Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

The foundation of restaurant-style mashed potatoes is perfectly cooked potatoes, with a light texture, silky mouthfeel, and a buttery taste. To achieve these goals, you only need to do three things:

  1. Steam the potatoes instead of boiling them.
  2. Add plenty of fat.
  3. Whip potatoes by using a hand mixer.

Steam the potatoes

Here’re the reason that you should always steam your potatoes instead of boiling:

  • The potatoes won’t be water-loaded.
  • It won’t be a problem even if you overcook the potatoes (which happens more often than you’d think when you’re preparing multiple dishes for a party).
  • Thus, it’s a hands-off method compared to boiled potatoes.
  • It preserves more nutrients and flavors in the potatoes.

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

Steaming creates potatoes with such a fresh flavor and perfect texture, that you can simply season the dish with a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of butter to get delicious and healthy mashed potatoes. However, since I’m cooking a side dish for the holiday season, I chose to prioritize the taste.

Add fat – plenty of it

You want the silky texture instead of grainy one, so you need to whip a lot of fat into the potatoes.

One stick of butter might seem like a lot, but I promise you that this method will create the best mashed potato you’ve ever had. This recipe is actually a lighter version, adapted from and based on the mashed potatoes recipe from Serious Eats. The original recipe uses 3 sticks of butter per 2-pound potatoes! I reduced the amount of butter and sour cream, and replaced heavy creamy with milk.

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

Pull out your hand blender

The debate about making the perfect mashed potatoes never ends. Some people insist that you should use a food mill or a ricer to make mashed potatoes. For me, this method is too much trouble and it involves a LOT of work if you’re cooking for a crowd.

My secret weapon for making restaurant style mashed potatoes is a hand mixer.

NOTE: Not a hand blender! A hand blender (immersion blender) will release too much starch from the potatoes and result in heavy and gummy mashed potatoes. When you use a hand mixer, you can whip in much more liquid and fat without releasing too much starch from the potatoes. It also results in a very smooth and creamy texture.

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

That’s it! Once you have followed these three tips, you can create your own restaurant-style mashed potatoes by altering the ratios of ingredients and adjust the seasoning to your taste. In the recipe below, I’ve added the tips of how to cook non-dairy and vegan mashed potatoes in the footer. Hope you enjoy!

Looking for holiday dishes? Don’t forget to check out my Oven Roasted Green Beans with Garlic Soy Glaze and Chinese-Style Roasted Turkey Breast to make a delicious meal in under 2 hours!

Learn how to cook flavorful and juicy turkey breast in an hour. No marinating and brining required!

What is your favorite mashed potatoes recipe? Do you like your mashed potatoes to be a bit lumpy or smooth? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

This post is for Day Four of the #PotatoPalooza event co-hosted by Bowl of Delicious, Panning the Globe and Omnivore’s Cookbook. Check out what recipes the others have posted!

Special thanks to the Idaho Potato Commission For Sponsoring #PotatoPalooza 2016! For more delicious potato recipes, check out the Idaho® potatoes website.

Find the secrets of how to cook silky, light and creamy restaurant-style mashed potatoes in your own kitchen!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 1kg / 2-pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (*footnote 3)
  • 1/2 cup milk (*footnote 4)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt) (*footnote 5)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
  • (Optional) Minced chive for garnish
  • (Optional) Homemade gravy to serve with
  1. Add 1 inch water to your steamer and cook until boiling (*footnote 1). Place potatoes in a steamer basket (*footnote 2). Transfer into the steamer above boiling water. Cook covered for 25 minutes, or until very tender.
  2. Place butter in a large glass bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until the butter melts and the bowl is hot.
  3. Put on oven mitts and carefully transfer the bowl onto the kitchen counter and add potatoes. Be careful, the bowl is very hot.
  4. Use a hand mixer, coarsely mash the potatoes a few times, then whip on low speed until the butter is fully blended.
  5. Add milk. Keep whipping until fully combined.
  6. Add sour cream. Keep whipping until the potato is smooth and silky.
  7. If you need to keep the mashed potato warm for a longer time before serving, place the bowl of mashed potato back into the steamer, cover, and turn on the lowest heat. The mashed potato will keep warm without drying out this way.
  8. Garnish with minced chive and serve warm with gravy.
1. If you don’t have a steamer, you can quickly make one by placing a deep plate upside down in a large pot and add water. Then you can place the bowl of potatoes onto the plate.

2. If you like garlic flavored mashed potato, place 4 to 5 cloves peeled garlic into the steamer to cook with the potatoes. Once they’re cooked, mashed the garlic with potatoes.

3. You can replace butter with olive oil or other vegetable oil.

4. To cook non-dairy mashed potato, replace milk with plant based milk (coconut, cashew, or almond milk etc.) or stock (chicken or vegetable stock).

5. The mashed potatoes will taste great with a bit of acid. For non-dairy alternatives, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of vinegar will do the trick.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe.

Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes Nutrition Facts


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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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5 thoughts on “Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes

  1. Elizabeth @ Bowl of Delicious

    This is awesome! I love that the potatoes are steamed- I once read that vegetables that are steamed instead of boiled retain a lot more nutrients since many of the nutrients seep into the water when boiling. So, even though there is a stick of butter in this, you’re getting a lot more nutritional benefit from the potatoes! Also, YAY for a stick of butter. I’m completely sold. Can’t wait to try this method!

  2. Sandy Cosgrove

    Maggie by chance would you happen to have the recipe for the gravy that goes with those mashed potatoes? The gravy looks as yummy as the potatoes I would love to try both.