Mashed Potatoes will be the most popular dish on your table with this perfectly garlicky and buttery Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, and pressure cooking cuts the cooking time needed to make this easy side dish in half.

Mashed potatoes are such a classic side dish, and the Instant Pot is such an easy way to cook them. These mashed potatoes are buttery, delicious, and loaded with garlic. Cooking them directly in milk in the Instant Pot makes them so flavorful.

You can either hand-mash the potatoes to keep them nice and lumpy, or they can be run through a food mill or potato ricer for those who like smooth and creamy potatoes.

A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.

Pressure cooking them in the Instant Pot is seriously a total game changer – the potatoes are perfectly cooked every time and always have the perfect texture. To make traditional mashed potatoes on the stove, you can use my Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes recipe.

Table of Contents

🥘 Ingredient Notes

The ingredients in garlic mashed potatoes, laid out and labeled.
  • Potatoes – I use either Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes for this recipe.
  • Whole Milk – I like to use whole milk for cooking potatoes – I’ve found that the potatoes don’t cook as well if they are cooked in heavy cream.
  • Salted Butter – Cut into cubes.
  • Garlic Cloves – Use lots of garlic, of course. For a delicious garlic flavor, you can use roasted garlic.
  • Spices – Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Fresh Thyme, and Sage
  • Optional – When the potatoes are still hot, you can mix in your favorite melty cheese: gruyere, smoked gouda, cream cheese, or my husband’s favorite – just a little bit of really sharp cheddar (like Cabot’s Seriously Sharp.) You can also shred some cheese and put it on the side for an optional mix-in for those who want to add it – cheese in potatoes is definitely a personal preference.
  • For Garnish – Fresh chives, green onions, and melted butter.

What Variety of Potatoes is Best for Mashed Potatoes?

There are two “types” of potatoes, and one is definitely superior when it comes to making mashed potatoes.

Floury Vs Waxy Potatoes:

  • Floury Potatoes – Floury potatoes have thick skin and light, fluffy, and dry interiors. These are ideal for cooking with dry heat like baking or air frying and are more commonly called “baking potatoes.” A good example would be Russet Potatoes.
  • Waxy Potatoes – Waxy potatoes are thin-skinned potatoes with moist and creamy interiors. The skin of waxy potatoes is commonly eaten with the potato. Common waxy potatoes are Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes. Waxy potatoes are best when used in wet heat cooking methods like steaming or boiling.

For mashed potatoes, we want to use a waxy potato. Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes are my favorite because I find that they are the creamiest when mashed. If I’m making chunky potatoes with the skin on, I like to use red potatoes because the color of the skin looks so good in contrast to the white potatoes!

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • An Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker – I use my 6-quart Duo for almost everything, and it never fails me – I also never get a “burn” message. If your Instant Pot gives you burn messages often, I recommend using a 3-Quart Instant Pot liner on top of a trivet to do the “pot-in-pot” method.
  • A Potato Masher, Potato Ricer, or a Pastry Cutter
  • A Colander and a Large Bowl
  • Measuring Cups/Spoons
  • A Rubber Spatula or Wooden Spoon
A product image of a 6 quart instant pot.

🥣 How to Make Them

Making no-drain mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot makes such delicious mashed potatoes. The potatoes pressure cook in milk and butter and have so much more flavor than traditional mashed potatoes.

  1. First, dice your potatoes into evenly sized 1-inch cubes. You can peel them if desired.
  2. Next, add the potatoes then the milk directly into the inner pot of the Instant Pot, then top the potatoes with the spices, garlic, and butter. (Pictures 1 – 5)
A collage of images showing the process of making mashed potatoes in an instant pot, steps 1 - 5.
  1. Stir everything together and try to make sure the potatoes are pushed under the milk as best they can be and the butter and spices are evenly spread around. 
  2. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and point the vent to the Sealing position. Then press the Manual or Pressure Cook button followed by the Pressure button to adjust it to LOW pressure. (Make sure it is not set to High Pressure, or the milk will burn.) Set the time using the +/- buttons or the dial for 12 minutes. (Picture 6)
  3. When the cooking cycle is complete, carefully release the pressure using the “Quick Release” method – turn the vent to Venting and let the steam out right away. You can either turn the Instant Pot Off or leave it on the Keep Warm setting. (Picture 7 – 8)
  4. Once all pressure has been released, carefully open the lid. (Picture 9)
A collage of images showing the process of making mashed potatoes in an instant pot, steps 6 - 10.
  1. Drain the potatoes into a colander over a bowl, SAVING the milk to add back later. Mash the potatoes using your favorite method – a ricer, masher, or pastry cutter. You can do this right in the Instant Pot. (Picture 10)
  2. Next, add half of the cooking milk back into the potatoes and stir. If it still seems too thick, continue adding more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Season the potatoes with a pinch of additional salt, pepper, and thyme, then taste. (You can add more butter if you like, but I like to wait to add it when serving.)
An instant pot of garlic mashed potatoes.
  1. If you’re adding cheese, stir it in, then set the Instant Pot to the Keep Warm function, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  2. You can keep the potatoes warm and covered with a glass lid in the Instant Pot, on the Keep Warm setting, for up to 4 hours.
A bowl of mashed potatoes with an instant pot of mashed potatoes and a bowl of cheese.

When you’re ready, serve the potatoes topped with melted butter and fresh chives or green onions.

A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and a wooden spoon.

(I used to have slow cooker & stovetop directions for this recipe, but I removed them in October 2022 because most people came here looking for the Instant Pot recipe. If you are looking for either of those, please email kari@southern-bytes.com, and I will send you the other instructions.)

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of potatoes are best for making mashed potatoes?

You can use any potatoes in a pinch, but waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes are definitely the best for making mashed potatoes. They are much creamier and blend really well with butter, milk, and cream.

Is cream or milk better for mashed potatoes?

I like to use milk or buttermilk, but a mix of cream and milk is also really good!

What can you do with leftover potatoes?

My favorite thing to do with leftover potatoes is to make small patties with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, then either pan fry them until lightly browned or crisp them up in a waffle iron and top them with a fried or poached egg and some green onions or chives. You can also press them into a muffin tin lined with prosciutto or bacon and top with an egg, salt, pepper, and chives, then bake to make a potato/egg cup. So many ideas! Here’s a nice long list of leftover mashed potato recipes.

Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

Yes! It absolutely can. The only caveat is that if you are using an Instant Pot, you need to be more cautious when doing a Quick Release – the higher the level of milk, the more likely you will be to spew milk all over the kitchen. If the level of milk is 3/4 of the way up to the max fill line or more, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for about 5 minutes, then do a controlled release and let the steam out in short spurts. (If you have to make that many potatoes, it would probably be easier to make this mashed potato recipe and save the Instant Pot for another side, such as Southern Green Beans, Collard Greens, or Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots.)

How many Yukon Gold potatoes are in 2 pounds?

Isn’t it so annoying when recipes give you a weight for potatoes? Our grocery store actually doesn’t have a scale in the produce section anymore, so you have to guess until you get to checkout. I weighed two pounds of potatoes out of a 5-pound bag, and two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes were about six potatoes that are a bit bigger than a Roma tomato but not quite as big as a softball.

How many cups of mashed potatoes does two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes make?

Two pounds of potatoes makes around 5 – 6 cups of mashed potatoes. This should serve 6 to 8 people, around 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of potatoes each.

What to Serve with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic mashed potatoes should be served topped with your favorite gravy, some fresh herbs, or just a huge pat of butter. On the side, you can add:

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🥫 How to Store Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Once cooled, cooked potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or they can be frozen for about 3 months. The microwave is the easiest way to reheat the leftover potatoes.

With leftovers, we like to make cheesy potato cakes with a fried egg on top!

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • To make chunky potatoes, I will use a combination of Yukon Gold potatoes and those small baby potatoes (or creamer potatoes) with the skin on them and mash them with a masher. To make creamy mashed potatoes, I will use peeled Yukon Gold potatoes only, and I will use a ricer.
  • Make sure to mash your potatoes without the cooking milk first, then add it back in slowly. Once you add it, you can’t take it away, so if you add too much, you will have to add more potatoes to thicken up the mashed potatoes.
  • Try making mashed potatoes with garlic that has been roasted first – it adds another level of delicious flavor.

Recipe Yield

This recipe will make 5 – 6 cups of mashed potatoes, which should serve about 6 – 8 people if there are other sides to be had – less if it is one of your main dishes.

Other Great Instant Pot Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

📝 Recipe

A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.

Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Chunky Option)

5 from 4 votes
Mashed Potatoes will be the most popular dish on your table with this perfectly garlicky and buttery Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, and pressure cooking cuts the cooking time needed to make this easy side dish in half.
Author: Kari
Servings: 8
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Pressure Buildup: 10 mins
Total: 27 mins

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into eighths (I use about 6 – 8 baseball-sized potatoes or 5 or 6 plus a cup of small, unpeeled creamer potatoes cut in half to add skin and texture. If you want smooth and creamy, just go with the Yukons 🙂 )
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk optionally, you can do 1 cup milk, ½ cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves add more if you love garlic – this is mild for those who need to breathe near others 😉
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Optional

  • ½ cup shredded cheese sharp cheddar, gruyere, or smoked gouda

Garnish

  • extra butter
  • extra thyme
  • gravy

Instructions 

  • Add potatoes then milk directly into the Instant Pot, then add the spices, garlic, and butter – making sure the butter is evenly spread out.
    2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 ½ cups whole milk, 4 tablespoons salted butter, 2 – 3 garlic cloves, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon dried sage, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Stir everything together and try to make sure the potatoes are pushed under the milk as best they can be and the butter and spices are evenly spread around.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and point the vent to Sealing. Then press the Manual or Pressure Cook button followed by the Pressure button to adjust it to LOW pressure. Set the time using the +/- buttons or the dial for 12 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, carefully release the pressure using the "Quick Release" method – turn the vent to Venting and let the steam out right away. You can either turn the Instant Pot Off or leave it on the Keep Warm setting.
  • Once all pressure has been released, carefully open the lid. Drain the potatoes into a colander over a bowl, but save the milk to add back later.
  • Mash the potatoes using your favorite method – a ricer, masher, or pastry cutter in times of desperation – I like to do this right in the Instant Pot.
  • Add half of the milk back and stir. If it still seems too thick, continue adding more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Season the potatoes with a pinch of additional salt, pepper, and thyme and taste. (You can add more butter if you like, but I like to add it when serving.)
    extra thyme, extra butter
  • If adding cheese, stir it in, set the Instant Pot to the Keep Warm function, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and creamy.
    ½ cup shredded cheese
  • You can keep the potatoes covered with a glass lid in the Instant Pot, on the Keep Warm setting, for up to 4 hours.
  • When ready, serve the potatoes topped with additional salt, pepper, thyme, and butter.

Video

Notes

Recipe Yield
This recipe will make 5 – 6 cups of mashed potatoes, which should serve about 6 – 8 people if there are other sides to be had – less if it is one of your main dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 339mgPotassium: 551mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 296IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, instant pot cheesy mashed potatoes, instant pot mashed potatoes, thanksgiving mashed potatoes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating