Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes


The addition of sour cream and chives adds a tart touch to this classic side dish.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish for every kind of meal, from weeknight dinners to holiday feasts. The creamy, fluffy potatoes perfectly accompany roast beef, short ribs, and roast chicken, but mashed potatoes can also be a great base for pot roasts, soups, and more.

Mashed potatoes are fairly simple and straight-forward, but there are ways to make this old-fashioned side even easier. One such way: an Instant Pot.

Making mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot makes them nearly entirely hands-off until it's time to mash. You're not stirring a stockpot full of potatoes, piercing pieces with a fork to check doneness. You can fill the cooker's inner pot, turn it on, and let it cook the potatoes until they're perfectly tender.

This is especially helpful on days your kitchen is already too busy and too full for another dish on the stove. Instead, turn to this multifunction pressure cooker, and let it help you make a crowd-pleasing side dish the whole family will love.

What's So Great About Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes?

You'll love these mashed potatoes cooked in an Instant Pot because they:

  • are endlessly customizable—we like sour cream and chives, but you can use anything you want
  • are ready in under an hour from start to finish
  • serve a crowd of 12 or more
  • can be used to make other dishes like shepherd's pie or fried mashed potato balls

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

ingredients for instant pot mashed potatoes in individual bowls shot overhead

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

You'll use all the standard ingredients for mashed potatoes, but instead of boiling in water, this recipe calls for some vegetable or chicken stock to help the potatoes steam when in the Instant Pot.

For this recipe for Instant Pot mashed potatoes, you'll need:

  • Potatoes: We liked red or gold potatoes. They have a texture that is the right combination of waxy and starchy, but you can use russet potatoes if you like those.
  • Broth: For a bit of extra flavor, use broth in the bottom of the Instant Pot to steam the potatoes instead of water. (But you can use water if you don't have broth.)
  • Butter and half-and-half: Both of these foods add richness and help blend the potatoes into a fluffy, creamy side dish. No half-and-half? Whole milk, buttermilk, or whipping cream would work.
  • Sour cream and chives: This recipe uses the combination of sour cream and chives for a perfectly tart flavor upgrade. Think of this as a sour cream-and-chive potato chip but in mashed potato form. If you don't like those flavors, skip them, and reach for roasted garlic, browned butter, or any other ingredient you like in your mashed potatoes.

How To Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Making Instant Pot mashed potatoes is just as easy as any potatoes made on the stovetop, but you don't have to poke and prod potato pieces to check for doneness when you use the multi-cooker.

Step 1. Add ingredients

To the insert of an Instant Pot machine (at least a 6-quart one), add the broth. It will be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Then add potatoes and salt and pepper.

potato pieces, salt, and pepper in an instant pot overhead

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Step 2. Cook

Seal the Instant Pot, lock the lid in place, and start the cooking process. You'll want to cook these potatoes on high for 12 minutes. It'll take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.

Once the 12 minutes is up, let the pressure release naturally. You can do a quick release if you want. Once the float valve drops, remove the lid.

Step 3. Mash and serve

Grab a potato masher or spatula. Drop the butter in the steaming potatoes, and begin mashing. After you've broken apart some of the potatoes, go ahead and add the half-and-half, sour cream, chive, and any salt or pepper for flavor.

half and half poured over partially mashed potatoes in instant pot

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Common Questions About Cooking Mashed Potatoes in an Instant Pot

First time making mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker? We've got some extra tips to make it even easier.

Do you have to leave the skin on the potatoes?

You can leave skins on or peel them off, that's up to you! The skins won't mash up as well as the flesh; instead, they provide a nice rustic texture. If you like super creamy, almost silky potatoes, take the peels off.

What should I use to mash the potatoes?

The obvious choice is a potato masher, but if you don't have one, don't fret. You can use a wooden spoon, spatula, or large ladle to mash the potatoes. It may take longer with these tools, but they'll get the smashing done eventually.

If you like really silky potatoes, reach for an electric hand mixer. Don't overmix the potatoes with the mixer, though. They'll turn gluey and thick.

Can I make these potatoes ahead of time?

Absolutely. Mashed potatoes are a great make-ahead side dish. You can make these Instant Pot mashed potatoes up to 3 days before you plan to serve them. Just be sure to keep them well covered in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or in a low-temperature oven before serving.

How can I keep these potatoes warm before serving?

Most Instant Pot machines have a "Keep Warm" function on them. That's a handy tool if you plan to serve the potatoes within two hours. You might need to add more liquid, like broth or half-and-half as the warming function could try out the potatoes some.

If it'll be longer than a few hours, or you need the cooker for another recipe, consider transferring the potatoes to a slow cooker, and turn it on low. Read more about how to keep potatoes warm in a slow cooker.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Editorial contributions by Kimberly Holland.


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

  • 2 (3-pound) bags red- or gold-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (skin on or peeled)

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 ounce chives, chopped (from 1 package)


  1. Liberally coat the insert of a 6-quart programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot) with cooking spray. (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Add broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper to cooker.

    red-skinned potatoes in an instant pot overhead

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  2. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 12 minutes. (It will take 9 to 10 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

    instant pot lid overhead

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take about 5 minutes.)

  4. Remove lid from cooker. Don’t drain excess broth.

    cooked potatoes overhead in instant pot with steam escaping

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add butter to cooker, mashing with a potato masher; the potatoes should mash easily. Add half-and-half, sour cream, and chives.

    chives and sour cream added to mashed potatoes in instant pot

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Continue mashing until you reach desired consistency. Garnish with additional chives if desired and pepper; serve hot with additional butter.

    mashed potatoes in instant pot with masher

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

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