Creamy Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

You’re going to love my Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe! The pressure cooker is the best way to cook mashed potatoes! No boiling over, no watching pots, no steamy kitchen—and no soggy potatoes!

Overhead view of a white bowl of Instapot Mashed Potatoes with a pat of butter on top and an Instant Pot, turkey gravy, and green beans in the background

Use your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or other brand of electric pressure cooker to prepare your Thanksgiving meal! Over the next two weeks, I’ll walk you through all of my favorite Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving recipes, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, turkey, and pumpkin pie! It’s going to be great!

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Several years ago, Frieda from Frieda Loves Bread convinced me to make pressure cooker mashed potatoes, and I’ve never looked back!

In the pressure cooker, you only have to wait for 1 cup of water to come to pressure, so the potatoes cook a lot quicker. I love not having to wait for a large pot of water to boil! And you don’t have to babysit the pot to keep it from boiling over, so you’re free to do other meal prep while the potatoes cook.

But don’t just take my word for it! 

“These were the easiest mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. I’ll never be making them any other way again.” Anne

You really have to try these for yourself!

Pinterest image for instant Pot Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe, featuring a close up of a serving bowl filled with mashed potatoes with butter on top and an Instant Pot in the background

How to Cook Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker

This Instant Pot Mashed Potato recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Mealthy MultiPot. Pressure cookers are perfect for steaming potatoes until they’re tender. (See more of my favorite Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes here.)

Homemade mashed potatoes have never been easier!

Best Potatoes for Making Mashed Potatoes

You can make this recipe with Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes—they have the same cook time in the pressure cooker. 

Russet potatoes (aka Idaho potatoes) have a high starch content and make fluffy, wonderful mashed potatoes. The official Idaho Potato page recommends Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes

Yukon golds are said to have a more buttery flavor than white potatoes like russets. They’re not quite as fluffy. 

Lately, when I cook mashed potatoes, I like to use a mix of russets and Yukon golds to get the best of both worlds—flavor from the Yukon and fluffiness from the russets.  

A thick scoop of Instant Pot mashed potatoes, garnished with dried parsley and melted butter

How Many Potatoes Can I Pressure Cook at One Time?

This recipe as written is for about 2 pounds of potatoes, which is about six side-dish servings. 

However, around 5 pounds of potatoes can generally fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker. 

Whether you use 2 pounds or 5 pounds, the cook time remains the same. Just make sure the potatoes are diced uniformly fit and are below the max fill line in your pressure cooker.

If you’re cooking the maximum amount of potatoes, you’ll want to be careful that no foaming or spitting comes out of the release valve. If this happens, close the switch for a few seconds and open it again in an intermittent pressure release

If you’re using an 8-quart pressure cooker, you can fit 7 to 8 pounds of potatoes. Also, with this larger size, be sure to use 2 cups of water below the steamer basket.

Step 1 of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Quarter medium potatoes

Do I Have to Skin My Potatoes Before Cooking?

I prefer the texture of mashed potatoes without the skins, but you can leave them on if you like. Whether or not you skin them, be sure to give them a good scrub in cold water to get all the dirt off before slicing.  

(Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to eat the skin to get all of the nutrients from the potato.)

Step 2 of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Diced potatoes inside the Instant Pot cooking pot, sitting on top of the steamer basket

Cut Into Uniform Sized Pieces

Since the thickness of foods makes the biggest difference in pressure cooking, try to keep your potatoes uniform in size so that they cook evenly.

Quarter your potatoes if they’re medium-sized potatoes. Make more cuts if they’re larger potatoes. 

When cooking vegetables, it is always best to undercook them, if the potatoes do need more time, just steam them with the lid on to avoid overcooking.

You can tell when potatoes are done when a fork can easily pierce the potato. Step 3 of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Do I Have to Use a Steamer Basket?

By using steam to cook your potatoes, you’ll cook them with a lower water content. This makes it more likely to have light and fluffy mashed potatoes!

The easiest way to cook them is in a steamer basket. However, if you don’t have one, I recommend doing your best to stack them on the trivet that was included with your pressure cooker. 

You can cook them directly on the bottom of the pressure cooker, but they won’t cook as evenly and will have a higher water content.

Using a potato ricer to make Mashed Potatoes in the pressure cooker

Tricks for Smooth and Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Use the right mashing tool For perfect, lump free mashed potatoes, I highly recommend using a ricer or a food mill instead of a traditional masher. 

If you’re in a hurry, you can use your KitchenAid mixer. But you need to be really careful—overwhipping your potatoes can make them gluey and you’ll still be likely to have some lumps.

Butter first. Another tip is to stir in the room temperature butter before adding the warm liquids to the mashed potatoes. 

When I’m in a hurry, I’ll warm the butter and milk together. However, if you add room temperature butter and stir them in before adding warm liquid, . This will prevent the mashed potatoes from absorbing as much liquid so they’ll stay dry and fluffy. 

Riced potatoes next to an Instant Pot Ultra

How to Make Flavored Mashed Potatoes

This Instant Pot Mashed Potato recipe is a perfect side for any meat and gravy meal. (For great meat and gravy meals, try my Pressure Cooker Pork Chops and Mushroom Gravy or my Pressure Cooker Beef Stroganoff.) 

However, you can still serve mashed potatoes even if your main dish doesn’t have gravy!

Step for Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Finish off by using a potato masher to mix the liquids into the riced potatoes

For garlic mashed potatoes, place a clove or two of minced garlic on top of the potatoes before steaming? Or just infuse the flavor by placing several smashed cloves of garlic in the water below the steamer basket.

To complement a chicken dish, use chicken or turkey broth below the potatoes or in place of some or all of the milk. 

If you want your potatoes to cook up extra rich and creamy, replace the milk with heavy cream. Or add 1 cup ricotta cheese or cream cheese to your potatoes. (For best results, be sure that all dairy is warmed to room temperature before adding.) 

In my cookbook, I also have recipes for Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (page 252), Twice “Baked” Potatoes (page 250), and Loaded “Baked” Potatoes (page 249). 

A serving bowl of Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes with salt and pepper in the background

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes with Your Instant Pot

I think potatoes are best cooked the day you want to serve them.

However, to simplify things, you can cook them a few hours before you wish to eat them. After mashing, return them to your cooking pot on the keep warm setting, or transfer them to a crock pot set to the lowest setting. 

Be sure to spray the pot with nonstick cooking spray or rub on a little oil to prevent sticking.

If they’ll be warming for a few hours, add a little more milk on top of the potatoes in the pot to make sure the tops don’t dry out. 

add the water to the pot BEFORE putting in the other pot

How to Reheat Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes 

The pot in pot method is the perfect way to reheat your mashed potatoes in your Instant Pot without drying them out! Place 1 to 2 cups water and a trivet in the bottom of your cooking pot. 

How long to set the cook time depends on the amount of mashed potatoes you’re reheating. 

A single portion will take a very short time; I’d start with 1 minute. If you’re reheating enough to feed a large family, it’ll take a longer time. I’d try 6 minutes, but it may take more depending on the type and thickness of the inner pot. 

Also, since reheated potatoes tend to dry out a little, you’ll probably need to mix in more milk and butter to restore the potatoes to their soft and creamy texture.

cheesy, breadcrumb topping for pressure cooker hashbrown casserole

What to Do with Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

I really love having leftover mashed potatoes! We’ll often make a double batch and have mashed potatoes and gravy the first night. 

The next night, I’ll make the topping from my Instant Pot Cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin. Warm up the leftover potatoes, top with the cheese and breadcrumb topping, and pop under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs are crispy. 

Instant Pot Thanksgiving meal, with all elements prepared in the pressure cooker including turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing (dressing)

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving

If you make just one pressure cooker Thanksgiving recipe this year, I definitely recommend it be mashed potatoes. 

Check out my Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Thanksgiving Guide for tips on how to use your pressure cooker this Thanksgiving! I even have two guides to walk you through a meal, including turkey, stuffing, cranberry, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving planning guide

Have you tried making Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes? What’s your favorite way to cook them?

Overhead view of Instant Pot Mashed Potatos with an Instant Pot and turkey gravy in the background

Yield: 8 servings

Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Stop boiling your potatoes when you're making mashed potatoes! To make the best mashed potatoes, make them in your Insta Pot / pressure cooker.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-size russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ to ¾ cup milk, warmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooking pot. Put a steamer basket in the pot and place the potatoes in the basket.
  2. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time.
  3. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release.
  4. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Use a fork to test the potatoes. If needed, relock the lid and cook at High Pressure for a few minutes more.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl. Use a ricer or potato masher to mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Mash in the butter. Gradually stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Note: Some people like to replace the cooking water with chicken broth and mix chicken broth in instead of milk. You can also substitute cream, sour cream, or cream cheese, all at room temperature, in place of part of the milk.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 17mg Sodium: 115mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Protein: 4g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

More Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Potato Recipes You’ll Love

Pressure Cooker Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is known in Utah as Funeral Potatoes. Hot, creamy, cheesy, hash brown potatoes topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping. It’s the perfect comfort food and it’s quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker / Instant Pot. 

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin

Instant Pot Cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin are made with thinly sliced potatoes coated with a rich, creamy, cheese sauce and crowned with a crispy panko topping. They’re the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner, but they also make any weeknight meal special.

A sheet pan with Instant Pot garlic roasted red potatoes

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes are coated in melted butter, garlic, and herbs, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and crisped to perfection in an oven. This simple, flavor-packed side dish will steal the show at your next meal!

Quick Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Potato Salad

This Quick Pressure Cooker Potato Salad is the best Instant Pot potato salad recipe! You cook the eggs and potatoes together in the InstaPot get quick, perfectly cooked eggs and potatoes every time. 

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Potato Cheese Soup

Instant Pot Chunky Potato Cheese Soup is loaded with chunky potatoes, bacon, corn and two kinds of cheese. A hearty potato soup recipe ready in just minutes in a pressure cooker / Instant Pot.

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Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes Pinterest Image, featuring a white bowl of mashed potatoes with an instant pot in the background

The Best Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes

Make your Thanksgiving dinner faster and easier by using your electric pressure cooker! These Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes taste like traditional Thanksgiving classics but come together in much less time.