Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are unbelievably quick and easy. All you have to do is add the potatoes and water to the pot, press a button, and walk away. When the cooking cycle is done, you can mash the potatoes directly in the pot– no need to drain them!

fluffy mashed potatoes in front of instant pot

Why You’ll Love Them

If you ask me, this is the easiest method around, because you don’t have to wait for a pot of water to boil on the stove before you get started. The process is very hands-off!

To make Instant Pot mashed potatoes, I like to peel and cut the potatoes into chunks first, so they will cook faster. Add them to the bottom of your Instant Pot with water and let them cook.

(When I’m lazy and only cooking for my immediate family, I don’t even bother to peel them. There’s nutrition in potato skins, after all!)

white potatoes in the Instant Pot

When you cut the potatoes into 1- or 2-inch pieces, they cook in just 8 minutes at high pressure. Keep in mind that it will take about 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, so the overall time in the pot will be closer to 20 minutes, not including the prep time.

Be sure to take this into account when planning your meal timing!

What is the Best Potato for Mashed Potatoes?

Yukon gold potatoes are the best for mashed potatoes! They have the most uniform consistency, and are naturally more moist than other varieties of potatoes, so they mash easily. Go light on the liquid when you mash Yukon gold potatoes, because they won’t need nearly as much milk as other varieties do.

Fun Fact: Yukon gold potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C! Try topping them with my Vegan Gravy for even more nutrients with each bite.

For more classic-looking white mashed potatoes, use Russet potatoes. These potatoes are much drier in texture, so keep in mind you’ll need to add more milk to make them creamy. (I use almond milk for a neutral, dairy-free option, but any type of milk will work for this recipe.)

How to “Quick Release” the Instant Pot

This recipe calls for a quick release, which means as soon as the cooking cycle is over and the screen reads LO:OO you can move the steam release valve to Venting. As you can see in the photo below, steam will immediately start spewing out of the valve, so be sure to keep your hand to the side of the vent, and not directly over it.

finger moving steam release valve to venting

If you want to see this in action, watch my Instant Pot tutorial for additional guidance. From there, you’ll mash the potatoes directly in the pot– no need to drain them!

Making Garlic Mashed Potatoes

If you’re like me and love garlic, you can use the Instant Pot’s sauté function to make these potatoes extra-flavorful. Simply press the Sauté button, and allow the pot to heat up for a few minutes.

Add in a olive oil and garlic, and stir just until the garlic is fragrant. (This should only take 1 minute or so– I go ahead and press the OFF button on the Instant Pot, so the surface won’t get too hot and burn the garlic.)

garlic and water in the Instant Pot

As soon as the garlic is fragrant and turning lightly golden, add in the cup of water for the mashed potatoes. This will stop the cooking process so the garlic doesn’t burn. Then you can proceed with the rest of the recipe!

I use 2 cloves of garlic, as a sort of middle-ground for my non-garlic-loving husband, but feel free to add more to your liking.

Tip: You can add extra herbs to the olive oil when you sauté the garlic, too. I’ve done this with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Let it saute in the oil until fragrant, then remove the sprigs before you add in the water and potatoes. It will add a nice fragrance and flavor to the finished potatoes. You can add in any dried herbs you like, too, but be sure to sprinkle them on top of the potatoes, so they won’t stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot.

How Many Potatoes can you Cook in the Instant Pot?

I’ve cooked up to 6 pounds of potatoes in my 6-quart Instant Pot with no problems. I think I could have even squeezed a few more in there, but it’s important to be aware of your machine’s max fill line, to make sure that you don’t over-fill your pressure cooker.

I imagine that you could fit 8 pounds of potatoes into an 8-quart Instant Pot, if you really need to feed a crowd, but I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you give it a try. I’ve never had to cook that many!

instant pot mashed potatoes with wooden spoon

How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot

If you want to use your pressure cooker to reheat mashed potatoes, add a 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the pot and press the Sauté button to heat up the bottom. Break up the cold mashed potatoes into chunks, so that they will reheat faster, then mash them and stir frequently, until they start to warm up. Stir frequently until heated through, adding more liquid as needed.

This is the only way I’m making mashed potatoes from now on.

I love how it doesn’t take up any stove top space for a big holiday meal, and how it makes mashed potatoes a more accessible side dish for any time of the year!

Keeping Mashed Potatoes Warm in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is always out on my counter during holiday meals, because of the “keep warm” setting. Use the Sauté button to thoroughly reheat the mashed potatoes, then press the keep warm button to keep them on a warm setting for up to 2 or 3 hours.

If the potatoes start to dry out as they stay warm, you can always add an extra splash of water or almond milk to help make them creamy again.

Mashed potatoes in black bowl with spoon

instant pot mashed potatoes in black bowl
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4.94 from 16 votes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

These Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are quick and easy to prepare, with an 8-minute pressure cooking cycle. I love that you don't have to drain them after cooking!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Instant Pot
Keyword instant pot mashed potatoes
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Pressurization: 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 133kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional; or use butter)
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes , peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice , or more as needed
  • Extra seasoning, to taste (butter, chives, black pepper, etc.)


  • For garlic mashed potatoes (highly recommended!), press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot, and add in the olive oil. When the pot has heated up, add in the 2 cloves of minced garlic and briefly stir them. I usually press the Off button right away, so the garlic doesn't burn.
    garlic sauteed in olive oil in pressure cooker
  • As soon as the garlic smells very fragrant, add in the cup of water to prevent it from burning. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot, to make sure no garlic is stuck there. (You could trigger a burn error otherwise-- nothing must stick to the bottom.)
  • If you want to skip the garlic part, at this point you'll add in the water (if you haven't already), along with the potatoes and salt to the Instant Pot. There's no need to stir. Secure the lid, and move the steam release valve to "Sealing."
    potatoes in the Instant Pot
  • Use the Manual or Pressure Cook button on your machine to cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, so it will read "On" as it heats up, and then it will start the count-down as soon as the floating valve in the lid pops up.
    8 minutes on the Instant Pot screen
  • When the cooking cycle is complete and the screen reads LO:00, immediately move the steam release valve to "Venting" to release the pressure in the pot. Make sure your hand isn't over the vent, to avoid getting burned by the hot steam. When the floating valve in the lid drops, it's safe to open the lid.
    end screen and performing a quick release
  • Use a fork to test the potatoes, to make sure they are tender, then use a potato masher to start mashing the potatoes. Add in the milk, starting with only 1/4 cup at a time, until the potatoes are as creamy as you like them. I usually end up using roughly 1/2 cup of almond milk, but if you use Russet potatoes you may need up to 3/4 cup (Russets tend to be drier than Yukon Gold potatoes). This is also the time to taste the potatoes and add more seasonings as you like. I typically use 2 teaspoons of sea salt total for 3 pounds of potatoes, and you can add black pepper or fresh chives, to taste, too.
    mashing potatoes in the Instant pot
  • Serve warm. Leftover potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    finished mashed potatoes in bowls



Nutrition information is for roughly 1 of 6 servings. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
I weigh the potatoes before peeling them. After peeling them, they are closer to 2.5 pounds total.


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 937mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 7mg

More Instant Pot Recipes

If you want to get the most out of your Instant Pot, be sure to check out The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook, or try one of my recipes below.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What do you like to add to mashed potatoes?

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Elizabeth Santos

So easy and so good!! I agree with Megan, never making mashed potatoes any other way. Oh and I sauté the garlic like she recommends.


this looks super yummy!! Did you use unsweetened almond milk?


Definitely trying this out for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend – thank you! For the water addition – if we did 6 lbs should we up the water to 2 cups to keep the same ratio?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, you can double the water when doubling the potatoes, but you don’t have to. You need at least 1 cup of water to pressurize the pot, so you can wait until the end of the cooking cycle and decide how much liquid you want to add to the potatoes then. But, the water (and mashed potatoes) will be the most piping hot if you cook them all together.


I love this recipe! We make it every week. So easy!

Heather in Rhode Island

How is it that the easiest mashed potatoes I’ve ever made are also the best? This is a total game-changer! Thanks for another perfect recipe. You’ve made my Thanksgiving a relaxed success!

Laura Kliewer

Very good! Best way to make mashed potatoes! So easy!


I made these yesterday for Thanksgiving. They were pretty good and very easy. One tip though: if you’re going to double the recipe, like I did, I wouldn’t double the water. The result was too watery since there is no draining step. Thanks


Detoxinista NEVER disappoints! I decided to make these for my butter loving, deeply skeptical family for Thanksgiving. They blew everyone away!! Even my nine year old who has never been a fan of potatoes went back for thirds. Creamy, flavorful, and simply delish! Garlic addition was perfect and I highly recommend. Thank you for yet another no-fail recipe!

L DOnley

This recipe saved our Thanksgiving! I accidentally put flavored creamer in my mashed potatoes and while in a complete panic, I remembered this recipe. I will never make mashed potatoes any other way. Came out incredible and the texture was perfect. And so so fast! Thanks Megan!


I found this just in time for Thanksgiving! It’s so easy and delicious. Thanks for the information on the vitamin c for the Yukon gold potatoes. Also I don’t add any extra oil to my food so I sauted the garlic just using water. Wait for the saute light to show hot and you are all set to go.

sara lucas

Holy smokes! I made these for my daughter and I for Thanksgiving this year, and it was really delicious. It’s a very simple recipe but very tasty!


This is the only mashed potato recipe I make! Always turns out great. And its totally hands off – so simple!


Very easy and tasty! I leave the skin on. But why is it so hard the next day?!


Would this recipe work with sweet potatoes as well? We usually keep those around more than regular potatoes!


Absolutely loved this recipe. I was sceptical as I’m quite new to the Instant Pot but we eat mashed potatoes quite a lot. The final result was AMAZING plus the reduction in washing up means I can tell I’m going to be making this every week from now on. Thank you!


How far in advance can I make this? Thanksgiving dinner just got dropped in my lap and I, alone, will be cooking for 7 people! I would like to make this several days in advance. Can it be frozen? Or just refrigerated?

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m planning on making these on Sunday and storing them in the fridge until Thursday for Thanksgiving! I think you can make them up to 4-5 days in advance, but you could probably freeze them, too, if you need to make them earlier than that. You will definitely have to add extra liquid and/or butter when you reheat, as they do thicken when chilled, but they turn out just as delicious when you reheat them. I tested it just last week to be sure!


What makes your recipes so successful (IMO) is that you tell us EXACTLY how much salt to use to make it taste perfect. None of that “to taste” which means most of us would under-season to avoid the opposite. Thank you for the clarity!! Happy Thanksgiving,Megan!


Super easy and perfect!


Super easy and delicious! We like smooth potatoes so I used the stand mixer, but I followed the recipe other than that.


Why has it taken me so long to make these? They were perfect! Will never make mashed potatoes any other way.

Moira Garcia

I will never make mashed potatoes any other way!!! As always, your recipes are incredibly crafted. I’ve never made something of yours that I didn’t like and your thorough directions (often with pictures!) make these so fool proof, which I love. Often times when using recipes, the foods never quite resemble the actual recipe, but that is not the case with yours! They always turn out exactly as you described and exactly as I expected!!


Amazing and such a great time saver. Per my husband’s request, I added some horseradish, and they were excellent!

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