Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker for Thanksgiving or just as an easy side dish! They’re ready in about 30 minutes, from start to finish and are perfect every time. Add garlic if you like.

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

After making mashed potatoes every kind of way, these days, it’s all about the electric pressure cooker. The potatoes come out perfectly every time, and it’s so, so fast!

Whether you’re making mashed potatoes for a weeknight dinner or a big Thanksgiving spread, this is my favorite method for a perfect bowl of spuds.

Video! How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

What Kind of Potatoes To Use

Russets make for great mashed potatoes because they are starchy, but you can also use Yukon gold potatoes —the potatoes will look slightly more yellow once they’re cooked and have a smoother, denser texture.

How to Prep Potatoes for Cooking in the Instant Pot

To ensure that the potatoes cook evenly, I peel and cut them into 1-inch slices. Cut this way, I’ve found that they always take exactly four minutes to cook under pressure, and they always steam perfectly. (Heads up that the pot will take 15 minutes or so to heat up before the actual cooking begins, but the total cook time is still less than 20 minutes from start to finish.)

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes sliced in a strainer

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes sliced in a strainer

Add-Ins for Mashed Potatoes

I’ve included a few cloves of garlic in my mashed potatoes — they soften up and you can mash them right in. Four cloves might sound like a lot, but potatoes are such a blank slate, so this gives the whole dish a nice garlicky flavor. You can skip it if you want, though.

You can definitely tweak the amounts of milk, butter, and salt to make these mashed potatoes as creamy as you like. The proportions I use here make the potatoes taste buttery, but they’re not overly rich—my favorite. Feel free to fold in your favorite cheese, sour cream, or fresh herbs after mashing.

Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot in a bowl with chives

Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot in a bowl with chives

Make-Ahead and Reheating Instructions for Mashed Potatoes

  • You can make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot and leave the pot on the “Warm” setting while you go about prepping the other dishes.
  • You can also make mashed potatoes ahead of time. You can even make ahead and freeze mashed potatoes. Just don’t skimp on the butter or cream because the fat helps the potatoes reheat well.
  • We like to reheat mashed potatoes by putting them in the microwave (covered) for a couple of minutes, and then stirring them well before serving.
  • You can also put them in a slow cooker for a couple hours on low, or reheat in the oven, covered, or on the stovetop. Just stir occasionally, and add more butter and seasoning if needed to serve.

Leftover mashed potatoes will keep for 3 to 4 days, covered and refrigerated.

What To Serve With Mashed Potatoes

Serve your mashed potatoes with a holiday turkey or roast, or a weeknight dinner of Salisbury steak or meatloaf. I bet you will up making them more often with this easy method!


Updated November 25, 2020 : We added a new video to help you make the best Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes ever! No changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds (4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1-inch thick
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)


1 Pressure cook the potatoes and garlic: Place a steamer basket in the bottom of your electric pressure cooker and add 1 cup of water. Add the sliced potatoes and peeled garlic cloves (if using) on top of the steamer basket.

Secure the lid on your pressure cooker and make sure the pressure release valve is set to its “sealing” position. Select the “Steam” or “Manual” setting and set the cooking time to 4 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure and then the actual cooking will begin).

When the cooking program ends, perform a quick release by moving the pressure release valve to its “venting” position.

Peeled potatoes for instant pot mashed potatoes add water to the instant pot insert before adding the potatoes for mashed potatoes Place the steamer basket of sliced potatoes into the instant pot insert for making mashed potatoes Set the instant pot for 4 minutes of cooking time exactly for perfect mashed potatoes Quick release the pressure on the instant pot

2 Drain the water from the pot, then put the potatoes and garlic back in: Use heatproof mitts to remove the steamer basket from the pot. Lift out the inner pot and pour out the water, then return the potatoes to the inner pot of the pressure cooker (don’t put it back in the pressure cooker housing).

Remove the steamer basket with the potatoes, dump out the water, and add the potatoes back to the instant pot

3 Mash the potatoes, then taste for seasoning: Add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher to work the ingredients into the potatoes, mashing until the potatoes are mashed as much as you like them. Add more milk or butter if you like. Taste the potatoes for seasoning, and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Add the cream for making instant pot mashed potatoes Mash the pressure cooker potatoes right in the instant pot!

4 Serve: Spoon the potatoes into a serving bowl and sprinkle the chopped chives on top. Serve hot.

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