The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Potatoes for Creamy and Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Looking to make the perfect mashed potatoes? The key is choosing the right type of potato. Here’s a breakdown of the best potatoes for creating creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes that are sure to impress.

Types of Potatoes for Making Mashed Potatoes


Potatoes are a staple ingredient in many households, and mashed potatoes are a favorite side dish for many people. However, not all potatoes are created equal when it comes to making mashed potatoes. Some varieties are better suited for this purpose than others due to their texture and starch content.

Waxy vs. Starchy Potatoes

When choosing potatoes for making mashed potatoes, it’s important to consider the starch content of the potato. Waxy potatoes have a lower starch content and hold their shape well when cooked, making them ideal for dishes like potato salad or roasted potatoes. On the other hand, starchy potatoes have a higher starch content and break down easily when cooked, resulting in a fluffier texture that is perfect for mashed potatoes.

Examples of Waxy Potatoes:

  • New Potatoes
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Red Bliss Potatoes

Examples of Starchy Potatoes:

  • Russet Potatoes
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Purple Majesty Potatoes

How Texture and Starch Content Affect Mashed Potato Quality

The Importance of Texture in Mashed Potatoes

Texture is an important factor to consider when making mashed potatoes. Nobody wants lumpy or gritty mashed potatoes; instead, they should be smooth and creamy with just the right amount of fluffiness.

Factors that Affect Texture:

  • The type of potato used.
  • The cooking method used.
  • The amount of liquid added to the mashed potatoes.

Starch Content and Mashed Potato Quality

The starch content of the potato affects the texture and quality of mashed potatoes. Potatoes with a higher starch content, like Russet potatoes, break down easily when cooked, resulting in a fluffy texture that is perfect for mashed potatoes.

How to Control Starch Content:

  • Choose a potato variety with the desired starch content.
  • Cook the potatoes until they are just tender to prevent overcooking and breaking down too much.
  • Avoid using a food processor or blender to mash the potatoes as this can result in a gluey texture due to excess starch release.

Best Potato Varieties for Creamy and Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes are one of the best varieties for making creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes. They have a high starch content and low moisture content, which makes them perfect for mashing. When cooked properly, Russet potatoes result in light, airy, and smooth mashed potatoes.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are another great option for making creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes. They have a slightly lower starch content than Russet potatoes but still produce smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. Yukon Golds also have a buttery flavor that adds richness to the dish.

Cooking Methods to Enhance Flavor and Texture of Mashed Potatoes

Baking vs. Boiling Potatoes

There are two main methods for cooking potatoes for mashed potato: baking or boiling. Baking involves wrapping whole potatoes in foil and baking them until tender, while boiling involves cooking peeled and chopped potatoes in a pot of boiling water. Both methods can result in delicious mashed potatoes, but each has its advantages.

Baking Potatoes:

  • Baking potatoes results in a drier texture, which is perfect for making fluffy mashed potatoes.
  • The potato skin adds flavor and nutrients to the dish.

Boiling Potatoes:

  • Boiling potatoes is a faster method than baking.
  • Add salt to the water when boiling the potatoes to enhance their flavor.

Expert-Recommended Potato Varieties for Delicious Mashed Potatoes

Purple Majesty Potatoes

Purple Majesty potatoes are a unique variety that produces beautiful purple-colored mashed potatoes. They have a high starch content and mild flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

Red Bliss Potatoes

Red Bliss potatoes are another great option for making mashed potatoes. They have a waxy texture that holds up well when cooked, resulting in smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. Red Bliss also has a slightly sweet flavor that adds depth to the dish.

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes are small, elongated tubers with thin skin and buttery flesh. They have a low starch content but still produce creamy mashed potatoes with a slightly nutty flavor. Fingerling potatoes are also ideal for adding other flavors like garlic or herbs due to their mild taste.

In conclusion, the best potatoes for mashed potatoes are those with high starch content such as Russet or Yukon Gold. However, personal preference and cooking methods can also affect the final result.


Are mashed potatoes better with russet or Yukon Gold?

Yukon Gold potatoes are a top choice for making mashed potatoes due to their high starch content and naturally rich, buttery flavor. Unlike russet potatoes, which can become mushy if overcooked or not drained properly, Yukon Golds do not absorb as much water.

What are the best and worst potatoes for mashing?

Potatoes are classified as either “waxy” or “starchy,” with waxy potatoes such as white and red potatoes having a tendency to become gummy when mashed. In contrast, starchy potatoes like Yukon Golds and russets are better suited for mashed potatoes. A combination of waxy and starchy potatoes can also work well.

What 4 types of potatoes are best for making mashed potatoes?

For the most flavorful and smooth mashed potatoes, it is recommended to use high-starch options such as Russets or Yukon Golds. Russets create a light and fluffy texture, while the yellow-fleshed Yukon Golds have a naturally creamy and buttery flavor with a dense consistency.

Are red potatoes best for mashing?

Red potatoes are a type of potato that are known for being waxy, which means they contain more moisture and less starch. They are ideal for mashing due to their natural creaminess and smooth texture. However, it is important to avoid over-mashing them as they can become sticky more quickly than other types of potatoes such as russet or Yukon gold.

Why are my potatoes so hard to mash?

If your mashed potatoes are lumpy, it usually means that the potatoes were not cooked properly. If you realize that the potatoes are undercooked, simply add some milk or cream and cook the potatoes on low heat until the lumps become softer.

Why are gold potatoes more expensive?

Red and yellow potatoes are typically sold out first, while russets can usually be found until June. However, as time passes, the cost of preventing sprouting in stored potatoes increases due to the greater need for energy and resources, making them more expensive. This was reported on May 27th, 2020.

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