Buttery Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center.

Creamy, Buttery Mashed Potatoes for Two

‘Tis the season for mashed potatoes!  This easy recipe for mashed potatoes makes the perfect amount for 2-3 servings.  A lot of us are doing scaled down versions of the holidays this year, so this recipe is a perfect side dish for two people.  It makes two cups of mashed potatoes, but if you want to double the recipe that totally works, too!  You may want seconds anyway. 🙂

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with a pat of butter in the center.

Ingredients for Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

  • One pound of gold potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
  • One heaping teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more salt to taste
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • One tablespoon of whole milk, plus more if desired

That’s it!  Only four ingredients for these simple mashed potatoes.  It’s all you really need, I promise.  For other flavor variations, see my other small batch mashed potato recipes at the end of this post!

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center.

How to make the Best Buttery Mashed Potatoes

  1. Use gold potatoes.  Gold potatoes (or Yukon gold, or yellow potatoes) are soft, buttery, and perfect for creamy, buttery mashed potatoes.  They’re smaller than russet potatoes, and have a waxier skin.  I prefer them for basic mashed potatoes because they provide a ton of buttery flavor, and a wonderful texture.
  2. SALT THE BOILING WATER.  This tip is dramatically written in all caps because it is SO important.  Salting the potatoes from the absolute beginning is a GREAT way to make them more flavorful!  I recommend adding at least a teaspoon of kosher salt to each quart of water, but you can add a little more if you’re feeling it.
  3. Use room temperature butter.  Room temperature butter melts easily into the hot potatoes, and helps the texture of the mashed potatoes stay smooth and creamy.
  4. Add salt to taste.  What does this really mean?  It means that we all have different levels of salt preference, so add a little bit of salt at a time until the mashed potatoes taste absolutely delicious to you!

This is a pretty foolproof mashed potato recipe, and once you make it a few times, you’ll just start doing it from memory!  

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center.

I’ve actually been making a TON of mashed potatoes this week (so I can get all of the recipes perfected and ready for you before Thanksgiving!).  While they’re all SUPER delicious, there’s something so comforting and delightful about these simple mashed potatoes.  The simple buttery flavor and the creamy texture are just so perfect.  I sincerely hope this becomes your go-to small batch mashed potato recipe, even if you want to add garlic or other flavors!

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center.

On that note, I know a lot of people love garlic mashed potatoes.  This recipe is totally perfect for that.  Just add a clove of minced garlic to the potatoes along with the butter and salt, and mashed the minced garlic into the potatoes while they’re still super hot.  The heat will sort of cook the garlic, reducing the harshness of the garlic and letting the flavor just explode into the potatoes!  

Other Small Batch Potato Recipes:

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with a pat of butter in the center.

Some Small Batch Vegetable Side Dishes:

If you make these mashed potatoes, I would love if you tagged me on Instagram so I can see your gorgeous creation!  You can also follow me on Pinterest for more small batch recipes, and always feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions!

xx Sara

A small bowl of buttery mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Buttery Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

An easy, simple mashed potato recipe for 2-3 servings!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mashed potatoes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: sara a.
Cost: $2


  • 1 pound gold potatoes (yukon or yellow works)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk


  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 1" cubes, then place them into a deep pot. Fill the pot with cold water so that it covers the potatoes by an inch.
  • Add one teaspoon of kosher salt to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, and boil for about ten minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough that they can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain the water from the pot. Add the butter and a pinch of salt, and mash the potatoes using a potato masher.*
  • Switch to a spoon, and stir in the milk. Taste, and season with more butter or salt if desired. If you prefer a creamier consistency, add another tablespoon of milk.
  • Serve warm, and enjoy!


*If you do not have a potato masher, transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer with the whisk attachments to whisk the potatoes, butter, and salt together instead.  Then whisk in the milk.
*This can also be done in the bowl of a stand-up mixer.  Use the paddle attachment on medium speed to "mash" the potatoes, butter, and salt for about a minute.  Switch to the whisk attachment, and whisk the milk into the potatoes on medium speed for about a minute until super smooth and creamy.
Buttery Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

check the "about me" page for more information on Sara.

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