Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

For the creamiest, most delicious mashers, look no further than this Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes recipe! With or without the topping (take my advice, add the topping), these potatoes need to be on everyone’s Thanksgiving table!

Adding buttermilk provides a zing of tanginess that makes these potatoes so delicious!  I’ve always used the reserved potato water that I boiled my potatoes in to thin the mash, and I’m happy to use it here as well.  And, I know I said in the last paragraph, that you could serve these without the topping, but please don’t!  Unless you’ve got kids who want everything plain (or finicky adults), top these potatoes with a delightful schmear of olive oil, scallions, chiles, and cilantro.  This topping works so beautifully with the buttermilk-infused potatoes!  You just won’t believe it!

You can always make two platters…one with the topping and one without,  Or try half and half.  I bet the kids will gravitate to the side with the topping as it’s visually fantastic!

A few pointers about this recipe:  everyone has their own preference for how creamy or chunky they like their mashed potatoes.  I prefer to have a bit of chunk to them.  I used a hand masher to mash the potatoes, but you can also use a food mill or potato ricer.  Either of these will provide you with a creamier texture.  One thing to note:  these utensils require an additional bowl and utensil to clean.  It’s a good thing I like the masher!  Haha!

This recipe calls for whole-fat buttermilk.  In my area, it is very hard to find, so I made my own.  I added 3/4 of a tablespoon of white vinegar (you can also use lemon juice) to a measuring cup and added whole milk until I reached 3/4 cup full.  Voila!!

Finally, I love making mashed potatoes with Yukon Gold potatoes.  I typically leave the skins on them.  This time I peeled the potatoes for all you purists, but feel free to use another potato with or without the skins.  Your choice!

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Lastly, if you make Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes:

  • 1 & 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks (you’ll have about 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes post peeling)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature, see notes above
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt

Herby Garnish:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, to yield a heaping half cup or so
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 to 4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


Place the potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, reserving at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Return the potatoes to the pan and set over low heat, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the potatoes dry out a little. Add the buttermilk, ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, pepper to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until you have a coarse purée. Add the butter and mash again. Once the potatoes are as mashed up as possible you can switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and beat them further. Taste. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste. Thin with more reserved cooking liquid if desired.

Herby Garnish:

Heat the oil, scallions, crushed red pepper flakes, and cilantro in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the scallions and red pepper flakes start to visually and audibly sizzle. Season with a pinch of sea salt and remove from the heat.

To serve, transfer half of the potatoes to a serving dish. Use the back of a spoon to swoosh the potatoes around a bit, creating peaks and valleys. Spoon the herby oil over top, allowing the oil to pool in the crevices. Crack more pepper over top and, if you wish, season with another pinch of sea salt.

Recipe from Alexandra Cooks


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