Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

published Aug 7, 2020
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Cream cheese upgrades classic mashed potatoes into the creamiest, dreamiest side.


Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Cream cheese mashed potatoes in bowl topped with butter and chives.
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe | Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe

This year, we all deserve an extra layer of comfort, and when it comes to mashed potatoes, that big warm hug comes in the form of cream cheese. Cream cheese instantly takes the classic side dish up a notch, creating silky, super luscious potatoes with deep, savory flavor.

For the absolute best mash, there are a few important techniques to keep in mind. After boiling your potatoes until tender, you’ll want to pass them through a ricer. I’m a firm believer that a ricer yields the creamiest mashed potatoes, but if you prefer a few lumps (or don’t have a ricer), you can stick with a potato masher.

As the potatoes are cooking, you’ll heat the milk, butter, and a full block of cream cheese, which adds the most irresistible richness and tang as it melts into the milk. This is also when you’ll add your favorite aromatics to infuse the mixture with flavor. I like fresh sprigs of thyme, but choose your favorite or whichever will best complement your meal. Crushed garlic, sage, or rosemary are all lovely. Bring the mixture up to a simmer until everything is melty and well-combined, then stir into your potatoes to create the stuff of dreams.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe | Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Cream cheese upgrades classic mashed potatoes into the creamiest, dreamiest side.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3 pounds

    russet potatoes

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Garnish options: thinly sliced scallions greens or chives, fresh thyme leaves



  1. Peel and chop 3 pounds russet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and can be easily poked with a paring knife, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the milk mixture.

  2. Place 8 ounces cream cheese, 3/4 cup whole milk, 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 fresh thyme sprigs in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gently warm, whisking constantly, until the cream cheese and butter are melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. When the potatoes are ready, drain through a heatproof colander and place the colander over the pot. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill back into the pot. (Alternatively, drain the potatoes, return to the pot, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.)

  4. Discard the thyme sprigs in the milk mixture. Pour the milk mixture over the potatoes and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter on top of the warm potatoes to melt. Garnish with black pepper, thinly sliced scallion greens, chopped chives, or fresh thyme leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.