There are a plethora of mashed potato recipes floating around online, but if you want to make the most perfect, fluffy parmesan mashed potatoes, look no further!
The simple combination of heavy cream, whole milk and parmesan cheese creates the creamiest, fluffiest potatoes for your holiday table, or for any weeknight meal.
I know mashed potatoes can be tricky or you can just never get them quite right. Follow this easy to make recipe and you’ll be sure to impress.
Table of contents
Along with using high quality ingredients, using the right kitchen tools are important, especially when making mashed potatoes.
If there is one thing I can highly recommend for this recipe, it’s to use a potato ricer to make exceptional mashed potatoes. You’ll simply press the cooked potatoes through it and this creates rice-sized pieces of potato. This does a couple things. It adds air to the potatoes which helps make them really fluffy, and it helps make ultra smooth, uniform potatoes with no lumps.
Plus, over mashing potatoes creates unpleasant, gummy mashed potatoes that you wouldn’t be proud of to serve at the table!
This potato ricer is my favorite!
But don’t worry if you don’t have a potato ricer, a food mill or a good old potato masher will do the job. And if you’re still out of luck, a fork will come to rescue!
Why this recipe works:
- They make the creamiest potatoes every time.
- They reheat beautifully.
- The potato ricer is key to the fluffiness factor.
- Even the pickiest of eaters devour these potatoes!
- They’re comforting, easy to make, and a holiday staple!
- When do mashed potatoes not satisfy the soul?!
These potatoes are a staple Thanksgiving side dish and I know you’ll love them!
- Yukon Gold potatoes: I love using Yukon Gold potatoes for a rich, smooth, buttery mashed potato. They’re considered a medium-starch potato so they make an ultra creamy mashed potato. Russet potatoes will work too, they usually make a pillowy, soft mashed potatoes since they have a higher starch content.
- Butter: The butter and Parmigiano Reggiano are our two main flavors in these mashed potatoes. Use high quality butter, and choose unsalted. That way, you can control how much salt you want to add.
- Heavy cream & whole milk: I’m using a combination of these for the Parmesan cream sauce, I think it adds richness and airiness to the potatoes.
- Parmigiano Reggiano: Either Parmigiano Reggiano or cheese labeled “Parmesan” are both great choices. Just be sure to avoid the pre-grated Parmesan. It doesn’t compare to the real deal and it also doesn’t melt as nicely into the potatoes.
- White pepper: I like using white pepper because it adds a subtle spice and earthiness but it also doesn’t leave black specs in the potatoes so they stay a pure, creamy white color.
Step by Step Directions
- Peel and chop the potatoes into 1-2 inch cubes
- Rinse the potatoes under cold water.
- Cook the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender.
- While the potatoes cook, make the Parmesan cream sauce.
- Drain and rinse the potatoes under hot water.
- Pass the warm potatoes through a potato ricer over the pot.
- Fold in the Parmesan sauce, season and serve!
Tips and Variations
- Make sure to use a fresh block of parmesan cheese. If you buy pre-grated or shredded parmesan, it doesn’t melt as nicely.
- Use a potato ricer or food mill for fluffy potatoes.
- Use half and half if you don’t have heavy cream.
- Add pressed garlic to the cream sauce if you want garlic parmesan potatoes.
- Don’t cut the potato chunks too small or cook them too long. Aim for 1-2 inches in size. Potatoes diced too small will create increased surface area can therefore cause them to soak up more water, and you’ll have potatoes that are water logged.
- Try not to overwork the potatoes. Stir just until creamy and smooth.
- Avoid blending the potatoes in a food processor or blender, you’ll end up with a gooey mess!
My top two favorites for substitutions are Asiago or Pecorino Romano.
Russet potatoes are always a great option. Or you can use half Yukon/half Russets. mashed potatoes.
I suppose it’s up to you! If you love the texture they add, leave them in. If you’re going for the creamy route, peel peel peel!
For the easiest option, you can use the microwave. Or if you have a little more time, pop them in the oven at 350°F with a little cream or milk and bake until heated through.
HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!
Fluffy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch cubes (or Russet Potatoes)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 8 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated using a micro plane
- white pepper, to taste
- garnish: fresh chives, thyme, etc.
- Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot of cold water, and rinse the potatoes 2 or 3 times until the water runs clear.
- Cover the potatoes with fresh cold water and add a generous pinch of kosher salt. Don't be shy here, add a really big pinch(s) of salt!
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat down to maintain a simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the Parmesan cream sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and whisk for about a minute to get rid of the floury taste.
- Then gradually whisk in the heavy cream and milk in a steady stream.
- Bring to a simmer, then add in the Parmesan and whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Sauce will be thick and creamy, similar to an Alfredo sauce texture.
- Drain and rinse the potatoes under hot water for 1 minute (this is to rinse excess starch)
- Pass the warm potatoes through a potato ricer, or food mill, over the pot. If you don't have either, use a potato masher.
- Fold in the Parmesan cream sauce, season generously with more salt, white pepper and chives on top.
- If looser potatoes are desired, heat some milk in a sauce pan just until warmed and slowly add to the potatoes and fold until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- This recipe only serves about 6 people, so if serving for a larger crowd for the holidays, I would recommend to double the recipe.
- If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can use a food mill or a good quality masher to process the potatoes. The ricer is my favorite method for fluffiest potatoes.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie