Thanksgiving dinner is simply not complete without a big bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. And you've got choices because there are quite a few methods for making this staple side dish. You can take your pick of which version to make based on texture, appliance, cook time, or make-ahead potential. Here are five foolproof ways to make mashed potatoes.
1. Classic Stovetop 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.
When it comes to actually mashing the potatoes, turns out that a ricer is a much better choice than a potato masher. It results in a side with less lumps and a more fluffy texture.
Get the recipe: How To Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving
2. Rustic Chunky 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. The process involves a lot of similarities with classic mash, with a few big exceptions. Most notably that here red potatoes are our top choice for the main ingredient, they don't need to be peeled, and when it comes to mashing, go ahead and grab your potato masher.
Get the recipe: Stovetop Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3. 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.
Get a Recipe
4. 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 read to mash. Bonus: The Instant Pot will also keep the potatoes warm until it's time to eat.
Get the recipe: Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
5. Mashed Potato Casserole
If you want to get a leg up on dinner by making the mashed potatoes ahead of time, a casserole is a great solution — especially when you're feeding a crowd. Mashed potato casseroles have a smooth, creamy texture, thanks to using a ricer or food mill to process the potatoes. It also relies on plenty of full-fat dairy, which means this side reheats like a dream.
Get the recipe: Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole