Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

A white bowl with sour cream mashed potatoes.

I have a friend who claims that her favorite food is mashed potatoes.

I bet she’s not alone.

We love this staple of Thanksgiving side dishes, Sunday dinners and wedding receptions because it’s comforting, classic and craveworthy.

Anyone can make mashed potatoes and they are always a crowd favorite on the buffet table.

And I don’t like to mess with anyone’s favorite food- unless Ina Garten tells me to.

A white bowl with sour cream mashed potatoes.

The Barefoot Contessa puts sour cream in her mashed potatoes. After tasting her delicious method, it officially became my method too.

Unlike Ina’s recipe, I use unpeeled potatoes because I like the little flecks of taupe potato skin in the final product. They lend wonderful texture and subtle flavor.

Ina also uses a food mill to break up her potatoes, but I wasn’t going to buy one for a recipe I make maybe twice a year.

If you’re like my potato-enthusiast friend, a food mill might be worth the investment.

Overhead shot of a silver spoon dipping into a white bowl of mashed potatoes and short rib.

This recipe breaks the potatoes up using a hand held mixer instead, but you can mash them with whatever you’ve got if a hand mixer is still asking too much.

Don’t get hung up on the tools- this recipe is all about ease, joy, and butter.

A silver spoon dipping into a white bowl of bowl of mashed potatoes and short rib.

Let’s make sour cream mashed potatoes

After mashing in your preferred method, add the hot milk and butter a little bit at a time and stir gently after each round. It’s better to air on the side of too thick than too liquidy. Be careful not to mix too vigorously or else the potatoes will turn gummy.

When it comes to salt, don’t be so careful. You’ll add at least 2 teaspoons to the potatoes after they’re mashed and I would encourage you to add more to taste.

The difference between good and great is a pinch of salt (this applies to any aspect of our lives, really).

Most mashed potato recipes strike a single chord on our taste buds. Ina’s addition of just ½ cup of sour cream adds another note that somehow makes a perfect dish even better.

The sour cream lends a subtle tanginess that balances the salt and fat, and a rich creaminess that a potato could never offer on its own.

An up-close view of a silver spoon dipping into a white bowl of bowl of mashed potatoes and short rib.

Sour cream mashed potatoes pair well with fattier cuts of meat- steak and pot roast and piles of pulled pork. It would also compliment a rosemary-scented pork tenderloin or even a juicy fillet of salmon.

I haven’t been able to make these for my mashed potato-loving friend yet, but something tells me she just might have a new favorite.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

A foolproof method to the mashing and the addition of sour cream makes a classic dish decidedly more delicious.


  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream



Place the potatoes in a large pot, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and cover with water, until the water reaches about 2 inches above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander and add them to a large bowl.


Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a 2-cup measuring cup (or in a microwave-safe bowl) in the microwave on low, until the butter is melted.


Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to the potatoes in the bowl. Using a hand held mixer, break the potatoes up at low speed. Or, mash them with a potato masher or large fork. Add the hot milk/butter mixture to the potatoes a little bit at a time, until the potatoes are creamy. Add the sour cream and stir gently to combine. Taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary, or more milk if the mixture seems too thick.


The best wine pairing here will vary, but look for wines with medium body—Côtes du Rhône, Barbera, Merlot, Chardonnay—because they stand up to richness and saltiness of the potatoes without overpowering their somewhat neutral flavor.

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    Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes — American Home Cook | My Meals are on Wheels
    June 24, 2019 at 7:22 pm

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