Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese Recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
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Mashed potatoes are the ultimate celebration side. Perfect for holidays, dinner parties, or any date-night steak dinners. My mashed potatoes are made with Yukon gold potatoes for a buttery, silky smooth, and creamy texture that tastes a lot like fancy steakhouse mashed potatoes.

Golden mashed potatoes in a shallow bowl topped with melted butter and fresh parsley.

Why This Recipe Works

Perfect mashed potatoes take a little bit of practice to get right. There is a bit of science behind the process and how the potatoes cook. Yukon gold potatoes are considered one of the best potatoes for mashing thanks to their rich and creamy texture.

The cream cheese and butter enhance the texture of the mashed potatoes, adding both flavor and richness. If you follow this recipe to a T, I promise they won’t be gritty or lumpy.

If you enjoyed this recipe, also try my parmesan roasted fingerling potatoes and my garlic butter roasted red potatoes. If you’re looking for ultra-crispy potatoes, try my pesto smashed potatoes!

All of these potato recipes make the perfect pairing with my pan-seared filet mignon or my porterhouse recipe for two.

Ingredients

  • Yukon gold potatoes: Yukon gold are arguably the best potatoes for mashing thanks to their starchy contents. They render fluffy and airy. Idaho and russet work well too. If you have any leftover potatoes, serve with my red wine braised short ribs!
  • Cream cheese: cream cheese adds flavor and contributes to velvety texture. I recommend full-fat cream cheese.
  • Warm cream and butter: use heavy cream and heat so it’s just warm. Using warm butter and cream helps the starches better absorb the fat.
  • Salt: back salting mashed potatoes can be a challenge. It’s really important to get the bulk of the salt content from the salted boiling water. This helps flavor the potatoes throughout.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1.

Add potatoes to a large pot and fill with cold water, covering potatoes by 2 inches. Generously season water with a big pinch of salt. You should be able to taste the salt in the water.

Step 2.

Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until you can easily pierce potatoes with a fork with no resistance. Do not undercook.

Step 3.

Add cream and butter to a microwaveable safe measuring glass or bowl. Heat for 45 seconds – 1 minute or until the cream is warm and the butter is partially melted.

Step 4.

Remove potatoes from the heat and strain all water. Return potatoes to the same pot (keep off heat). Mash the potatoes (or use a potato ricer) until smooth. Pour in half the cream/butter and mash together. Repeat with the remaining cream/butter.

Quick Tip

Use a potato ricer for foolproof potatoes: while a traditional potato masher works, the best way to eliminate ANY lumps with little effort is to use a potato ricer.

Step 5.

Add cream cheese and stir with a rubber spatula until potatoes are smooth and silky. Season with additional salt if needed.

Step 6.

Serve immediately topped with chopped parsley or chives.

Golden mashed potatoes in a shallow bowl topped with melted butter and fresh parsley.

Expert Tips

Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

  • Always start the potatoes in cold water. If you add the potatoes directly to hot or boiling water, the outside of the potato will overcook before the inside is fully cooked. This can make your potatoes lumpy or gritty.
  • Cooking the potatoes in salted water enhances the flavor of your mashed potatoes. Failure to do so is the number one reason for bland potatoes. The potatoes will absorb the salted water and take on all of the seasoning. Use a generous amount of salt so you can taste it in the water. It’s much more difficult to season potatoes after they’ve already been cooked.
  • Don’t boil potatoes whole. Peel and cut potatoes into smaller chunks so they cook more quickly and evenly. They’re also easier to mash with your basic potato masher.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. They’re ready when a fork passes through the potato without any resistance at all. Yukon gold potatoes take about 25-30 minutes. It’s important to not undercook.
  • Use a potato ricer for foolproof potatoes: while a traditional potato masher works, the best way to eliminate lumps is to use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes.
  • Always add warm or room-temperature butter and warm milk/cream. Cold ingredients will prevent the starches from absorbing the fats. I add the cream cheese last once the milk and cream have been fully mixed and the potatoes are smooth with no lumps.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to reheat mashed potatoes?

To reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave, heat them in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of cream or milk to soften and regain some of the creamy texture. Heat in increments, stirring in between until warm.

Can I make this recipe ahead?

These potatoes can be made ahead of time and kept warm in a crockpot on the “warm setting.” Add a little more cream and give a good stir just before serving. It’s great for transporting as well.

Why are there lumps in my mashed potatoes?

Lumpy mashed potatoes are a result of undercooked potatoes. Cut the potatoes into uniform cubes so they cook evenly. Remove from the heat when they can EASILY be pierced with a fork or knife with no resistance.

More Potato Recipes You’ll Love

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
4.67 from 3 votes

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese Recipe

Servings: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
My cream cheese mashed potatoes are buttery, silky smooth, and creamy, and taste a lot like fancy steakhouse mashed potatoes.

Ingredients 

  • 2.5-3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (7-8 potatoes)
  • 8 ounces room temp cream cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, warm
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed and melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt, to taste
  • Finely chopped parsley or chives as garnish

Instructions 

  • Add potatoes to a large pot and fill with cold water, covering potatoes by 2 inches. Generously season water with a big pinch of salt. You should be able to taste the salt in the water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until you can easily pierce potatoes with a fork with no resistance. Do not undercook.
  • Add cream and butter to a microwaveable safe measuring glass or bowl. Heat for 45 seconds-1 minute or until the cream is warm and the butter is partially melted.
  • Remove potatoes from the heat and strain all water. Return potatoes to the same pot (keep off heat). Mash the potatoes (or use a potato ricer) until smooth. Pour in half the cream/butter and mash together. Repeat with the remaining cream/butter.
  • Add cream cheese and stir with a rubber spatula until potatoes are smooth and silky. Season with additional salt if needed.
  • Serve immediately topped with chopped parsley or chives.

Notes

Always start the potatoes in cold water. If you add the potatoes directly to hot or boiling water, the outside of the potato will overcook before the inside is fully cooked. This can make your potatoes lumpy or gritty.
Cooking the potatoes in salted water enhances the flavor of your mashed potatoes. Failure to do so is the number one reason for bland potatoes. The potatoes will absorb the salted water and take on all of the seasoning. Use a generous amount of salt so you can taste it in the water. It’s much more difficult to season potatoes after they’ve already been cooked.
Don’t boil potatoes whole. Peel and cut potatoes into smaller chunks so they cook more quickly and evenly. They’re also easier to mash with your basic potato masher.
Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. They’re ready when a fork passes through the potato without any resistance at all. Yukon gold potatoes take about 25-30 minutes. It’s important to not undercook.
Use a potato ricer for foolproof potatoes: while a traditional potato masher works, the best way to eliminate lumps is to use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes.
Always add warm or room-temperature butter and warm milk/cream. Cold ingredients will prevent the starches from absorbing the fats. I add the cream cheese last once the milk and cream have been fully mixed and the potatoes are smooth with no lumps.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cupCalories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 19.7gProtein: 4gFat: 9.4gSaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 97mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 2.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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