Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

updated Oct 19, 2023

These creamy, tender mashed potatoes made in the Instant Pot require no draining since you mash the potatoes right in the pot.


Cook20 minutes

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My secret to great mashed potatoes? The Instant Pot. Instant Pot mashed potatoes are seriously good. This isn’t a holiday shortcut just for the sake of taking a shortcut. Mashed potatoes made in an Instant Pot — similar to ones made in the slow cooker — come out smooth and flavorful each time. Plus, thanks to the “keep warm” setting, I never worry about serving cold mashed potatoes. It’s a win all around.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why I Started Making Mashed Potatoes in an Instant Pot

A big bowl of classic mashed potatoes make any meal a little better. Sadly, I come from a long line of mashed potato forgetters. A familiar cry heard each Thanksgiving was, “The mashed potatoes!” This could mean one of three things: Someone forgot to start them, someone forgot they were cooking, or someone forgot them in the kitchen and they were cold by the time they hit the table.

This always bummed me out. I mean, we’re talking mashed potatoes here. So I set out to change my family’s mashed potato legacy. Thankfully, it was pretty easy. Enter: the Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Other than using a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, there’s no secret to my mashed potatoes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prep the potatoes: You simply peel a good amount of potatoes, pile them into the pressure cooker, add some water, and press a few buttons. You don’t even need to dice the potatoes.
  2. Pressure cooker for 20 minutes. After cooking under high pressure for 20 minutes, the potatoes are tender and ready to mash. (And if they aren’t tender, it’s easy to return the lid to the cooker and add a few minutes of cooking time.)
  3. Mash the potatoes. My favorite way to “mash” potatoes is to use a handheld mixer. So, technically, I make whipped potatoes, not mashed. If you prefer denser mashed potatoes, grab a potato masher, food mill, or ricer. Just be sure to skip the immersion blender or food processor, as the fast action of both of these tools breaks down the starch in the potatoes. The starch mixes with the liquid in the potatoes and turns into a gummy mess, which makes for a fun science experiment and a terrible side dish.
  4. Add the dairy. Add warmed milk or half-and-half and butter, and stir until combined and the butter is melted.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Can I Use Water Instead of Milk or Half-and-Half?

While dairy will give you the richest, creamiest results, you can swap in a few cups of the cooking water used for the potatoes — a technique we use in our vegan mashed potatoes. When you go to mash, add a little bit of the cooking water until you reach your desired consistency.

Can I Add Other Flavorings?

You can absolutely add any flavorings to these mashed potatoes. Top with chopped chives or parsley, stir in sharp cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese — the possibilities are endless.

Can You Use the Instant Pot to Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm?

Yes! After mashing the potatoes, wash the Instant Pot insert, then dry it. This removes the starch that clings to the pot from cooking the potatoes. Generously butter the bottom and sides of the pot, add a splash of milk or half-and-half to the bottom of the pot, place the mashed potatoes into the pot, and turn on the “keep warm” setting.

Stir the potatoes occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you have a glass lid for your Instant Pot, this is a good time to use it. If not, be sure the valve on the lid remains in the venting position.

When ready to serve, transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and top with a pat of butter and some chopped chives. Then get ready to hear your friends and family “ooh and aah” over your perfect mashed potatoes. The secret to how easy they were to make is safe with me.

Other Mashed Potato Recipes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe

These creamy, tender mashed potatoes made in the Instant Pot require no draining since you mash the potatoes right in the pot.

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups


  • 4 pounds

    medium russet potatoes

  • 2 cups

    half-and-half or whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

To keep warm:

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    half-and-half or whole milk

Serving options:

  • 1 tablespoon

    chopped fresh chives

  • 2 tablespoons

    cold unsalted butter


  1. Let 1 stick unsalted butter sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes. Set a wire rack in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Peel 4 pounds medium russet potatoes and place the potatoes on the rack in an even layer. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 20 minutes under HIGH pressure.

  2. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release. Meanwhile, warm 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk in the microwave or stovetop until warm to the touch.

  3. Open the pressure cooker. If using a potato masher, transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash until desired consistency. If using a food mill or ricer, process the potatoes through the food mill or ricer into a large bowl.

  4. Add the half-and-half or milk and butter to the potatoes. Fold to combine, or whip together with a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) or electric hand mixer on the lowest speed. (Do not use an immersion blender or food processor.) Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt and black pepper if desired, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

  5. To keep the mashed potatoes warm, wash the insert of the pressure cooker to remove any cooking starch and dry. Return the insert to the pressure cooker and coat the bottom and sides of the insert with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Add 3 tablespoons half-and-half or milk. Spoon in the warm mashed potatoes but don't stir. Cover with a glass lid or pressure cooker lid. If using the pressure cooker lid, be sure to turn the sealing valve to open. Turn on the "keep warm" setting. Gently stir the potatoes every 20 to 30 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pot.

  6. When ready to serve, spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and top with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers with this method.