The Best Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes results in perfect mashed potatoes made fast. They are creamy, buttery, and fluffy, just like good mashed potatoes should be!

Creamy instant pot mashed potatoes in instant pot topped with butter and chives.

One recipe I was hesitant to try to recreate in the Instant Pot for quite some time was mashed potatoes. I love my recipe for Perfect Mashed Potatoes on the stove and I am always a bit nervous to mess with perfection!

But with a few tips, making creamy, dreamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes is not only possible but incredibly easy. And best of all, it is done all in one pot in less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

Notes on Ingredients

This is a classic recipe for creamy mashed potatoes, requiring simple ingredients you likely always have on hand. 

Ingredients for instant pot mashed potatoes labeled on counter.
  • Potatoes: I recommend using Yukon gold or russet potatoes for creamy classic mashed potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes will result in buttery, deep yellow mashed potatoes, and russet potatoes yield a more traditional result. Both are delicious. 
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is best to control the sodium content and to add a rich finish to the mashed potatoes.
  • Milk/Cream: While you can use cream, half and half, or milk, keep in mind that the higher the fat content of your milk or cream, the richer, and more luxurious your mashed potatoes will be. 
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream is my secret to adding tang and creaminess to the mashed potatoes and to help keep them super light and fluffy. It is optional but highly encouraged to turn good mashed potatoes into spectacular mashed potatoes.

How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel washed potatoes and then cube the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Be sure your potatoes are even in size so that they cook evenly.
  • Place the cubed potatoes into the inner pot of the pressure cooker and add the water and salt. The potatoes will absorb that salt, seasoning them from the inside out, so now is the BEST time to add the salt to your potatoes.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, seal the lid, and set the cooking time for 10 minutes on high pressure.
  • Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 to 10 minutes. While you can do a quick release of pressure earlier than the recommended 5 minutes, use caution, as the cooking liquid is very starchy and may spew out of the vent knob.
cubed potatoes inside inner pot of Instant Pot.
  • After releasing the pressure, carefully remove the inner pot from the instant pot and drain the cooking liquid.
  • Return the inner pot with the drained potatoes to the inner pot.
  • Turn the saute function on and cook the potatoes, stirring them gently for just 1-2 minutes. This will allow any excess moisture to evaporate from the potatoes and keep the flavor really intense. After a minute or two, hit cancel on the Instant Pot to turn off the saute function.
  • Use a potato masher to begin to mash the potatoes until smooth. Do not be tempted to use a handheld mixer, as overmixing your potatoes can result in gummy mashed potatoes.
Side by side photo of cooked potatoes before and after mashing in the instant pot.
  • Warm the butter and milk/cream in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute before adding them to the mashed potatoes. Adding cold milk to your mashed potatoes can cause the potatoes to seize up and lose their fluffy, light texture.
  • Once the milk and butter are added, continue to mash until the potatoes are super creamy and light. You can add in more warm milk/cream if needed to reach the consistency desired.
  • Finally finish the mashed potatoes, by folding in the sour cream.
Side by side photo showing mashed potatoes in instant pot before and after adding sour cream.
  • Give the potatoes a taste and add additional salt if needed.
  • Serve with additional butter and minced chives if desired.
Bowl of creamy instant pot mashed potatoes topped with butter and chives in white bowl.

No-Drain Mashed Potatoes?

There are many recipes that call for cooking the potatoes in broth and not draining off the liquid before mashing the potatoes. In fact, I have a recipe for Crockpot Mashed Potatoes that don’t require draining of the cooking liquid. However, I do not recommend this process when pressure-cooking russet potatoes. Russet potatoes release a lot of starch when they cook and that starchy liquid is not the best way to achieve flavorful, creamy mashed potatoes.

If you want to make no-drain mashed potatoes, I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes or unpeeled red potatoes, not russet potatoes. Replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken stock and cook as directed. Mash the potatoes without draining off the cooking liquid. Once smooth, add in melted butter, and stir to combine. If needed, add up to ¼ cup of cream to loosen the potatoes. And finally, stir in the sour cream for additional flavor.

For the Best Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes:

  • Be sure to cut the potatoes into equal size cubes. This sounds silly, but trust me, if you want to ensure your potatoes cook evenly, be sure to cut them into equal sizes.
  • Use cold water. Do not be tempted to add warm or even lukewarm water to the inner pot to speed up the time it takes to come to pressure. If you add warm water to your Instant Pot, it will change the amount of time it takes to come to pressure, which will ultimately change the cooking time.
  • Drain the cooking liquid. When using russet potatoes to make mashed potatoes, you really want to drain off the cooking liquid before mashing. This will get rid of any starchy film and residue that russet potatoes are known to give off while cooking. Yukon Gold potatoes don’t give off as much starch, but still more than if you were to use red potatoes.
  • Saute the potatoes. After draining the potatoes from the cooking liquid, return the potatoes to the inner pot and leave them on saute for a minute or two. This extra step gets rid of all the excess water and helps the mashed potatoes be creamy, not watered down.
  • Use a handheld potato masher, not a handheld mixer. Mixers overwork potatoes and make them gummy and starchy. Avoid this by mashing the cooked potatoes until smooth with a handheld potato masher. This will ensure super creamy mashed potatoes that never turn out gummy.
  • Warm the butter and milk. To prevent your potatoes from seizing up, slightly warm the butter and the milk so that they are instantly absorbed by the potatoes. 

Storing Leftover Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Leftover mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before warming through and serving. If you find your potatoes become thick after storing, add some warmed milk or broth to the potatoes to loosen them up.

Serving Suggestions

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are a perfect side dish for any family meal. I love to pair them with dishes like Rotisserie Chicken, Apple Pork Roast, or Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut. And if happen to have leftovers, use them to make Pierogi Lasagna. YUM!

More Instant Pot Side Dishes

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I would love to hear how much you enjoyed this simple method for Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. Please share a comment and review below. 

Spoonful of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes come together easily with a few simple ingredients to create rich, creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes that are ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. 

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Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Pressure Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 231kcal

Prevents your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe.

Instructions

  • Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1-inch cubes. It is important to be sure your potatoes are cut into even cubes so that the cooking time will be accurate.

  • Place cubed potatoes in the inner pot of the instant pot. Pour in 1 cup of cold water for the 3 or 6-quart Instant Pot and 1.5 cups of water for the 8-quart Instant Pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker, be sure the vent knob is pointed towards sealed, and set the cooking time to 10 minutes on high pressure. Hit manual or pressure cook and use the +/- buttons to adjust until the time shows “10”

  • Once the cook time has elapsed, allow pressure to release naturally for at least 5 to 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure. 

  • Carefully remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot using pot holders and drain off the cooking liquid over a strainer. Return the potatoes to the inner pot and then return the inner pot to the Instant Pot.

  • Hit the saute function on the Instant Pot and let any excess liquid cook off the potatoes for 1-2 minutes while stirring gently. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.

  • Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth.

  • Microwave or warm butter and milk until warm to the touch and the butter begins to melt, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes and continue to mash until evenly distributed into the potatoes.

  • Stir in the sour cream. Taste and add in the additional ½ teaspoon of salt if needed.

Notes

Milk/Cream: Use heavy cream, half and half, or milk of any kind for these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.
For best results, use a potato masher, NOT a mixer or immersion blender to mash the potatoes. This will keep your potatoes light and fluffy. 
To Make Dairy-Free or Vegan Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Replace the milk with vegetable broth and instead of butter use non-dairy butter. Omit the sour cream.
No-Drain Option: If you want to make no-drain mashed potatoes, I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes or unpeeled red potatoes, not russet potatoes. Replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken stock and cook as directed. Mash the potatoes without draining off the cooking liquid. Once smooth, add in melted butter, and stir to combine. If needed, add up to ¼ cup of cream to loosen the potatoes. And finally, stir in the sour cream for additional flavor. 
Storage: Allow leftover mashed potatoes to cool slightly and then transfer them to an airtight container. Store the potatoes in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If needed, add a splash of milk or broth to loosen up the potatoes after reheating. 

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 991mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 327IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 7mg

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This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated with new pictures and a video in 2022. 

 


Rebecca R. Ammons

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