Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes are deliciously creamy, buttery, and oh-so addicting! They whip up quickly and can even be made ahead!
Serves: 10 Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cookbook: Pioneer Woman Online
If there’s one side dish holiday meals wouldn’t be complete without, it’s creamy mashed potatoes. Delicious, hot, steamy, buttery, creamy mashed potatoes. That classic comfort food that pairs perfectly with nearly any dish put out for Thanksgiving Day or a big Sunday dinner.
But finding the best mashed potato recipes can be a bit overwhelming. Let’s be honest. Everyone has a mashed potatoes recipe they claim is the best ever. So who do we at Cook Like a Master turn to for not just popular recipes, but the best of the best creamy mashed potatoes? Answer: the feeder of cowboys, runner of ranches, camp cookie extraordinaire – Ree Drummond aka the Pioneer Woman.
If there’s one person who knows how to make creamy ‘taters that an entire crew of hardworking men will devour, it’s Ree. Her recipe brings a taste of home cooking into everyone’s kitchens and gives you the tricks to make perfect mashed potatoes. Spoiler alert: It’s all about the cream cheese and old-fashioned hand mashing. And believe us, the hard work is well worth it.
Without further ado, let’s make a batch of Pioneer Woman mashed potatoes!
- ❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- 🥔 Ingredients Needed to Make Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
- 🍴 Equipment You’ll Need in the Kitchen
- 🥄 How to Make Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
- ♾️ Variations on Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
- ❓ Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes: Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Perfect: These are the best mashed potatoes with the most creamy texture and savory, buttery flavor. In short, they are the perfect choice for any holiday, potluck, get-together, or just because you want to treat yourself.
Crowd Pleaser: When it comes to crowd-pleasing recipes, this one is at the top. Pair these mashed potatoes with a decadent holiday meal and you’ve got yourself a serious winner.
Holiday Friendly: Mashed potatoes are a holiday staple and you wouldn’t want to put a dish on the table unless they had Ree’s mashed potatoes in it! Serve Ina Garten’s cranberry sauce along with it and you’ve got yourself a feast!
Sharable: This recipe might just go on your list of favorite potluck recipes of all time thanks to the easy make-ahead tips and the amount of mashed potatoes it makes. This is meant to share.
Ingredients Needed to Make Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
- Potatoes: You’ll need five pounds of potatoes for this recipe. Both Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes work very well.
- Cream Cheese: The secret to these delicious, creamy mashed potatoes, you’ll need 8 ounces, or a full package. If you can, keep it full-fat for the flavor. If you need to make it a bit healthier, go with fat-free or low-fat cream cheese.
- Half-and-Half: Half and half will add to the creaminess and richness of the potatoes. If you want to lower calories, you can substitute fat-free half and half.
- Unsalted Butter: You’ll need at least a stick of butter, plus more for garnishing the top of your potatoes. If you want to make this a bit healthier, you can swap out butter for olive oil or reduce the amount of butter incorporated into the potatoes.
- Seasoning Salt: Lawry’s seasoned salt adds the perfect amount of salt and spice to these mashed potatoes.
- Black Pepper: Freshly crush your black pepper in a grinder if at all possible. Freshly crushed pepper works wonders when it comes to enhancing the flavor or mashed potatoes.
Equipment Needed In the Kitchen
- Potato Masher: A good potato masher will practically do the work for you. We have the one featured here and love it. The masher is in a grid pattern similar to a potato ricer and it works wonders for breaking up potatoes to get them really creamy. It also folds down flat when you’re done using it! The squiggly type of potato masher will work here, too, it’ll just require extra mashing. But whatever you do, don’t throw your potatoes in an electric mixer! It’ll break them down and make them super gummy and unappealing.
- Stockpot or Dutch Oven: You want an all-purpose stockpot or dutch oven to boil and mash your potatoes in.
- Large Colander: A large colander or strainer is perfect for draining the boiled potatoes. You’ll have quite a few potatoes to drain, so pull out the largest you have.
- Medium-Sized Baking Dish: A 2-quart baking dish or larger is ideal for the amount of mashed potatoes you’ll have to serve. a 1.5-quart dish is a bit small.
- Vegetable Peeler: Get a good peeler that is super sharp and peels well. You’ll peel around 10-14 potatoes depending on how large they are.
How to Make Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
These mashed potatoes come together so quickly! There’s a good amount of hands-off time, too, leaving you free to meal prep other items you want to serve.
Prep and boil the potatoes
First up, set a large pot of water on high heat to boil.
While your water heats up, it’s time to wash and peel those potatoes! Since we’re going to boil them, you don’t want to leave the potato skin on. Take this time to check for unsightly spots and cut those out, as well.
Once the potatoes are peeled, cut them in quarters to help them evenly and quickly cook.
Place the prepared potatoes in the boiling water and allow to boil for around 30-35 minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness around the 30-minute mark. When your fork easily slides into the potato with no resistance, they’re done.
Drain potatoes into a colander, and then place them back into the dry pot.
Side quest: Turn your oven on to preheat to 350-degrees F so it will be ready for you later.
Place the pot over low heat and give your potatoes a good mashing. This will help some of the steam to escape so you have a lower water content in the potatoes. You want your potatoes to soak up all the goodness of what goes in them next, not remaining water!
Remove the pot from the heat and add your butter, cream cheese, and half-and-half. Mash potatoes until thoroughly creamy. If they are a bit too dry, add a splash or two of half-and-half until they reach the desired consistency.
Stir in your seasoning and spice until fully incorporated.
Bake the potatoes
We know what you’re thinking – are these mashed potatoes or baked potatoes? Trust us, you don’t want to skip this step.
At this point, your beautiful mashed potatoes have cooled down a bit thanks to the half-and-half and cream cheese (aka the secret ingredient of this dish). Popping them in the oven will warm them right up!
Place your mashed potatoes into a medium-sized baking dish (a 2-quart dish should work well). Add several pats of butter over the top of the potatoes, then pop it into your 350-degree oven. 5-10 minutes is all you should need for this step.
You can make these ahead!! We all know how crazy it can get trying to get more than one dish ready at the same time. Down-shift those stress levels and make this ahead, instead.
To make it ahead, follow the instructions above but stop after you place them into a baking dish. At this point, cover the dish with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for a day or two.
The day you plan to serve them, pull the dish out and set it on the counter to warm for 2-3 hours. A half-hour before serving, add a few pats of butter to the top and place the dish in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Voila! Mashed potatoes are served.
Variations on Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes
Want a few ideas to vary these delicious mashed potatoes? Here are a few of our favs!
Spicy Mashed: If you want to kick your batch of mashed up a notch or two, add a teaspoon of white pepper or cayenne.
Loaded Mashed: Add a 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, a 1/4 cup bacon bits, and an 1/8 cup sliced green onions to the final mix just before serving. Top each portion with extra cheese, bacon, and sliced green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.
Country Mashed: Bake the potatoes instead of boiling them, until tender. Then follow the rest of the recipe as written for delicious mashed potatoes with the skin in!
Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes: Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
Yes! This is one of the best make-ahead holiday recipes. Make the potatoes a day or two before you need them, then on the day of your feast, pull them out several hours ahead of serving time. Let them warm up at room temperature, then place a small amount of butter to melt over top and warm them through in a 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Store them covered, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.
You can keep them covered in the refrigerator for three to five days. Any more than that and we suggest freezing the batch until you’re ready to eat it.