How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot mashed potatoes are rich and creamy enough for a holiday side—but fast enough to prepare on a weeknight, too.

When it comes to side dishes, it’s hard to beat a good potato recipe. While baked or boiled spuds might seem like the quickest options for an everyday dinner, the Instant Pot, as usual, changes the game: creamy, rich mashed potatoes can be made almost mess-free.

Instant Pot mashed potatoes have officially joined the ranks of our best Instant Pot recipes.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes in an Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: Chopped chives or parsley

Directions

Step 1: Set up the pot

instant pot mashed potatoes step 1TMB Studio

Add the prepared potatoes and water to a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker.

Step 2: Cook the potatoes

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Lock the lid and close the pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 10 minutes, then quick-release the pressure.

Step 3: Add flavorings

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Drain, reserving the starchy cooking liquid. Return the potatoes to the Instant Pot liner pan. Add milk, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.

Step 4: Mash in the pot

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With a potato masher, mash the potatoes. Leave them a bit chunky for a rustic mashed potato.

Step 5: Add a splash of liquid

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If your potatoes are a bit thick, add a splash or two of the reserved cooking liquid. Be careful not to over-mash. As you mix and crush potatoes, starch is released, which is yummy and creamy in small amounts, but too much can make the potatoes gluey, gummy and unappealing.

Step 6: Transfer to a serving bowl

instant pot mashed potatoes in serving bowlTMB Studio

Spoon the potatoes into a serving bowl. While still warm, mix in extra butter if desired. Top with chives or parsley before serving.

If you have dairy-free guests, serve these vegan mashed potatoes.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Among the many ways to prepare potatoes, the Instant Pot method stands out for its speed and one-pot efficiency. Feel free to get creative and customize the recipe to your liking!

Discover how to make instant mashed potatoes better.

Should you peel the potatoes when making Instant Pot mashed potatoes?

It depends on the type of potatoes you’re mashing. Russets, which this recipe calls for, have thicker skin, which should be peeled as it can be tough and will make the texture of the mashed potatoes less pleasant. Thinner-skinned potatoes, like Yukon Gold or red potatoes, may be mashed with the skin on. The texture will be more rustic—chunky and uneven—rather than creamy and smooth, but many people like that extra bite to their taters.

What are some variations of Instant Pot mashed potatoes?

So many mashed potato recipes stand out because the chef added a simple “secret” ingredient. Classic additions include buttermilk, bacon bits, chopped rosemary, roasted garlic or garlic powder. You can easily get creative! Curry powder, chiles or sriracha, cumin seeds, brown butter, yogurt, capers, fresh or dried herbs—the sky’s the limit. (Not all together, though.)

Can I make the recipe vegan or dairy-free?

You can! The dairy ingredients in this recipe serve to flavor the potatoes, and to loosen up the texture of the mash. When making the recipe vegan, consider which ingredients to add to serve the same function. Use olive oil, margarine or vegan butter to add flavor, along with garlic powder or other seasonings. Vegetable broth can replace the milk, adding both flavor and smoothness.

What can you serve with Instant Pot mashed potatoes?

The usual suspects go well with mashed potatoes, from weeknight meat loaf to weekend roast chicken to holiday roast turkey. But mashed potatoes are surprisingly versatile. We like them paired with pork chops, fish, meatballs (instead of pasta!) and roasted vegetables.

How should you store Instant Pot mashed potatoes?

Leftover mashed potatoes will keep in the fridge up to four days. For the best texture, add a dash of milk or broth to the potatoes as you reheat, or use them in one of our recipes that use leftover mashed potatoes. Follow our guide on how to reheat mashed potatoes.

You may also freeze mashed potatoes up to a year.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.