If you've never made mashed potatoes in your Instant Pot before, you're missing out! These mashed taters come out fluffy and creamy every single time - no babysitting or stirring required! So whether you're cooking for a small Thanksgiving gathering or a big family feast, this recipe is sure to become a new holiday tradition!
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" link!
This post might contain affiliate links. If you click on those and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
Okay, first things first. If you don't have an Instant Pot, RUN to Amazon now and buy one. They are life changing (or at the very least, dinner changing). And I'm not just saying that because I'm an Instant Pot ambassador. Promise. That said, this recipe can be made in any electric pressure cooker, you'll just have to adapt the instructions (e.g., buttons, etc.)
- Ready in under 30 minutes. I mean, this alone should be enough!
- Only one pot, plus no stovetop or oven! Just think about that when you're making a giant holiday meal - you can get the side ready so easily!
- No draining required! No need to drain the water while making these delicious Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes. One less step, phew!
- Super customizable. You can use different types of potatoes, adjust the creaminess and garlicky flavors (as well as the herbs used!) to totally customize this dish to your tastes.
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this recipe, you'll need potatoes, butter, whole milk, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. You can top this with parsley (or herbs of choice) and butter!
Notes and Variations
- Best potatoes for mashed potatoes: You can really use any type of potato (i.e., Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold, or even red potatoes) in this dish. I personally prefer Yukon Gold (or a mix of half Russet and half Yukon) since that provides a nice creamy texture, but there's no wrong answer! You can also use baby potatoes if you want to just pop them right in without peeling.
- Peeled vs. unpeeled potatoes: You can use peeled or unpeeled potatoes in this dish. I prefer the texture of peeled potatoes since it's usually creamier (you can tell there's a pattern here) - but you can totally just throw the potatoes in without peeling and save yourself some time.
- Adjusting garlic and herbs: You can adjust the number of cloves of garlic in this recipe to match your tastes. Likewise, I've used parsley to top the dish, but you can also use other herbs if you wish (e.g., chives or rosemary).
- Choice of dairy: I use a copious amount of unsalted butter, whole milk and cream cheese in my recipe for Instant Pot mashed potatoes. You can substitute these with vegan alternatives for a dairy-free option. You use half and half or even heavy cream for a more indulgent version. Sour cream is a great alternative if you don't have cream cheese on hand.
- Use broth instead of water for extra flavor: I prefer good ol' water, but you can totally use a broth of choice if you want to impart extra flavor.
📖 How to make the BEST Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and peel them (optional!) Then, chop the potatoes into even-sized pieces (cubes). Place the cubed potatoes, whole garlic cloves and cold water in the instant pot. "Seal" the lid properly.
Manually pressure cook on high pressure for 7 minutes, followed by a quick release (i.e., turn the valve to the "venting" position)
Once the pressure has released, use a wooden spoon to push the potatoes to one side and set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode. Allow the leftover water to cook off for about 3-5 minutes and then press “Cancel”. The potatoes should now be fork tender.
Add the remaining ingredients (warm the milk up in the microwave if you can for a few seconds!) to the Instant Pot.
Use either a potato masher or whisk to combine all the ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. More milk can be added if desired.
Taste and add more salt or pepper as needed. Serve with freshly chopped parsley, and a slice of butter. You can also use other fresh herbs (e.g., chopped chives or rosemary) if you wish.
👩🏽🍳Troubleshooting, Tips, and FAQs
Whether you're making this for the first time or the thousandth time, and whether you're cooking up a whole Thanksgiving feast, or just making this for yourself, just follow these tips and it'll be perfect each time. But don't worry if something goes awry, just skip ahead to the troubleshooting FAQs below.
Top tips for perfect Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes!
- Start with cold water: This may seem counterintuitive, but it is essential for ensuring that your potatoes cook evenly. Fill your Instant Pot with cold water and then add your potatoes.
- Cut your potatoes into uniform pieces: This tip is also key for ensuring that your potatoes cook evenly.
- Know how to prep potatoes ahead of time: If you want prep the potatoes beforehand, peel and cut them, then keep them soaked in water for a couple of hours in the fridge. This way, you avoid oxidization so the potatoes won't turn brown.
- Use a potato masher: You could use a potato ricer when making mashed potatoes on the stovetop, but a masher works best here. While a food processor or immersion blender might make it quicker to mash potatoes, they make them gummy and gluey (not the texture you want!) A potato masher, on the other hand, will give you fluffy, smooth mashed potatoes without any lumps.
- Add cream cheese: This may seem like an odd ingredient, but trust me, it makes a world of difference! Adding cream cheese to your mashed potatoes gives them a rich, creamy flavor that takes them over the top. I promise you, you won't be able to stop eating them!
- Season generously: Don't be afraid to go heavy on the seasoning! Potatoes are a blank canvas and can take a lot of flavor. I've used salt, pepper, and garlic powder. But you can get creative and use your favorite seasoning!
Troubleshooting & FAQs
Totally! I prefer to peel the potatoes because I like a creamy texture, but you can leave the skins on. Make sure to wash the potatoes thoroughly if you're leaving the skin on. I also don't recommend leaving the skin on for Russet potatoes since the texture is quite rough compared to other types
If you measure and use the right amount of water (from the recipe card) you shouldn't have this problem! But the Instant Pot shows a "burn" notice if you don't have enough liquid and the contents are burning, instead of increasing in pressure! If this happens to you, switch the valve to "venting" (i.e., "quick release") and release any steam in the container. Then, unlock and remove the lid. Then, using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom and add a bit more liquid and try it all again until you have enough liquid.
Yes, you can. To cook them this way, add the potatoes to the Instant Pot with the water, and then turn to the "Steam" setting. Cook for 12 minutes. Then turn the valve to "venting" position for quick release. However, be warned that this method requires you to drain the extra water so I prefer the pressure cooking method instead. Make sure to wear oven mitts while removing the container to drain!
Nope! You can add the potatoes straight to the bottom of the pot - no trivet or steam basket required.
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
I often make a bigger batch of these mashed potatoes than needed (because they're great as leftovers!) You can make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot and leave it on the "Warm" setting while you prep any other dishes.
Storing & Reheating Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
To store these mashed potatoes, put them in an airtight container and store in the fridge. They'll keep for up to four days this way. When you need to reheat, there are a few different methods you can use.
- Place mashed potatoes back in the Instant Pot with a bit of water and steam for five minutes.
- You can also reheat them in the microwave in 30-second increments until they're as hot as you like them.
- You can reheat them in a covered pot on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Freezing & Reheating Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
If you're not planning on eating them within a couple of days, you can also store the mashed potatoes in the freezer for three to six months. Just place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze. I recommend portioning them beforehand so you can just remove the amount you want.
No need to thaw them before reheating! Just place them straight from the freezer into the microwave or pot on the stove. If you plan on using the Instant Pot to reheat them, thaw them first so that they don't take too long to cook through!
🍴 Ways to use leftover mashed potatoes
I usually end up making a larger batch of mashed potatoes because I love to use the leftovers in all kinds of dishes. My favorite ways:
- Indian samosas - toss leftover garlic mashed potatoes with some spices to use as a filling. Bake or make samosas in an air fryer and enjoy!
- Use the mashed potatoes as a topping for this delicious, meat-free vegetarian Shepherd's pie or go fully vegan instead.
- Use it in a hearty soup or stew (and if you're wondering which potatoes are best for soups and stews, I got you covered there too)
- This Mexican casserole is delicious and easy to make! With black bean chili beans, your favorite tortillas, and leftover mashed potatoes for the topping, this easy comforting casserole is a crowdpleaser.
If you like this recipe, check out my other delicious potato recipes:
Did you make this recipe?! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please leave a comment and a star rating and let me know how it went! We love hearing from you, thank you so much!
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes (No Drain!)
- 4.5 pounds potatoes
- ¾ cup cold water
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 oz butter, 1 stick, unsalted, melted
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 4 oz cream cheese, Half a standard packet
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Peel and chop roughly 4.5 lbs of potatoes into even sized cubes.
- Place the cubed potatoes, 4 whole garlic cloves and ¾ cup of cold water in the instant pot. Set the lid to the “sealing” position.
- Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes, followed by a "quick release" by turning the valve to the venting position.
- Once the pressure has released, use a wooden spoon to push the potatoes to one side and set the Instant Pot to “Sauté”. Allow any leftover water to cook off (no more than 3-5 minutes) and then press “Cancel”Make sure to watch the Instant Pot while this is happening to avoid scorching the bottom of your potatoes.
- Add ¾ cup of whole milk, 4 oz of melted butter, 4 oz of cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the Instant Pot. Use a potato masher to combine all the ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. More milk can be added if desired.
- Serve with freshly chopped parsley, and a slice of butter! Enjoy! You can make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot and leave it on the "Warm" setting while you prep any other dishes.
- This has been made in a 6qt Instant Pot, cooking time in other models may vary.
- Use Russet or Yukon Gold or a combination for the perfect mashed potatoes. If you use Russet potatoes, you should peel them, but Yukon can be used peeled or unpeeled. Make sure to cut them evenly to ensure uniform cooking.
- To avoid cutting up the potatoes, you substitute whole baby potatoes, and also also avoid peeling them! If you're not peeling potatoes, wash them really well!
- To prep the potatoes in advance, cube them and then store them submerged in water in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Ensure that the bottom of the pot has an inch of water - this will prevent the "burn" notice. If you still get a burn notice, release the steam by "venting" the Instant Pot ("quick release") and then add a bit more liquid and cook again.
- If you mash and still see lumps, you can run them through a sieve or a ricer for really smooth and creamy mashed potatoes!
- Warming up the butter and the milk will help them blend better with the potatoes. You can also use broth instead of water to increase the flavor.