Have everyone thinking you spent a long time peeling, boiling, mashing and mixing potatoes, when really didn’t! Learn how to make instant potatoes taste better: rich, creamy and full of flavor.
Did you grow up eating from scratch mashed potatoes or instant? My mom made us real, homemade mashed potatoes 99% of the time. They were amazing! But here’s the weird thing…every now and then I would have a taste of instant potatoes and I thought the flavor and texture were so good. Just because they were different.
So whether you grew up on instant potatoes or real Idaho potatoes, we hope you give these jazzed up instant potatoes a try. They are a great convenience food. You’ll be surprised at how good instant spuds are!
What readers are saying:
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Liz says, “”So happy I found this recipe! Got caught in a pinch and homemade mashed potatoes failed. Thankfully I had a box of instant mashed potatoes and this recipe just helped elevate it. We got plenty of compliments and will definitely use for the next get together.”
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Colleen says, “I have never used chicken broth for these instant potatoes but I am definitely going to try it with the broth the next time I make this recipe. My family members love these so much that I make them for Thanksgiving and sometimes for Christmas. I usually mix these by hand but I am going to try the hand mixer instead. Thank you for posting this recipe!”
The short answer is no. Real whole potatoes are the best option. But if you’re comparing instant potatoes to fried potatoes or fast food potatoes, then they are definitely healthier than that.
What are the best instant potatoes?
We tested three types of instant potatoes:
Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes: These were our favorite! They had great buttery flavor, a good consistency and were fairly light and fluffy. Some might find them a little salty if they are sensitive to salt.
Meijer Store Brand Creamy Buttery Mashed Potatoes: These were very thick. The exact opposite of the Hungry Jack potatoes. Because of that they were heavier. They had the consistency most like our traditional fresh homemade mashed potatoes, and the flavor was comforting. Not quite as buttery as the Idahoan, but still flavorful.
Hungry Jack Mashed Potatoes: These had a familiar flavor that was ok. However, they were really runny compared to the other two. Too runny for my tastes. If I were using this brand again, I would add more flakes to make them thicker.
What to Add to Instant Potatoes to Make Them Taste Better
Many packages of instant potatoes call for just adding water. That is what makes them quick and easy, right? However, if taste is most important to you, try these additions based on your preferences:
Milk: Milk adds to the richness of the potatoes. Use at least 2% milk, but preferably whole milk.
Chicken broth: This adds a richer flavor than if you would just use water.
Butter: Butter is always a good idea. Don’t use margarine. Use real 100% butter, either salted or unsalted.
Sour Cream: Sour cream and potatoes just go together. So why not mix them in?
Cream cheese: My grandma always added cream cheese to her potatoes. It thickens them and makes them super creamy.
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder are our favorites, but add any seasonings you’d like.
Please be aware that different brands of instant potatoes may put in their own seasonings, so don’t go overboard. Add the ingredients slowly so that you get the perfect flavor that you prefer.Especially if you need less salt.
Mashed Potato Toppings
Looking for a way to top this easy recipe? Try one of these:
shredded cheddar cheese
a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
fresh chives or fresh herbs
How to Serve Instant Mashed Potatoes
Special Occasions: Whether it is a holiday or a birthday, serve this potato recipe alongside roast turkey, short ribs or pork loin.
8ouncesinstant mashed potatoes*(We used 2 4-ounce packages)
½cupmelted unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan bring the milk and broth to a gentle boil and stir continuously while the mixture boils for two minutes.
Remove the liquids from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.
Add potato flakes and stir well with a whisk to make sure all flakes are moistened. Let sit for five minutes.
Use a hand mixer to mix and fluff potatoes on medium speed for one minute.
Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium to medium high until all ingredients are well combined. You can have small lumps, but should not have very many.They should be slightly fluffy and smooth.
Garnish with parsley, bacon, cheese, gravy…whatever you choose!
*We prefer the Idahoan buttery homestyle brand of instant potatoes. Go by ounces rather than cups to measure the potato flakes.In the video I say you need a tablespoon of onion powder, but it is a teaspoon. Follow the written recipe. The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 8, with 1 serving being ⅛ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**