Martha Stewart's 1-ingredient upgrade to the creamiest mashed potatoes

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If you're whipping up a batch of mashed potatoes, take note of this easy one-ingredient upgrade I learned from Martha Stewart. This tip actually comes from her mom, Martha Costera, via a recipe she calls Big Martha's Mashed Potatoes, and it's a great way to make your mashed spuds extra creamy and delicious: Add the cream cheese.

Instead of riceing her potatoes, Mrs. Costera called for a dollop of soft cream cheese to be added to the boiled potatoes. Then she beats them together with butter, whole milk and heavy cream in a stand mixer set with a paddle attachment. Cream cheese gives you the richest, creamiest, and most delicious mashed potatoes you'll ever have.

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Why Cream Cheese Works in Mashed Potatoes

Unlike shredded cheese, cream cheese has a smoother texture, which makes it easier to add to mashed potatoes, especially when it's at room temperature, ensuring even distribution without interfering with those fluffy spuds. .

The cream cheese also provides a delicious acidity, but it's mild enough that it doesn't interfere with the earthy, sweet flavor of the potatoes. It's a rich and creamy ingredient that gives mashed potatoes a luxurious texture.

My Tips for Making Mrs. Costera's Mashed Potatoes

Before you add cream cheese to your next batch of mashed potatoes, here are two tips:

  1. How much cream cheese to use?: You'll need an eight-ounce bar of cream cheese for four pounds of potatoes. If your recipe calls for butter and milk or heavy cream, you'll add them to help loosen the mashed potatoes.
  2. Use full-fat cream cheese.: If you're looking for a creamy texture and luxurious flavor, stick with full-fat cream cheese. Save the low-fat versions for other applications.
  3. Soften the cream cheese to room temperature.: Adding cold cream cheese to hot potatoes is not a good idea. Cream cheese will be hard to beat, and by the time you get it smooth, the potatoes will be sticky. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. It will make your life so much easier!

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