Creamy Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

A bowl of creamy riced mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of parsley.

Inside: The indispensable tool for making creamy, lump-free mashed potatoes every time.

Making lusciously creamy Yukon Gold mashed potatoes is quick, easy and foolproof with this easy method. You don’t need a hand mixer or masher; for these lump-free pomme de terre, use a potato ricer. I’ll show you how to make the best spuds for family dinners and holidays with this foolproof method.

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A bowl of riced mashed potatoes.

The secret to creamy, light and fluffy mashed potatoes is two-fold:

  1. The spuds you use.
  2. The method of smashing them.

We use Yukon Gold potatoes because they have the perfect balance of moisture and starch. A potato ricer ensures a smooth texture with no lumps.

In my experience, Yukon Golds make the fluffiest, creamiest mashed potatoes.Waxy red potatoes have a lot of moisture, which can make them too soft and wet, while russets have more starch and tend to be drier.

Yukon Golds are like baby bear’s porridge in the Goldilocks story – they’re JUST RIGHT. This Yukon Gold mashed potato recipe makes spuds that are creamy, fluffy and always lump-free.

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Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes have a buttery, soft yellow hue that’s very inviting.
  • This is a quick and easy, no-frills recipe.
  • It uses simple everyday ingredients.
  • They stand up to gravies and sauces without being stiff.
  • They are perfectly smooth and creamy with no lumps.
  • Ready to eat in just 20 minutes.
  • You can make them ahead; they reheat well.

Ingredients you’ll need:

Yukon gold potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – I recommend them for mashed potatoes because they have the best texture and moisture content for creamy and fluffy spuds. Red waxy potatoes have more moisture, and russets are drier with more starch. Yukon Gold mashed potatoes will give you the most consistent, traditional mouth feel.
  • Whole Milk – for a rich, creamy smooth texture.
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using unsalted, you may need to add more salt for seasoning. I start with four tablespoons of butter, then add another pat or two to melt on top for serving.
  • Kosher Salt – You’ll use it to salt the water for boiling and season the pomme de terre.
  • Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper will give you the best flavor.
  • Vegetable Peeler – to make riced mashed potatoes, the skins must be removed (otherwise, they won’t go through the holes of the press). My favorite vegetable peeler is this one from Kuhn Rikon. The blades are super sharp, and they effortlessly peel paper-thin skins from tubers, carrots, cucumbers, etc.
  • Potato Ricer – there are lots of styles of potato ricers. Mine has interchangeable discs in various hole sizes, from fine to large. Another style is this one, made of stainless steel with an extra large bowl, that eliminates the need to chop the spuds before ricing (smashing).

Before we learn how to make perfectly creamy Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, let’s talk about why you should use a potato ricer and the pitfalls of the other methods.

Potato masher:

Traditional mashers come in two main varieties, one with a wavy press and another with square- shaped cutouts.

Both do a decent job of crushing the potatoes, so long as you manage to get to all the spuds in your bowl or saucepan and so long as the potatoes are cooked enough to be smashed. (See my Pro-Tips below to know when the potatoes are done cooking).

In my experience, however, there are always a few taters that escape the press, leaving lumps and chunks.

Hand mixer:

Using beaters might seem to be a better option to tackle the problem, but it can have another dastardly effect — glueyness.

Overworking the spuds (especially when they’re hot) increases the starchiness of the potatoes and, with the steam from cooking, makes them gluey, pasty and unappetizing.

Potato Ricer:

The potato ricer eliminates these worries by breaking down the spuds once so they aren’t overworked, crushing them through tiny holes in the mechanism.

Once the potatoes are riced, it’s just a matter of stirring (not beating) in the milk, butter and seasonings.

Step-by-step directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and remove any “eyes”.
Chopping potatoes.

2. Chop the spuds into bite-sized chunks.

boiling the spuds until tender.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (enough to cover the Yukon Golds by one or two inches); add one teaspoon of kosher salt and the chopped taters. Reduce the heat to a rapid simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Draining the potatoes.

4. Drain them in a fine sieve or colander.

Using a potato ricer to crush the potatoes.

5. Fit the potato ricer with the finest setting extruder disc; fill the well with the boiled spuds.

Ricing potatoes.

6. Working in batches, press the cooked root vegetables through the disk (an immensely satisfying process). They will look squiggly, almost worm-like.

Melting butter in warm milk.

7. Meanwhile, heat the butter and milk in a small skillet over medium heat until the butter melts. Do not let it boil — or it will overflow the pan (ask me how I know).

Adding melted butter and hot milk to the mashed potatoes.

8. Add the melted butter and milk a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until you have fluffy, creamy Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

Seasoning the dish.

9. Season to taste with the remaining kosher salt and black pepper.

Adding a pat of butter to yukon gold mashed potatoes.


  • To check potatoes for doneness, stick the blade of a sharp paring knife into a few of the boiled potatoes in the pot. If the spuds slip off the knife, they’re done.
  • Drain the hot potatoes well and let them sit for about a minute before mashing them with the ricer. Letting the hot potatoes cool and dissipate steam will prevent them from being too wet or soggy and help prevent a pasty texture.
  • Don’t use beaters or an electric mixer, as it can overwork the starch in the spuds, making them gluey.


  • Swap buttermilk for plain milk to add a tangy flavor to the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.
  • Adding ½ cup of sour cream will add a richer flavor and texture.
  • Add a head of roasted garlic (removed from the peels) for deep flavor and seasoning.
  • Add a few chunks (about ⅓ cup of room-temperature cream cheese or herbed Boursin with the hot spuds before mashing them with the ricer for cheesy mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, crumbled bacon or this mushroom gravy.
Mashed potatoes with a melting pat of butter.

Make ahead, storage and freezing:

Yukon Gold mashed potatoes can be made ahead, on the same day you’re serving, though they do stiffen up the longer they sit.

Choose your preferred method from the ones below and have extra butter and milk to add at the last minute to bring them back to the fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes you crave.

  1. Stovetop Method: Transfer the mashed potatoes to a heatproof bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. This will keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.
  2. Oven Method: Turn the oven to low, about 200° F and transfer the potatoes to a heavy casserole dish. Add an extra pat of butter and cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap followed by tin foil. This will prevent the tubers from drying out while keeping them hot.
  3. Slow-Cooker – A slow cooker acts in the same way as the oven method: place the potatoes in a dish that fits into the slow cooker and turn it on low heat. Cover with the lid. This will keep them warm for hours without drying them out.

Make a few days ahead:

  • Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • As they chill, the mashed potatoes will stiffen up and won’t be as light and fluffy.
  • To reheat, microwave in 30-second to one-minute bursts until warmed through and add a mixture of ⅓ cup of warmed milk with one to two tablespoons of melted butter. This will make them soft, fluffy and creamy again.


  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  • Freeze mashed potatoes for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw before reheating.

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Creamy yukon gold mashed potatoes in a bowl.
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5 from 2 votes

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Learn how to make smooth, creamy, lump-free Yukon Gold mashed potatoes using a potato ricer. This foolproof method is easy and makes the creamiest pomme de terre you’ve ever had.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword potatoes
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • water
  • ¾-1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter plus more for serving.
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper optional


  • Peel 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Cut them into 1″ cubes and transfer them to a large pot. Cover with cold water by about 1 inch and add one teaspoon of the kosher salt.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and cooked through. (Test this by poking a sharp paring knife into one of the potatoes and lifting it out of the pot. If it slips easily off the knife on its own, they’re done.
  • Drain the tubers well in a colander or sieve.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 4 tablespoons butter and ¾-1 cup whole milk until warm and the butter has melted, but don’t boil. When the mixture is hot, set it aside.
  • Fit the potato ricer with the finest (smallest) extruding disk if that’s the type of ricer you’re using. In batches, fill the ricer with the spuds and press into the same pot you used to cook them (to save on dishes).
  • After they have been processed, add the warm milk and butter mixture about ⅓ cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition, until blended and creamy.
  • Stir in the remaining ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper.
  • For stiffer spuds (to hold up to gravy, you don’t have to use all the milk mixture; use about ¾ cup. For creamier potatoes, add all of it.
  • Transfer the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and top with an extra pat of butter if desired.


As mashed potatoes sit, they can become stiff and gluey. Stirring in warm milk and butter will loosen them and bring them back to their original glory.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1130mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Made these mashed potatoes to go with a roast chicken with gravy and they were the perfect consistency. There were no lumps (as advertised) and the yukon gold potatoes really are ideal for making potatoes that are structured, but not gluey or stiff. Thanks!