This cheesy mashed potatoes recipe will be a hit with your family and friends! Sharp cheddar cheese packs in tons of savory goodness. Learn how to make perfect, cheesy mashed potatoes every single time with this easy, step-by-step photo tutorial!
I’m a sucker for potatoes, whether they’re served as part of shepherd’s pie or twice-baked and topped with broccoli and cheese. This mashed potatoes recipe is our new favorite, with plenty of sharp cheddar blended smoothly into the other ingredients for epic flavor.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
For these mashed potatoes, you’ll need the following:
- Russet or Yukon gold potatoes
- Unsalted butter
- Sharp cheddar cheese (yellow, not orange)
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: fresh chives
Step 1: Cook and mash the potatoes.
Peel, cut and boil the potatoes until fork-tender. After draining, mash using a potato ricer for a smooth texture or a masher for chunkier results. I personally love using the ricer, but you could also use a food mill for smooth mashed potatoes.
Step 2: Add melted butter and half-and-half.
While the potatoes are still warm, stir in a mixture of hot, melted butter and half-and-half. Stir until just smooth; over-mixing can cause the mashed potatoes to become gummy.
Step 3: Add the cheese.
The ultimate goal is for the cheese to be fully melted and incorporated into the mashed potatoes. The freshly cooked potatoes and hot butter/cream mixture should do the trick, but if it doesn’t (or if you have to step away for a moment), you can briefly reheat the mixture using the microwave or a saucepan.
Step 4: Add additional half-and-half (if desired).
This mashed potatoes recipe creates a creamy, thick consistency. Depending on what you’re serving them with (or your personal preference), you may want to stir in a bit of extra half-and-half to thin them out slightly. Up to you!
Step 5: Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cheddar cheese isn’t considered salty like feta or pecorino, but it does have some saltiness to it. Wait until after incorporating the cheese and any additional cream to add seasoning. I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Don’t cut the potatoes too small. Larger pieces will take longer to cook, but less water will absorb into the potatoes. Less water means more butter and cream can be absorbed.
- Choose the right potato. Some people are adamant about either russet or Yukon Gold potatoes being the best option for mashing. I’ve never done a side-by-side comparison, but I’m always happy with either one. Bon Appetit insists that Yukon Gold potatoes are the way to go. Food Network recommends russets for the fluffiest results. They both agree that red potatoes are a bad choice. You be the judge.
- Start with cold water. When you add potatoes directly to boiling water, the exterior will cook finish cooking too soon, leading to uneven, lumpy results.
What To Serve With Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
These potatoes will go with so many main courses! Here are a few of my recommendations:
More Easy Potato Recipes
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out my Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes, German Potato Salad, and Twice-Baked Potatoes.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup half-and-half, or more as needed (see notes)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese, (8 ounces; see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Optional: finely diced fresh chives for garnish
- Place the potatoes into a medium or large saucepan. Add cold water to the pan until the potatoes are covered by one inch or more. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 18 minutes for russets). Drain through a colander, shaking well to remove excess water.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter and cream. Once the potatoes have been cooking for around 12-15 minutes, heat the half-and-half and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until steaming hot (You can also use the microwave).
- For smooth mashed potatoes: press potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl.
- For textured mashed potatoes: transfer potatoes to a large bowl and use a potato masher to mash to the desired texture.
- Pour the hot cream and butter mixture over the potatoes (if the mixture has cooled, briefly reheat first. It will help melt the cheese). Stir until just combined (don’t over-mix to avoid gummy potatoes), then swiftly stir in 2 cups cheese until smooth. If you want a thinner consistency, drizzle in some additional half-and-half. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper).
- Serve warm, optionally topped with chives.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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Erica Acevedo says
You know, I’ve never discriminated a potato in my life. I’ve used every kind for mashed taters like these, and I’ve never been disappointed! More cheese is the key! :)
Stirling Britton says
Russets are not easily available in the UK.
I use Maris Piper.
Add a bit of Dijon to the mash
I had no idea that I should cut my potatoes in larger chunks to keep them from absorbing so much water. Great tip, and delicious recipe!