Instant Mashed Potatoes are a great convenient side dish that can taste just like homemade mashed potatoes. You can heat the water in the microwave to save time. With a few simple ingredients, you can make instant mashed potatoes that everyone will think you prepared from whole potatoes.
My mom always makes these Homestyle Instant Mashed Potatoes when we get together for family dinners.
She has to make a huge – HUGE – bowl of them because everybody loves them and they are often one of the first things to go.
I finally got her to share all her tips for making instant mashed potatoes taste like homemade.
We also have a Large Batch Mashed Potatoes recipe that uses whole potatoes and a special ingredient to take them over the top.
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Key to Success #1 – Use Real Potato Flakes
This Mashed Potato recipe is designed for use with real potato flakes.
Plain potato flakes. Not a lot of other stabilizers or ingredients. Not a pouch of mashed potato mix.
Check the label to make sure it’s just potato flakes and nothing else.
You can find a box or bag of potato flakes in pretty much all grocery or big box stores.
Key to Success #2 – Use Microwave for Convenience
To make things quick and easy, we’re heating the water in the microwave.
You don’t even need a stove to make delicious mashed potatoes!
Make sure that your bowl is microwave-safe. It’s a plus if the bowl has a lid.
Place the water into your microwave-safe bowl and loosely lay the lid over the top.
The lid is to help the water come to a boil faster and prevent the water from evaporating.
Depending on the power of your microwave, it could take 3-5 minutes for the water to start boiling.
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, carefully remove the bowl of water from the microwave and add in the potato flakes.
Use an electric mixer to mix in the potato flakes.
They will quickly absorb all the boiling water.
Mix for 1-2 minutes, just until all the potato flakes are moistened.
Key to Success #3 – Butter Them Up (aka The Secret to Homemade Taste)
The secret to instant mashed potatoes with a homestyle taste and texture is all in how much butter, salt, and milk you add to the potato flakes.
Once you have your potato flakes fully moistened with boiling water, we can start add in all the flavor.
Add a full stick of butter that has been cut into cubes to your bowl of hot potatoes.
Adding the butter to the hot potatoes first will allow the butter a minute to melt into the potatoes.
Go ahead and add in the salt as well.
Use your mixer to combine the butter, salt and potatoes.
Finally, mix in the milk.
We’re adding the cold milk last so that the butter can fully melt into the hot potatoes.
I add anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of milk then mix well.
You can add more or less milk depending on the consistency that you want for your mashed potatoes.
BONUS – Can you double the recipe?
Yes! You can easily double this mashed potato recipe.
Just make sure your microwave-safe bowl is large enough to accommodate 8+ cups of water.
If so, you can bring 8 cups of water to a boil then add double the amount of the other ingredients.
BONUS – Can you make this recipe in a pot on the stovetop?
Yes! You can make these mashed potatoes on the stovetop.
Use a 4-quart or larger pot to bring the water to a boil then mix in the other ingredients as directed in the recipe.
Save this Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe to your favorite Easy Side Dishes board or your Holiday Dinner board.
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups potato flakes
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk, or more as needed
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 cups of water on high power for 3-5 minutes until it starts to boil.
- Carefully remove boiling water from the microwave and add in potato flakes.
- Using a hand mixer, blend the potato flakes into the water for 1-2 minutes, until fully combined.
- Add butter and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Add milk and mix until smooth. May add more milk to the desired consistency.
- Use boxed potato flakes, not the mashed potato packets
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.
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