20 Mashed Potato Recipes That Are Perfect for Thanksgiving

updated Nov 3, 2022
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Thanksgiving dinner is simply not complete without a big bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. You can always count on a dish of fluffy, buttery spuds to be a crowd favorite. And you’ve got choices because there are quite a few methods for making this staple side dish – grab your Dutch oven and head to the stovetop, pull out your slow cooker, turn to the Instant Pot, and you can even use your microwave (yes, really!).

Mix in some melted butter and cream (a classic), go for a dairy swap, like buttermilk, cream cheese, or sour cream for even more flavor. And regardless of which mashed potato recipe you land on, definitely don’t worry about making too much, the leftovers will keep for days and reheat like a dream. Plus, you can reinvent them into something entirely new, like baked puffs, fried mashed potato balls, savory potato pancakes, or use them as a topper for shepherd pie.

Get your potato masher (or food mill!) at the ready and let’s get cooking. Here are 20 absolutely perfect mashed potato recipes for your Thanksgiving table.

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Classic Mashed Potatoes

These are the buttery, fluffy potatoes that come to mind for most of us when we think about classic mashed potatoes. Made with a combination of Yukon Golds and Russets for optimal texture, the potatoes are first boiled, then peeled, pushed through a ricer (more on this in a minute!), and mixed with plenty of warm dairy.

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French Onion Mashed Potatoes

Stir onion soup mix and sour cream into mashed potatoes for an easy side dish your guests will scoop seconds of.

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Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Traditional mashed potatoes get an extra dose of luxe flavor from sour cream.
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Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes just got a bit more sophisticated with a dairy swap-out.
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Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes

This super-smart recipe calls for cooking the potatoes directly in the milk and broth from the very start. Not only does this infuse them with flavor, but it also results in rich, garlicky, incredibly creamy mashed potatoes in a fraction of the time — and with half the dirty dishes!

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French Celery Root Mashed Potatoes
These celery root mashed potatoes, with their slightly sweet and earthy flavor, strike a sophisticated note among all the other (rather heavy) dishes on the Thanksgiving table.
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Microwave Mashed Potatoes
These quick and simple mashed potatoes are just as comforting as the stovetop verison.
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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

If you saved the mashed potatoes until the very last minute (okay, say you forgot all about them), this is the method that will bring this can't-miss side to the table in a flash. After cooking the peeled potatoes under high pressure for just a few minutes, they're tender and

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Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes
These creamy baked mashed potatoes are loaded with two kinds of cheese and are make-ahead-friendly.
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Loaded Mashed Potatoes
If you're looking for a seriously impressive way to upgrade your basic mashed potatoes, take inspiration from loaded baked potatoes with all the fixings.
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Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Cream cheese upgrades classic mashed potatoes into the creamiest, dreamiest side.
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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

The slow cooker is a great solution for creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes when you need a hands-off option or one that frees up space on the stovetop. It's an easy way to cook your mashed potatoes and keep them warm through dinner. Of course, you'll still have to mash the potatoes, but there's a whole lot more flexibility on when you get to that step with this method.

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Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes with Fried Shallots
Inspired by potato stuffed pierogi, these sour cream and onion mashed potatoes deserve a spot at your Thanksgiving table.
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Mashed Potatoes for Two
This method requires no masher, no ricer, and a bare minimum of equipment in general.
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Golden Mashed Potatoes

Rutabaga gives this mash a boost of rich, earthy flavor and the most beautiful golden hue.

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Vegan Mashed Potatoes
These garlicky potatoes are so creamy and lush — without a single drop of cream or butter.
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Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Smooth, creamy, buttery garlic mashed potatoes in the slow cooker.
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Stovetop Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

If your idea of amazing mashed potatoes skips the smooth texture for one that's chunky and studded with potato skins, this is the method for you.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Cooked in toasty brown butter, lightly sweetened with maple syrup, and whipped until they're impossibly creamy and fluffy, these creamy sweet potatoes are pure perfection.

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Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole
This casserole tastes best when made ahead, so you can get it done before the big day when many dishes are competing for precious oven space.
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Smashed Potato Casserole

The flavors of a fully loaded baked potato are baked until gooey and bubbling, making this dish impossible to resist.

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