This recipe grew out of a love of mashed potatoes and a love of getting things done quickly. We use the Instant Pot for a ton of foods. We even have a second inner liner so we can cook a main dish and a side.
We tried a bunch of different Instant Pot recipes for potatoes before we cobbled together this one as our go-to way of making mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot. We would love to see your variations, mashed potatoes are a favorite comfort food.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
This recipe is for a 6 quart Instant Pot. You'll need to adjust quantities if you want to make it for a smaller pot like the Mini:
- 8 large red skin potatoes (smaller is fine too, just use more)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 stick of butter (we're using unsalted. If you use salted, you'll want to adjust the amount of salt you add post-cooking
- 1 teaspoon salt for the water (and more to taste later)
- Black or white pepper (if you don't like seeing the black specs, use white)
- 1 cup water
Optional (choose one or choose all or choose none)
- 1/2 head of garlic (but we love garlic)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower (if you want to hide a little nutritional kick -- reduce your potatoes to 5)
- 1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Step 2: Prepare Your Potatoes
Wash and cut your potatoes in half. If they're really big or you're ambitious, you can cut them in quarters. That's one of the things I really like about this recipe: Not having to do a ton of potato dicing to ensure thorough cooking. Because these cook under pressure, they get soft no matter what size they're cut. If you're trying to sneak in some vegetables, put your half-head of cauliflower into the pot as well.
If you're not a fan of raw-er (it still cooks a bit when added after) garlic, you'll want to smash your garlic and add it to the pot as well.
Add a teaspoon of salt to your cup of water and add to the pot. We're going to pour off the water later, so once you've made the recipe, do like we do and just add the water at the tap and throw on a bit of salt. Salted water flavors the potato from the inside out as they absorb the water, which makes for tastier potatoes.
Step 3: Get Cooking
I feel like good Instant Pot settings are the key to a successful dish. The best setting we've found for mashed potatoes is to set the Instant Pot on high-pressure manual for 6 minutes. In Instant Pot speak, this means the pot will take whatever time it needs to come up to pressure. Once it reaches pressure, it will cook for 6 minutes. When it's done, you want to let it depressurize naturally. (This means wait for the little button by the pressure lever to pop up on its own.) This whole process takes around 20 minutes.
Step 4: Time to Mash
After the Instant Pot has depressurized, you want to strain out the excess water and proceed to mash up the potatoes. You'll find that they are surprisingly easy to mash.
Add your butter, half and half, and salt and pepper at this time. Start with half the stick of butter and add more to taste.
Step 5: Optional Additions
Now's the time to make it yours. We add raw chopped garlic and Monterey Jack cheese to our potatoes. Parsley, chives, bacon bits, whatever you want to add to make it yours, mix it in now and serve.