12 Secret Ingredients to Try for Next-Level Mashed Potatoes (PHOTOS)

Caroline Olney | Nov 17, 2015 Food & Party

Mashed potatoes are carby and creamy and wonderful -- so basically, they're everything you could ever want on a cold, winter night. They're also a Thanksgiving staple, so while we love them by default, we're getting a little bored of our great-grandma's recipe. (May great-grandmas everywhere rest in peace, but their mashed potatoes are ALWAYS dry.)

It would be a sin to lose a side dish so wonderful to a fate as terrible as dryness, so we have a list of 12 secret ingredients people add to their mashed potatoes to transport them into the dreamy state they were always meant to be in.

Go ahead, test them all out. We know you want to.



Image via © bhofack2/iStock

  • Mayonnaise


    Image © Kesu01/iStock

    We agree -- it's super weird. But you add mayonnaise to your potato salad, so why not mashed potatoes, too? You'll get a little creaminess, a little tanginess, and a little fluffiness -- try adding 1/2 cup to each pound of potatoes. It's a Southern thing, trust us.

  • Cream Cheese


    Image via southernbite.com

    For the creamiest of creamy mashed potatoes, cream cheese is the key. Stacey at Southern Bite swears by it -- here's the cream cheese to potato ratio he goes with for his delicious-looking Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes.

  • Eggs


    Image © alvarez/iStock

    Eggs are going to make your mashed potatoes fluffy and airy (and also protein-packed, which we never say no to). Try this Fluffy Mashed Potatoes recipe from Fine Cooking: You'll beat two eggs into your potatoes -- after they're done boiling and before any butter or cream goes in.

  • Kefir


    Image © princessdlaf/iStock

    Using kefir -- a thick, tangy drink full of probiotics -- in place of cream or sour cream majorly ups the health factor of your mashed potatoes: It's just as thick and creamy, but with the added benefit of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, and beneficial yeasts (shall we go on?). Best part? You can make your own kefir at home.

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  • Horseradish


    Image © milanfoto/iStock

    People who add horseradish to their mashed potatoes swear by it, and with good reason -- even a little adds a solid kick to your potatoes, and they'll go better with all the meat on your table. It's not even a spicy thing, we promise. It's all about the flavor.

  • Hummus


    Image © travellinglight/iStock

    Saying hummus is a good "substitute" for heavy creams and butters in mashed potatoes is a little unfair to the hummus. Sure, it's adding the same creaminess and thickness, but it's also going to give your mashed potatoes a little extra protein, a little extra flavor, and a little extra kick. Try one cup of hummus (store-bought or homemade) per one and a half pounds of potatoes as a jumping off point.

  • Brown Butter


    Brown butter. No, we are not kidding. The Food Charlatan came up with this genius idea ... because if you're adding butter to your potatoes anyway, why not make it brown butter and increase the deliciousness by 300 percent? Try her Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes and thank us all later.

  • Gouda


    Image © PaulPaladin/iStock

    Most cheeses are going to be delicious in mashed potatoes, but Gouda might just be something else. It's thick, creamy, and has such an awesome smokey flavor that your potatoes will transcend this mortal world. Shoot for 1/4 pound of cheese per one pound of potatoes, but also play it by taste -- if your gut is telling you more cheese, don't deny it.

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  • Bourbon


    Image © igorr1/iStock

    You wouldn't be the first person to add an ounce or two of bourbon to sweet potatoes, but adding it to classic white potatoes is a better kept secret. If you're going this route, though, skip the butter and try a few tablespoons of bacon grease instead. 

  • Barbecue Sauce


    Image © HandmadePictures/iStock

    Always a Southern fave, barbecue sauce has found a place in many, many dishes. It was only a matter of time until someone started adding it to mashed potatoes, and we're so glad they did. A quarter cup to one pound of potatoes will give you the tangy sweetness you've been missing, plus smooth out the consistency.

  • Turkey or Chicken Stock


    Image © Photosiber/iStock

    When it comes to mashed potatoes, the most secret of secret ingredients is turkey stock. Some add stock after mashing in place of cream or extra butter, but some go even further and boil their potatoes in turkey or chicken stock for the maximun flavor. Crazy, we know ... but imagine how good those would taste next to your Thanksgiving turkey.

  • White Chocolate


    We would never have thought to put chocolate and pototoes together, but Salted & Styled did. And they could not have been more right -- just look at those gorgeous White Chocolate Lavendar Mashed Potatoes! We should never have doubted chocolate. (Or Salted & Styled, for that matter.)

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