Mashed Potato Bar

It's hard to improve upon classic mashed potatoes, but New Orleans-based cookbook author and food blogger Joy Wilson, found a way to do it. Instead of the usual gravy, her Mashed Potato Bar gives guests the comfort of creamy mashed potatoes with several tasty topping options. We love this Mashed Potato Bar for a casual Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving. If you and your family have any other favorite toppings, be sure to put those out as well. This recipe is all about customizing.

Mashed Potato Bar
Photo: Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
8 serves


  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for serving

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, divided

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • Sour cream

  • Chopped fresh chives

  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Crisp cooked bacon, crumbled


  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, and add cold tap water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high, and cook, undisturbed, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Drain and return hot potatoes to pot. Immediately add butter, cream cheese, stock, and 1⁄3 cup of the milk. Use a potato masher to blend ingredients together. Add salt and pepper. Stir in remaining milk as necessary to reach desired consistency. Preheat oven to 250°F. Transfer mashed potatoes to a 4-quart baking dish; cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in preheated oven until ready to serve. (Potatoes can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheated, covered, just before serving. Stir in more butter and milk if potatoes seem dry after reheating.)

  3. Place sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon, and butter in small bowls; serve alongside warm potatoes.

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