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Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Adding sour cream to mashed potatoes brings wonderful flavor and richness. This Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes recipe is totally company-worthy, yet easy enough to make as everyday dinner potatoes.

If you can’t get enough of Classic Mashed Potatoes, wait until you try these extra-flavorful and creamy sour cream mashed potatoes.

A bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes topped with melted butter and freshly chopped chives, with a spoon.

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These fluffy and buttery sour cream mashed potatoes are a family-favorite side dish. They’re totally company-worthy but so easy to make, you’ll want them on your table for Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, and beyond. Pair them with Prime Rib or Juicy Roast Turkey drizzled with Turkey Gravy.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes Recipe

We LOVE potatoes so we get creative with them, making everything from Au Gratin Potatoes to Potato Soup. We’re sharing our best tips for making super creamy sour cream mashed potatoes that the whole family will request again and again. Here’s why you will love this recipe:

  • Simple – These creamy mashed potatoes are made with basic kitchen ingredients.
  • Flavorful – The combination of butter, milk, and sour cream really makes these potatoes something special.
  • Versatile – These fluffy sour cream mashed potatoes recipe can be made ahead and reheats well (see instructions below)

Ingredients

Below is an overview of everything you’ll need to make these velvety sour cream mashed potatoes. Don’t forget to refer to the recipe card with the full amounts:

  • Potatoes – We usually use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe, but you can use just about any starchy potato. You’ll need about 10 medium-sized potatoes.
  • Milk – Adding warm milk (whole or 2%) to mashed potatoes helps lighten up the texture while keeping the potatoes warm.
  • Butter – We use unsalted butter. Good quality butter adds a silky texture and flavor to the potatoes. If you’re using salted butter then add salt to taste later.
  • Sour Cream – Sour cream lends extra richness and creaminess and tastes better.
  • Chives – Fresh chopped chives make a great but optional garnish, for a nice pop of color.
The ingredients for homemade sour cream mashed potatoes.

Pro Tip: After you’ve peeled and chopped your potatoes, place them in a bowl with water to keep the potato pieces from browning.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream

Here’s how easy it is to make these simple yet flavorful sour cream mashed potatoes:

  1. Boil the Potatoes – Peel and cut your potatoes into chunks about an inch in size, then add them to a large pot with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (see timing chart below).
  2. Heat the Milk – In a separate saucepan warm the butter and milk until it just begins to steam and the butter is fully melted, then cover and set it aside.
  3. Mash the Potatoes – Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash while drizzling in the milk mixture to reach your desired consistency. Be careful not to over-mash the potatoes, as they may become gluey.
  4. Add Sour Cream – Lastly, mash in the sour cream and season the potatoes with salt. Cover to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.
  5. Serve – Load your sour cream mashed potatoes into a serving dish. If you’d like, serve with additional butter and a garnish of fresh chives and pepper.
Photo collage showing the process for making sour cream mashed potatoes.

Pro Tip: To avoid gummy mashed potatoes, avoid overcooking. Also, drain them well and mash them while the potatoes are still hot. 

How Long Should I Boil Potatoes?

How long it takes to boil your potatoes for mashing depends on how large or small you cut your potato pieces. The easiest way to tell if a potato is boiled through is to poke it with a fork: if it’s pierced with little resistance, the potato is cooked.

Below are some average boiling times for different potato sizes:

  • 1-inch Pieces: 10-12 minutes (start the timer after the water comes to a boil).
  • Quartered Potatoes (1½-inch thick): 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Whole, Peeled Potatoes (Medium-Sized): 20 to 25 minutes.
A fork pierces a piece of boiled potato in a pot filled with water.

The Best Method for Mashing Potatoes

You can mash your potatoes by hand using a potato masher, but we’ve found that using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer is the fastest and easiest method for the smoothest mashed potatoes.

Overhead view of a potato masher on a countertop next to an electric hand mixer.

Common Questions

What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?

Starchy potatoes, like Yukon gold or russet potatoes, yield the best and creamiest mashed potatoes.

Can I add garlic?

Certainly. Add a pinch or two of garlic powder to infuse your mashed potatoes with garlicky flavor (or, try our Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe).

Can I substitute the sour cream?

Technically they won’t be sour cream mashed potatoes in this case, but yes. Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, and buttermilk are good substitutions for sour cream in a pinch.

Can I double the recipe?

If you’re making enough mashed potatoes to feed a small army, go ahead and double up the recipe!

How many potatoes per person?

Plan for 1/2 lb of potatoes per serving. So if you have 8 people, you will want to use 4 lbs of potatoes.

A bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes topped with melted butter and freshly chopped chives, with a spoon.

What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes

We love these creamy mashed potatoes as a Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish next. They’re great for entertaining, and everyone always asks for seconds. Here are more ways to serve sour cream mashed potatoes:

Make-Ahead

Here’s how to easily store and reheat mashed potatoes if you have leftovers or if you’re making them ahead of time.

  • To keep mashed potatoes warm: A slow cooker is the best way to keep potatoes warm. Generously butter the slow cooker, spread the warm mashed potatoes inside evenly, and drizzle with more butter. Cover with the lid and set the crockpot to the “warm” setting and it can stay warm for 3-4 hours.
  • To Refrigerate: Once the potatoes have cooled, store them airtight and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days. Storing in an oven-safe container makes it easy to reheat in the oven (see below).
  • Freezing: Let the mashed potatoes cool completely, then seal them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • To Reheat in the Oven: Ensure the potatoes are in an oven-safe casserole dish, drizzle the top with butter, then cover them with foil and warm them in the oven at 350ºF for 15 minutes, or until hot throughout. You can stir in a bit of additional milk to help loosen them up, as needed.
  • To Reheat on the Stovetop: My favorite quick way to reheat mashed potatoes is on the stovetop. Transfer potatoes to a skillet and set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until potatoes are hot.
A bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes topped with melted butter and freshly chopped chives, with a spoon.

No holiday is complete without a generous helping (or two) of delicious homemade mashed potatoes. Prepare to watch these sour cream mashed potatoes disappear from the plate!

More Easy Potato Recipes

If you love this recipe for mashed potatoes, then you won’t want to miss these other easy potato recipes.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes Recipe

5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
A bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes topped with melted butter and freshly chopped chives, with a spoon.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes are filled with richness and flavor, especially when topped with butter and fresh chives. This easy potato side dish is sure to be requested again and again.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $5
Keyword: mashed potatoes with sour cream, sour cream mashed potatoes
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 318
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, 10 medium, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more to serve if desired
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped chives, optional, to garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper, optional, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Keep them in cold water until you are ready to cook to prevent browning then transfer potatoes into a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes with 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork without resistance.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat milk together with the butter until butter is melted and milk just starts to steam (do not boil). Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

  3. Once potatoes are fork-tender, drain potatoes well and transfer them back to the pot, set them over very low heat for 1 minute to evaporate any extra steam. Coarsely mash potatoes right away with a potato masher or an electric hand mixer to break them up (don’t wait to mash or they can turn gummy).

  4. Turn off the heat and while mashing, drizzle in the hot milk and butter mixture, adding it to your desired texture. Adding more milk will make the potatoes creamier and less milk will give you thicker potatoes. Mash or beat until your potatoes are smooth. Don’t overbeat or potatoes can become gluey.

  5. Mash in the sour cream and salt, adding more salt to taste as needed. Keep covered with lid until ready to serve then transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with butter and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and chives if desired.

Recipe Notes

Boiling times can vary depending on how large you cut your potato pieces. The potatoes are ready when they can be easily pierced with a fork. Here are some guidelines:

  • 1-inch pieces: 10-12 minutes once the water has come to a boil.
  • Quartered potatoes (1 1/2”-thick): 15-18 minutes
  • Whole peeled medium potatoes: 20-25 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 318 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 478mg21%
Potassium 1048mg30%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 496IU10%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 99mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Cindy S.
    December 26, 2022

    Made the sour cream mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. A big hit! Really delicious and the family agreed!
    Thanks, Natasha!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 26, 2022

      I’m so glad it was a hit, Cindy! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • FJ
    December 21, 2022

    Do you think I could make these Christmas Eve and reheat on low in the slow cooker Christmas Day?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 21, 2022

      Hi FJ, we prefer these fresh, but it may work to reheat. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • David Andrews
    December 14, 2022

    Tried the Sour Cream mashed potatoes. By far the best mashed potatoes ever and so simple to make. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 14, 2022

      Thank you for trying my recipe! I’m so glad you loved these mashed potatoes!

      Reply

  • Olivia
    December 6, 2022

    Loved how creamy and flavourful these mashed potatoes were! My family and I could not get enough of them

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2022

      I’m so glad you loved them, Olivia. Thank you for the feedback. 🙂

      Reply

  • Cristina/Tina
    December 6, 2022

    Hi Natasha! this is a good recipe, but, I like to take it up a notch. Not only do I do the butter and sour cream, but, I also add bacon bits, and cheese. This is NOT very calorie friendly, but, they taste GREAT!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 6, 2022

      That sounds like a delicious loaded mashed potato recipe! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Judy
    December 6, 2022

    It looked full of oil. Why’s that. Otherwise it looks delish. I love potatoes 🥔. 🙂

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2022

      Hi Judy! It’s melted butter. 🙂

      Reply

  • Martha Saldarriaga
    December 6, 2022

    These mashed potatoes were AMAZING!! The only difference with mine was that I blended the chives into the mashed potatoes and omitted the extra butter after serving them.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2022

      Hi Martha! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Jessica
    December 6, 2022

    Ok, the sour cream made such a difference! I don’t think I’ll be making them any other way from now on. Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2022

      That’s wonderful, Jessica! I’m so glad you loved them. They really are amazing. 🙂

      Reply

  • Jessica Bailey
    December 6, 2022

    These were unbelievable amazing! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make them again!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 6, 2022

      Great to hear that you enjoyed them! Thank you for the review.

      Reply

  • Donna Lapsley
    December 6, 2022

    I have been using a similar recipe. But add Cream Cheese. I’m the designated Maker of Mashed Potatoes 🥔 ♥️

    Reply

  • Cynthia Kandi
    December 19, 2019

    Delicious !
    I have to bring mine to a Christmas dinner an hour away how to I keep them home.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 19, 2019

      Hi Cynthia! If we do that I would wrap the pot in towels and foil to keep the heat in for transport. One of our readers reported great results keeping it warm in a slow cooker on low heat. I hope that helps

      Reply

      • Cynthia Kandi
        December 24, 2019

        Thanks so much

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          December 24, 2019

          You’re welcome!

          Reply

    • Karen Ward
      November 25, 2021

      Use your crockpot on the lowest setting … just to keep them warm. Will hold them for several hours.

      Reply

  • Jenny
    March 9, 2016

    The best mashed potatoes ever!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 9, 2016

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Eve@BlueRidgeRunner
    November 26, 2015

    These are the best mashed potatoes ever. Better than my mom’s -may she rest in peace. My husband and I made them today for Thanksgiving for just the two of us, and I can’t wait to make it for Christmas when our family gets together. I absolutely love you web-site.

    Eve

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 26, 2015

      Eve, thank you for such a nice review and have a great Thanksgiving!

      Reply

  • Vika
    November 22, 2014

    Really good and simple recipe. Made it your way twice 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 22, 2014

      Thank you for the great review Vika, enjoy :).

      Reply

  • Gracie
    May 23, 2014

    Hi. I’m having a hard time lookong for heavy cream (heavy whipped cream). Can I use fresh whipping cream instead?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 23, 2014

      Fresh whipping cream is the same thing; absolutely! 🙂

      Reply

      • Gracie
        May 27, 2014

        Thanks. Will use the fresh whipping cream then. Still 1 cup?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 27, 2014

          Yes 🙂

          Reply

  • Allochka
    November 6, 2013

    Lol Natasha! We pulled it off with only appetizers! 😉 🙂 When we were getting married we were both young and broke and do in love so…. Appetizers had to do it 😉 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 6, 2013

      Nice! That’s brilliant. I’m sure everyone went home satisfied. Appetizers are so much fun.

      Reply

  • Elina (Russian Bites)
    March 29, 2011

    Haha, so true! My (Russian) parents thought spending money on decor for our wedding was a waste of money… as long as there was good food (and drinks!) that’s all they cared about. Well we had both and it was a blast 🙂
    My husband is always making fun of all the potatoes used in nearly every Russian dish. I love it. 😀

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 29, 2011

      That’s what the older generation seems to remember most about a wedding. At least we Russian/Ukrainian people have the best food at our weddings 🙂 It’s shocking for “our people” to go to a wedding with only appetizers. I don’t know any Russian person brave enough to pull that off 🙂

      Reply

    • Natasha
      March 29, 2011

      I’ve been checking out your site – how long have you been blogging? Great blog!

      Reply

      • Elina (Russian Bites)
        March 29, 2011

        Just started Russian Bites last fall but I’ve been blogging on my other blog (www.healthyandsane.com) for about 2.5 years 🙂

        Reply

        • Natasha
          March 29, 2011

          You’re a busy lady – running 2 blogs! I’m hardly keeping up with 1 🙂

          Reply

  • Irina
    March 21, 2011

    Being Ukrainian I think that we had potatoes every night for dinner and any function we attended. Your recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply

  • Joe in N Calif
    March 17, 2011

    Hmmmm….infusing the water with bay and garlic…hmmmm…..

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 19, 2011

      My husband is the mastermind behind that idea. He usually makes the mashed potatoes.

      Reply

      • Joe in N Calif
        March 19, 2011

        It just got my mind working on the possibilities of using infusions like that to give a subtle hint of flavor rather than a smack in the face.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          March 19, 2011

          I like how you think! Let me know what you come up with.

          Reply

          • Joe in N Calif
            March 19, 2011

            Thank you! I’m also thinking that something like this

            might be useful. I’ve used the jumbo sized ones for bouquet garni (I hate dealing with string or cheese cloth).

            And I’m also thinking that a few crushed juniper berries and a leaf of sage in with the potatoes would be right tasty next to a pork roast or roast chicken.

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