Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Your holiday dinner that you spent so much time preparing would not be complete without an indulgent side of mashed potatoes. In the South, we just know that mashed potatoes should be more than an excuse to eat gravy, and it is pretty much impossible to beat a classic creamy dish of buttermilk mashed potatoes. No amount of stir-ins or extra ingredients can rise to the challenge. In this traditional recipe, the texture and flavor of Russet potatoes, a favorite choice when making mashed potatoes, is enhanced with a trio of dairy flavors: tangy buttermilk, creamy butter, and velvety rich crème fraîche. A family favorite for special occasions but perfect for weeknight meals, this dish is so rich you won't even need that gravy. Serve these potatoes during the week with pork tenderloin, fried chicken, or country-fried steak. After boiling and draining the potatoes, dry them in the Dutch oven over heat to remove as much moisture as possible. This creates fluffier, not mushier, mashed potatoes. You can also make these one day in advance for any occasion by preparing, covering, and refrigerating until needed. Simply reheat when ready to serve! You don't have to get fancy with a great dish of mashed potatoes. Just garnish with a fat slice of melty butter for a look that is completely Southern. (We do love our butter!)

Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes with Parmesan
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 serves


  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces crème fraîche

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil until tender, 25 minutes. Drain; return potatoes to Dutch oven over medium. Cook, stirring once, until potatoes dry out slightly, 50 seconds.

  2. Place buttermilk and softened butter in a microwavable glass bowl; microwave on HIGH until warm, 30 to 60 seconds. Add warm buttermilk mixture, crème fraîche, salt, and white pepper to potatoes; mash with a potato masher.

Chef's Notes

Reheating Directions

Spoon potatoes into a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until heated through, about 2 hours. Or reheat in a tightly covered baking dish at 350°F until heated through, about 1 hour.

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