Creamy and buttery microwave mashed potatoes are a quick and easy side dish you can make without ever having to turn on your stove.
Need a super speedy and simple side tonight? Make a homemade batch of mashed potatoes in the microwave!
Microwave mashed potatoes are everything you love about classic homemade mashed potatoes. They’re buttery, rich, and completely satisfying. They just happen to be made in your microwave. 😉
Equipment & Ingredient Notes
- A large microwave-safe bowl: Make sure you use a bowl that is large enough that the potatoes/water only fill about ½ to ⅔ of the bowl. If the bowl is too full, the contents can bubble over while cooking and make a bit of a mess in your microwave.
- Russet potatoes: I like to use russets for this dish, but if you have red or Yukon Gold potatoes on hand, you can use them (or a combo of them) instead.
- Milk, half and half, or heavy cream: Milk, half and half, and heavy cream will all work. Cream will give you the richest mashed potatoes and milk the lightest. If you have leftover cream or half and half after making the potatoes, check out my What to Do With Leftover Half and Half and What to do With Leftover Heavy Cream posts for recipe ideas to use up the leftovers.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave
1. Microwave potatoes: Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and add just enough cold water to completely cover them. Add salt and cover the bowl with an upside-down, microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 10 minutes and allow to sit for 1 minute after the timer goes off.
2. Check potatoes: Very carefully (the plate, bowl, and steam will be hot!) remove the plate. Check to make sure the potatoes are fork-tender. If not, replace the plate and continue to microwave in 1-minute increments until the potatoes are cooked through.
3. Warm cream/milk: Place cream/milk in a microwave-safe container and heat until warm, 30 to 45 seconds. Using warm liquid will keep it from cooling down your potatoes so they stay piping hot on their way to the table.
4. Mash and mix: Drain the potatoes and add butter to the bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to mash potatoes. Add half of the milk or cream and stir until mixed. If needed, stir in more of the liquid until the potatoes reach your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t skimp on this step. Salt until the potatoes taste amazing!
- Vegan mashed potatoes: To make microwave potatoes that are vegan, you can use dairy-free butter or margarine and your favorite non-dairy milk.
Can I double/halve this recipe?
Yes. You may need a slightly longer cooking time if you’re doubling the recipe, but it will work. To change the recipe yield, in the recipe card, hover over the servings or click if you’re on mobile and slide the slider.
Do I need a potato masher to make mashed potatoes?
No, you can mash your potatoes with a good sturdy fork, but if you’re going to regularly make mashed potatoes in the future, you might want to invest in one. Potato mashers are not super pricey and make mashing potatoes so much quicker and easier.
What to serve with microwave mashed potatoes?
I love a good gravy with my potatoes, so I recommend a quick and easy gravy, but if you have some leftover drippings, try my gravy from drippings. For main dishes, serve this with something quick and easy like:
More Easy Microwave Sides
- Microwave Baked Potato
- Microwave Sweet Potato
- Microwave Broccoli
- Microwave Corn on the Cob
- Microwave Green Beans
- Substitutions: You can try replacing the dairy in the potatoes with warmed chicken or vegetable broth. The potatoes won’t be as rich or as creamy as if you had used half and half/heavy cream, but it’s a good option if you’re out of milk or are dairy-free.
- Potato weight: This recipe calls for 1 pound of potatoes. That’s about 3 medium or 2 large russet potatoes. If you’re a couple ounces over or under, that’s not going to hurt anything, so just aim for about a pound.
- Yield: This recipe will make 2 large servings or 4 smaller ones.
Microwave Mashed Potatoes
- Potato masher
- Medium microwave-safe bowl*
- Large microwave-safe plate
- 1 pound (about 3 medium or 2) large russet potatoes peeled and diced
- ¾ teaspoon salt divided, plus more as needed
- ⅓ cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream *
- 4 tablespoons (56g) butter cut into chunks, salted or unsalted is fine*
- To a medium, microwave-safe bowl, add potatoes and just enough cold water to completely cover them. Add ½ teaspoon of the salt and cover the bowl with an upside microwave-safe down plate.
- Microwave for 10 minutes and allow to sit for 1 minute after the timer goes off.
- Very carefully (the plate, bowl, and steam will be hot!) remove the plate. Check to make sure the potatoes are fork-tender. If not, replace the plate and continue to microwave in 1-minute increments until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Place milk/cream in a microwave-safe container and heat until warm, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Drain potatoes and add butter to the potatoes. Use a fork or potato masher to mash potatoes. Add half of the milk or cream and stir until mixed. If needed, stir in more of the liquid until the potatoes reach your desired consistency. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve and enjoy!
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