No drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes are the easiest way to make mashed potatoes! They have the perfect amount of water that is enough to cook them without having to drain them.
We love mashed potatoes here and serve them with many meals including our cheese stuffed meatloaf. They are one of our favorite side dishes.
What makes these so great?
When boiling them you have wait for them to boil, let them cook and then drain. It is the classic way to make them, but inconsistent with time (so many factors can change the cook time) and when preparing a holiday meal knowing the exact time it will be done is crucial!
When you make them in the Instant Pot, they are a consistent time, every single time you make them, making it easy to plan around the rest of dinner.
With the Instant Pot mashed potatoes you can make them without having to boil, drain and then mash. You can mash them in a mixing bowl or you can mash them directly in the inner pot, no draining needed!
These are also perfect for making loaded mashed potato casserole too.
- Some great holiday main dishes to serve with mashed potatoes!
- Making no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes
- What can you use as a substitute for milk in mashed potatoes?
- Other great Instant Pot side dish recipes:
- What else is good in mashed potatoes?
- Frequently asked questions
We keep the ingredients simple as this is a basic no drain Instant Pot mashed potato recipe.
Potatoes - I recommend russets anytime you are mashing potatoes. You can use any for these no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes, but russets have the best texture. I have used red skin potatoes too which are delicious, but they often give mashed potatoes a waxy texture.
Milk - This is actually optional for mashing, you can use water or broth instead of milk. You can prepare these with alternatives, see below for vegan and lactose free.
Butter - We use salted butter, but you can use a butter substitute here. The butter is mostly for flavor and only slightly for texture.
Water - You can use broth in it's place, but you need a thin no dairy liquid for cooking.
Garlic - This is optional for if you want to make Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes. I add the garlic powder after cooking. If you are using fresh chopped/minced garlic, you can add it before cooking to give it the flavor throughout.
Salt and pepper - This is to taste. Add after cooking and add the amount you need while mashing.
Some great holiday main dishes to serve with mashed potatoes!
Many things go great with no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes, but here are some holiday favorites!
Making no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes
There is so little to be done here and you can actually time the rest of your meal out. After the first time of making them, you will know the exact time. I will give you an estimate but it is possible your pressure build time might vary slightly from mine.
We use a 6 quart for this but you can use an 8 quart as well. Increase the water to 2 thirds in the 8 quart so there is enough water on the bottom. The 8 quart does require more liquid and might produce a little more liquid when it comes to mashing. You can scoop them out into a mixing bowl if there is too much liquid left.
Prepping the potatoes
I have used a few different potatoes here and the best for mashed is the russet potato. I love red skin potatoes and when I make them mashed I leave the skins on, but they are waxy when mashed. Russet will be your best texture.
Peel and cut the potatoes. I added the jalapeno to the picture so you can judge the size of mine about 2 inches by 1 inch thick, doesn't have to be exact.
Mine are not all perfectly sized but about the same size. If you decide to make red skin potatoes, you can leave the skins on.
Cooking the potatoes
Add potatoes to the Instant Pot's inner pot. Place directly in, do not use a rack. Add your water, do not add the milk yet.
If you are adding chopped fresh garlic, add it now. If using garlic powder, wait until after cooking. Place the lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press pressure cook/manual (depending on the model Instant Pot you have) and set the time to 6 minutes.
Once it beeps, do a quick release and carefully remove lid when the pin drops.
Mashing the potatoes
Being these are no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes, you can mash the potatoes in the inner pot or transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add in the butter, milk (see below for substitutes), salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using.)
You can mash or whip them - whipping would be using a hand mixer, it creates a smooth and creamy texture. Mashing is with a potato masher which is the classic thicker texture with possibly small potato lumps. Both are great and more a personal preference.
Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!
You might find you want to add just a little more milk or butter depending on the consistency you want, it is a starting point.
What can you use as a substitute for milk in mashed potatoes?
There are several things you can use instead of milk and we have made these dairy free before for a friend.
If you are lactose intolerant, you can use either a lactose free milk, oat milk or even use broth. We have made this with broth instead of milk before. In that case we used a little bit of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) as well in place of the butter, but we prefer butter. You can also use margarine in place of the butter.
If you are vegan, you can use either vegetable broth or a dairy free milk. I have made no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes with oat milk, but never tried other milks. You can use a plant based alternative in place of butter.
If you just don't have milk but you have half and half or heavy cream, you can use either one of them as well. Heavy cream will make it creamier.
Other great Instant Pot side dish recipes:
- Baby potatoes in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
What else is good in mashed potatoes?
You can add many different things to mashed potatoes. They go great with so many things!
Cheese is always good to put in potatoes. This can be cream cheese or any kind of shredded cheese. You can add both! Parmesan cheese makes a great add in as well.
You can experiment with different spices, but I try to keep them simple. Garlic (mentioned above), black or white pepper (white pepper is more mild in spice), chives. parsley and salt are the most common spices.
Dried minced onion, rosemary or even thyme can be added before cooking to give it a bit more flavor. For rosemary or thyme, I would try maybe one quarter teaspoon. They are great aromatics but can overpower some dishes if you use a lot.
Frequently asked questions
Typically when boiling potatoes you do have to drain them, but this recipe is a no drain mashed potato recipe. The amount of liquid remaining will be minimal and is used in the mashing.
No you don't have to peel potatoes, but I do recommend it with russets. Russets are the best for mashing, but the skins are a little thicker and do not soften quite as much as some other potatoes. The skins are good on baked potatoes, but we prefer to peel them for mashed.
Red skin potatoes are actually good with the skins left on, but the potatoes are a bit waxy.
Yes and we do quite often when making them to serve with meat. I have used chicken and beef broth successfully. Be sure to watch the amount of salt you add if you are not using unsalted broth.
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6 quart Instant Pot - We prefer to use our 6 quart for no drain Instant Pot mashed potatoes. The 8 quart works best if you don't want to use as much milk for mashing because you need to add more water to the potatoes to cover the bottom of the inner pot with liquid.
Hand mixer - This is for if you would rather your potatoes to be whipped into a creamy smooth texture. Often people call them mashed when using a hand mixer, but it is actually whipped. They are great this way or mashed!
Potato masher - I prefer to have a metal one over a plastic one. Mine gets used for many things and sometimes I use it in a hot pot of food so plastic just doesn't work for me here.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- ½ cup water or broth
- ¼ cup milk
- 4 Tablespoons butter see notes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced, see notes
- salt to taste
- pepper white or black ground to taste
- Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. I typically cut them in half lengthwise and then 2 or 3 cuts down along the potato resulting in chunks that are about 2 inches by 1 inch thick.
- Add the potatoes to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Pour water over the potatoes.
- Place lid on and set the vent to sealing. Hit pressure cook/manual button and set for 6 minutes. It should take about 10 minutes to build pressure.
- When finished carefully do a quick release of pressure. Hit cancel on your Instant Pot.
- Add the milk, butter and optional spices (if using) to the potatoes.
- Use a potato masher for mashed potatoes or a hand mixer for whipped potatoes and mix until the are blended and desired consistency. If you need more milk, butter or spices you can add them as needed.
- Optional - you can top with melted butter and sprinkle with parsley as a garnish.
Easy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes is step by step pictures with the instructions.