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What To Add To Mashed Potatoes For Flavor

Mashed potatoes need that extra boost of flavor to really stand out, so what do you add to mashed potatoes for flavor?

That’s a great question and one with so many delicious possibilities! You can make them creamy, silky, herby, crunchy, or all of the above, and they really are perfect for loading with strong flavors.  

Pot of mashed potatoes with whole potatoes surrounding the pot.

What to add to mashed potatoes for flavor

You can add so many different things to mashed potatoes for flavor and each category has its own advantages and adds its own profiles. 

Here is a breakdown of what that looks like, with some examples in each.  


Fats add richness, a bit of moisture, and an irresistible taste. Some options for this are butter or oil. 

Since potatoes are mostly bland without additions, it’s essential to add additional flavors and textures to bring out the authentic potato flavor. 


Potatoes are root vegetables that are high in starch but don’t have much of their flavor. Adding seasonings is, therefore, essential. 

One of the most essential seasonings to add is salt, which is a flavor enhancer and really makes potatoes shine. Some other options are freshly cracked black pepper, paprika, or coriander.   


Herbs pack so much flavor, especially when they’re fresh. Adding chopped herbs, garlic, or chives to potatoes is an excellent way to give them a fresh taste. 

Some other herbs you could include are parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano.

You can also add dried herbs if you don’t have any fresh herbs. These work just as well; you just won’t get the same fresh flavor. 


Adding dairy makes mashed potatoes smooth, creamy, silky, and rich. If you’re not adding some kind of dairy to your potatoes, you’re missing out! 

Some delicious options include cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, and sour cream.  


Mashed potatoes are thick and have a smooth consistency. Add some crunchy components like bacon, pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts to make them pop. 

Not only do these add texture, but they also add incredible flavor.  

How to make mashed potatoes

There are a few different ways you can make mashed potatoes. You can boil, steam, bake, or cook them in the microwave to soften them. 

After softening the potatoes, you need to stir them just enough so they start to break down. Don’t overmix potatoes!! This will make them tacky and quite inedible. 

A great way to mash potatoes is to use a potato masher or potato ricer.

The ricer works by putting the softened potatoes in a canister and pushing them through small holes, and this makes them very light and fluffy. 

Add the seasoning, fat, and dairy next. Gently mix them in until you have the right consistency. You can always thicken your mashed potatoes back up if you put too much moisture in them. 

Finally, add any mix-ins or sprinkle with crunchy toppings and serve.  

How to store 

The best way to store cooked mashed potatoes is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay good for five days and are one of the best foods for reheating to eat later. 

You can also freeze them! Allow them to cool completely, and then transfer the potatoes to a large freezer bag or container and stick them in the freezer.

Remember to label and date them to remember what you have in there later.   

How to reheat 

You can reheat potatoes stored in the fridge in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. You may need to add extra liquid and gently stir to get them to thin out. You can also keep mashed potatoes warm so you can serve them when dinner is ready. 

If your potatoes are frozen, you can let the container sit in the refrigerator until they are thawed, or you can stick it in the microwave in 30-second increments.

Stir the potatoes, so they get hot all the way through while reheating them. 


If your mashed potatoes are a little lackluster, you may need to add some additional salt or butter to them, and this will give them a huge flavor boost.  

Do your potatoes taste bland? The best way to fix this is by adding seasonings, herbs, garlic, chives, nuts, or bacon. These delicious mix-ins are the perfect addition to mashed potatoes. 

When you add milk to your potatoes, it adds moisture to help thin them out and makes them creamy. You can also use heavy cream or half and half. A little trick is to heat the milk before adding it to the potatoes, so they don’t get cold. 

You can add an egg yolk to your potatoes to make them silky and light. This also gives them a beautiful pale yellow color.


Mashed potatoes are vegetables that are boiled, steamed, or baked and then mashed together with other ingredients to make a fantastic side dish on any table. 

Potatoes are a little bland without added seasonings. So, what should you add to mashed potatoes for flavor? There are just so many delicious options! 

You can add fats like butter or oil, herbs like chives or parsley, seasonings like salt or pepper, and crunchy toppings like bacon or nuts. 

Store your cooked potatoes in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator or freezer to save for later. This is perfect if you want to make them ahead of time and have them ready to go for dinner any night of the week. 

Your imagination is the limit for what you add to your mashed potatoes, and you get to make them exactly how you want! 

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