8 Different Ways to Thicken Mashed Potatoes

You want to impress your guests with your culinary talents, but you recently discovered that your mashed potatoes were watery rather than creamy and rich. Don’t be concerned! Any of these eight ways will instantly thicken mashed potatoes.

The nice news is that most of these ways will not change the taste of your delicious mashed potatoes. They just thicken the texture in order to make them less watery. Many of them do not need any extra ingredients; all you need to do is acquire the appropriate method.

The following are the most frequent methods for thickening mashed potatoes:

  • Add thickening agents
  • Simmer the potatoes
  • Add dehydrated potatoes
  • Heat them in a microwave
  • A quick bake in the oven
  • Add more potatoes
  • Strain the runny mashed potatoes
  • Add cheese

1. Add Thickening Agents Like Cornstarch or Powdered Milk

If your mashed potatoes are excessively liquid, just thicken them with cornstarch or powdered milk.

Because maize starch has no effect on the taste of the potatoes, it is an excellent component to have on hand. Milk powder is another option.

To your runny potatoes, add 1 tablespoon powdered milk or cornstarch and whisk over low heat until the required consistency is reached.

2. Simmer the Potatoes

A little simmer may make or break the consistency of your mash. Simply stir the mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium-high heat for a few minutes.

However, instead of whisking with a spoon or ladle, a fork is the ideal option since it eliminates excessive swirling and accelerates the evaporation of surplus liquid or moisture. Also, excessive churning might destroy the texture and make it overly sticky or gluey. Don’t cover the pan to allow the steam to escape.

3. Add Dehydrated Potatoes

Did you know that potatoes may be used to thicken sauces? If you have dried potatoes on hand, add one tablespoon at a time to the mashed potatoes. They are ideal for absorbing excess water. They not only thicken the meal, but they also offer a smooth, delightful flavor.

4. Heat Them in a Microwave

If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave runny mashed potatoes to thicken them.

Microwave the potatoes for one minute on high in a microwave-safe container. After one minute, stir the potatoes lightly.

Heat the potatoes for another minute, then check to see if they need to thicken any more. Continue until the required consistency is achieved. Allow the surplus moisture to escape by not covering the dish.

5. Bake Them in The Oven

The oven may also be used to thicken mashed potatoes. Preheat the oven to 300°F and put the potatoes in a baking dish or casserole. Cover them not to allow moisture to evaporate rather than circulate in the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, then check the consistency and toss them. Return the potatoes to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes if required.

6. Include More Potatoes

Do you have any spare potatoes? They may be able to rescue the day.

One or two potatoes should enough; there is no need to prepare a full batch. Boiling and mashing the potatoes is required. You may also use frozen ones, but they will need to defrost first.

When you add additional ingredients, be sure to taste the food. If required, season with extra salt and pepper.

Reheat the dish over medium heat. Simmering the mash will evaporate the residual liquid and thicken it.

7. Strain the Runny Mashed Potatoes

Straining is another approach for thickening sloppy mashed potatoes.

For this approach, you’ll need a sieve and cheesecloth. Simply strain the mash through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth and roll it into a ball. Squeeze the moisture out gently, then drain for about one hour.

It’s also a good idea to reheat the mashed potatoes. You may do this in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop. The excess moisture will evaporate, and it may be served hot.

8. Add Cheese

Do you want to up the ante on your mashed potatoes? Add the cheese, the firmer the better, and watch the texture and taste increase.

Parmesan, cheddar, or pecorino cheese are all good options. Just keep an eye on the amount; you don’t want the potatoes to get excessively cheesy. If you want a thick yet smooth texture, carefully shred the cheese ahead of time.

Allow the mash to boil over medium heat. Begin slowly and stir the pan as you add the cheese. Cook for a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted and blended with the potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes Mistakes & How to Fix Them

We all make errors, but the key to being a competent chef is to learn from them. Here are some red signs to watch out for and advice to remember.

  • If you use waxy red potatoes, your mash will get gluey. Use thick-skinned cultivars like as Russets or Yukon Gold.
  • If you want fluffy mashed potatoes, don’t chop them too tiny. Thinly sliced potatoes will absorb an excessive amount of water when cooking. For boiling, 1 inch slices work best.
  • If you put potatoes in hot water, they will get lumpy. Bring the potatoes to a boil in cold water.
  • Because cold butter limits absorption, avoid using it. Before adding the butter to the mixture, make sure it is at room temperature. The same holds true with milk and cream. Warm liquids in a pan before adding them to the mix.

A food processor is not recommended. This will over-mash them and make them very gluey. Use a masher, fork, ricer, or food mill instead.

Spending a few additional minutes on these small (but important) procedures assures a fluffy and tasty mash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put Raw Flour in Mashed Potatoes?

Unless you have no other option, it is not suggested to use uncooked flour. Raw wheat gelatinizes when cooked, significantly altering the flavor of the food. The consistency might sometimes be bumpy.

Are Overcooked Potatoes Bad?

There’s nothing wrong with overcooked potatoes; they’re still edible. When mashed, however, they absorb a lot of water and become a soupy mess. As a workaround, cook them a little longer in an uncovered pan over low heat, stirring gently. The excess water will evaporate, leaving your mash less watery.

How Do You Fix Runny Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Add a thickening ingredient, such as cornstarch or powdered milk, to thicken instant mashed potatoes. Add one tablespoon at a time, mashing until the mash reaches the desired consistency.

To eliminate extra moisture, drain the mash through a cheesecloth. Feel free to use cheese, such as parmesan. If you’re in a rush, pop the dish in the microwave on high for a minute and check to see if the mash has improved.


Hopefully, these suggestions will assist you in making fluffy and thick potato mash.

Try some of our suggestions; some will just take a few minutes to complete. If you can’t decide what to try first, simmering or microwaving them is an excellent place to start. Baking also works well, albeit it takes a bit longer to obtain the desired thickness.

Thickening chemicals may also aid in the creation of a fluffy mash. You probably already have cornstarch or powdered milk on hand, but if not, you may add additional potatoes (dry or boiling) to adjust the consistency. Cheese is also a wonderful thickening agent.

Finally, for the greatest results, utilize Russet or Yukon Gold kinds.


How do you make mashed potatoes thicker?

You can make do with what you have on hand: Flour, cornstarch, and powdered milk are all solid ingredients that you most likely already have in your cabinet. Potato starch and potato flour might also work. Stir in the thickening agent a tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes reach the desired consistency.

Does milk make mashed potatoes thick?

To thicken runny mashed potatoes, use 1 tablespoon cornstarch, flour, or powdered milk with the potatoes.

Can mashed potatoes be used as a thickener?

Yes. Extremely effective? Sure thing. This method works because instant mashed potatoes are inherently starchy and hence have the same consistency as other regularly used thickeners like cornstarch, but without the clumps.

What makes mashed potatoes sticky instead of fluffy?

Starch is released when potatoes are mashed. The more starch is released from the potatoes, the more you work them. When potatoes release too much starch, they become sticky, gluey, and unappealing.

Is milk or cream better for mashed potatoes?

The creamiest mashed potatoes are made using heavy cream, although whole milk or half and half will also work. If you use anything less fat than whole milk, your potatoes will be less delicious and creamy.

Should milk be hot or cold for mashed potatoes?

Add no cold liquid. Make certain that the milk or cream you use for your potatoes is hot. This allows it to absorb better, reducing the need to overmix. Overmixing is harmful.

Is milk or water better for mashed potatoes?

Here are 5 tips for making the tastiest mashed potatoes:

For rich, creamy potatoes like those served at fine steakhouses, add heavy cream or half-and-half. If you wish to cut the fat, use whole milk, light sour cream, or plain yogurt.

How do you make mashed potatoes thicker without flakes?

To thicken mashed potatoes, use a thickener such as cornstarch, flour, powdered milk, or tapioca. Add one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. To get the proper consistency, you may either add heat, additional potatoes, or sieve the mashed potatoes.

Which is better for thickening potato starch or cornstarch?

While cornstarch is excellent for thickening soups, potato starch is better for thickening meals like macaroni and cheese.

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