These red skinned mashed potatoes with sour cream are a classic and versatile side dish. Flavored with bay and garlic, whipped to creamy perfection with butter, cream, and sour cream this red skinned mashed potatoes recipe is quick, easy, and irresistible!
This recipe is perfect with almost any of my dinner recipes, underneath a pile of Pork Meatballs with Mustard Cider Cream Sauce, on top of my Shepherd's Pie, or of course on the Thanksgiving table alongside my Dry Brined Spatchcocked Turkey, Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage, and Roasted Acorn Squash.
Mashed potatoes are a staple on the Thanksgiving table. You can find my uncle Rick's signature mashed potatoes in my Thanksgiving Side Dishes post. I wait for those potatoes all year long and they are the taste of Thanksgiving to me. But my son and husband love red skinned mashed potatoes so I made this recipe for them and it is a welcome addition to our meal rotation.
A simple handful of ingredients are all you need to make this red skinned mashed potatoes recipe.
- red skinned potatoes: I like to use smaller potatoes for this as the skins are more tender
- garlic: the peeled cloves will boil with the potatoes and get mashed adding a soft garlic flavor to the mash
- bay leaves: I started adding bay to my potato water many years ago and I never stopped. It adds such a lovely flavor.
- butter: Unsalted or salted is fine here, just adjust the salt accordingly
- salt: both in the boiling water and in the final mash. I always use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
- freshly ground black pepper and white pepper: I love the combination of both peppers and I do this often in my recipes. It adds layers of flavor and makes for a much more interesting dish.
- half and half or heavy cream: Full fat dairy makes for the creamiest mashed potatoes. You can use whole milk too but I do not recommend going any lower fat than that.
- sour cream: I love to make my red skinned mashed potatoes with sour cream because it adds a little bit of tang and a lighter creaminess than just heavy cream alone.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make red skinned mashed potatoes with sour cream
Add cubed potatoes to pot
Add salt, bay leaves, and garlic cloves and cover with cold water
boil until very tender, drain, remove bay leaves, and top with butter.
Mash with potato masher and add warmed cream
Mix well with electric mixer or continue with potato masher until very smooth and add sour cream.
Whip or mash to incorporate sour cream. Add more cream if needed to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
I like to start with a potato masher and then switch to an electric mixer to get super creamy potatoes and to break up the skin a little. You can successfully make this with just the hand masher if you don't want to fuss with the electric mixer. If you like larger pieces of skin, do not use the electric mixer.
How to make red skinned mashed potatoes in the instant pot
Add potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, and salt to instant pot and cover with water. Place lid on instant pot and set vent to seal. Cook on manual pressure for 10 minutes. When timer goes off turn pot off and manually release steam valve carefully. When lid releases, remove lid and drain potatoes.
Proceed with recipe as written.
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Storage and reheating
Store any leftovers within 2 hours of serving. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or covered with foil and heat in oven at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes until heated through.
- To ensure the creamiest mashed potatoes, start with cold water and make sure the potatoes cook until they are very soft and even falling apart a little bit.
- Let the butter melt a bit over the hot potatoes before mashing with hand masher. Add warmed liquids after you have mashed the butter into the potatoes.
- Add sour cream at the very end of mashing or whipping and add a but more cream at this point to get them nice and creamy.
Red potatoes are a waxy potato variety which means they make ultra creamy mashed potatoes. They also have thin skins compared to russets and other baking potato varieties so they are perfect if you don't want to peel the potatoes.
Gummy potatoes are the cause of not enough liquid and too much mixing before adding the liquids. Also, if you mash them after the potatoes have cooled they will become gummy. It is important to mash potatoes while they are still very hot and make sure the liquids you add are warmed as well.
More side dishes:
These mashed potatoes would pair well with many of these dinner recipes: