Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes – These creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes are so easy, thanks to the pressure cooker! They’re the perfect accompaniment to a hearty home-cooked meal! (Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan + Whole30 options!)
Confession: I could probably skip the Thanksgiving turkey in favor of allllll the side dishes. (And the pie, obviously!)
I’m always looking for ways to simplify in the kitchen, especially around the holidays, and turning a task or two over to my Instant Pot has been a perfect solution.
I love that Instant Pot mashed potatoes are almost entirely hands-off. No pots to watch, no testing the potatoes every few minutes to see if they’re done. You just dice the potatoes, put them in the Instant Pot with some water and salt, then cook them. In just a few minutes, they’re perfectly tender and ready to mash. You can even keep them warm in the Instant Pot, which frees up oven and stovetop space. SUCH A WIN!
And perfect for my side-dish-loving heart. Here’s how I make them…
WHAT I PUT IN MY INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES:
DICED POTATOES – I start with 3 lbs. of potatoes. You can make Instant Pot mashed potatoes with Russet, Yukon Gold, or red potatoes (see the FAQ for more about this!).
WATER OR BROTH – To help the potatoes steam and cook in the pressure cooker, I add 1 cup water or broth to the Instant Pot with the diced potatoes. You won’t need to drain them after either! You just mash them right in the pot. (So easy!)
SALT & SEASONINGS. I usually add the salt while cooking the potatoes, but you can absolutely do it after. Then, there are all sorts of ways you can add flavor, from fresh herbs to garlic, and more. (See below for more flavor variations!)
YOUR FAVORITE FAT. Here’s where these get super flexible. You can use butter, vegan butter, ghee (clarified butter), or olive oil for these Instant Pot mashed potatoes, depending on your dietary needs and preferences. You’ll start with about 4 Tbsp, but depending on the potatoes you use, you may go up to 5-6 Tbsp. at the end.
SOMETHING CREAMY. We’re a dairy-free family, so we most often use unsweetened cashew or almond milk for our Instant Pot mashed potatoes, but you can use whatever milk you drink whether dairy or non-dairy. Prefer not to use milk? You can actually use more broth or water!
TOOLS OF THE TRADE: 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES.
AN INSTANT POT OR PRESSURE COOKER. We’ve been really happy with our Instant Pot since getting it a couple years ago. I love that it’s more hands-free, and works well for everything from steel-cut oats to soup to chili and so much more. Here, it makes mashed potatoes a mostly hands-off affair, since you don’t have to watch the pot closely so it doesn’t boil over.
A VEGGIE OR POTATO PEELER. For the smoothest mashed potatoes, I recommend peeling your potatoes before cooking them. If you like your mashed potatoes with a little texture (like I do!) you’ll still want to peel about 1/2 the potatoes. This peeler works SO WELL and has incredible reviews. Highly recommend.
A POTATO MASHER OR HAND MIXER. A potato masher (like this or this) will help you make quick work of mashing all those potatoes once they’re cooked. You *can* get by with a fork if that’s all you’ve got to work with, but a masher will make the process much faster.
Even faster than that is using a hand mixer like this. See the recipe card notes if you plan to use a hand mixer, as some kinds of potatoes can get gluey if they’re over beaten.
PLAY WITH THE RECIPE: HERE ARE SOME FLAVOR VARIATIONS TO TRY.
This recipe is for classic, straight-forward, basic mashed potatoes. If you want to play with the flavor, try one of these yummy flavor additions. (I don’t recommend combining more than 1-2 at a time)
- USE FLAVORED OLIVE OIL. As part of the added fat, use 1/2-1 Tbsp. flavored olive oil such as roasted garlic, rosemary, basil, etc. to the mashed potatoes. Queen Creek Olive Mill is my favorite! (Use code “onelovelylife” to get 10% off your first order.)
- ADD GARLIC. Try adding 1 clove minced fresh garlic (or 1-2 cloves roasted garlic) to the cooked potatoes when you’re mashing. Or, you can add 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried garlic.
- SPRINKLE WITH FRESH HERBS. To make these pretty, I love to sprinkle them with some fresh herbs. Rosemary, parsley, or chives are all pretty and taste great.
- LEAVE THE SKINS ON. For a more hearty texture, try leaving the skins on 1/2 to all of the potatoes, if you’re using red or yellow (Yukon Gold) potatoes. (I don’t recommend this with Russet potatoes)
FAQ + TIPS FOR PERFECT INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES.
HOW LONG DO INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES TAKE START-TO-FINISH? Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, you’re looking at about 30 minutes start-to-finish. I made several test batches and recorded the times. In my experience, it takes about 12-15 minutes to come to pressure + 9 minutes to cook + 5 minutes to release the steam + mash.
WHAT KIND OF POTATOES DO YOU USE FOR INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES? You wouldn’t believe how many potatoes we ate when we did the testing for this recipe! (HA!) I can safely say that Russet, red, and Yukon Gold potatoes all work for this recipe. Russets give you the smoothest, lightest texture, where red and gold potatoes will give you a heartier mash. I think each has merit!
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES. To make these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes vegan, all you need to do is swap in olive oil or vegan butter for the butter/ghee. Our favorite dairy-free milk to use with mashed potatoes is unsweetened cashew milk, but you can use what you like!
CAN YOU FREEZE MASHED POTATOES? In my experience, Russet mashed potatoes freeze best, but most mashed potatoes can be made and frozen for several months. Just store in an airtight container (ideally a freezer-safe bag with any excess air pressed out) and thaw in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to reheat them, you can do this in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to stir them a bit and revive them with a splash of milk/water to pull them back together upon thawing.
CAN YOU MAKE INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES IN ADVANCE? For the freshest results, I recommend trying to time them as close to your meal as possible. Including the time it takes to come to temperature, these will take about 25-30 minutes, start to finish. Since sometimes you need a bit of wiggle room, you can keep them covered on the WARM setting in the Instant Pot if you like for up to about an hour, though you’ll want to stir them and perhaps add a bit of extra butter or milk every once in a while so they don’t dry out.
LOVE THIS RECIPE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- Paleo or Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Classic Gluten-Free Stuffing
- Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Green Beans with Balsamic Pepper Relish
- Smothered Green Beans with Bacon
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: