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They’re just mashed potatoes. But everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes, right? Well, not necessarily, but either way, I LOVE mashed potatoes as long as they are “real” and I love Amish Mashed Potatoes even more. You don’t even want to know how much butter I like on my mashed potatoes, and don’t forget the salt and pepper. Do forget the canned gravy though.
Amish Mashed Potatoes add a twist to your family dinner and are a special treat in our house.

Amish Mashed Potatoes are a special kind of treat. We don’t eat them all the time but I love to make them for special occasions or holidays, and they are the best served up with my favorite turkey recipe.

How many potatoes do you need for mashed potatoes?

A basic “easy” way to know how many potatoes to use when making mashed potatoes: figure 1 medium potato per person with a few extra thrown in. It works. Truly it does. My favorite potatoes to use are red potatoes. They don’t need to be peeled unless you just don’t like ANY peels in your mashed potatoes, and they look pretty.

What kind of potatoes should you use?

I am pretty particular about what potatoes I use for mashing because there’s nothing like turning out some gluey starchy “mashed” potatoes.

My go-to potatoes for mashing are russet potatoes, which are commonly used for baking, and red-skinned potatoes. Red-skinned potatoes are a nice little shortcut.

While the russet potato has a thicker skin that’s not really ideal for leaving in mashed potatoes as they tend to stay chunky and have a stronger flavor, red-skinned potatoes don’t need peeled and they add some color. However, feel free to use your favorite mashing potato.

How to Prepare Potatoes for Cooking

Scrub your potatoes and peel them. Then, cut into 1 inch cubes unless you are cooking them in the Instant Pot. If cooking them in the Instant Pot, you can leave them whole (woohoo!)

How to Cook Potatoes on the Stove

Put your prepared potatoes in a pot with cold salted water that covers the potatoes by about an inch then put a lid on it and put them on the stove over high heat. Watch them carefully so they don’t boil over and create a huge mess. Once the potatoes come to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and leave the lid cracked on the pot if possible. Otherwise, just remove the lid so it doesn’t boil over and let them cook until fork tender.

Once they potatoes are fork-tender, drain the water off and cover until ready to mash. 

How to Cook Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Scrub and peel potatoes, leaving them whole. Prepare your Instant Pot by adding 1 cup water to the insert if you are using a 6-quart Instant Pot or 1 and 1/2 cups if using an 8-quart. Put a rack or steamer basket into the pot then add your potatoes. 

Put the lid on the pot and turn the vent to seal. Set the time to 17 minutes, manual, high pressure. Once cook time has completed, allow the potatoes to naturally release for 5 minutes then quick release. Lift potatoes out of pot with a spoon into a bowl for mashing.

How to Make Amish Mashed Potatoes

Add the browned butter, softened cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes by hand or with a mixer, being careful not to over-mash them. Add a little heavy cream one tablespoon at a time if your potatoes aren’t getting as fluffy as you’d like. One place I strayed from the authentic Amish Mashed Potatoes from my childhood is that I add garlic. Because I love garlic in my mashed potatoes. Feel free to skip it. 

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment letting me know if this sounds like the same recipe you know and love. 


Amish Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Heather McCurdy
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes


  • Potatoes (1 medium potato per child, 1 – 1.5 medium potatoes per adult)
  • *3 cloves garlic, diced or smashed (4-10 people) 5 cloves (10-17 people)
  • 1/4 cup butter (for 48 people) 1/3 cup (812 people) 1/2 cup (1317 people)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (410 people), 6 ounces (812 people), 8 ounces (1017 people)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cover with cold water. (About an inch over them)
  2. Cook on medium, with the lid on. Watch that they don’t boil over!!
  3. While they are cooking, brown 1/2 stick butter,
  4. Use a fork to test for done-ness. When they are soft, pull them off the stove and drain them.
  5. Put them in a bowl or pan that is safe to mash them in (no non-stick).
  6. Add cream cheese and butter and mash.


*The garlic is my own addition to the dish.


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  1. Just went back to the recipe to double check about the garlic and your comment (under Note) is definitely there, saying that the use of it is your idea.

  2. This is not an authentic recipe. I made mashed potatoes in the Amish community for 15 years. We never ever used cream cheese garlic or pepper.
    We used whole milk, salt, and butter only.

    1. I understand your community may not have made them that way but the community our family lived alongside did. I had them that way quite a few times over the years as we were conservative Mennonite and lived alongside Amish families. One thing I do need to update is that the garlic is my own addition. I had a note in there about that but it appears to have disappeared when I transferred the recipe from a different printable recipe service.

      1. Just went back to the recipe to double check about the garlic and your comment (under Note) is definitely there, saying that the use of it is your idea.

  3. I went to “amish country” in Ohio recently & had mashed potatoes for the first time; OMG!! I can’t wait to try this receipe and hope it”s as good as what I had in Ohio! Thanks

    1. Let me know how these turn out for you. If they aren’t quite right, you may want to try browning the butter before adding it to your potatoes. That’s another version. 🙂

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