Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes


Author: Lisa Childs

Comments: 4

Category: FEATURED 8

Published Date: January 4, 2019

Updated Date: January 12, 2023

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes will change your life! I promise, you’ll never go back. If you don’t use your Instant Pot for ANYTHING ELSE, use it to make perfect mashed potatoes.

bowl of mashed potatoes with salt, spoons, and kale in the background

Why make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes?

Traditionally, mashed potatoes require washing, peeling, dicing, covering, boiling, simmering, draining, then finally mashing.

This process can result in waste and a watery, soggy mess.

It also requires boiling and draining a heavy pot of water, which isn’t possible for some people.

Making mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot cuts down considerably on all of those steps! 

I’ll teach you how to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes! Customize this recipe, depending on your preferences and available time.

This method is for no-drain mashed potatoes—no lifting required!

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with butter and green onions

WHAT TO SERVE WITH INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES

Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

You can technically use any type of potato, but here are my top three favorites for smooth, creamy mashed potatoes.

  1. Russet potatoes (white, smooth, and neutral with a brown skin)
  2. Red potatoes (a little bit of a more robust flavor with lots of starch and red skin)
  3. Yukon Gold potatoes (yellow or gold in color with a very thin skin, very dense and sometimes can be dry)
a green colander full of peeled potatoes

The best potatoes for mashed potatoes have a high starch content.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES

There are several methods you can use to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes. I recently polled my readers and the majority peel, cut, cook, then mash potatoes.

This is my favorite method for the absolute creamiest mashed potatoes!

This post focuses on cooking and mashing peeled and cut potatoes. But I’ll also touch on a few different options, such as cooking and mashing unpeeled potatoes. 

potato masher mashing potatoes

Here are the steps for extra creamy potatoes: 

  • Peel the potatoes, then dice into small pieces so they cook quickly. I like to add them to a steamer basket, or straight into the pot (see recipe card).
  • Add one cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot, then close the lid and set to Sealing. 
  • Cook on Manual High for 7-15 minutes, depending on the potato size.
  • After cooking, just pour in the ingredients you use to make your potatoes—yup, right into the Instant Pot! If you feel like you might have too much water in your pot, you can drain some first.

If you’ve chosen to cook your potatoes with the skins on, you’ll definitely want to drain the excess water right after cooking as it tends to be somewhat dirty. 

WHAT TO ADD TO MASHED POTATOES

I typically use butter, half and half or cream, milk, and sometimes sour cream or cream cheese.

Don’t stress about measurements. Just add ingredients according to your personal preference for taste and texture.

I typically use salted butter, so I don’t add additional salt. If you’re serving the potatoes with salty gravy or meat, make sure you keep that in mind when salting mashed potatoes.

potatoes with butter, seasoned salt, and cream cheese

For two to three pounds of potatoes, I typically start with 1/2 to 1 stick of butter (6-8 tablespoons) and ¾ cup to 1 cup warm milk or half and half.

After you start mashing, you’ll be able to tell if the potatoes are too thick. Start with the minimum, then keep adding.

It’s much easier to thin mashed potatoes than thicken after you’ve added too much liquid.

Lastly, try to use an actual masher—and go easy. If you don’t have one, you can use a hand mixer. Just be sure to not over mix!

Overworking the potatoes will tighten the starches, and you’ll get a gluey, gummy glop instead of a fluffy, creamy, and smooth bite.

Additionally, you can use a potato ricer for extra smooth, perfect potatoes. Add the peeled and halved potatoes into the ricer, then squeeze them through the. Then add milk, butter, and seasonings and gently mix using a spatula.

Most beginner or intermediate home cooks don’t have a potato ricer, but it’s definitely nice for the best mashed potato texture.

PRESSURE COOKING MASHED POTATOES

Different potatoes will need different amounts of time to fully cook. Whole potatoes typically take 10-20 minutes, sometimes up to 25 minutes. Diced potatoes, if cut very small, take as few as 5 minutes.

Always add 1 cup of water or broth with the potatoes, then pressure cook. You do not need to cover the potatoes with water (or you’ll end up with potato soup!)

I can get away with a quick release. If you aren’t quite ready to mash your Instant Pot potatoes, feel free to let them naturally release the pressure for as long as you need.

TIPS AND FAQS FOR PERFECT POTATOES

UNPEELED POTATOES = DRAIN THE WATER

If you leave the skin on your potatoes, be sure to drain the water used to cook the potatoes (it’ll be dirty!)

I also recommend you rinse out the pot if you’re going to mash the potatoes in the Instant Pot liner. The potatoes give off extra dirt and cloudy junk in the water during cooking.

This is much easier and safer to do if you put your potatoes into a steamer basket! That way, you can easily lift the basket and hot potatoes out of the water.

Graphic of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with two pictures of a bowl of mashed potatoes and a bowl of potatoes being mashed.

HOW MANY POTATOES PER PERSON FOR MASHED POTATOES?

I typically plan 1.5 medium potatoes per person when making mashed potatoes. If you have large, 1-pound russets, you can use 1 potato per 2 or 2.5 people.

Don’t forget that adding butter and milk will also add a lot of bulk, and if you’re serving other side dishes, most people will take a little less of each dish (including the mashed potatoes.)

However, almost every person will always take mashed potatoes (where they won’t necessarily take sweet potato casserole or bacon green beans), so don’t under plan too much!

SALT MASHED POTATOES

Typically, I don’t overly salt my potatoes because they are usually served with salty gravy.

I like to let my guests choose how salty they want their potatoes.

Sometimes, I will add my favorite seasoned salt, which you can get for 15% off using the code IPCOOKING.

HOW TO MAKE SKIN-ON RED MASHED POTATOES

Wash and scrub your potatoes, then place them into a steamer basket or on a trivet. Place the potatoes into the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water.

You may cube the potatoes or leave them whole. For cubed potatoes, cook for 8-10 minutes on high pressure.

For whole potatoes, cook on manual high pressure for 15-18 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.

Remove the basket and rinse the Instant Pot liner to remove dirt.

Pour the potatoes back into the pot and mash or whip with milk/cream and butter.

COLCANNON POTATOES

A BLUE DISH with colcannon potatoes, kale, and potatoes

For a fun twist on traditional mashed potatoes, try these colcannon potatoes in your Instant Pot! Colcannon is creamy mashed potatoes with swirls of sautéed kale and onion. So good!

DON’T FORGET TO PIN INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES

Graphic of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with a picture of a bowl of mashed potatoes.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with butter and green onions

Perfect Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for Perfect Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes is a technique. I use about 1 1/2 potatoes per person. Please use your favorite "recipe" by adding your desired milk, butter, or other ingredients. I give some general measurements in the notes.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Lisa Childs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb Potatoes Russet, Red, or Yukon Gold, washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth

Desired Ingredients to Make Your Favorite Mashed Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
  • 1 cup half and half warmed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place prepared potatoes in a steamer basket. Alternatively, place them straight in the pot (see notes).
  • Pour water or broth into the pot.
  • Lock the lid, set the knob to SEALING, then cook on manual high pressure for 7 minutes (Add additional time for larger potato cubes, about 2-5 minutes)
  • Perform a quick release (QR) to release all the steam and pressure.
  • Open the lid and check the potatoes with a knife. If there is any resistance, the potatoes are not cooked all the way. Add 1 more cup of water, replace the lid, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Drain the water out of the Instant Pot. If you placed the potatoes straight into the pot (no steamer basket), you should not have any additional liquid in the pot, but if you do, drain it.
  • Add butter, half and half, and salt/pepper. Mash to your desired consistency using a potato masher. The potatoes may be kept on "keep warm" in the Instant Pot until ready to serve.

NOTES

    • Using a steamer basket is my #1 choice for mashed potatoes, because it essentially guarantees there won't be any burning. The potatoes on the bottom of the pot will absorb the water, so it helps keep them off the bottom of the pot.
    • If you’ve chosen to cook your potatoes with the skins on, you’ll definitely want to drain the excess water and rinse the liner right after cooking as it tends to be somewhat dirty. 
    • If you prefer to not deal with having to potentially drain the potatoes, place the cut potatoes in a steamer basket and cook as directed with 1 cup of water.
    • For 2-3 pounds of potatoes, I use 1 stick of butter and about 1 cup of milk or half and half. Everyone likes their potatoes to be a different consistency, so add more liquid for a smoother mash, and less for a chunkier one.
    • I prefer not to add too much salt to my potatoes before serving if I'm serving with gravy. Salt to your desired preference.
    • Do not over-mash your potatoes! They will become gluey and tough.
    • You may use a hand masher, a hand mixer, a ricer, fork, or even the bottom of a glass to mash potatoes. I highly recommend using a dedicated potato masher or potato ricer.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1grams
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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    I use a ricer to “mash” the potatoes. You halve the potatoes if needed so they’ll fit. You need a deep pot so I use the Instant Pot liner. This is necessary so they don’t squirt all over your kitchen. Use a silicone spatula or whatever to remove the skins as they tend to stick to the “plunger” piece and/or the bottom of the ricer and block it up. I have an ancient workhorse ricer but recently got this because it has 3 disks. Top Rated Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer with 3 Interchangeable Fineness Discs-Full 2-Year Warranty https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YCS31SQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_UZsNEbZF0WEY4

  2. 5 stars
    I use a ricer to “mash” the potatoes. You halve the potatoes if needed so they’ll fit. You need a deep pot so I use the Instant Pot liner. This is necessary so they don’t squirt all over your kitchen. Use a silicone spatula or whatever to remove the skins as they tend to stick to the “plunger” piece and/or the bottom of the ricer and block it up. I have an ancient workhorse ricer but recently got this because it has 3 disks. Top Rated Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer with 3 Interchangeable Fineness Discs-Full 2-Year Warranty https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YCS31SQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_UZsNEbZF0WEY4

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you SOOOOO much for adding the time adjustment for russet potatoes! I had about 4 large and did 30mins in my IP – I know from looks you and I have different models and it worked great! Only thing to mention is that QR, it took awhile for the pin to drop. It was the first time that happened to me so I thought i did something wrong. 😉 Thanka for the great recipe Lisa!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you SOOOOO much for adding the time adjustment for russet potatoes! I had about 4 large and did 30mins in my IP – I know from looks you and I have different models and it worked great! Only thing to mention is that QR, it took awhile for the pin to drop. It was the first time that happened to me so I thought i did something wrong. 😉 Thanka for the great recipe Lisa!

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Hi! I'm Lisa!


I founded Tried, Tested, and True in 2019 to help moms like me develop confidence and joy in the kitchen.

Since then, I have taught millions of home cooks around the world through our tried and true recipes and Youtube tutorials.

In 2021, I wrote my first book called, “I Love My Instant Pot: Cooking for One”!

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