How can such a simple dish be so complicated? I've asked myself that over and over throughout the years and finally came up with a technique that produces the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes each and every time!
This took quite a lot of trial and error and pounds and pounds of potatoes, but it was all worth it! Now, I can share my tips, dos and don'ts with you!
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This recipe produces light and fluffy mashed potatoes that are flavored with simple butter, cream, and salt. If you like a denser, cheesy & garlicky mashed potato, then you have to try this recipe for Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
The Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes remind me more of a loaded baked potato and they are absolutely delicious! You don't even have to peel the potatoes!
While I love the Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes made in the Ninja Foodi, I really wanted a fluffy and creamy mashed potato this time around. If that sounds like the kind of potatoes you want to make, this recipe is for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can absolutely cut the recipe in half. In fact, when I started testing this recipe, I only made 1/2 batch. Simply cut the ingredients in half and make sure the water is almost covering the potatoes. The time to pressure will be less, so you might want to add 1 minute to the PC time or extend the natural release by a few minutes.
Doubling the recipe can also be done, but the time to pressure will be longer, so you will want to decrease the PC time by about 1 minute.
Steam is the best way I've found to reheat mashed potatoes and it's super easy to do in the Ninja Foodi. Simply add 2 cups of water to the inner pot, put the mashed potatoes in an 8" Fat Daddio Pan and add a bit of cream and butter. Cover the pan with foil or a silicone cover.
Place the pan on the rack in the low position and put the pressure lid on. Turn the valve to vent and select steam for 15-20 minutes. The time will depend on how cold your potatoes are and how much you are reheating. When the time is done, stir and serve.
You can freeze them, but in my experience they do tend to get a little grainy when reheated. The best thing to do is mix in some butter and cream after you reheat them or steam them to reheat as described above.
When freezing any food, make sure it is completely cold or you will have ice crystals. Also, try to get as much air out of the bag or container as possible.
What are the BEST Potatoes for Mashing?
That really depends on the texture you are trying to achieve. There are varying starch levels of different potatoes and that plays a big role in the texture after mashing.
If you like a chunky mashed potato with skins on, then the small red or yellow potatoes do a great job. They have a high starch level and, while delish smashed or lightly mashed, they will not give you a creamy fluffy texture.
Yukon Gold potatoes are a little lighter in the starch department, but give you a heavier mashed potato in my opinion. I love using Yukon gold potatoes in potato salad, soups, and other dishes where I want the potato to hold it's shape. Many people use them in mashed potatoes and while they are fine for this purpose, I find that they tend to become a little gummy.
The star of the mashed potato world is the Russet potato in my opinion. These potatoes will result in the fluffiest of all mashed potatoes and require very little mashing to get a nice and creamy texture.
Some people use a combination of Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes when making mashed potatoes and this works, for sure. However, I tried a combo in this recipe and wasn't thrilled with the outcome. The flavor was amazing and they were nice and creamy, but not as light and fluffy as I wanted.
So, I'm sticking with all Russets in this recipe. If you wanted to use a different type of potato or try a combination, you might want to increase your PC time a bit so the starchier potatoes cook all the way and mash up easier.
Tips for Making the BEST Ninja Foodi Mashed Potatoes
Do NOT heat your water before pressure cooking. I know a lot of people do this to speed up the time to pressure, but speed isn't always a good thing. In fact, I never recommend heating up the water first because it definitely CAN affect the cooking time of food.
The time to pressure is cook time and is factored into all of my recipes. So, by heating the water prior to pressure cooking, you are decreasing the total cook time. For many recipes, this won't make enough of a difference, but for others it definitely will.
When making mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker or on the stove, you do NOT want to heat your water first. Start with cold or tepid tap water so that the potatoes cook evenly.
If your water is hot, it cooks the outside of the potato quicker than the inside.
Cut your potatoes in uniform chunks. It doesn't really matter what size you make them, but you want them to be uniform in size so they all cook the same way in the same time.
If you cut your chunks bigger than I did, you may need to increase your pressure cook time by a minute or two.
I don't recommend leaving potatoes whole when making mashed potatoes because they will all be different sizes and some will cook faster than others.
Don't steam your potatoes. This one is a real bummer for me because I was hoping to use the air fry basket to steam the potatoes in this recipe to avoid having to drain any water from them.
It didn't work! The potatoes were cooked just fine, but they did not mash up light and fluffy. After much thought and a few more times trying to steam them, I realized that boiling water is important to release the starch and there wasn't anything I could do to get the starch out before steaming them.
I tried soaking them in cold water for a while like I do for french fries, but that didn't do the trick either.
Steaming is fine if you are okay with a starchier and heavier mashed potato, and it is easier!
Don't skip the final step before mashing! I know it seems like too much work to drain and then sauté the potatoes before mashing, but trust me, this makes a world of difference in the outcome.
By sautéing the cooked potatoes we are able to burn off any extra liquid and get the potatoes nice and dry. The result is, fluffy and light mashed potatoes.
If you skip this step, your potatoes might turn out on the wet side and much heavier.
Don't overbeat your potatoes. The more you beat the potatoes, the more starch that is released and this leads to a dense potato. For this reason, I don't use an electric mixer.
I'm not saying you can't use an electric mixer, but if you do, use a low speed and only mix until they are creamy and smooth.
I've used a potato ricer during one of my test batches, thinking it would work the best, but I was shocked that my little Pampered Chef Mix 'N Masher actually worked better and was easier (less mess) to use.
The great thing about the Mix 'N Masher is it can be used in the non-stick pot without any issues.
How do I know How Much Cream & Butter to Add?
Even though I have the liquid and butter amount listed in my recipe, that is a GUIDELINE only. There is no set amount because it depends on your potatoes and how much they need to become creamy and stay fluffy.
Sometimes I have needed all of it and sometimes only ¾ of the total amount. Let the potatoes tell you how much they need.
Start off by adding ¼ of the recommended butter and cream (or half & half) and mix it in, then add another ¼ and mix. Continue adding the warm milk & cream until the potatoes are the desired consistency that YOU like.
Make sure to warm your cream before adding to the potatoes because cold liquids will cool down the potatoes AND they aren't absorbed as easily, resulting in wet potatoes. I melt the butter in the warm cream to make it easier.
How to make Ninja Foodi Mashed Potatoes
Peel and cube the Russet potatoes into 1-1½" cubes and add to the inner pot. Add just enough water to almost cover them. I used 3 cups for 3 pounds of potatoes, but that could vary for you.
Add 1 tsp of fine grind sea salt to the water and potatoes and stir. Put the pressure lid on and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Allow the pot to natural release for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure by turning the valve to vent.
While the potatoes are cooking warm the butter and cream or half and half in the microwave or on the stove. You want the cream or half and half to be very warm, but not boiling.
Releasing the remaining pressure can take several minutes, just let it go. Don't push the red or silver pin down as that can drop the pin and unlock the lid while there is still pressure built and is very dangerous.
When the pressure is released, remove the lid and fork test the potatoes. You should be able to insert the fork easily and have the potatoes break apart. If they are still undercooked, simply use the sear/sauté on medium low to cook them longer. Add some additional water if needed.
Scoop the potatoes out into a bowl. I use my large Scoop 'N Drain which works great, but any slotted spoon is fine or simply dump them into a colander to drain.
Dump the liquid out of the pot and rinse out any starch on the bottom. Add the potatoes back into the inner pot and use the sear/sauté on medium low to remove any excess water from the potatoes. This takes about 5 minutes and I flip them a few times. You will see the steam coming off of the potatoes as the water turns to steam. When the edges of the potatoes begin to look white and flaky, they are done.
You can either transfer them to a bowl for mashing or if you have the Mix 'N Masher, you can mash them right in the pot. I leave the heat on, but you might want to turn it down to low or switch over to the keep warm function.
Add in ¼ of the warm cream/half and half and butter mixture and gently mash them. If you are using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, use the lowest setting so you don't overwork the potatoes and cause them to release too much starch.
Continue to add the warm cream/half-and-half/butter mixture in small amounts and gently mix until they reach your desired consistency. The amount you need will vary, but I have never needed more than the ¾ cup of half and half and ¼ cup of butter.
Taste and add salt to taste. Gently mix to incorporate the salt.
Transfer to your serving dish and add pats of butter on top if desired.
If you have leftover liquid, add it to the leftover potatoes before reheating them.
Serve and Enjoy your Ninja Foodi Mashed Potatoes!
Ninja Foodi Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes
- 3 cups water room temp or cold
- 2-3 tsp fine grind sea salt divided in recipe
- ¾ cup half n half or heavy cream
- ¼ cup butter salted or unsalted is fine
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-1½" cubes and add to the inner pot. Add in about 3 cups of water. You only need to have enough water to almost cover all the potatoes. Add 1 tsp fine grind salt and stir.
- Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes and when the time is up allow the pot to natural release for 5 minutes. Release the remaining pressure by turning the valve to vent.
- Warm the cream or half and half up and butter in the microwave or on the stove just until it is warm. Do not boil it.
- Scoop out the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Dump the water out of the inner pot and add the potatoes back into the pot. Use the sear/sauté on medium low until the potatoes are dry and the edge look white and flaky. I flip the potatoes a few times and sauté for just about 5 minutes. *In my video I used high sear/sauté, but had some browning so I'm suggesting a lower sauté temp.
- Either remove the potatoes from the inner pot and place in a bowl or if you are using the Mix 'N Masher, you can mash your potatoes right in the ceramic pot.
- Add in ¼ of the half and half/cream and butter mixture and either use a hand mixer on low or the Mix 'N Masher to gently incorporate the liquid into the potatoes. You don't want to over mix the potatoes or they can become too starchy and dense. Continue to add the butter/half and half or cream mixture ¼ at a time until your potatoes are the desired consistency. Add salt to taste and gently fold into the mashed potatoes.
- Add some pats of butter on top if desired. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.