How To Thicken Mashed Potatoes: Tips Tricks and Flavorful Additions

How To Thicken Mashed Potatoes Tips Tricks and Flavorful Additions

Mashed potatoes are a comfort food staple that can instantly elevate any meal. However, achieving the perfect consistency can sometimes be a challenge. If you find your mashed potatoes are too thin or watery, don’t worry! This article will guide you through various methods to thicken mashed potatoes and enhance their flavor. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll master the art of making creamy, fluffy, and SEO-friendly mashed potatoes in no time.

Choosing the Right Potatoes

Selecting the Best Potato Variety

The first step to achieving thick and creamy mashed potatoes is selecting the right type of potato. High-starch potatoes, such as Russets or Idaho potatoes, are ideal for mashing as they break down easily and absorb flavors well. Waxy potatoes, like red or fingerling potatoes, tend to hold their shape and can result in a gluey or gummy texture when mashed.

Storing Potatoes Properly

Store your potatoes in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated space to prevent sprouting and spoilage. Avoid refrigerating potatoes, as the cold temperatures can cause their starches to convert into sugar, resulting in a sweet flavor and undesirable texture when cooked.

Cooking and Mashing Techniques

Cutting and Boiling Potatoes

Cut your potatoes into evenly sized pieces to ensure uniform cooking. Boil them in salted water until they are fork-tender, but not overly soft, to avoid waterlogged potatoes. Drain the cooked potatoes thoroughly and let them sit in the colander for a few minutes to allow excess moisture to evaporate.

Mashing Method

Choose your mashing method wisely, as it can greatly impact the texture of your mashed potatoes. A potato ricer or food mill will yield the fluffiest and smoothest results. A traditional hand masher can also produce excellent results but may leave some lumps. Avoid using a food processor or immersion blender, as these appliances can overwork the potatoes, resulting in a gluey consistency.

Thickening Agents and Flavor Enhancers

Instant Potato Flakes

Instant potato flakes are a convenient and effective way to thicken mashed potatoes without compromising flavor. Gradually stir in the flakes until you reach the desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much, as it can make your mashed potatoes overly dense.

Cornstarch or Flour

To thicken your mashed potatoes using cornstarch or flour, mix a small amount with cold water or milk to create a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into your mashed potatoes until the desired thickness is achieved. Be sure to cook the potatoes for a few minutes after adding the slurry to eliminate any raw flour or cornstarch taste.

Cream Cheese or Sour Cream

Adding cream cheese or sour cream to your mashed potatoes not only thickens the texture but also imparts a rich, tangy flavor. Start by adding a small amount and gradually increase until you achieve the desired consistency and taste. Be sure to warm these ingredients before adding them to your potatoes to prevent them from cooling down.

Additional Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Cooking Liquid

When mashing your potatoes, add the cooking liquid (such as milk, cream, or broth) gradually and sparingly to prevent over-thinning. It’s better to add too little than too much, as you can always add more liquid if needed.


Don’t forget to season your mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to enhance their flavor. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary to suit your preferences.

Aromatics and Herbs

Elevate your mashed potatoes with the addition of aromatics and herbs. Sautéed garlic, onions, or shallots can add depth and complexity to your dish. Fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or thyme can provide a burst of freshness and color.

Infused Butter or Cream

For a more indulgent and flavorful twist, try infusing your butter or cream with herbs, garlic, or spices before adding it to your mashed potatoes. Simply melt the butter or warm the cream in a saucepan with your choice of flavorings and let it steep for a few minutes. Strain the infused liquid and add it to your potatoes as needed.

Cheesy Goodness

Adding grated cheese to your mashed potatoes can not only thicken them but also create a delicious, gooey texture. Try different varieties like cheddar, Gruyère, or Parmesan to find your favorite cheesy combination.


Achieving the perfect consistency for mashed potatoes may seem challenging, but with the right techniques, ingredients, and a little patience, you can create a thick, creamy, and satisfying side dish. By selecting the appropriate potato variety, utilizing proper cooking and mashing methods, and experimenting with thickening agents and flavor enhancers, you’ll master the art of making delectable mashed potatoes. Remember to personalize your dish with aromatics, herbs, and cheese to make it truly unique and memorable.

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