The Instant Pot will revolutionize your opinion of an already easy task. Make mashed potatoes without the mess in the instant pot and you’ll never make them in a pot of boiling water again!
I’ve long professed my love for the potato. It’s my favorite vegetable! It’s versatile and delicious! It can be fried, roasted, baked, hashed, or… MASHED! And that my friends, is what we’re making today! Garlic Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot!
I keep telling people how awesome mashed potatoes are to make in the instant pot. Then they look at me perplexed, like big deal, it’s mashed potatoes, aren’t they already easy to make?! And I say, well yes, but don’t you hate the mess? All that boiling water, the boiling over the pot of the water, and the draining of the water? The best part of making mashed potatoes in the instant pot is that it’s self-contained! You cook the potatoes in only 1 cup of water, mash them directly in the pot, and then keep them warm in the same pot! It’s truly amazing to me and I refuse to ever make them any other way! (I had this same reaction with corn on the cob, by the way.) Now that I’ve convinced you…
Step 1: Peel and chunk the potatoes, big 2-inch chunks are fine. (You can peel the potatoes and then leave them whole but the cooking time is much longer and unpredictable.) For traditional mashed potatoes, use Russet or Idaho potatoes.
Step 2: Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, add garlic cloves (optional, although it adds great flavor!) and 1 cup of water.
Step 3: Place the lid on the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add butter and sour cream. Then mash.
Okay, so this is where it gets a little unconventional and somewhat mind-blowing. When you make mashed potatoes in the instant pot, you don’t have to drain off the cooking water! You can, but I have made mashed potatoes many, many times this way and I don’t drain the water! This also helps the flavor because you aren’t dumping it all down the drain! ? (One caveat, if I’m cooking 3 pounds or less of potatoes, I do drain some of the water. I just tip the side of the pot over the sink and drain as much as I can without losing any potatoes. No need for a colander/another dirty dish!)
Step 5: Keep the mashed potatoes warm with the “Keep Warm” setting on the Instant Pot until ready to serve!
This is another huge plus for the use of the Instant Pot! Put a few extra pats of butter on top of the potatoes, put the lid on, and just keep the mashed potatoes warm right in the pot. No extra dirty bowls. No casserole dishes. Just the already dirty instant pot liner. Yes, Ma’am!
How many pounds of potatoes?
When trying to estimate how many potatoes are needed to make mashed potatoes for a crowd, figure 1/2 pound of potatoes for each person.
- So to feed 8 people, make 4 pounds. To feed 10 people, make 5 pounds. Adding in a few extra potatoes never hurts, especially if you like leftovers.
Best Tools for Mashing Potatoes
Just in case you were wondering, the type of tool you use to make mashed potatoes makes a big difference on how smooth they will be. These are your options:
- The Good Option: Potato Mashers come in many forms. Traditional mashers with wavy tines may leave you with a few lumps. Look for a perforated model if you like smoother mashed potatoes.
- The Best Option: A Potato Ricer will create perfectly smooth, light and fluffy mashed potatoes. Ricing the potatoes is a little more labor intensive but it makes the best mashed potatoes.
- The Worst Option: NEVER use a hand or standing mixer for mashed potatoes. They can quickly become overworked and turn gluey. Once this happens, there really is no fix other than starting over.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds Idaho or Russet potatoes
- 1 cup water
- 3 cloves garlic, optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- extra salt,pepper, butter, sour cream, and/or milk, as needed to reach desired flavor and texture.
Cook the Potatoes
- Peel and dice potatoes into large 2-inch chunks and place in Instant Pot liner.
- Pour in 1 cup of water. Close lid and turn valve to sealing.
- Set to manual/pressure cook for 10 minutes.
Mash the Potatoes
- Allow the pressure to manually release and remove the lid.
- Add in the butter and sour cream. Mash the potatoes, taking care not to overwork the potatoes. *see note about draining water.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper, butter, sour cream, and/or milk as desired.
Keep the Potatoes Warm
- Put a few extra pats of butter on top of the potatoes.
- Place the lid back on the pot and hold on the keep warm setting until serving.
- If making a large batch (4 or more pounds) of mashed potatoes, it is not necessary to drain the water from the potatoes after cooking.
- If making a smaller batch (less than 4-5 pounds) of potatoes, drain some water off before mashing. To dain, tip the pot over the side of the sink and drain as much liquid without losing potatoes. (No need to drain fully in a collander.)
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