Red skin mashed potatoes are a wonderful side dish to go with a weekend roast or to serve with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. These easy mashed potatoes have a tangy twist that set them apart, thanks to extra amounts of sour cream!
Mashed potatoes are a must-have at any holiday meal or indulgent weekend dinner (like maybe as a side for this mozzarella stuffed meatloaf?). But, as delicious as they are, regular mashed potatoes can be a little uninteresting. So, if you're looking to step up your mashed potato game, this recipe for red skin mashed potatoes is just what you need!
Red skin potatoes are mashed with their skin on, adding more texture and a beautiful color to the final dish. And, most of the moisture in the potatoes comes from a generous helping of sour cream, rather than milk. This gives these potatoes a delightfully tangy and savory quality that will have you coming back for a second helping. (And of course, there is a lot of butter too, a must-have for any mashed potato recipe in my opinion!).
Also, I want to give a shout-out to this article on mashed potatoes by Bon Appetit, I used it as a resource when developing this red skin mashed potato recipe. It was super helpful and interesting, I recommend giving it a read!
- Herbs: I used a combination of mostly chives, with a bit of fresh thyme thrown in. Feel free to use your favorite herbs - besides chives and thyme, parsley and dill would also be good options.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter if you like. If you are using salted butter, add less salt to the potatoes at first, taste, and add more if needed.
- Milk: I used 2% milk because that's what I had in my fridge, but you can easily use whole milk or even skim milk, since there is only a small amount in the recipe and most of the richness is coming from the butter and sour cream.
Step by step photos
1. First, cut the potatoes into about 1 ½ inch chunks.
2. Add the potato chunks to a large pot and cover them with water. Place the pot on the stove over high heat. When the water starts to boil, add a generous pinch of salt.
3. Meanwhile, while the potatoes are cooking, chop the herbs. If you're using thyme, you can just strip the small leaves off of the woody stem using your fingers.
4. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Heat the drained potatoes over low heat for 1 - 2 minutes, just to cook off the excess water.
5. Now mash the potatoes with a potato masher. You can keep them a bit chunky if you like, or mash them more thoroughly for a smoother texture.
6. Cut the butter into chunks and add them to the pot; mix the butter in until it has completely melted into the warm potatoes.
7. Next, stir in the sour cream.
8. Add in the milk, a little at a time, until the potatoes are the correct texture for your liking.
9. Finally, stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and herbs. Taste some of the potatoes and add in a bit more salt and/or pepper if needed.
Tips and tricks
- Be sure to thoroughly scrub the potatoes - since you are not peeling them, it's super important to make sure every bit of dirt is gone before cooking!
- Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, start with only 1 teaspoon and add more if needed to avoid over-salting the potatoes.
- As I mentioned, this recipe uses a lot of sour cream, which gives these mashed potatoes a tangy note, adding a lot of interest to the usually mild flavor of potatoes. However, if you don't really like that tangy flavor, you can cut back the sour cream a little and add more milk instead. If you're unsure, you can always add a little at a time and taste as you go!
- To feed a crowd, you can easily double the recipe!
No, and that's one of the upsides of red skin mashed potatoes - a lot less prep work! However, if you are not a fan of the texture of the skins, you could peel a portion of the potatoes so there is less skins overall in the final dish.
While I think these potatoes taste the best when freshly made, they will last in the fridge for 3 - 4 days, kept tightly covered.
You can also freeze them for up to 6 months. The texture of the frozen thawed potatoes will be a little looser than when fresh, so see the next question for a tip on the best way to reheat mashed potatoes that have been frozen!
If you are making them only a few hours ahead of time, you can also keep them in a crock pot or slow cooker set to warm!
To reheat the mashed potatoes, I like to microwave them on 50% power for 2 minutes at a time, stirring in between, until they are hot. Or, you can heat them over low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently.
Either way, it's always a good idea to mix in an additional splash of milk or dollop of sour cream (or both), since mashed potatoes can get a little dry when stored in the fridge.
If you want to reheat them after being frozen, thaw them overnight in the fridge and heat them on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently. For frozen potatoes, I prefer this method over the microwave, because the potatoes will be a little looser after freezing. Heating in a pan allows you to cook off some of the excess moisture, which will improve the texture.
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These red skin mashed potatoes are rich and indulgent thanks to lots of butter and sour cream, which gives them a slightly tangy twist that will keep you coming back for more!
- 2 ½ pounds (1.13 kg) red skin potatoes
- 1 cup (229 g) sour cream (see note 1)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter (see note 2)
- ¼ cup (59 ml) milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste), plus more to salt water
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- ¼ cup (9 g) fresh chopped herbs, plus more for garnish (suggestions: chives, parsley, thyme, dill) (see note 3)
- Scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any traces of dirt from the skin. Cut the potatoes into roughly 1 ½ inch chunks and add them to a large pot.
- Place the pot on the stove and cover the potatoes with water, making sure the top of the potatoes are submerged in at least 1 inch of water.
- Heat the pot over high heat; when the water begins to boil, add a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat down if necessary to maintain a gentle boil. Continue the gentle boil until the potato pieces can be easily pierced with a fork. This process should take approximately 25 minutes from start to finish.
- While the potatoes are cooking, chop the herbs and set aside.
- Once the potatoes are done cooking, turn off the stove, drain the potatoes and return them back to the pot.
- Heat the potatoes over low heat for 1 - 2 minutes, just long enough for the excess liquid at the bottom of the pot to evaporate.
- Turn the heat off and mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
- Cut the butter into chunks and add them to the potatoes. Stir the butter chunks into the mashed potatoes until they have melted fully into the potatoes.
- Stir in the sour cream.
- Stir in about half of the milk (2 tablespoons). If needed, continue adding splashes of milk until the desired texture is achieved.
- Stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and herbs. Taste the potatoes and add more salt and/or pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with additional herbs (optional).
This mashed potato recipe has a tangy, savory flavor thanks to the generous amount of sour cream. (In my opinion, this is what makes this recipe so irresistible!) But, if you prefer a subtler flavor, you can reduce the amount of sour cream from 1 cup to ¾ cup, increasing the amount of milk as needed to achieve the desired texture.
If you want to substitute salted butter, add about half the salt called for in the recipe, taste the potatoes, and then add more if needed to avoid over-salting the mashed potatoes.
Feel free to use your favorite type of herbs to flavor the mashed potatoes, but, I would recommend sticking to soft leafy herbs such as parsley, dill, and chives. You can also add in a small amount of woodier herbs like thyme and rosemary, but not the full ¼ cup because the flavor can become overwhelming. For example, I used a combination of chives and thyme in a ratio of about 3 parts chive to 1 part thyme.
Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, start with only 1 teaspoon and add more if needed.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
- Calories: 270
- Sugar: 1.8 g
- Sodium: 350 mg
- Fat: 18 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.1 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 4.2 g
- Cholesterol: 44 mg
Keywords: red skin mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes