These chunky Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes are an easy side dish! They're made with skin on potatoes, tangy buttermilk, and fresh chives.
Mashed potatoes are one of the best quintessential comfort food side dishes. They are by definition rustic, hearty, and unpretentious while at the same time completely irresistible.
I have always had a serious weakness for a big scoop of mashed potatoes topped with a few ladles of gravy served alongside some form of roasted meat. It's one of things I look forward to most during holiday meals.
Of course, I love exotic dishes with lots of spice and deep flavors but nothing can replace a home-cooked meal made with simple ingredients that remind us of childhood. Mashed potatoes ALWAYS do that for me.
This is one of the easiest side dishes to prepare and arguably one of the most satisfying. It's made with skin on red potatoes that are boiled until tender and then mashed with buttermilk, salt and pepper.
These mashed potatoes are chunky and can be served simply with some minced chives or topped with your favorite gravy.
- Are Red Potatoes Good For Mashing?
- Ingredients For Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes
- Do You Peel Red Potatoes Before Boiling?
- How To Make Mashed Red Potatoes
- Why Use Cold Water When Boiling Potatoes?
- Why Use Buttermilk In Mashed Potatoes?
- How To Make Your Own Buttermilk
- How To Get The Right Consistency
- What To Serve With Mashed Red Potatoes
- How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
- Can They Be Made Ahead Of Time?
- Can They Be Frozen?
- Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes
Are Red Potatoes Good For Mashing?
It may seem that all mashed potato recipes are the same and if you've made one then you've made them all. That's not necessarily true.
One factor that determines the taste and consistency of mashed potatoes is the variety of potato that's used in the recipe.
Yukon Gold potatoes are considered one of the best mashing potatoes because of their balanced starchiness, naturally buttery flavor, delicate skins, and creamy texture.
Russets are often used to make mashed potatoes because they have a high starch content, which results in a light and fluffy texture.
I love to use red potatoes when making mashed potatoes because both the potato and the skins have a great natural flavor. There is no need to overload mashed red potatoes with copious amounts of dairy and I don't feel it necessary to peel them first.
Red potatoes are considered waxy, not starchy and this makes them a good candidate for mashing. They are naturally creamy and still taste great without a bunch of extra additions. This recipe is a good one if you enjoy the natural flavor of potatoes and a chunky texture.
If you prefer ultra smooth and creamy mashed potatoes with no lumps and lots of dairy, then this is probably not the recipe for you. I would opt for Yukon Golds or Russets if you prefer mashed potatoes that are decadently smooth and creamy.
Ingredients For Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes
Here's what you'll need to make them.
- 4 lbs. Red Potatoes
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 ½ tsp. Kosher Salt (split)
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Minced Chives or herbs of choice (optional)
Do You Peel Red Potatoes Before Boiling?
Red potatoes have always been a favorite of mine. We grew them in our garden growing up and let me tell you - There is nothing like a red potato dug straight from the garden.
I regularly ate red potatoes as a picky child at a time when I wouldn't even THINK about touching vegetables. That says something.
One reason I enjoy cooking with red potatoes is that they are so versatile. They are great mashed, roasted, smashed and added to everything from soups to salads. They're a great all-around potato to keep on hand.
Another reason I love to use them to make mashed potatoes is that it is not necessary to peel red potatoes before boiling.
I find that the skins give these Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes both flavor and texture.
It is important to wash and scrub red potatoes before using them to make this or any recipe. Washing the potatoes helps to remove any dirt or bacteria that might be present.
How To Make Mashed Red Potatoes
As far as side dishes go, this is one of the easiest out there.
All that's needed is to wash and dice the potatoes, boil them until tender, and then mash them with some buttermilk, salt and pepper. This makes them a great choice to serve as part of a holiday meal or a busy weeknight dinner.
- Start by washing, scrubbing, and drying 4 lbs. of red potatoes. Feel free to cut out any damaged portions of the skin with a knife and discard.
- Dice the potatoes into large chunks. Make sure that the potatoes are all relatively the same size to ensure that they cook evenly.
- Place the diced potatoes into a large pot.
- Cover the potatoes by 1 inch with cold water and add 1 tsp. kosher salt to the pot. Stir until incorporated.
- Place the pot on the stove top and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a low boil and cook the potatoes for 12-14 minutes, or until they are tender, but not mushy.
- Feel free to skim any of the extra starch that rises to the surface with a large spoon and discard.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer them back into the pot after draining.
Why Use Cold Water When Boiling Potatoes?
It's important to use cold water when boiling potatoes, because it heats evenly and ensures that the potatoes cook at the same rate.
Starting the potatoes in cold water makes for a better overall texture and it's much safer than dumping a bunch of potatoes into a pot of boiling water all at once.
Adding salt to the water helps to ensure a more balanced flavor, as all of the potatoes are salted evenly. Adequate salt levels make for more flavorful potatoes.
Why Use Buttermilk In Mashed Potatoes?
The lactic acid in buttermilk provides a nice tangy flavor to mashed potatoes. I love to use buttermilk when making mashed potatoes because I find that it complements the flavor of the potatoes without overwhelming them.
I find that buttermilk provides a rich flavor and creamy texture while allowing the natural flavor of the potatoes to shine through.
All of the ingredients in this recipe are meant to enhance the flavor of the potato and not to hide it.
It's also lower in fat than heavy cream or many forms of dairy, making for an overall lighter dish.
You can find buttermilk in the dairy section of your local grocery store.
How To Make Your Own Buttermilk
Don't have any buttermilk on hand? You can make your own by simply combining some milk and a bit of lemon juice or white vinegar!
- To make your own buttermilk, Pour 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 cup of milk.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Stir after 10 minutes to combine and then use as you would regular buttermilk.
How To Get The Right Consistency
How smooth or chunky to make mashed potatoes is really a personal preference.
I enjoy chunkier mashed potatoes with some bite, but you can simply mash them more if you prefer a smoother texture.
It's important not to over-mash them, as this can result in a gummy texture.
It's also important not to overcook them. Make sure to boil the potatoes just until they are soft, but not mushy. Overcooked potatoes can be starchy and unappealing.
- After the potatoes are cooked, drained, and transferred back to the pot, return the pot to the stove top and heat to medium-low.
- Pour 1 cup of buttermilk into the mashed potatoes a little at a time, mashing them with a potato masher.
- Continue to do so until the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
- Add ½ tsp. each kosher salt and pepper to the potatoes and stir until completely combined.
What To Serve With Mashed Red Potatoes
Once the potatoes have reached your desired consistency, feel free to garnish them with some fresh minced chives, or herbs of choice (this step is optional).
I find that chives go great with potatoes because they have sort of an onion flavor that just works. Parsley, dill, or rosemary are all delicious herbs that pair nicely with potatoes.
How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
Any leftover mashed potatoes should last 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Make sure to allow the potatoes to cool completely before transferring to the refrigerator for storage.
Can They Be Made Ahead Of Time?
You can certainly make these mashed potatoes the day ahead.
Allow the potatoes to cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To reheat, simply transfer the cooked and cooled potatoes back to a large pot and heat on medium-low on the stovetop.
- Add 1-2 Tbsp. extra buttermilk, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water and stir until the potatoes have reached your desired consistency.
Can They Be Frozen?
For optimal taste and texture, I recommend enjoying these mashed potatoes right away or within a few days.
Love mashed veggies? Don't miss these recipes!
Love red potatoes? Be sure to check out these recipes!
- Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes
- Dutch Oven Chicken and Potatoes
- Spanish Style Potato Salad
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Potatoes
Looking For More Vegetable Side Dishes? Don't Miss These!
Buttermilk Mashed Red Potatoes
- Wash, scrub, and dry 4 lbs. of red potatoes. Feel free to remove any damaged skin from the potatoes with a knife and discard.
- Dice the potatoes into medium to large sized chunks. Make sure that the potatoes are all relatively the same size to ensure that they cook evenly.
- Place the pot on the stove top and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low boil and cook the potatoes for 12-14 minutes, or until they are tender, but not mushy.Feel free to skim any of the extra starch that rises to the surface as the potatoes are boiling with a large spoon and discard.
- Drain the potatoes and then transfer them back into the pot after draining. Return the pot to the stove top and heat to medium-low.
- Pour 1 cup of buttermilk into the mashed potatoes a little at a time, mashing them with a potato masher. Continue to do so until the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
- To Serve: Serve mashed potatoes with 2 Tbsp. of fresh minced chives or herbs of choice (optional).