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Secret Recipe to Make Instant Mashed Potatoes Taste Homemade

Discover the magic behind making instant mashed potatoes taste as good as grandma’s homemade recipe! Follow our easy steps to infuse a burst of authentic flavors into your ready-to-make spuds. Delight your family with a nostalgic taste of home that’s quick and convenient. Master this secret now!

Instant Mashed Potatoes that taste Homemade

Are you tired of the same old, bland instant mashed potatoes? 

Do you long for mashed potatoes with homemade texture and flavor, but don’t have the time or skill to make them from scratch? 

With just a few expert tips and techniques, you can elevate this humble pantry staple to new heights of flavor, texture, and overall quality in this perfect side dish.

My mom’s Homestyle Instant Mashed Potatoes are the perfect easy recipe for those occasions when we get together for family dinners.

This comfort food side dish is perfect for many applications, from game days to simple Sunday dinner. 

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.

By the end, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and confidence to enjoy restaurant-quality mashed potatoes in a fraction of the time.

And don’t miss the best mashed potatoes recipe out there—our Large Batch Mashed Potatoes recipe that uses two pounds of potatoes and a special ingredient to take them over the top. 

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Instant Mashed Potatoes that taste Homemade

Key to Success #1 – Use Real Potato Flakes

The best way to unlock the hidden potential of instant mashed potatoes is to use potato flakes made from real potatoes. 

While it may be tempting to opt for the convenience of generic brands or powdered mixes, using high-quality dehydrated potatoes can make a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of your easy side dish.

When you choose real instant potato flakes, select flakes that have been made from actual Russet potatoes.

Russet potatoes are the best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes because they are known for their high potato starch content and creamy texture.

These instant potatoes retain more of that natural potato flavor, providing a richer and more authentic taste to your recipes. 

The key here is to ensure that you’re selecting quality potato flakes that are made purely from Russet potatoes, without any added artificial flavors or preservatives. 

By doing so, you guarantee that you’re getting plenty of extra flavor in your mashed potatoes. 

how to make instant mashed potatoes better

Key to Success #2 – Use Microwave for Speed and Convenience

The next key to success lies in utilizing the microwave for speed and convenience, which allows you to whip up mouthwatering dishes in a fraction of the time. 

One of the greatest advantages of using the microwave is its ability to quickly bring the hot water to a rolling boil. 

Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level to make sure it won’t boil over in the microwave. 

Pop the water into the microwave, and within minutes, you’ll have boiling water ready to add your dehydrated potatoes.

This is a great way to save a lot of time when you’re trying to get your other dishes ready to serve. 

But the microwave isn’t just about speed; it also offers convenience. 

By utilizing the microwave, you eliminate the need for multiple pots and pans, reducing the amount of dirty dishes to clean up. 

This is a game-changer to help you reduce the cook time of Sunday supper or those busy days when you’re trying to get your holiday meal on the table.

To get started, place the required amount of water in a microwave-safe bowl and loosely place the lid over it. 

The lid helps the water to come to a boil faster while preventing it from evaporating.

Once it does come to a rolling boil, carefully remove the bowl of hot water from the microwave and add the potato flakes to it.

To achieve the desired consistency and texture of mashed potatoes, use a reliable electric mixer to thoroughly mix in the potato flakes.

You will notice that the flakes absorb the boiling water quickly, and within no time, you will have a delicious and creamy mashed potato ready for serving.

Ensure that you mix the potato flakes for 1-2 minutes until moistened, and you achieve a good consistency for the mashed potatoes.

Instant Mashed Potatoes that taste Homemade

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.

Butter has long been a staple in homemade mashed potato recipes, and for good reason. 

The easiest way to transform your fluffy potatoes into a homemade delight that will have everyone coming back for seconds is to add in a little extra butter.

When it comes to making mashed potatoes, achieving the perfect flavor and consistency can make all the difference in the world. 

Once you have fully moistened your potato flakes with boiling water, it’s time to add in all of the delicious, flavorful ingredients.

How to Add The Flavor

To start, add a full stick of butter that has been cut into cubes to your bowl of hot potatoes. 

By adding the butter to the hot potatoes first, you’ll allow it a moment to melt and blend perfectly with the potatoes.

Next, go ahead and add in the salt to bring out all the delicious flavors. 

Then, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, salt, and potatoes for a creamy and consistent texture.

When it comes to adding in the milk, it’s important to add it in last so that the butter can fully melt and blend with the hot potatoes. 

Stella getting a lesson mashed potato making

Begin by adding 1/2 cup or more of cold milk to the bowl, and continue mixing until everything is perfectly combined.

With an electric mixer, you’ll be able to quickly and easily blend all of the ingredients together. 

Be sure to mix for 1-2 minutes, until all of the potato flakes are fully moistened and you’ve reached the perfect level of extra creaminess.

For those looking to customize the consistency of their mashed potatoes, feel free to adjust the amount of milk you add to achieve your desired thickness. 

By following these simple steps and using quality ingredients, you’ll be able to create the perfect bowl of mashed potatoes every single time.

instant mashed potatoes recipe

BONUS – Can you double the recipe?

YES! The good news is that doubling the recipe is easy to do so and requires minimal effort!

Begin by ensuring that your microwave-safe bowl is large enough to hold at least 8 cups of hot liquid. 

If it does, follow the steps outlined in the original recipe, but double the amount of ingredients that are required. 

Once the water comes to a boil, add the additional ingredients to create a larger batch of mashed potatoes.

With this simple technique in mind, you can effortlessly expand the yield of your mashed potato recipe and enjoy it with more people than ever before.

BONUS – Can you make this recipe in a pot on the stove top?

YES! To make this recipe on the stove top, simply use a pot with a capacity of at least 4 quarts to bring the water to a boil.

Then follow the same instructions for mixing in the other ingredients. 

When making mashed potatoes on the stovetop, it is important to keep a close eye on the water to ensure that it does not boil over. 

Additionally, the cooking time may vary depending on the size of the pot and the heat source used. 

Save this Instant Mashed Potatoes recipe to your favorite Easy Side Dishes board or your Holiday Dinner board.

Homestyle Mashed Potatoes from Potato Flakes
Instant Mashed Potatoes that taste Homemade

Instant Mashed Potatoes That Taste Homemade

Yield: 8 servings

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.


  • 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


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 cups of water on high power for 3-5 minutes until it starts to boil.
  2. Carefully remove boiling water from the microwave and add in potato flakes.
  3. Using a hand mixer, blend the potato flakes into the water for 1-2 minutes, until fully combined.
  4. Add butter and salt. Mix well to combine.
  5. Add milk and mix until smooth. May add more milk to the desired consistency.


  • Use boxed potato flakes, not the mashed potato packets
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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Thursday 26th of May 2022

Thank you for your clear directions and tips and tricks. The photos are wonderful! I am looking forward to making these using your recipe.

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