apart as you remove them from the pot, they are overcooked. Realize though that it won’t be the end of the world to use overcooked potatoes. Most people probably wouldn’t even notice.
- Don’t overwork them. To avoid potatoes with the consistency of paste, mash them just until they reach a well-combined consistency. Then stop mashing. I know, it’s tempting, but don’t do it. Reserve the remaining activity for stirring during the reheat.
- Add warm dairy ingredients. When adding dairy ingredients like butter, milk, or whipping cream, you want them slightly warm instead of straight out of the refrigerator. This 1) prevents your dairy products from curdling when they hit the hot potatoes AND 2) your potatoes won’t get overworked by you trying to incorporate the cold solids into them.
- To peel or not to peel. For this mashed potato recipe, you can save a lot of time by not peeling or dicing the potatoes. But, if you have extra time and are an avid skin-off potato eater, by all means, go for it!
How many potatoes can you cook in the Instant Pot?
The 6-quart Instant Pot Duo can accommodate about 5 lb of whole Russet potatoes, and possibly up to 7 lb if the potatoes are chopped or cut into smaller segments.
I always cook a minimum of 3 lbs. of potatoes in my 6-quart Instant Pot for a 6 cup yield of mashed potatoes. That’s the perfect amount to serve as a family dinner side dish with some leftovers for the next day.
So, if you are feeding a crowd or want ample leftovers, go for the 5 lb. bag. The cooking time doesn’t change in the Instant Pot. It will take longer to come to pressure, but you will still use the same settings for any size batch. The Instant Pot is brilliant like that!
Can you make Instant Pot mashed potatoes ahead of time?
Yes! You can definitely cook the potatoes several hours before serving. Your Instant Pot will switch to and remain in “keep warm” mode until you are ready to mash. Or, once they’re done, go ahead and mash them with the other ingredients, and “keep warm” until ready to serve.
How to make mashed potatoes a few days ahead
Step 1. Refrigerate
Make the full recipe and refrigerate the mashed potatoes in an airtight container up to 2 days in advance of serving. Do not skimp on the “airtightness” of the seal.
Step 2. Rehydrate
Upon reheating, add small amounts of liquid (half-and-half, heavy whipping cream, or milk) to the mashed potatoes as they will probably appear somewhat dry after being stored for a few days. Don’t worry, a little heat and added moisture will bring them right back to life!
Step 3. Reheat (2 reheat options)
Option 1: Microwave the mashed potatoes on a 50% power setting in two-minute intervals until they’re warmed through, stirring as needed. The larger the batch, the longer they’ll take, naturally.
Option 2: Heat the mashed potatoes on the stove over medium or med-high heat, stirring as needed, but don’t overwork the potatoes and make them lose their fluffiness.
Follow these efficient tips when making Instant Pot mashed potatoes
- Anytime a pressure cooking cycle ends, the Instant Pot will beep and the digital reading will start counting upward. As a result, you will know how long ago the cycle ended. This happens naturally after you’ve done a natural pressure release (NPR).
- Anytime you select the “keep warm” option, the IP will naturally count upward from zero. This allows you to keep track of how many minutes the cooker has been in warming mode.
- Potatoes cook in the Instant Pot much faster under pressure than they will on a stovetop. Plus, you don’t have to stay in the kitchen as they cook.
How many potatoes per person for mashed potatoes?
A good rule of thumb to calculate how many lbs of mashed potatoes you need to make is 1 cup per person. My mashed potato recipe uses 3 lbs of potatoes yielding 6 cups, so it serves 6 people.
Ingredients for THE BEST mashed potatoes
Russet potatoes – As mentioned earlier, Russets are among the starchiest potatoes and make the fluffiest mashed potatoes.
Water – You only need 1 cup of plain water when you cook potatoes in the instant pot.
Heavy whipping cream – this is THE secret sauce for how to make mashed potatoes rich and creamy. I used to always add half and half or plain milk to my mashed potatoes. Then I discovered that heavy whipping cream makes mashed potatoes…unforgettable.
Butter – I use unsalted butter for all cooking because, well, I love to control the salt in my recipes. But, salted butter will work perfectly fine for mashed potatoes, just be sure to reduce the added salt indicated in the recipe.
Salt and pepper – I use Kosher salt for this recipe, so if you’re using sea salt or table salt, you’ll probably want to cut it in half, taste it, and adjust accordingly.
Instant Pot Steamer Rack Trivet
How to make vegan mashed potatoes
So simple. Just swap the butter out with your favorite, dairy-free butter, and swap the cream with your favorite vegan milk or vegan sour cream (at room temperature, to avoid ruining the texture).
Make Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Pot mashed potatoes
Once you have the foundation for the perfect mashed potatoes, you can make this scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe is a veggie-loaded casserole that uses leftover turkey or shredded chicken. Everyone will love this dish as much as they love mashed potatoes!
Other favorite side dishes by The Kitchen Girl
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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
How to make Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot
- Place steamer trivet in inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Stack the POTATOES on the trivet; add WATER to the Instant Pot.
- Close and lock the Instant Pot lid, turn pressure valve knob to the “sealed” position.
- Set the Instant Pot for +10 manual HIGH pressure. From dry to done, this process takes about 20-30 minutes.
- Allow a natural pressure release (NPR) for a minimum of 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will switch and remain in “keep warm” mode up to 10 hours.
- When you’re ready to mash, unlock and open the lid. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the trivet from under the potatoes. Then, remove the inner pot, tilting it into the sink to drain the excess water. Pro tip: use the trivet against the potatoes to prevent them falling out during this process. Return the inner pot to the base.
- To the potatoes, add BUTTER, HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, SALT, and PEPPER; mash with a vegetable masher to the desired consistency (do not overwork the potatoes).
- Serve warm; or cover the Instant Pot with a lid until ready to serve.
Storage and Reheat Instructions
- Refrigerate mashed potatoes in an airtight container up to 2 days in advance of serving.
- To reheat, rehydrate the potatoes with a little half-and-half, heavy whipping cream, or milk; then heat over medium-high heat until warmed through, stirring as needed. Or, microwave the mashed potatoes on a 50% power setting in two-minute intervals until they’re warmed through, stirring as needed.
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