Enjoy classic Southern Mashed Potatoes with creamy russets, melted butter, sour cream, and heavy cream for a comforting, homestyle side. The ultimate comfort food, these creamy mashed potatoes will have your family coming back for seconds every time!

A bowl of Southern mashed potatoes topped with butter.

Mashed potatoes have always held a special place on Southern dinner tables, and this recipe captures the warmth and tradition of Southern hospitality. We use plenty of butter for the best flavor and add a little sour cream for the slightest tang, along with heavy cream for the most velvety texture.

Whether it’s a big family gathering, Thanksgiving Day, or just a quiet evening meal, a big bowl of perfect mashed potatoes always feels like coming home.

Pairing these mashed potatoes with a main dish like fried chicken or cubed steak elevates the entire meal. They have a way of making everything feel cozier and more festive. And the best part? Mashed potatoes are not just for special occasions. Any day can be made a little better with a serving of this Southern favorite.

If you have leftovers, make these leftover mashed potato cakes. Your family will love them!

Best potatoes for mashing

When choosing the type of potatoes, it’s important to understand the differences. The high starch content in russets and Yukon gold potatoes helps to ensure a nice fluffy texture. I prefer russet potatoes when making these Southern mashed potatoes.

Yukon gold potatoes are excellent as well, but I prefer them for making olive oil-smashed potatoes like this recipe. Waxy potatoes, like the small red potatoes, are perfect for air fryer smashed potatoes, where they get crispy around the edges.

Sour cream, butter, and potatoes on the counter.


Potatoes: You’ll need 5 lbs. of russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces. A good vegetable peeler will help with this process!

Fat: We use butter and sour cream in this recipe and plenty of it. Melt two sticks of unsalted butter and set out a cup of sour cream to get to room temperature.

Liquid: While we mix our own heavy whipping cream and whole milk, you could use half-and-half, whole milk, or just heavy cream.

Seasoning: Keep it simple with salt and black pepper to taste.


  • ​For additional flavor, add garlic powder or roasted garlic to your mashed potatoes.
  • Vegan version – swap the dairy products for vegan dairy products.
  • Scoop your Southern mashed potatoes into a baking dish and top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake long enough to melt the cheese, then add some crispy bacon for amazing loaded mashed potatoes!
Spoon of white vegetables.

How to make Southern mashed potatoes

Cook the potatoes:

  • Place the large potato pieces in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  • Heat on medium-high heat until the potatoes reach a boil, then turn down to a simmer, ensuring the potatoes are always submerged in water.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, which should take about thirty minutes.
  • Once cooked, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot, heating on low heat for 3 to 5 minutes with a little bit of stirring.

Mix potatoes with fat and liquid:

  • For a creamy, whipped consistency, push the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk in the butter, sour cream, and the heated cream. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Adjust the texture by adding more cream or milk if necessary.

Finish with whipping the potatoes:

  • At this point, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip the potatoes and make them even smoother. This is what turns these simple spuds into true Southern mashed potatoes—the creamy, whipped consistency.
  • Note: you have to be careful with this step, however, because there’s a short window between whipped potatoes and activating too much gluten, which will result in a gluey consistency.

Potato masher vs. potato ricer

While using a potato masher is traditional, for the best mashed potatoes, you need a potato ricer. I’ve been using this little gem for many years, and I won’t make mashed potatoes without it. The ricer gives you the best creamy texture every single time.

Rice the potatoes then use the mixer to whip them and you’ll find yourself with the best mashed potatoes ever.

What to serve with mashed potatoes?

Our Southern mashed potatoes pair well with meatloaf or roasted meats, sous vide chicken breast, green beans, and various other side dishes, making them the perfect side dish for almost any meal.

One of our favorite dinners is fried chicken, Southern mashed potatoes, butter beans, biscuits, and homemade peach cobbler. That’s a Southern feast that you can never go wrong with!


What’s the best type of potato for mashing?

Russets and Yukon golds provide a creamy, fluffy consistency. Both types make delicious mashed potatoes.

How about storing leftovers?

Transfer cooled leftover mashed potatoes to an airtight container and refrigerate. For longer storage, use freezer bags.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Yes! Store in freezer bags or an airtight container, ensuring as much air is removed as possible.

Bowl of mashed potatoes with fork.

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5 from 1 vote

Southern Mashed Potatoes

Southern Mashed Potatoes with creamy russets, melted butter, sour cream, and heavy cream for a comforting, homestyle side.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 5 lbs. russet or Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to keep at a high simmer. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about thirty minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Drain potatoes and return to pot, heat on low for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring slightly. Remove potatoes from heat and push through a ricer into a large bowl.
  • Whisk in melted butter, sour cream, and the cream and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.




Serving: 12servings, Calories: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 861mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 450IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Calories: 268
Keyword: creamy mashed potatoes, easy mashed potatoes, southern mashed potatoes
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UPDATE NOTES: This post was originally published November 10, 2011, and on November 3, 2023, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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