How to Make Instant Mashed Potatoes Taste Like a Homemade Recipe

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Start to Finish: 15 minutes maximum
Servings: 2
Difficulty Level: Beginner

The reality of instant mashed potatoes is that those papery flakes will never quite measure up to the real thing. But with the right additions and cooking techniques, you can make instant mashed potatoes taste pretty darn close to homemade. While instant potatoes have a less natural flavor due to their dehydrated form, you can spruce up instant mashed potatoes with chicken broth instead of water. Once you know a few tasty tricks, you'll have delicious instant mashed potatoes, just like homemade, whenever you want.


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  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup instant mashed potatoes


Choose a salted butter or margarine, not an unsalted butter, for the best flavor.



Put chicken broth, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to combine the ingredients.

Take the pan off the heat once the mixture is boiling. Immediately add the sour cream and mashed potatoes.

Stir gently to mix the instant mashed potatoes with the sour cream and chicken broth mixture. Stirring too quickly is what causes instant mashed potatoes to get too watery and taste bland.


Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Mix the chicken broth, salt and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Then add the instant mashed potatoes and stir them just enough to combine.


Cook on high heat for 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave.

Take the bowl out of the microwave carefully, as it will be very hot, and add the sour cream. The mashed potatoes should have a fluffy appearance, like homemade, but with some of the broth still needing to be mixed in. Stir slowly to mix the sour cream and remaining liquid with the instant mashed potatoes.


Serve with a little extra butter or salt and pepper.


While you can microwave instant mashed potatoes, you should only microwave up to 4 servings. Any more should only be made on the stovetop for the best results.

Seasonings & Variations

Instead of sour cream, you can also use a heavy whipping cream or whole milk to add extra creaminess to your instant mashed potatoes. Herbs like chives or thyme can also be stirred into the finished mashed potatoes for an extra pop. If you like buttery mashed potatoes, add a little extra butter and decrease the sour cream.


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