Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

I am hopeful that this year will mean smaller gatherings for people in the US for Thanksgiving. I wanted to assist with your small Thanksgiving gathering. This round up is perfect for Thanksgivings sizes 1-4. These recipes make about 4 servings each, which is perfect for 1-4 people and leftovers if less than 4 people! Tyler and I have had so many small Thanksgivings when we lived in St. Louis and couldn’t make it home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukah. So, we usually chose the latter and I would make us a small Thanksgiving meal like this.

I do also want to take this time to bring up Thanksgiving and how we learn about it. Thanksgiving is something I now celebrate as a time for good food and showing thanks and gratitude for the ones I love. However, the story we learned as kids about Thanksgiving is so off and really shouldn’t be a part of the celebration, but rather a learning opportunity. Please do NOT dress in Native American headdresses. Please take the day to maybe educate yourself and the ones you love. Especially young children. Many Native Americans see Thanksgiving as a day of mourning and triggering. Remember, “pilgrims” led a mass genocide to the Native American population.

small batch mashed potatoes with butter

Hopefully, you will consider and implement the above before celebrating along with me.

mashed potatoes preparation

Table of Contents

potatoes and sauce pan of butter and milk

Celebrating a Mini Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving Drinks

Leftover Recipes

overhead of mashed potatoes

Now, I’ll go into some best tips for making small batch mashed potatoes.

How early can I make mashed potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are a great dish to make the day before thanksgiving. They hold up nicely in the refrigerator and you can transfer to a large bowl and reheat at 30-60 second intervals, stirring each interval. You may also want to add an additional tablespoon of butter when reheating.

What potato is best for mashed potatoes?

Russet and Yukon Gold are the most common. I personally did the below two ways! Once with 2 russets and once with 3 Yukon golds. You could go either way. Yukon golds definitely get creamier easier and have a flavor profile I prefer. But I love both.

small batch mashed potatoes on thanksgiving table

How do I season my mashed potatoes?

I love adding garlic and chives to mashed potatoes. You definitely want to make sure to at least cook down your garlic before adding to potatoes. Another great addition is finely chopped rosemary. You would add this when you cook down butter, when you cook garlic.

Why unsalted butter in mashed potatoes?

Unsalted butter is always preferred when cooking and baking. It’s best to just use salted when buttering bread, muffins, etc. You want to be able to control the amount of salt in your dish. By using unsalted you can add in salt and control how salty the end result will be.

small batch mashed potatoes on table
small batch mashed potatoes with butter

Small Batch Mashed Potatoes

5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, English
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Wilens


  • Stand Mixer


  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes small, peeled and cut into 2.5-3” pieces* (about 12-16 ounces)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced**
  • 1 Tbsp chives chopped finely**
  • 1/3 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tsp salt plus extra for boiling water
  • Extra chives and butter for garnish optional


  • Place cut potatoes in bowl covered with water for 20 minutes
  • Place potatoes in a medium pan or pot and cover with cold water. Slightly salt the water. Cover and bring water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low on your stove to just simmer with your lid ajar. Let cook for another 20-25 minutes, until tender (test with a fork).
  • Drain potatoes, do not rinse!
  • In a small sauce pan heat your butter. Once butter has melted add in your garlic, salt, and chives. Cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add in milk/heavy cream until heated.
  • Place potatoes into stand mixer bowl (or regular mixing bowl if doing with hand mixer or by hand) with paddle attachment. Turn onto the slowest speed and start to break down potatoes. Slowly pour in milk and butter mixture. Once milk is incorporated, turn up speed to low-medium and whisk for about 2 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Plate, top with extra butter and chives if you wish, and serve!


– * Can be substituted for 3 Yukon Gold potatoes
– **Chives and garlic can be omitted and just as delicious!
– Can be reheated, just do short intervals in microwave.
– Can be made ahead of time and can sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
– Don’t have a stand mixer? No worries, use a wooden spoon at first with the mashing of potatoes, or ricer. Then use a whisk to whip the potatoes at the end.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 887mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @amanda.wilens or tag #amandawilensmakes